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Life Re-imagined? Yes. Go For It...

In Cuomo's daily press briefings he pushes the notion of the 'new normal' being life re-imagined. For us here at Willowview Hill Farm, that's something we have been working toward for a number of years now. Re-invention happens in life. It's all part of our journey.

Our rather well-educated eldest son has always expressed that it is important to have a 5 year and 10 year plan in place. For businesses that can mean an exit strategy, for individuals it can mean easing into retirement or finding time to follow a passion that you've always held close to your heart but always been too busy with family life and obligations to others to follow.

I count myself as extremely blessed to have arrived at a 'new normal' partly by design, partly by hardship and partly by accident, over the past 30 years. 

My advice is to embrace change and move forward and adapt with good heart. Re-imagining is hard work but it can also be extremely rewarding. It can happen many times in…
Recent posts

Can You Really Social Distance and Follow CDC In A Commercial Horse Barn?

There has been an amazing amount of misinformation and confusion concerning the lockdown rules during the Covid19 crisis and their interpretation as it pertains to commercial horse boarding operations, especially in New York State, where I reside.

In my opinion the NYS Department of Ag and its various councils have further added to the confusion by their on again/off again broadcasts and comments, writings and musings in regard to just what a horse owner and horse boarding farm owner can and can't do.
Compounded misinformation about insurance coverage, rules for social distancing, pop up social media pages attempting to help horse folks understand their rights and the issue at hand, abound.

I don't doubt that everyone is trying their level best to figure out a way to safely get horses and their owners back together. For the horse barn business owners the responsibility for the safety and health of their workforce and clients during Covid19 is a part of their daily…

Pick The Right Partner To Train Your Horse

It's been said over and over but it bears repeating. When you select a horse trainer it's important that you choose the best possible partner option for the individual horse. 

If you have a sloth like gelding, that simply doesn't get excited about much in life, than the choice of who can start and train the horse is much wider than if you have a young mare that has had plenty of handling but that has not seen much of the world and has been closely bonded with one individual or two individuals over her life time.

Mares are commonly more difficult to start than a gelding, hormones and their intuition and instinct are key reasons why a mare must be asked to do something not told. If they don't trust you and regard you as being 51% in charge of them on the ground, then they certainly are not going to magically change when you ask them to work under saddle.

The trainer you select to start a horse should have lots of experience doing just that. The process of building trust, lo…

The Quest For A New Heart Horse

The challenge of finding a new heart horse when you've unexpectedly lost your horse of 16 years is not for the faint of heart. Feelings of guilt, abandonment, recurring waves of mourning and the ebb and flow of tears for the horse partner you have lost will haunt even the most stoic soul. In fact last night I was dreaming and was shouting in my sleep for Charlie. Evidently I am nowhere near 'over it'. Even if it that is a possibility.

Is there such a thing as rebound? Taking on a new horse is a big decision and the common psychological idea that one should never make major life changes when you are at an emotional low is perhaps valid, even when it comes to the fact that you are torn between wanting a new riding horse and waiting until you are in a more 'normal' frame of mind. And let's face it, have saved up some money to make the purchase.

People say that time heals loss but I don't agree. I do believe that over time the acute pain and grief stages become m…

Live Your Best Life ~ Loss Of Your Heart Horse

As many of you know we recently had to make one of the toughest decisions that any animal owner has to endure - euthanasia of a beloved pet. In our case our Grand Prix DWB horse Charrington WVH, aka Charlie.

We had owned him since a three year old. Recently gelded at that time and full of stallion antics, he knew nothing about riding and hubbie Paul and I enjoyed the 16 years of owning him and teaching him all about dressage. Both of our twins sat on him over the course of the years as young teens/adults for an occasional lesson, but throughout his life he was very much my horse. Everybody loved Charlie. He was the 'go to' horse for photos. Always completely trustworthy with neophyte horse visitors of all ages. Charlie never had an unsound day in his life, and was always willing to play and loved to be ridden. Never a colic, but an occasional choke that we were able to resolve without a vet visit, caused no doubt by his amazing vacuum abilities and cathedral like mouth.

In Spri…

Riding Dressage Tests On Grass ~ Good Idea or One To Be Avoided?

Back in the early '80's when hubbie and I competed in the NE USA the use of grass rings for anything but the FEI classes was common. The rings were quickly set up on any available flat spot and it was up to the competitor to negotiate any issues that such footing provided. This was true back then of recognized events, that thankfully are now more carefully monitored when it comes to the footing in the arenas including the warm up.

One particular event that did not go so well on a grass footed ring comes to mind, a show at King Oak in Springfield, MA.  

Our entourage that included our twins under two years old, five year old, show horse and ourselves arrived late at the event in pouring rain. Delayed by traffic on I84 in Hartford, we had minutes to unload our horse and tack up, hit the office for our number and ring info.

The assigned ring was down a relatively steep incline, a track already well worn by our lunch time arrival on day one of the show. Not wishing to delay the class…