September 2011 Blog Posts (60)

Lesson 13 Sept 29 2011

We learned to do square corners tonight. It was hard for Cooper and myself. We were catching on but will have to practice with this one a lot. I have to learn to release and try it softer, if he doesn't get it then go back to a firmer command. We road a straight line and at the end it was a little like a turn on the haunches while trying to keep jogging and continue on in a straight line again. We did it away from the wall. Cooper would come to a walk most of the time but did do some good…


Added by Coopersmom_1958 on September 30, 2011 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

What we do when we can’t Cross the River

What we do when we can’t Cross the River


My sister and I took a 4-day weekend off from work to get some trail riding in.  Just like the one we tried a few weeks previous, we couldn’t cross the river the first 3 days.  That meant doing the hill leading to the river with Cruiser and Ranger and working Cole in the arena. 


Having Ellen watch me and Cole during our rides was very helpful.  She gave me all kinds of good advice, and she took video with her…


Added by Judi Daly on September 30, 2011 at 1:26pm — No Comments

And on My Farm I Had Some Ducks…

There was a small gaggle of ducks to begin with. The girls laid tasty eggs, usually dropped at a run without looking back. They were non-flyers, but fun to watch in their pool. I didn’t take them very seriously at first. One of the ducks had a deformed beak that curved to one side. I named him Duck Cheney.  See what I mean?

Years passed and there was slow attrition. Eventually only two ducks were left.

Fred and Ethel had lived so long that their pithy political names had fallen…


Added by Anna Blake on September 30, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

HorseGuard Bi-Polar Fence / How does it work?




Added by HorseGuard Canada on September 29, 2011 at 2:28pm — No Comments


Want to go Ridding!

Added by Hannah Stacey on September 28, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Upcoming Events for Horse Play Oct 2011

Horse Play Events - October 2011

October 1, 2011


Added by Horse Play on September 28, 2011 at 10:21am — 1 Comment

Awesome night for a ride

What a lovely night to ride.  Warm and comfortable with crisp clean fall air. 

He's so much fitter now - We worked in the ring for almost thirty minutes.  The canter was a clean three beat in both directions, with some counter canter, good contact without curling behind the bit or lifting his head & dropping his back.  He gave me a working trot that I could sit even despite my own physical limitations.  Then he really stretched out and motored on as we walked the track in the…


Added by Ruth Vale on September 27, 2011 at 10:32pm — 1 Comment

Artificial Aids


Equipment that is used to back up or fortify a rider’s natural cue (i.e. spurs, whips, martingales).


Rarely should an artificial aid replace a natural cue. Used following the first light cue, it combines with negative reinforcement, giving relief as soon as the horse responds. Used logically (light cue, stronger cue,…


Added by Lindsay Grice on September 27, 2011 at 8:50am — No Comments

Yet another rainy weekend

My sister and I took a 4-day weekend off from work to get some trail riding in.  Just like the one we tried a few weeks ago, we couldn’t cross the river the first 3 days.  That meant doing the hill leading to the river with Cruiser and Ranger and working Cole in the arena.

   It is great to have eyes on the ground to watch me ride—even better when she can take video.  Cole was trotting very curled up and behind the bit, a lot.  There was a lot of tail swishing going on, too, which is…


Added by Judi Daly on September 26, 2011 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Meet Molly

Henk and I both love this pony's story:

                                               Meet Molly

She's a grey speckled pony who

was abandoned by her owners when  Hurricane

Katrina hit southern Louisiana .  She spent weeks

on her  own before finally being rescued and taken

to a farm where abandoned  animals were stockpiled.

While there, she was attacked by a dog and almost died.

Her gnawed right front leg  became

infected, and her vet went to LSU…


Added by Lillian Tepera on September 26, 2011 at 1:08pm — 2 Comments

My Lesson at North Fork with Karen Fenwick

I had an exhausting trip to my lesson at North Fork last weekend, but at least I bought twelve new horse books, eleven of which I had never seen or read (I just could not resist buying C. W. Anderson's "Heads Up, Heels Down".)  I found two books on riding written in the 1930's; a reprint of a 1859 book; the best behavior book I've read ("Horses Behavin' Badly" by Dr. Jim and Lynda McCall); and some new overstocked and used dressage books (I REALLY…


Added by Jackie Cochran on September 26, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

In praise of food...

