Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Sums it up in a word, but to elaborate, PONY mares. Explains so much, doesn't it?
Ponies are closer to the ground, and therefore closer to hell. Pony mares, well, you get the picture.
I have two pony mares. What does that say about me?
ThePone is going to get an attitude adjustment here shortly, and with a quickness.
That is all.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
This weekend is going to begin some off farm training for my two youngest! Pippa and Queen are going to get some refresher lessons with the horse trailer, and we're going to start trailering to random places for the experience. This fall will also mark the start of Pippa's training beginning to ramp up, and she will begin a six month longe line and pony line program to prepare her to go under saddle this spring.
Exciting things going on at Crimson Run Farm!
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A Pony Named “Oke Doke” Edges Out the Big Boys in East Coast Rider’s Cup Intermediate Dressage Competition at Centerline Events
Her goal is to keep moving Oke Doke up the levels and challenging the big horses in FEI competition with the hope that she can build support for opening CDIs to ponies. Over the past two years, Stepan and Oke Doke have spent time training with Emily Gershberg, Lars Petersen, Michael Barisone and well-known pony proponent Lendon Gray and all of them have been amazed by his talent. Stepan is confident that Oke Doke could hold his ground against the bigger horses in a CDI if given the chance. “It’s time we revisit the CDI rules," she said.
"The relaxation of the mouth is not enough. It can be deceptive, because it does not necessarily lead to lightness. It has to be accompanied by the relaxation of the entire horse. When he yields with his back, it will definitely have repercussions in the mouth." (Nuno Oliveira, 1998)
"No matter how much or how little the horse’s head and neck position needs to be adjusted, the rider must take care from the moment of the first mounting that he assigns the correct position to the poll, because it is only from this position alone that the entire horse can and must be addressed, if one wants to be successful. Through the correct position of the head and neck the rider obtains the feel of the entire horse in his hand and seat, so that he is able to make all the necessary improvements that the horse is capable of executing. It is only through this feel that the good, beautiful and uninterrupted, correct position of the head and neck can be achieved in which the rest of the horse’s body closely participates as well. The same goes for collection and obedience." (Adolph Kästner, 1876)
The original posts by Adolph Kästner were posted to the Ritter Dressage Facebook page. Ritter Dressage is the collaborative effort of Dr. Thomas Ritter and his wife, Shana Ritter.
"We started the website, ClassicalDressage.com, in 1998, with its related Discussion Groups and other forums, with the intent purpose of preserving and promoting Classical Dressage in North America. Since that time, Ritter Dressage has gone through numerous expansions and transormations, which included an extensive clinic schedule that spanned over North American with the inclusion of Europe, a successful Lipizzan breeding operation, USDF and FEI Dressage Competition and Competitive Coaching, and Twice yearly Performance Exhibitions for the General Public, and publication of an extensive list of articles and other works.
In 2010, Thomas and Shana shut down their North American operations and relocated to Germany. Shortly thereafter welcomed the publication of Thomas' first book, "Klassisches Reiten auf Grundlage der Biomechanik" available in German with an English translation expected to be released in North America in the near future. In the meantime, we have been featured in several large Expert Forum Expositions in Germany and will be featured in Equitana in March 2012, as well as an extensive European clinic tour. Thomas' next book which features the training of the horse at the Longrein will be released in Spring 2012.
