January 2010 Blog Posts (102)

Staying Connected

As dressage riders, we strive constantly to keep our horses "connected" - that is, working "on the bit." A truly connected horse has a relaxed back, with power that comes from behind, moves over the back, and gets recycled back to the hind legs. When a horse is truly connected, riding is pure joy.

This is, of course, a state of being that takes correct training of both horse and… Continue

Added by saddlebroke on January 31, 2010 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments

Inspiration From Long Ago

When I finally got diagnosed with MS back in 1993 I sort of went through an existential crisis about my riding ability. I was SOOOO weak, unsteady and uncoordinated that I despaired of ever being able to start riding again, much less being a good rider. After a few days I finally remembered a tale I had read back in 1970 in the book "Riding Reflections" by Piero Santini (1933), Caprilli's fellow cavalry officer and student, and this story showed me a way forward.



Added by Jackie Cochran on January 31, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

breaking a horse from cowkicking

Hi! i have a 3yr old 4 in april qh mare who cowkicks when you brush her sides and her butt. What can i do to get her to let me brush her whole body and her be fine with it? This is my first green horse. I have had horses for a few years but they all have been older horses so any help would be greatly appreciated

Added by Jessica Parker on January 30, 2010 at 7:34pm — 1 Comment

The Rebirth of a Rider

For many years I never did what other people did. Whenever I was in barns people always came to watch me ride, I still haven't figured out why - maybe it was because I never fought with my horses. All my life I have ridden thoroughbreds off the racetrack, most of whom nobody else would take on as they were labelled "wild and crazy". Those wild and crazy horses taught me so much. I learned at a young age to listen to what the horse was trying to tell me - common sense. As a young girl I was… Continue

Added by P.Ann Turner on January 30, 2010 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

RADAR Update!

This is the latest update on how Radar is doing. Thank you to all who emailed their concern and positive thoughts! We are VERY appreciative of the contributions toward his vet bill and hope to have it paid soon!!!!

We were worried through the night as we got more rain. I had put a light blanket on Radar but it seemed to bother him quite a bit. He was grouchy because he wasn't feeling well and because his vision is compromised, I guess he wasn't sure what the blanket was? He kept… Continue

Added by Gail on January 30, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Breathing: A Lesson on the 1st Step to Effective Movement

As riders we get all sorts of information about how to have correct posture, how to breathe, and how to use our abdominal muscles. All of these things affect the way we stand, sit, move, and breathe. They even affect the way we think and our emotions. As babies we knew how to breathe naturally and use our breath for power. We filled our lungs, letting our belly expand, and screamed! When we breathe naturally our lungs fill as our diaphragm lowers and flattens out, and, because our stomach,… Continue

Added by Sit_the_Trot on January 30, 2010 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

About Witsend Farms

Ann and Anthony Turner, who own Witsend Farms in Abbotsford, are the most knowledgeable people I have met since getting into riding a few years ago. They have been very caring and understanding and did everything they could to help my first horse Bond before he passed away in October. Within a few minutes of first seeing my horse they showed special care and understanding for him, detailing the injuries he had suffered earlier in his life from previous owners. Until then nobody actually said… Continue

Added by Emilie Galambos on January 30, 2010 at 12:15am — 1 Comment

Photo Update on Kingsley's hematoma

Pic. Turn out today. Waiting to come in. "Bored now!"
Kingsley is recovering slowly from his latest trauma. I decided against riding him today just in case but the hematoma is almost fully gone from the girth area. There is still some thickening to the muscles but the vet said it might feel like that for a long time if not… Continue

Added by Wiola Grabowska on January 29, 2010 at 6:38pm — No Comments

Busy but we love it!

It’s all go here. In the last week, we’ve been to Devon and back, bought a horse and done some BD and BSJA, not to mention my exams at school during all that.... With the season almost upon us it’s been all go to get ready.

So, our first dressage competition of the new year was also a test of my new years resolution – to map read better! We only took… Continue

Added by Oliver Lawrence on January 29, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Insurance 101 with Mike King

Hello and Welcome!

Blogging and social networking as a communication environment is one of those great mediums that we are very excited to be a part of.

Our clear objective in joining all of you at Barnmice is to post information on the web about risk management and insurance as it relates to horses and equine activity for everyone’s benefit.

That said, let me tell you about myself and how I got to where we are today.

Some of you may know me as, Mike… Continue

Added by Mike King on January 29, 2010 at 1:31pm — 9 Comments


“You can spit in their ear to get them to canter,” a former coach of mine, Robert Hall, used to say, when emphasising how easy it is to train a horse if you use any aid consistently. In a demonstration I will often demonstrate this point by doing something silly, like pulling the hairs behind the saddle as I give the normal aids for canter. I do this about ten times, then take the leg away completely and just pull the hairs and most horses…


Added by William Micklem on January 29, 2010 at 4:00am — 9 Comments

Update on Sunkissed Acres' abandoned horse - now Mr. America Beau Jingles! - rest in peace, sweet boy!

