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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…
Recent posts

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…

Clinic Tours in Reverse

It used to be that dressage competitors like my hubbie Paul and myself, spent many dollars traversing the pond to visit Europe to elevate our dressage knowledge by working with big name trainers and to buy big moving horses to bring home.

Everything now is seemingly in reverse. European riders are commonly seen here in the U.S.A. taking lessons with our team riders and buying our horses.
Meantime we are conducting clinics abroad as well as here at home. In the past few years Paul and I have been pleased to give clinics in Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland and Switzerland. Our sometimes twice or three times a year sojourns over the Atlantic in addition to our U.S. schedule, keep us very busy indeed, and we never know quite what to expect on our arrival in foreign climes.

Repeat bookings are always appreciated by any clinician, as it tells us we have done a good job and that the participants and host have enjoyed the experience. Occasionally we may not be keen to repeat a visit to a loca…

And Then There Was 1

It's never easy to go with your gut and turn down someone that is interested in buying your horse. But know when you have found the right fit for your horse you will know it immediately and so will the buyer.

As many of you know hubbie and I are retiring from horse breeding, or more correctly, we have retired. Clinics and working our private yard of horses will be our focus for the future, that and our organic hay business where we home produce all the hay we sell.

After an off/on again marketing of our broodmare band we are thrilled to announce we have sold Gambol's Middernacht WVH, aka Midi - and even better we once again have sold one of our horses to folks that we know well as both students and as friends. It truly doesn't get any better than that! Patience has paid off.

Following the visits from prospective buyers on Midi during the marketing period, I turned away two parties that were interested in buying Midi as we didn't deem them suitable for one reason or anothe…

Ignoring Reality - The Lame Horse In A Clinic

Unfortunately from time to time horse riders are faced with a difficult decision. They have worked hard to train and prepare for a clinic riding experience with a noted name with their daily trainer, and their horse has been going reasonably well as far as they can tell.

The moment they enter the arena to participate in the clinic, it becomes clear to the clinician that the horse is not sound. The horse may act up in frustration at the demands that are being asked of it by the rider, and the rider and their daily trainer may have not recognized it or if they have, perhaps have chosen to ignore it as a 'training issue.' 

My husband Paul and I give dressage clinics internationally, and work as a 'duo' in training horse and rider at these events. When we are faced with a horse that we see is clearly not 100%, it is difficult for us to point it out in such a public venue to the rider and their trainer. We fully appreciate that much money, time and effort has been spent by th…