December 2009 Blog Posts (63)

Afresh...bring on 2010

Christmas days are not easy for me, being away from my family takes its toll at this time of year. However, I can safely say the 2009 was good for me and I spent a lovely few days with Rick and his family in Cheshire who made me feel very welcomed. Lots of delicious food and probably a stone more later I am back in London and it's days away from New Year...

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf

Like something almost being… Continue

Added by Wiola Grabowska on December 30, 2009 at 6:54pm — No Comments

Different Philosophies?

The other day on a blog,, I wrote a post about boarding contracts. It was triggered by a recent situation where my daughter took over care at a small boarding stable here, when the owners went out of town. A horse went head to tail down (seizure) and remained that way for at least 8 1/2 to 9 hours. The horse owners refused to get a vet for the horse. The stable owner had no board contract, and the vets will not touch a… Continue

Added by Barbara Ellin Fox on December 30, 2009 at 3:25pm — 3 Comments

Once You Arrive At The Show You'll Need...

If you’re thinking 2010 might be the year to go to a recognized USDF/USEF dressage show, then here’s what you need to have.

I’ve made a list for you of what you’ll need for documentation

once you arrive at the competition grounds.

Just filling out the entries before the show can feel like you’re

Submitting government documents with the paper trail being long and… Continue

Added by Colette Sossaman on December 30, 2009 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Saddle Fit and Blisters

I have had a client who questioned the appearance of blisters after riding, which then disappear again after about 20 minutes. I suggest the following might be happening. The spinal vertebrae have three processes. Between the spinal processes, you will find the spinal dorsal ligament system . There should never be any pressure on the spinal vertebral processes, however, if you have a saddle which has a too narrow chamber and has been lying on the spine itself, probably at least one of the 7…


Added by Jochen Schleese on December 30, 2009 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Mommy Rides Pixie

My mom turned 70 the end of November. She's still an avid horsewoman and an active rider and driver. I've had Pixie at the indoor arena since Thanksgiving weekend and she is now nicely going. 6-weeks green but solid thanks to Heather's training (I'm getting too old to bounce! plus I needed a break from riding after the intense summer).

I asked my mommy if she wanted to ride her pony before I sell it or ship it to the H/J sales barn as soon as a pony stall frees up. So she came down… Continue

Added by Diana on December 29, 2009 at 9:15am — No Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Making Sure Your Barn Chores Aren't Causing You Postural Problems in the Saddle

Hello and Happy New Year!

I had a great question recently posted to my page about the effect of barn chores on your body, as a rider. Lorel's question about barn choring is actually quite common, so she gave permission for me to post her question here in the blog so that others could benefit.

Lorel's Question:

Hi Heather, I struggle with a problem which I am sure many other riders have. I am employed working with horses then do farmwork when I get home so I have… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at on December 28, 2009 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

This Week in Horse History - December 28th Through January 3rd

This Week in Horse History - December 28th Through January 3rd

December 29, 1945
– The record for the slowest winning time for a steeplechase race was set by a horse named Never Mind II. Never Mind refused the fourth fence during a two mile steeplechase and his jockey, assuming they were defeated, returned the horse to the paddock. The jockey was then informed that every other horse in the race had either fallen or been disqualified. On learning this, the jockey brought…


Added by Paige Cerulli on December 28, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

The End of the Year

Ah, the last week of the year. Since I won't get to ride this week, I decided to reflect on this past year.

I went to my calender and counted all the horses I rode and all the times I rode this past year. I had a pretty good year, I went over my goal of averaging at least one ride a week, though some weeks I did not ride at all. All together I rode 80 times.

I also achieved my goal of riding more horses, I got up on 6 different horses this year, though on…


Added by Jackie Cochran on December 27, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Keep Your Hands Forward in the "Work Area" When Riding Your Horse

When riding your horse, it's important to keep your hands forward in what I call the "work area".

The work area is just in front of the saddle above the horse’s withers. Put your hands in that position and draw an imaginary box around them. That box is your work area.

No matter what rein aids you're giving, keep your hands in the work area. If you bring your hands closer to your body, you steal power from the hind legs. If you put your outside hand forward, for…


Added by Jane Savoie on December 25, 2009 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Understanding the Truth About Bits

Dear Julie,

My question to you is what is your opinion of Myler bits? I came across a book recently that talked about the Myler comfort snaffle. I was surprised to learn that not all snaffles are exactly what they are supposed to be. The reason I'm asking is my horse Montana is in a D-ring snaffle. I have noticed at times him pulling the reins and opening his mouth. Even when I put him in the round pen with saddle and head stall on he does the same thing and I'm not even on him. It…


Added by Julie Goodnight on December 25, 2009 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment


So what are you going to do next year to win a rosette....we cannot all win gold medals but we can all produce a new personal best, a new PB, in some area of our lives..... and it is not being conceited or over confident to aim high. As Nelson Mandela said.... "We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,and fabulous - actually who are you not to be? As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people… Continue

Added by William Micklem on December 25, 2009 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

He got the better of me!!

