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Showing posts from June, 2016

Making a Finished Dressage Horse: Part I

We have started many horses over the years at Willowview Hill Farm. Naturally much thought and planning goes into every horse we produce. Which stallion to choose? Which vet to trust? The delight of the moment of birth and imprint training that follows is truly wonderful.

Then the weaning, the years of daily handling, new introductions to everything a horse should know and confidently manage and then when the time is right, longe work and backing.



Here is a video of how we start our youngsters to train to the saddle. This video is of our Gambol's Middernacht WVH. You will hear some deep outward breaths from behind the camera, which Midi hears and do relax her. I am teaching her to trust me as a 2nd ground person, so when she is mounted for riding she still has a person on the floor to look toward for help. The point in the video where Paul says, " Now you've seen it," is Midi noticing the banner on the side wall. She had previously been frightened by the indoor light…

Andalusian and Lusitano Horses Outsized?

Twenty plus years ago, well before the full on marketing of ANCCE/PRE Andalusians and IALHA Lusitanos and Andalusians in the USA, little me was busy in Spain and Portugal buying these breeds and breeding horses in both Spain and Portugal for importation to our New York farm.

I was becoming disenfranchised with the ridiculous amount of OCD in the Hanoverian breed after buying, breeding and importing Hanoverians for over 26 years. When Gerd Brunken, the vet at Verden H.Q.Vhw, told me that 65 % of all the stallions they saw as two year olds had OCD lesions that were quickly removed via arthroscope before the stallions went to market at Celle I was stunned. My then German vet, who worked on my breeding program with warmbloods in the U.K. told me the same thing.

"Now look at the X-rays for those that are too clean," he explained. What was a girl to do? I loved my Hanoverians and warmbloods but this just wasn't working. When we had to put down a seven year old Oldenburg after …