Heels down

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The BF and I were riding yesterday and I was trying to explain to him the importance of keeping your heels down and how to do it.  I can across a couple of articles today and thought I would share with all.

Heels Down: 5 Tips to Help by Classic Equine Equipment

Keeping your Heels Down while riding by Katherine Blocksdorf




August Already

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Where has the summer gone?  Someone told me today it has been a cold summer.  I don’t think cold is right, cooler than normal though, however the horses and I are not complaining about that.  They can spend more time outside and the bugs are not AS Bad compared to when it is hot.

I was thinking I haven’t posted any lesson pictures in a while so enjoy the slide show.

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My goddaughter’s first ride in over a year!

May 2013

May 2013


July 2014

Hay - How are you doin'?

Hay – How are you doin’?

Even Warlock is getting back into the swing of things.



Strength in Balance

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Found this fun video today.

I think it has some great exercises that will really help my students.

My Senior Horses are Amazing

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I came across this blog today: Reasons why senior horse are amazing.  I couldn’t agree more.  My 4 horses are getting up there and they are so trust worthy, reliable and healthy.

Cuervo – He is just an ornery old man.  His best friend is Apple Jacks but he whinnies when any of the horses leave the barn area.  He is stubborn, doesn’t like to make turns in the riding ring; Clumsy, stumbles when he forgets to pick up his feet, and best of all he is so rock solid as in nothing spooks him.


Apple Jack – He is my little rocket. In the riding ring he is hot, just wants to go as fast as he can.  On the trails he is the leader and nothing bothers him.  He loves to be ridden and doesn’t run away from me when I try to catch him.  He loves water, when I take him in the creek he splashes around.


Nash – He is probably 15 years old so almost a senior.  He has completely recovered from his hernia surgery. I find myself getting on him bare back a lot these days. (I got the best friend bareback pad! It is great!)  He is comfortable to ride with out a saddle because of his Tennessee Walking horse gait the running walk.  He is calming down a lot, used to be super sensitive and slightly spooky but has been doing great recently.


Casey – He is just great all around.  Awesome with the kids and lessons.  Okay he is a little lazy and will take advantage of the kids if they are not confident enough.  But he never does anything wrong and is so patient.  He is always last to come in for anything, because he is at the bottom of the herd hierarchy.  He whinnies for grain.  He loves his scratches especially on the chest and neck.





GSF’s First Pony Party

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Friends of the farm who’s daughters have been taking lessons for almost a year asked us to bring 2 horses to their flag day party.  At first we were hesitant because of liability, can never be too careful these days, but we worked it out signed the agreements and had a great day out.

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As you can see we had party goers of all ages. They signed up, found a helmet, and we lead them around the path.  It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect for us.

Is bareback riding bad for your horse?

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I have ridden all my life with and with out saddles.  I think it is an accomplishment to be able to ride bareback.  At almost 41 I can still walk, trot and canter bareback.  It is great for balance and muscles.  So I came across this article today: Anatomy of bareback Riding.  At the bottom of it is comments about people loving their “Best Friend Bareback Pad”.  Having never heard of these I did some research and found people raving about them.  Have you used one?  If yes please comment or if you have any other bareback pads you recommend let me know.  I think it is time to purchase a new one since the one I have is from my childhood riding days (12 – 18 years old).

I also stumbled upon people saying bareback riding is bad for your horse because it puts pressure in the two small spots where your tail bone meets your horses back.  Saddles do spread out the pressure and have a gullet down the center underneath to not put pressure on the spine.  So I guess if I get this new pad I will have to keep an eye out if my guys get ouchy.  I doubt they will as I don’t ride more than 1/2 hour a couple times a month like that.

This is a good over all article about bareback riding.

Get up. Stand up.

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This post started at standing up in the saddle but then I found this great article on heals down (← click to go there).  A good read for my students that consistently hear from me “get your heels down”.

The article says this about the exercise I have my students do: “Stand Up – (stretch calves, find balance) stand in stirrup straight up, holding mane or grab strap, letting weight sink into heels, knees bent slightly to absorb shock, seat above heels not leaning over pommel, at the walk and trot”

Not an easy task to perform.  Now let me know from the pictures by number which ones have it right?

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#3 WP_20140510_10_28_12_Pro


Pictures from Lessons

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How to give a horse a hug while riding.  Lean forward and put both hands around the neck.  Oh wait the shift in your weight forward makes the horse think it is time to move forward.  Ok this time pull back on the reins with one hand and hug with the other. NOW smile for the camera. Perfect!  Great Job.  {Have a look at Heather’s forelock.  She is a Unicorn!}

Cuervo is looking good.  Keep on trotting old man!WP_20140426_15_56_06_Pro

Lessons are picking up

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I am excited that the weather is behaving and the lesson program is starting to ramp up again.  I have had a few new inquiries and some new students.  I am excited to see my students from last year coming back.


Cuervo gets out for a lesson.  It has been a while and some times he can be a big oaf.  But this time he seemed to enjoy himself and was good for her.


Can you see her mom saying hello to Warlock in the back ground?

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These are my helpers Shadow (dog) and Elvis (cat).

All Smiles

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I am really enjoying seeing my lesson kids from last season again as spring is warming up for us.  They are like the spring flowers returning after the hard winters.  They are all smiles and that puts a smile on my face too.

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