All Blog Posts (3,568)

Calming Signals: Are You Listening?

If you are standing next to your horse and he looks away, do you think he’s distracted or even disrespectful? When your horse yawns, is he sleepy or bored? If he moves…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 18, 2014 at 8:34am — No Comments

Miss Mo and the Show...

Ah, little Mo.  She's really quite a cute thing.  I flew home on Thursday night, Friday morning, I worked the boys, then it was time (well, two hours past where I wanted to be), to take Mo over to the show and school.  Tack box in the trailer, Mo walked up and tested me... are you going to try and pull me into the…

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Added by MagsNMe on April 14, 2014 at 6:30pm — No Comments

I'm Getting So Very Tired

I’m Getting So Very Tired   

I had another wonderful week of three rides, and all my rides were in absolutely beautiful spring weather.  The only downside is that it is becoming more and more apparent that I’ve lost just about all the physical progress I’d made over the past 6-7 years.  I post the trot for maybe a quarter of the ring and I have to rest.  My previously taut muscles have lost all their tone.  I get off the horse and I am so tired that I do not walk well.  And there I am…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on April 13, 2014 at 5:22pm — No Comments

Training Confidence and Trust.

There’s a way that a mare can pin her ears back so hard that they make almond-shaped divots on her neck hairs. You don’t have to know much about horses to pick up on that cue. It’s big and dark and she looks like a serpent. By the time this is happening, there is even an argument she will have a hard time hearing you, literally, what with her ear drums…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 11, 2014 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Finally--I Rode Three Times This Week

Finally--I Rode Three Times This Week

   

Maybe the Universe is starting to smile on me again.  Maybe I will be able to stop the relentless degradation of my body.  Maybe I can finally start to recover from my MS exacerbation.

The first week of December 2013 I rode four times.  Since then the most I’ve ridden in a week was two times around a month ago.  I am walking a little better but my physical fitness took a big hit this winter, I am weaker and my muscles just won’t…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on April 6, 2014 at 4:03pm — 2 Comments

How RUDE!

Today, a horse actually BIT me...  I mean REALLY!

No, it wasn't one of mine.  Mine know that it's a very big offence... Maggie used to grab my shirt (only!), if I was talking to someone and I should have been paying attention to her.  Havoc might miss a carrot or apple and graze my hand.  That's it.  So, how did I possibly get bit?!

I was taking Mo back to her paddock, a longer way than usual, because it's pretty wet out, and I was walking close to another paddock to stay on…

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Added by MagsNMe on April 5, 2014 at 11:48pm — 4 Comments

Dressage on a Rescue: Doing More with Less

Photo:Andante, ex-PMU, casts a giant shadow.

I have a confession. I shop-lifted when I was in high school. No, I don’t seem like the type. It was the only time I ever stole anything and what they say is right:…

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Added by Anna Blake on April 4, 2014 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

Rider Rest: The Night Before the Horse Show

 

Humans are designed to thrive in a cycle of stress/challenge and recovery/rest. Tomorrows horse show takes care of the stress, but what really counts as R&R to perform at your best?

Is it:

  • Kicking back at the exhibitor party the night before?
  • Braiding,…
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Added by Lindsay Grice on March 31, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Too much time with your horse...

I just read a very interesting article in Equus... it was about how spending many hours with their human is stressful and hard on horses.  Made a lot of sense.  The example they gave was a weekend warrior, spending all day Saturday with her horse... I'd be pissed off with that woman too!

I know some folks that ride multiple horses in an evening, so the horses get a cursory groom, a ride, a cool out and off they go.  That may actually be a favour to them, not something to worry about. …

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Added by MagsNMe on March 28, 2014 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Mia Is Not Too Pleased With Me

Mia Is Not Too Pleased With Me    

 

I finally got to ride on Wednesday, the first time in two weeks.  Between all the extra traveling I’ve had to do, the lingering effects of my MS exacerbation plus an absolutely horrible head cold I was too sick and exhausted to ride last week.