Thomas and Shana are building a homebase in Germany for North American riders to "land" and launch their European competition aspirations or simply to devote themselves exclusively towards their training education. We have also established contacts throughout Germany for the purchase of Dressage horses of various price ranges, and are available to facilitate in the purchase and importation of horses for North American riders. We can help North American buyers bridge the language barrier (Thomas is fluent in German and English) and stress of traveling in a foreign country (we can pick you up at the airport, show you around, make introductions with breeders and horse sellers, and facilitate negotiations, as well as coordinate details for the veterinary examinations and shipping specifics even after you have returned home). We have the unique advantage that we have contacts and extensive knowledge of both Warmbloods and Baroque Horses.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Day 5 of our trip complete. Swiss Miss and I are both a little worn out, but mostly mentally. We managed to get beautiful, supple, forward response on the lunge line right from the get go this morning. Swiss Miss clearly thought about her lessons overnight. Sophie and I were QUITE pleased with her. We also did beautiful work on the wall working in-hand, and Sophie was very approving of how I picked up the technique very quickly. It helped that Swiss Miss was behaving so well, so I didn't have any resistance to throw me off while I was learning how to apply what I had observed when Sophie had worked her in-hand over the last couple days. Working under saddle was a little less fluid, but we did manage to accomplish finally connecting inside leg to outside rein and on the bit in both directions, though more consistently at the walk than at the trot.
The drive home was initially wet, then cleared, then was a real mess through Atlanta, but we made it home in one piece and Swiss Miss was quite glad to rejoin my small band of mares when we arrived at the farm. It's good to be back, and I'm looking forward to applying our new knowledge to our training schedule this week.
Day 4 of our trip complete. As Sophie has said before, it is always lesson 4 where we get to the root of the problem. Day 4 was where we discovered that, as far as fight or flight instincts go, Swiss Miss will give you a fight. Swiss Miss is still lacking in some of her basic vocabulary. She has a grasp on some of it, but she is so green and I'd been grounded for 5 weeks up until right before our trip, so she had only gotten the bare beginnings of training before we came.
She was worked on the lunge and in the saddle during our morning lesson, but was put back on the lunge in the end. She kind of just decided, "I've been working and mostly behaving for the last 3 days, and now I'm going to give you the finger." She grew very rude about space, and anytime you touched the right rein, she tried to swing her hind end out, so alternated between going sideways in the saddle or just popping the hind end off of the circle and pivoting, or on the ground she would attempt to spin out and face you to get out of work, then would try to bully you by putting her shoulder in your space. We worked hard, but managed to end on a good note for the morning lesson, and she was a bit tired by the end because we just let her fight herself and work it out on the lunge.
Our afternoon lesson started in-hand and was going quite well, but then she started being a bit defiant and bullying into your space again, swinging her head at Sophie (BIG mistake) and popping her shoulder at you. We have determined that her right side is the one she really avoids being through on, so that's the side we've been focusing on claiming and getting softness on. We worked most of this on the lunge and then tried to replicate in the saddle, and Sophie put us together on the lunge line so she could keep her forward for me so I could really focus on maintaining my own body and really focusing on my aids to get that release for Swiss Miss. Once she finally stopped squiggling all over the place, we had a few really nice rotations in each direction, then I vaulted off.
The final lesson concluded with her working beautifully on the lunge and finally "getting it" and cooperating, then she was given a walk break. Since Sophie unfortunately won't be able to have us stay another week, we reattached the side reins after her short break to see if the changes stuck, and voila! Soft, forward, softly chewing and licking pony with soft eyes going around on her circle with a proper frame and no more objections.
We're likely going to do a 6 week lunging program to work out the dangerous rudeness on the ground till she is responsive to just voice aids without any rein aid or exaggerated body blocking, and then I should have a better horse under saddle. We will ride today for lesson 6 before we head home, so wish us luck! We ride at 9:45 and haul out by noon!
