All Blog Posts (4,674)

What Does Joy Look Like ?

What does Joy look like?

My name is Linda Finstad and for the past 15 years I have earned my living as an equine photographer and artist.  My my art work is very distinctive - always bright and colourful with a child like innocence.  However there is a deeper meaning behind why I paint the way I paint.

Everyone know that for a painting to be considered “Art” it has to stir an emotional response within whoever looks at it.  “My goal as an artist was to…


Added by Linda Finstad on May 29, 2018 at 8:29am — No Comments

A Week of Walking

A Week of Walking

I am still recovering from my trip up North, the weather has become muggier, I am trying to save my limited energy to go to my grandson's birthday party tomorrow, and, then, it turned out that all three horses were not quite right when moving. With Cider it has happened during the last few months (possible arthritis? Shannon will get her a supplement.) Mia had been trimmed the…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 26, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

The confident rider – how much is too much?

Our prime minister set off a national conversation about showing more "swagger" as entrepreneurs in business. So as a riding coach I was thinking - what's the role for swagger in the horse world? Is riding different than in other sports?  Some describe it as an expectation of success. Others, cockiness.…


Added by Lindsay Grice on May 23, 2018 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Boredom Relief--I Try a Different Bit

Boredom Relief—I Try a Different Bit

Since I am still recovering from my trip up to Maryland two weeks ago I have not done much in the ring other than walk. This week Debbie was glad for me to just walk during my lesson since the ring was wet, wet, wet. For a while there I had been afraid that we were entering another drought, but for the past week the heavens have opened up, the crops are…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 19, 2018 at 1:48pm — No Comments

The Nineties Have Arrived

The Nineties Have Arrived

Yes, four days of 90ºF+ in a row. Summertime temperatures and it isn't even the middle of May. I guess it makes up for all those lows in the 20's this year.

So after months of…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 12, 2018 at 11:36am — No Comments

I Finally Get Back to North Fork School of Equitation!!!

I Finally Get Back to North Fork School of Equitation!!!

It had been almost four and a half years, between my appendectomy, several exacerbations of my MS, and problems with doctors and insurance I could not get up there, but I FINALLY felt well enough to make the very long trip up to North Fork. When I called Karen Fenwick to set up my lesson she sounded glad that I was returning, and I…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 5, 2018 at 10:29am — 1 Comment

Ever wonder…Why does the horse jump? For the love of it? Or simply easier to cooperate?

Just thinking through what it’s like to be a horse is bound to make us better riders and appreciate our equine partners!

“Consider, for example, a horse and rider preparing to jump a four-foot wall. Jumping serves the rider’s interests—recognition and a ribbon! The…


Added by Lindsay Grice on April 25, 2018 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Trying to Bring it All Together

Trying to Bring it All Together

The past few months have been a time of discovery for me, discovering just how badly my multiple handicaps affect my position, seat and aids when I ride horses. Between my Pegasus Butterfly saddle, the “rider's push-ups”, the Equicube getting my shoulders right, the Rainbow reins, and the old type Wellep snaffle bit, I discovered how abysmal my riding was and,…


Added by Jackie Cochran on April 21, 2018 at 1:16pm — No Comments

Nosebands – how tight is too tight?

Standard equipment in English disciplines. Training equipment in western.  While nosebands are designed to prevent bit evasion, in the horse business, we’re inclined to default into thinking “If a little is good, more is better! Are we masking bit evasion without asking WHY the horse might be…


Added by Lindsay Grice on April 18, 2018 at 6:29pm — No Comments

Why one day Retreats are as good as Vacation

Why attending the 

Painted Pony  - Creative Retreat is as good as a Vacation

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the fast pace of your life and endless to-do lists. Feel like you just NEEEED a break?

But with heavy schedules and commitments its hard to get away on a vacation, I hear you!  Whether it’s impossible to take time off work or the many responsibilities at home with a family, for many people…


Added by Linda Finstad on April 14, 2018 at 9:50am — No Comments

Spring 2018

Mara B have been out enjoying the neighborhood around the stable today!…


Added by Helen Stassen on April 12, 2018 at 7:41pm — No Comments

Do horses sense fear?

Have you ever been unsettled by your classmate’s handwringing before an exam? Or the patient before you holding their jaw as they emerge from the dentist’s room?

Its not that you sense or smell fear. You’re reading their body language….and catching it like an infection.

Riders often tell…


Added by Lindsay Grice on April 11, 2018 at 8:40pm — No Comments

Spring 2018

  • hello from Helen and Mara B! We are out riding with snow still on the trail! Please enjoy our daily posts 

       Happy Trails …


Added by Helen Stassen on April 10, 2018 at 7:11pm — 1 Comment

I Try Out My "Old Type" Wellep Lever Cheek Snaffle

I Try Out My “Old Type” Wellep Lever Cheek Snaffle

Lat Sunday was a good day. The weather was nice, Shannon's ring was dry, my grandson was visiting, and I got to try out my new bit on Cider! This bit, the “old” type Wellep Lever Cheek Snaffle has some differences from the “new” type Wellep Lever Cheek Snaffle that I had used a little bit several years ago. The cable that goes through the…


Added by Jackie Cochran on April 7, 2018 at 11:31am — No Comments

The Oakley Diaries 35 - March Was a Good Month of Training

  As training went, March was pretty good.

  I got some stuff cleaned up around the arena that has been bugging me for a while. There is still a massive amount more to do, but almost all of the broken jump stands are now either repaired or removed, all of the broken poles have had the jagged parts cut off so they can be used as ground lines, or likewise trashed.

  The top bars on the jumps have been raised another hole, so that we are now jumping over obstacles about mid-thigh…


Added by B. G. Hearns on April 4, 2018 at 5:56pm — 1 Comment

Grey Horses, A Racing Icon & A Chance Encounter

I will preface this story with the advisement I love Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred Horse Racing. At the age of six I discovered the Kentucky Derby and the subsequent US Triple Crown Races, then the Canadian Queen’s Plate and our own Triple Crown series. This year will mark the 56th Derby I’ve watched. I will…


Added by Lois Keays on April 1, 2018 at 6:45pm — No Comments

Working on My Knees

Working on My Knees

When I got to the stable on Friday to ride Mia it was already warm, I even took off my hoodie before I walked into the barn. Mia is still shedding, though not as bad as last last week, so grooming was quicker. Since she still has a good bit of her winter coat still covering her body I decided that it might be a good idea to leave her BOT butt blanket off. She was definitely…


Added by Jackie Cochran on March 31, 2018 at 11:22am — No Comments

A Frustrating Ride on Magic

A Frustrating Ride on Magic

Last Sunday my grandson, who was visiting me, got his desire to go riding again after six months of not getting up on a horse. We rode at Shannon's, and I gave up my ride on Cider so my grandson could have a less frustrating ride, so I got the opportunity to ride Magic and get frustrated! Shannon did not mind me switching horses, she knows that Cider is much more…


Added by Jackie Cochran on March 24, 2018 at 11:31am — No Comments


Reliable brakes – not just for reiners!  Anyone ever been thankful for a horse who had a braking safety feature installed? An accident averted, an equitation class won, an opportunity to re-group before things got “out of hand”?

I’ve been thankful for horses that know “whoa” before they steps on…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 19, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

The horse’s flight response. Practice makes perfect.

Flight response is a prey animal’s instinct to flee from perceived danger.

Dr Andrew Mclean says “A structure deep inside the brain called the amygdala, sorts out stimuli as to whether they are fearful or not. Fearful stimuli receive special recognition by the brain in terms of remembering…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 12, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

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