Wednesday dawned bright and cold.  Mia  was NOT happy to be brought in.  I could not really blame her, the wind was from the North and it was bitterly cold.  Debbie groomed her, but I did not…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on March 28, 2014 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Volunteering 101: Come Get Me.

This week spring hit the Colorado prairie. You can tell because the temperature and the wind speed are the same. Tumble weeds broke into my barn and sure, Edgar…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 28, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

It's not you. It's me - Self Awareness During Training

"He's just resisting everything!" Maddie called to me in frustration as she butchered a shoulder-in at the trot on her gelding, Indy. (Somewhere in the world a French cavalry officer was rolling in his grave.) I said "Bring it down to the walk and let's see what you are doing." Maddie deftly performed a gorgeous…

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Added by Heather Nelson on March 27, 2014 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Subtle Abuse: When Aids Become Weapons.

My client’s mare is lovely; a very well-bred athletic horse. When my client bought her, the previous owner suggested my client get a cowboy to ride her at first, she needed spurs all the time and the horse was ‘mare-y‘, whatever that means. I get a little…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 21, 2014 at 9:00am — 10 Comments

Horse Book Review: RIM-FYRE and THE STONES OF TIME

RIM-FYRE and THE STONES OF TIME 

By M.K. Tait-Zeller



Published by CreateSpace 236…

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Added by Barnmice Media on March 20, 2014 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The Oakley Diaries - 17: He is a Character

   Let's be fair, all horses are characters, if we take the time to get to know them. Everyone who spends lots of time will find amusing quirks and peculiarities and will gather a collection of anecdotes. This horse is okay on the road until he sees a painted bicycle symbol. That one doesn't like potted plants. This one loves dogs, that one hates 'em.

   Oakley has,…

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Added by B. G. Hearns on March 17, 2014 at 7:19pm — No Comments

Horse shows and footing...

There's a discussion currently going on via Facebook around horse shows, and there are two issues:  lack of horse shows and footing.  The contention being that footing will drive attendance at a given show.  We all have different opinions about what constitutes good footing.  The place that the two big shows in the province are held has footing great for jumping, but, in MY opinion, it is too sticky for dressage, and can be really tough on a young horse.  It's also quite expensive to get the…

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Added by MagsNMe on March 14, 2014 at 3:32pm — No Comments

The Art is in the Transition.

When I see kids learning to drive these days in compact cars with automatic transmissions, I wonder where’s the challenge? Back in my day, (beware when a gray-haired…

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Added by Anna Blake on March 14, 2014 at 9:04am — No Comments

Striking Results From Minimal Use

Striking Results From Minimal Use

First, my apologies to my readers for not having a blog for a month.  These first three months of 2014 have been among the most challenging of my life and I have not been able to ride more than once a week, a BIG comedown from three times a week.  Amazingly I have made some progress with the horses with using the Back on Track stuff for just 30-45 minutes a week.

Fortunately, before my life fell apart, I ordered more Back on Track stuff for the…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on March 13, 2014 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Once Bitten...

Today I burst into tears at the mere mention of blocking Mr Havoc's leg...

A year and a half ago, his aunt, my Maggie, was lame, and we blocked her leg, without first x-raying, because that's normal, and she broke her leg and had to be put down immediately.

So, the mere thought of doing it with him was more than I could bear.  The x-ray machine wasn't working, and this was the only other thing they could do 'right now' to figure out why he is a bit off.  Luckily, it was the…

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Added by MagsNMe on March 12, 2014 at 4:17pm — 2 Comments

Dealing with the what-ifs

This is an approximation of my conversation with my eldest daughter (a beginner rider, 9 years old):

DD1:  What if the horse spooks today when I ride?

Me:  Well, try to focus on sitting deep in the saddle, staying relaxed and being a quiet leader.

DD1:  But I could fall off!

Me:  But you didn't yesterday, right?

DD1:  But I could!

Me:  Yes, but you might not.  And the horse might not spook, as the snow isn't melting as much today. So the arena's roof…

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Added by RosB on March 11, 2014 at 9:30pm — 5 Comments

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