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Day 3 of our trip complete. What a productive day yesterday! I am learning so much! Ok, so the thrilling parts. Sophie informed me that she was quite pleased that my position in the saddle has come a long way, and she said that she didn't have anything to fix, seatwise! She says that I have caught on to the concept of the perfect position, and while Swiss Miss can be a little squiggly and throw me off sometimes since she is green, I am now steady enough that I regain proper position quickly. Also, she told me she can tell that I am way more fit than the last time I came up. She said that she has always felt that I'm very athletic, but I am on day 3 of lessons for this trip and I'm not exhausted this time :) I only have a little bit of inner thigh soreness from posting and correcting on a green bean. Anyway, during each lesson yesterday, we started off in the surcingle and side reins. During lesson one, we lunged and have been teaching Swiss Miss how to properly carry herself in a frame and keep her poll high, plus we're working on her balance in different gaits. She is such a quick learner! The latter part of each lesson involved mounted work, and teaching Swiss Miss to maintain being poll high and coming into the bridle. We are really working hard at keeping her more forward so that she really rounds and comes into the bridle, coming onto the bit. I am focusing on keeping her forward and not yielding by giving up too much rein to make her confused with inconsistent contact, and I'm really glad for new gloves and my thin rubber laced reins. Our second lesson started in the surcingle, but instead of lunging we started with in-hand work! I am very excited to be learning how to work her in-hand. To begin with, we had to teach her forward while we make her feel a wee bit claustrophobic since we sandwich her between my body and the wall. She's quite sensitive and initially emotional, so keeping calm and just waiting her out till she yielded was critical, but she did so well! She is better to her left than to her right like a lot of horses can be, so touching the right rein is something she doesn't much care for and is a little resistant at learning to be through on her right side if she feels any contact on her right rein. Even so, she still caught on and managed to do some really lovely work. With Sophie's really fabulous arena footing, this pony is so fancy and such a nice, big mover. She really doesn't move like a pony at all. I am having such a good time! Onwards to two more lessons on day 4, then one more lesson on day 5 before we travel home. WOOT!
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Day 2 of our trip is complete. Aside from Swiss Miss tangling with the perimeter gate and losing yesterday, we still had a productive day once we arrived at Sophie's. Once we arrived at Blue Moon Farm, I got her unloaded and grazed her in the front lawn for a bit. She thankfully was not swelling, was calm and steady, and did not appear unsound anywhere. Sophie worked her over and said she's remarkably fine for having crumpled like a wet noodle into a heap after flipping over the gate, so we put her on the lunge line and she still managed to impress Sophie :) Many thanks to Juliette and Dr. Easterwood yesterday for helping me find the right quick action and medication to make Swiss Miss comfortable yesterday! As long as Swiss Miss is sound this morning on the lunge line, we will ride. However, I'm thinking a chiropractic is still in Swiss Miss's near future regardless! Fingers crossed for two good lessons today :)
Friday, August 16, 2013
Day 1 of our journey complete! Swiss Miss and I arrived safely yesterday afternoon at Juliette's farm and settled in. We had a nice lunging warm up, then attempted to work on position and faced some challenges staying focused with tons of distractions (other riders, shadows, other horses). Aside from some snarky faces at the other horses, she did quite well for a green bean. We managed to get forward and straight for a few strides, a few very good, responsive transitions, and ThePone gave me a very nice, square halt a few different times. She's really coming along, and most importantly, the willingness to get her head back in the game when I asked was one of the best parts of the whole lesson :) Post lesson she was thrilled to have her dinner in a nice stall, then Karen and I had our traditional night at Ru San's for my one night in ATL. So good!. Afterward I cleaned and conditioned all of my tack till the wee hours of the morning. Fred, my saddle looks and feels like a different saddle now! That Lederbalsam is good stuff! Also, apparently I've been using LeatherNew incorrectly for YEEAAAARRRSSSS... Now, to have some breakfast, repack my gear, hitch the trailer again and load the pony, then off to Sophie's for day 2!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Friday, August 2, 2013
Timing and Rate of skeletal maturation in Horses – by Deb Bennett, Ph.D. | Horsemanship & Herd Dynamics Harmony between Nature & Nurture ©
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Timing and Rate of skeletal maturation in Horses – by Deb Bennett, Ph.D.
- Short pastern – top and bottom between birth and 6 months.
- Long pastern – top and bottom between 6 months and one year.