Well, I don't mind admiting when a horse has the better of me, and this one certainly did!! It was a hard day of riding this tricky horse , and he got the best me on more than one occasion. As you can see in the photo , he's a mighty beast and will take every ounce of my being to make something of him. Wish me luck!!

Added by Geoffrey Pannell on December 24, 2009 at 4:28am — 11 Comments

Horse Nutrition: Carbs … good, bad or necessary? Part 2

Last week we told you in part one of this blog that there were five factors that influence starch digestibility in the small intestine. Here they are in more detail.

1) Source of starch

Over 80% of the starch in oats is digested in the small intestine, whereas less than 30% of the starch in whole-corn and barley is digested in the small intestine. Starches are made of sugars, predominantly glucose. So why is glucose from oat starch digested differently than glucose from corn… Continue

Added by Equine Nutrition @ Purina on December 22, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Did you ever wonder exactly HOW music effects your brain and your body?

Music has well established psychological effects on moods and emotions.

Think about that.

We already know this if even subconsciously. If music did not have a physiological effect on our body and mind, marches would be played at bedtime and not at the half-time of football games. Lullabies would be heard at parades and Gregorian chant would bombard our ears at the grocery store.

Want to know more? Here is the scientific answer to how music affects our physiology and… Continue

Added by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on December 21, 2009 at 5:08pm — 1 Comment

Thank God for Mid Atlantic Equine Medical Center

My beloved healer horse, Spring Thaw had a bit of an emergency last week/this weekend...

He started swelling on Thurs 12/17, local vet Dr. Fazio came out and found a puncture wound in the fatty pocket above the eye (don’t know name). He flushed it and gave iv antibiotics, ban-amine, and bute.

Dr. Fazio came Friday AM to check it and it was worse and pussing, he wasn’t willing to mess with it and said to get him to clinic for x-rays, etc.

Friday. 12.18.09 Spring… Continue

Added by Christianna Capra on December 21, 2009 at 2:50pm — No Comments

This Week in Horse History - December 21st Through December 27th

This Week in Horse History - December 21st Through December 27th

December 22, 1991
- At age 21, jockey Kent Desormeaux won his 2,000th race. Desormeaux's victory was on Saron Lake at Hollywood Park. At age 21, Desormeaux was the youngest jockey to reach the mark of 2,000 victories. He also holds the record for the most victories by a jockey in a single year – he won 598 times in 1989. Desormeaux was also the youngest jockey to earn 3,000 victories.…


Added by Paige Cerulli on December 21, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

My Jumping Cavesson Brings out Cooperation

We barely missed out the blizzard of 2009 down here in Stanly Co., NC. We got some sleet, a little snow, an inch of rain and lots and lots of puddles and mud. In spite of the drama with the weather I rode three times this week.

I got tired of warming up my bits before I ride so I dragged out my old Jumping Cavesson bridle (you can see it in my pictures, Numbers 5, 6, and 7,) and used it…


Added by Jackie Cochran on December 20, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Equine Science: Weekly News and Trivia Question - December 18, 2009

Seasons Greetings Barnmice readers – I hope you’re all enjoying the Christmas period. This week I’ll be talking about genetics, human health and finally how science could provide you with a novel Xmas present this year.

First, new research has found that humans could be genetically closer to horses than our canine friends.

Scientists from over 30 research groups combined their work in producing the equine gene sequence (as previously discussed in this blog) and… Continue

Added by Chloé Sharrocks on December 18, 2009 at 7:34pm — No Comments

Sit Centered and Balanced for Effective Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is all about balance and staying centered. You always want to keep your horse in good balance for his stage of training no matter what your discipline.

It doesn't matter whether you're a dressage rider, a western pleasure rider, a trail rider, or an event rider. Correct balance is essential to effective riding because the center of your balance directly affects your horse’s balance.

Your goal should be to have an independent seat so you can…


Added by Jane Savoie on December 18, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

Thomas Ritter: On the Bit 3.0

On the Bit 3.0

©Thomas Ritter 2009

After discussing a couple of paragraphs from Gustav Steinbrecht’s “Gymnasium of the Horse”, I would like to share a very interesting account of his own personal riding. It’s very rare to find eyewitness reports on the way the old masters rode. We usually only have their books, but no way of finding out how they actually rode themselves. We are lucky that Paul Plinzner wrote a brief characterization of Steinbrecht’s riding in a short homage to… Continue

Added by Thomas Ritter on December 18, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

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