In 50 years, Lori from Sunkissed Acres has never seen a more thin horse. Three shoes, not terribly old. Feet trimmed certainly within the last few months. Eye removal, professionally done. Wearing a rope halter, still clean. This horse had clearly been abandoned in the bush. The vet and Lori decided that this poor, young horse was hemmed up in someone's pen or field, probably a small pasture with no water or grass - even more devastating considering the recent bitter cold in that part of… Continue

Added by Special Horses, Inc. on January 28, 2010 at 11:30pm — No Comments

A great time today!~

I had such a great time today working with my 4 year old Appendix Indiana Jane. She is such a sweet horse, and so willing. They bring us such peace, and such honesty! I find my tolerance for dishonesty in people gets less as I age, I turn 51 this year, and it seems the older I get, the more years I spend with horses, the more I wish people could be more like them! They never hide their true nature and are always who they are, living in the moment, we learn such great life lessons from them. I… Continue

Added by P.Ann Turner on January 28, 2010 at 10:59pm — No Comments

3 Tips to Keep You From Leaning to the Outside in Half Passes

I think the main reason riders lean to the outside in half pass is that they use too much outside leg to push their horses sideways. So here are 3 quick tips to help you sit in the direction of movement.

1. Pretend there’s a seam running down the middle of your saddle from pommel to cantle. Then visualize yourself moving your outside seatbone onto that center seam so you don’t get left behind.

2. Think about actually taking a "step down into the inside iron" as…


Added by Jane Savoie on January 28, 2010 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

Merlin My Pony

Merlin my pony,
sweet and divine.
he loves to jump,
and has manners quite fine.
all day and all night,
he paces around,
hoping for food,
though none is around.
Merlin my pony,
so sweet and divine
he has a love for food,
and he is all mine!

Added by Sasha Merlin on January 28, 2010 at 6:20pm — 1 Comment

Balance Exercises: #2 Here is another balance exercise that you can do! #2: Flip Around Start by swinging your left right leg over the front of the saddle so that you are sitting side saddle. Nex…

Balance Exercises: #2

Here is another balance exercise that you can do!

#2: Flip Around

Start by swinging your left right leg over the front of the saddle so that you are sitting side saddle. Next, put your right arm over your stomach and grab the back of the saddle. Then, reach around your back and grab the front of your saddle. Lift your self out of the saddle and turn around so that you are dangling off the side of the saddle, facing it. Finally,… Continue

Added by Sasha Merlin on January 28, 2010 at 6:07pm — 1 Comment

My favorite horse training tool... the fence.

You might be thinking how can a fence be used to train a horse; simple the fence or arena wall acts as a barrier and helps direct or change the direction of a horses feet when worked in combination with your riding cues. Let me explain how it can work.

Say you are working on your horses stop but he seems to be walking out of it, ride him straight towards the fence as you approach the fence or wall apply your cues for the whoa, the closer you get to the fence the more likely… Continue

Added by Steve Wawryk on January 28, 2010 at 3:20pm — 1 Comment

How to help your horse stay cooler during work

ECOGOLD founder and textile engineer John Da Silva, explains important factors to control and help reduce the temperature of your horse during work.

"As with human athletes when horses exercise, their muscles develop heat. Like a car’s engine, after the initial warm-up, the heat generated needs to be dissipated for the car to run well.

The natural way in which the body controls overheating is by producing sweat. When the sweat evaporates, it cools… Continue

Added by Patricia at ECOGOLD on January 28, 2010 at 3:00pm — No Comments

getting on bareback 2

This blog about getting on bareback is about how to get on bare back from behind your horse. (before doing this make sure your horse won't buck you off when you try to get on)

1. have somebody hold your horse and back up 12 steps

2. run and jump onto your horses bum.

3. if you are not on yet then try to pull your self on.

4. slide up on to your horses back

5. yell "YES!!!!!" and tell everyone you know that you know how to get on… Continue

Added by Lexi Smith on January 27, 2010 at 7:55pm — 1 Comment

Hacking in the winter!!!! Super fun!!!

I'm not sure if you have ever wanted to hack in he winter but I know I have. If you have I have some of the best ways of hacking!! If your horse is dependable and you have ridden your horse bareback before than my fav way of hacking is bareback or with thier winter blankets. Make sure that u have praticed in the ring before! Than if you want to take it to the next level go for a canter. It is soooo fun!!!!
Have a great time!!

Added by Ruairi on January 27, 2010 at 7:28pm — 1 Comment

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