- Cannon bone – top and bottom between 8 months and 1.5 years
- Small bones of the knee – top and bottom of each, between 1.5 and 2.5 years
- Bottom of radius-ulna – between 2 and 2.5 years
- Weight-bearing portion of glenoid notch at top of radius – between 2.5 and 3 years
- Humerus – top and bottom, between 3 and 3.5 years
- Scapula – glenoid or bottom (weight-bearing) portion – between 3.5 and 4 years
- Hindlimb – lower portions same as forelimb
- Hock – this joint is “late” for as low down as it is; growth plates on the tibial and fibular tarsals don’t fuse until the animal is four (so the hocks are a known “weak point” – even the 18th-century literature warns against driving young horses in plow or other deep or sticky footing, or jumping them up into a heavy load, for danger of spraining their hocks).
- Tibia – top and bottom, between 3 and 3.5 years
- Femur – bottom, between 3 and 3.5 years; neck, between 2.5 and 3 years; major and 3rd trochanters, between 2.5 and 3 years Pelvis – growth plates on the points of hip, peak of croup (tubera sacrale), and points of buttock (tuber ischii), between 3 and 4 years.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
On rope halters, hackamores, bitless bridles—’natural’ or potentially harmful? | Horse Wellness Blog
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I felt that this was a thought provoking article :) Useful stuff to think about!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I think it can be rather telling what people think of you when they try to sell you something. For example, one tack shop owner loaned me a $2200 saddle package for my saddle fitting today and didn't blink an eye. She didn't indicate she had any doubts as to whether I could spring for it or not, and trusted me to take care of it. Another tack shop owner whose shop I visited afterward looked me up and down and loaned me a $200 saddle. She also kept trying to tell me I don't know what size saddle I should really be in, and still tried to tell me I should be in a smaller saddle when the 16.5" Passier she had me sit in was pressing so hard up against my derriere that it made my tush look like it had rolls. Somebody doesn't know how to properly fit a client to a saddle... At any rate, I was a bit miffed over the second experience. Just proves that my favorite tack shop in town is my favorite tack shop for a very good reason. Many thanks to the people who work there who are always so friendly and helpful :)
Swiss Miss has joined my motley crew! Swiss Miss is a 2009 rose gray Thoroughbred/pony cross who belongs to my friend Danielle of Mardi Gras Time Stables in Pensacola, FL. She is up with me for training for the next year or so, unless she becomes a longer term resident ;)
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Yesterday, it was a two part day. We won't go into the details, but we'll suffice it to say that he survived the errors of his ways and made it to the next part, the fun part. On the way to dinner, he starts telling me how he thinks it would be a really great thing if we had a hundred or so acres of land and made a real working farm out of our place. He said he thought he would finally get on board with me having as many animals as I wanted. He started going on about goats, dairy cows and beef cattle, sheep, poultry and water fowl, and making our own hay. A big barn with an indoor arena, and farm hands. I couldn't help but laugh a little, but I love how my city-bred husband is so adaptable to my farm ideas. I think in order to make something like that work, we'd have to start with either something already established or just the land and a cabin, and cultivate from there. He's cool with my gardening ideas, and supports my desire for a large tractor with a front loader.
Now if I can just talk him into however many dogs, cats, and horses I want, we'll be good...
Friday, July 12, 2013
Your daily rant over local idiots. I feel better now, thanks. Don't be brain dead and ride."
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Thursday, July 11, 2013
Sunday, July 7, 2013
'via Blog this'
Oh. Dear. God.
FUNNIEST thing I've read all day! From a blog I checked out. This can reply to human relationships and new relationships with a colt in training, too ;)
"If you're in a relationship, sometimes you probably feel like you're fighting a caged death-match with an invisible spider monkey. And the monkey is rabid. And you don't have any legs. And then a buffalo jumps in there and starts head-butting everything and your face catches on fire and there is a general atmosphere of chaos."
Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Baby Horse Blues | The Chronicle of the Horse
The Baby Horse Blues
Not showing at the Upperville Horse Show (Va.) this year was a victory. It meant one thing; that I’d sold the horses that were ready to compete at 1.0-meter and above. And that’s the point of this exercise, right? But as I stood on the sidelines, I couldn’t help but be bummed that I wasn’t galloping around the grassy ring. Success can sometimes mean sitting out some shows.
Selling horses is both exciting and stressful, but once everything’s said and done there’s a bit of a slump that accompanies starting up the next batch of greenies. I jokingly call it the “Baby Horse Blues.” Because, yes, the newbies could be the next Donner or Touch Of Class, but in the beginning, riding them around at a show feels a lot like rowing a leaky boat across the Atlantic. I find that I have to recalibrate my riding whenever I start a new horse. I have to remind myself to ride this horse on this day and not get hung up comparing new horses to sold horses. And that’s not easy.
An early phase of the baby horse blues is what I call “the abandonment of ego.” It happens, whether you want it to or not. You’d gotten pretty comfortable; riding around on something reasonably broke in public. You’d even been able to stand still at the in-gate to learn a course. You hadn’t unintentionally cleared a warm-up area in at least a month. And then the natural thing happens, the right customer meets this well-tamed creature that you’d become so fond of and buys him. And you, the picture of sophistication (his mane had even started to lay down on the right side of his neck!) are jolted unceremoniously back into the unplanned dressage movement, romping ridiculousness of baby horse blues. Show reports change from, “great trips, bringing home primary colored ribbons!” to “kept all four feet on the ground.” Humility is an undervalued trait in riding. If you ever feel you’re lacking it, just take a baby thoroughbred to his first public outing.
And this is not for lack of preparation. Don’t think that I just go out and throw the kids in the deep end of the pool without a few rudimentary swimming lessons. Those early lessons, frequent field trips and daily training help prepare the young horses for the busy show environment. But nothing compares to the warm-up area at Culpeper during the Level 0s and 1s. Because, the heck with the deep end of the pool, you’re chucking the kids out in the open ocean with 30 or so others just learning to swim themselves.
So how do they go from kangaroo-hopping, trembling time bombs to child-safe mounts? Simple, practice. Lots and lots of practice. Make mayhem their new normal. The next phase of the baby horse blues is “going and doing.” The only way to teach them to go and do is to go and do. And yes, leave your ego behind. People underestimate just how much time and sweat equity goes into civilizing these horses. It’s not about having the nicest, fanciest facility or the biggest show budget; it’s about devoting the time and energy to make it happen. Most of the fundamental off-the-reservation training takes place not in the show ring, but in the warm-up ring. That’s where they really learn to exist at a horse show. That’s where they get broke.
Generally, my horses don’t show on their first outing. They go along for the ride and learn how to function in the show environment without the added pressure of competition. And taking that pressure away is key to their success. The only way to teach them to take a breath and relax in a stressful situation is if you can do it yourself. That might mean not competing.
If you’re devoted to the success of your young horse, you know that sitting out this show and focusing on the basics will better prepare him to compete at his next outing. I spent a thrilling four days at HITS Culpeper (Va.) this spring on a horse that couldn’t trot. In the beginning of the week he had two speeds—stationary trembling and romping. He was totally overwhelmed by the environment. Yes, I could have longed him into exhaustion, but that’s not training. Don’t get me wrong, longeing has its place. But this horse wasn’t wild; he was terrified, so making him tired wasn’t the answer. Four days of methodical training in the ticketed warm-up area was. And no, he wasn’t perfect at his next show, but he could trot. And the show after that, he laid down a double-clear round at the Loudoun Benefit in the .95-meter class and walked around the grounds flat-footed. A week late for Upperville, but a huge accomplishment for my baby horse. I walked out of the ring grinning; I could see the baby horse blues ebbing away.
