All Blog Posts (4,762)

The Oakley Diaries 44 - Long Enforced Rest

I have taken advantage of the current pandemic crisis management to give my hip a chance to heal. I came down very hard on it last October. The thing is, Oakley always bolts leftwards or wheels so he can bolt leftwards, which always leaves me hanging out of the saddle to the right side. For the first five years or so, then, I was falling out of the saddle onto my right hip into sand, grass, packed earth, ploughed fields, roads, bushes, and everywhere else he could find to drop me. It's the…

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Added by B. G. Hearns on May 25, 2020 at 5:38pm — No Comments

Yes, the BOT Exercise Boots DO Help Bingo

Yes, the BOT Exercise Boots DO Help Bingo

My lesson was on Friday, and it was a simply gorgeous May morning. The sun was out, the birds were singing, the balmy breeze wafted around, and Bingo looked like he had shedded out most of his winter coat. Unfortunately his Guardian Face Mask had rubbed the hair off of his head in two places, the bare patches were not big but they were there. Debbie…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on May 16, 2020 at 11:06am — No Comments

Bingo's Vacation Did Him Good

Bingo's Vacation Did Him Good

I am so very glad to be able to ride again!

I just wish I could get back to three times a week, or lacking that have my two rides spread out further than just one day apart. At least I can ride and I am grateful.

Bingo was…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on May 9, 2020 at 2:29pm — No Comments

A Much Better Week

A Much Better Week

I got to ride two horses.

Cider was still stiff, darn arthritis. I still loved getting back up on her. We piddled around the ring, just walking, as I tried (and failed) to refine my “new” leg aid, letting the muscle on the top of my thigh, the rectus femoris, relax so my lower leg moves back. In my…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on May 2, 2020 at 11:20am — No Comments

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

The past two weeks have just pointed out to me that I NEED to ride horses to treat my Multiple sclerosis. I started off OK, I was slightly progressing in the difficulty of my minimal exercises, I was walking faster, needed fewer rest stops, and my muscles were getting stronger. Then—I hit the proverbial brick wall, everything got harder to do, I could not do as much, and I…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on April 25, 2020 at 10:06am — No Comments

Coping with Covid19

Government and health officials have made it very clear that we are all in this pandemic together and only by being apart can we come together and defeat the invisible enemy.

This has been a very difficult time for everyone both emotionally and financially.  Like many people my ability to earn a living came to an abrupt halt with the cancellation of art shows, sales and all my workshops.

It was…

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Added by Linda Finstad on April 15, 2020 at 9:27am — No Comments

I Miss Riding

I Miss Riding

The COVID-19 shut down now looks like it may last for months, not weeks. I want to get close up to a horse to groom, I want to get close up to a horse by riding, and I want to get close to a horse by taking care of it after riding, but, alas, fate is dictating otherwise.

This is a true bummer!…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on April 11, 2020 at 2:46pm — No Comments

Social Distancing=Not Riding

Social Distancing=Not Riding

It has been 10 days since I last rode a horse. I started the distancing sort of early, before the surrounding counties and the state (NC) closed down, since I had been compulsively reading about the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Since I am in three risk groups I decided that it would be better for everyone if I just stayed away from the barns. Oh well.…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on March 28, 2020 at 1:47pm — No Comments

A Bigger Release

A Bigger Release

Amid all the depressing news going out nowadays I have found two bright spots.

First, Debbie and I went in together for a Guardian Horse Mask for Bingo http://www.guardianmask.com/, hopefully it will help Bingo with his moon-blindness. The company got it to me…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on March 14, 2020 at 11:55am — No Comments

Have I Found Another Solution?

Have I Found Another Solution?

Last night I was re-reading “Riding and Schooling Horses” by Harry D. Chamberlin who was a Brigadier General in the US Cavalry.