Ah, my little Havoc. He doesn't like being up at the barn, so when he was turned out (finally!) after being in for TWENTY FOUR hours, if you can imagine, PLUS he had a farrier appt, everyone had a good romp in the field.  For him, apparently, a good romp includes skewering yourself on something.  So, whether you call it a scratch (other people) or a cut (me, of course), it didn't look too bad.  Well, until the swelling above it started...


Fast forward to Friday, and one…


Added by MagsNMe on September 25, 2011 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Lesson 12 Sept 22 2011

There was only 2 of us tonight in the lesson, like getting a semi-private, very nice.

My regular coach was away and one of the other lesson coaches taught us tonight. We did circle in one corner and jogged the rest of the arena. When in the corner we were to keep our horse the same distance from the cones all the way around the circle. Cooper would try to move his outside shoulder and also cut corners. We were using the 1 o'clock position from the clock work, which I knew how to do on…


Added by Coopersmom_1958 on September 24, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Riding as an Art. Literally.

I am hooked on the writings of classical trainers. It isn’t that I am an elitist; they use an inspiring word that I like and don’t hear so much these days: ART.

“Theory instructs us that we should work from a foundation of sound principles, and these principles,…


Added by Anna Blake on September 23, 2011 at 9:20am — 2 Comments

Muscle Memory Matters in Horse Riding


Malcolm Gladwell put forth a theory in 2008, in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success that sounds to be entirely relevant to us horse riders. In it, he proposes that it takes 10,000 hours of practice in any task to become exceptionally good at something.  That breaks down to approximately 3 hours per day over a course of ten years. He goes on to explain that it’s not just about having talent – less talented people can progress beyond their more talented counterparts…


Added by Kathy on September 22, 2011 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

Bitless competitions in the U.S. and under FEI

Most interesting fact as arisen since I posted about potential bitless competitors.

Seems back in 99 over 2,300 people signed a petition for bitless competition, and yet now I cannot get people to write an affidavit that they want to compete bitless here in the United States.  An affidavit is a legal document used in a court of law.

What is the reason?  The request I placed on the Internet is not about my position, it is…


Added by E. Allan Buck on September 22, 2011 at 1:32pm — No Comments

A few thoughts on Natural Horsemanship

Henk writes:


I share my paddock with 4 other horses: two are Friesians (Wilby and Charlee), one is a Welsh pony (Bella), and the fourth is a Standardbred (Sunny). When it’s time to go inside for the night (and, of course, dinner!) Wilby gets to go first if he wants to. He’s the boss. Sometimes he chooses not to exercise this right, and lets me, Charlee, and on occasion even the pony, go ahead of him. Sometimes he hangs back like we’re allowed to go ahead of him, and then…


Added by Lillian Tepera on September 21, 2011 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

Tackling the Arena

Tackling the Arena


I am riding Cole all over the place on the trail—walking, trotting and cantering, but I still felt nervous in the arena.  Now, it didn’t help that I only rode him in there a couple times a week.  It was the same old problem—the far end just got me nervous.  That didn’t mean I didn’t go over there—I did, but I didn’t enjoy it.  It distracted me.  It didn’t help that…


Added by Judi Daly on September 20, 2011 at 12:20pm — 4 Comments

Radical redesign

Well, it's been awhile since I've said much.  Maggie and I are undergoing a complete revision of our lives.


My trainer is a brilliant woman, and we sat down for a chat a month or so ago, after a lesson.  And basically she laid it out... we can continue as we've been going, not seeing much in the way of progress, but no crabbing about it, OR, we could re-vamp the program.  So, her thoughts were:  She takes over and fixes my horse (who has issues, holes in her training, a…


Added by MagsNMe on September 19, 2011 at 7:04pm — 1 Comment

Why do you ride?

Motivation – Why Do you Ride?


I have started rereading “In Search of Your Image – A Practical Guide to the Mental and Spiritual Aspects of Horsemanship” by Jill Keiser Hassler.  I bought the book a number of years ago, and found it too spiritual for me.  Times change, and so did I.  My life is different, and now the book seems so much more relevant.…


Added by Judi Daly on September 19, 2011 at 4:42pm — 2 Comments

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