Hunter/jumper trainer Paige Cade works at Tebogo Sport Horses, a facility in Delaplane, Va., devoted to the re-training and sales of off-the-track Thoroughbreds.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Flash forward to this evening, and had a good mental schooling session with my giant yearling, Queen, after she finished her dinner. I didn't have my measuring tape, but I stood her next to her mother, and she MIGHT be her mother's height already! Ridiculous, particularly since she's not even two and her mother is a hair shy of 15.3, sticking at 15.2 1/2 hh on concrete. I'm going to have to measure Queen on concrete and get an update soon!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Researchers Develop Subjective Equine Personality Test | TheHorse.com: ""For example, a neurotic horse will be more prone to stress and will be more likely to spook, which may be difficult to work with. On the other hand, their sensitivity means that they are incredibly responsive and can thus appear 'in tune' with their handler. If you're a good, calm handler, you can get amazing results by putting this to good use.”"
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Thursday, June 20, 2013
*Note to self: Don't wear jeans when using the bareback pad. Like ever. RAWR chafing.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013
'via Blog this'
Heat Advisory for Horses
- Ride or compete with your horse in the early mornings when it is cooler.
- Have the ride or event management consider a change in the program schedule to limit afternoon activities during peak heat.
- Shorten your ride.
- Go slower and provide frequent breaks for your horse, in shade.
- Encourage your horse to drink whenever they want water.
10. Electrolytes: These may be useful if the horse has been sweating excessively. Only use if they can be followed by access to water to drink. Have a plan outlined by your veterinarian if you have not used electrolytes before. Only use electrolytes specifically made for horses.
If you need to trailer your horse, do so in the cool early morning or late evening hours when it is cooler. Don’t leave your horse in a parked trailer, especially if there is no shade. Just as with a parked car, temperatures inside a trailer can rapidly reach 140 degrees and the horse can quickly develop heat stroke.Provide as much ventilation and airflow as safely as possible on the road.Be very careful with hauling foals – they appear to be even more susceptible to heat than adult horses.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Horses are biologically designed to eat 20 hours per day. Unlike deer, they are not browsers, they are grazers. Chewing produces saliva, which helps buffer stomach acids. On a pasture/hay diet a horse normally produces up to 10 gallons of saliva per day. When there is less for the horse to eat all day, less saliva is produced which translates into less buffering of the stomach acids. This can result in an increased imbalance of the bacteria in the stomach, and increased production of stomach acid, and thus the potential increase in gastric ulcers. If the stomach becomes more acidic than it should be, gas is produced by bacterial fermentation, and the result can be pain, colic, or even stomach wall rupture.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Start with one set of 20 repetitions of each exercise. Work your way up to being able to cycle through up to four sets of each exercise in one workout. All begin with you lying on your back on the floor.
- Full Body Curl: This is a nice warm-up abdominal exercise that gets you in touch with your upper, middle and lower abdominals all at once. Start with your knees bent up and feet flat on the floor like you are about to do a sit-up. Then, as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor, bring your knees in. Put your feet back on the floor as you lower your head to the floor again. For a tougher variation, keep your legs straighter or straighten them out as you lower them to the ground. The straighter your legs are, the more you will be engaging your lower abdominal muscles. Ideally, you should be able to perform at least 30.
- Bicycle Crunch: Raise your legs to about 45 degrees from the floor. Bend one knee while keeping the other straight. At the same time, lift your shoulders and head off the ground while twisting to touch your opposite elbow to your knee. I consider one rep to be one of each side--or a pair. You should be able to do 20 pairs. (For a harder variation, lower your legs to just above the floor.)
- V-sit: By now, your whole abdominal area should be feeling it. Finish yourself off with a static or isometric exercise. (An effective abdominal workout includes both isometric and dynamic exercises.) Hold your legs at about 45 degrees to the floor--or lower--and lift your arms and upper body off the floor. The more directly above your shoulders you place your arms, the heavier they will be and the harder the exercise will be. In this posture, pulse your hands up and down rapidly for about 30 counts.