Since I have been having difficulties with keeping my right leg forward enough when in two-point I was re-reading Chapter I, “The Seat”. This time I was reading…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on March 7, 2020 at 2:21pm — No Comments

My Plans Go Awry

My Plans Go Awry

I approached Wednesday's lesson with great optimism. I had my double bridle all made up and I anticipated 30 minutes of just re-clarifying my aids, mainly reminding Bingo of what exactly my aid meant with me patiently waiting for positive results.

When I woke up it was FOGGY and the fog was thick but it was…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on February 29, 2020 at 11:01am — No Comments

Immediate Improvement with the Double Bridle

Immediate Improvement with the Double Bridle

Lately I have been riding Bingo in the Fager Bianca double-jointed roller snaffle, with improvements with contact and responsiveness to most of my hand aids (turning was not perfect.) These improvements were so great that when I finally achieved Debbie's minimum requirement for riding in the double bridle (being able to get up into 2-point) she said…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on February 22, 2020 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Working on My Two-Point

Working on My Two-Point

This week I got to ride Bingo twice, and I hope I can ride Cider tomorrow.

I got my lesson on Wednesday on Bingo. It had rained a lot the first few days of the week and the ring was SLOPPY in spite of over 10 hours without rain. Debbie suggested going over to the other slightly drier ring, but since…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on February 15, 2020 at 10:48am — No Comments

A Pretty Good Week

A Pretty Good Week

I finally got to ride Cider again, it had been 6 weeks since my last ride on her.

Since I really wanted Cider's opinion on the Fager “Oscar” double-jointed “front lock” copper lozenge bar relief titanium snaffle, the one that Bingo did not seem to like too much, I was very happy. Shannon's grass ring was…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on February 8, 2020 at 10:55am — No Comments

First I Have to Recover my Strength

First I Have to Recover my Strength

Last week the weather and my health did not cooperate at all as far as riding a horse was concerned.

When I saw Debbie on Wednesday for my lesson this week I told her that I wanted to get back into riding Bingo in the double bridle, and that I needed her opinion about how that horrible…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on February 1, 2020 at 11:24am — No Comments

Oakley Diaries 43 - Reviewing the Basics

   As the winter goes along, we are reviewing all the basics. I firmly believe that this needs to be done over and over, and other professional instructors, some expounding on YouTube, others in writing, have offered firm support for this concept.

   The principal is simple, the more one does something, the smoother and better one becomes at it. In the case of horse training, the basics are fundamental movements which, put together, allow for more complex, or difficult movements. In…

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Added by B. G. Hearns on January 29, 2020 at 1:50pm — 2 Comments

Weather Changes Impact my Position

Weather Changes Impact my Position

When I was able to celebrate the New Years by riding a horse I was hoping that this would precede a winter full of riding. Of course Nature did not agree with my hopes and dreams.

At least I've had a lesson every week.…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on January 18, 2020 at 11:31am — 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Bits

A Tale of Two Bits

I had ordered three bar relief bits from Fager and they arrived a little over two weeks ago. Bingo had been sort of nice with the Lilly single-jointed bar relief bit and I wanted to see if he got better with the double-jointed bar relief bits. With the “Lilly” he was still opening his mouth some with my rein aids though otherwise he seemed more cheerful with it, but I wanted…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on January 4, 2020 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Just Experimenting

Just Experimenting

After Cider (and Bingo) gave me the “not interested at all” reaction to the Fager “Frida” three piece tongue relief snaffle I've gone back to the bar relief varieties of Fager bits. Since I knew that Bingo greatly preferred the single jointed “Lilly” bar relief bit I decided that it stays on his bridle for right now. I just get tired of having to switch a bit from one bridle…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on December 21, 2019 at 11:42am — No Comments

A Soggy Mess

A Soggy Mess

Sunday was wonderful, nice and sunny. I got to ride Cider and I tried out the Fager “Frida” double-jointed tongue relief snaffle on her. Cider did not cuss me out, but she “told” me that she did not like this bit, her contact was not steady at all and she was harder to stop. I rode mostly on sagging reins and I practiced her turns using seat and leg aids and leaving the reins…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on December 14, 2019 at 11:03am — No Comments

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