December 2008 Blog Posts (18)

Starting and running a 501(c)3, or how to use up all your free time (19 April 2010)

After the heady success of what was to be our first fundraiser, Colleen and I agreed that we wanted to keep it going - and so, Special Horses was "born." We kept the site, and began designing our next fundraiser. We decided it should coincide with Rolex and the Kentucky Derby (so, just about a year ago), with the tag line, "They are all Winners." The hook - we would open up the site to entries, for a $10 donation, payable directly to one of four participating groups (True Innocents Equine…


Added by Special Horses, Inc. on December 31, 2008 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Don't Eat the Daisies! A new painting from Karen Brenner

Skippin on Cloud 9 was grazing in a grassy pasture filled with sparkling daisies with a backdrop of tall blue spruce trees. What a cheerful setting for this blue-eyed beauty!

Her loving owner writes that this buckskin paint mare "literally takes your breath away when she aims those baby blue mascara eyes at you. She has a way about her of easing the day's tensions and you find yourself smiling. To watch her in motion is a whirlwind of…


Added by Karen Brenner on December 30, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

12 Top Questions You Need to ask Yourself Before Making a Musical Freestyle!

Goals: When you begin to start thinking about making a musical freestyle or Kur for you and your horse, you should have some clear goals in mind before you get started. You must be able to answer some questions.

1.What will this musical freestyle be used for?

2. What level will you be competing with this music?

3.What type of competition will you be competing in? ( Local or USDF or FEI or National or International?)

4. Have you ever competed with a…


Added by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on December 30, 2008 at 6:00am — 8 Comments

New Foaling Season starting soon

We have 15 mares due this year. The first two, Unforgettable and Shandy, will be 300 days at the end of January. We will start watching them shortly after the New Year.

We have 10 cams up at our farm, but not all are on at the same time. We currently have cams 1-4 on in the main barn 24/7 just to keep an eye on things. Cams 5-9 will be on when needed and 10 & 11 are in the baby barn - used if the mares back us up and we run out of room. LOL Last year we had alot of mares that…


Added by Heather Troglauer on December 29, 2008 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Week-long mountain horse rescue in Canada shows the true meaning of Christmas

This is what the spirit of the season is all about...

MCBRIDE, British Columbia – Two frostbitten, emaciated horses were recovering inside a warm barn on Saturday thanks to volunteers who spent the week before Christmas digging the animals out of snow in the mountains of northeastern British Columbia.

Birgit Stutz said Saturday that she and other rescuers cheered when they finally finished digging a half-mile escape route through the snow for the animals. The horses had…


Added by Gary Stuart on December 28, 2008 at 12:00am — 3 Comments

Season's Greetings

It's a snowy Boxing Day in Aurora, Ontario. Having no respect for time and a head full of cold symptoms, I managed to pull myself out of bed around 10:30 a.m. and have been able to simply enjoy the experience of being -- such a rare occurence lately with all the hustle and bustle of the past few months. My spirits were warmed as I ate my granola and fruit breakfast and read the report in today's Globe and Mail (front page too!) of the successful efforts of a group of people in McBride,…


Added by Dorothy McDonall on December 26, 2008 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Horse Themed To Do List

Is one of your goals for 2009 to become more organized?

One thing that helps me stay organized is creating a weekly "To Do List" every Monday. As a special project, I designed a printable "To Do List" for each week of 2009. Each week's page has a column for listing things to accomplish that week, a calendar for the week with space to write in appointments or deadlines, an inspirational quote and picture of one of my horse paintings (of course!)

I'd like to share my…


Added by Karen Brenner on December 26, 2008 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Jane Savoie's Tips for Sitting Straight and Square in the Saddle

Hi Guys,

Regardless of which discipline you ride, it's very important to sit straight and square in the saddle. Can you tell if you're collapsing at your waist and sitting crookedly?

Ask a ground person to stand behind you.

1. Are your shoulders level (i.e. the same height)?

2. Is your seat in the center of the saddle so that each seatbone is the same distance from the middle of the saddle?

If your shoulders aren't level which means that one…


Added by Jane Savoie on December 26, 2008 at 8:30am — No Comments

Christmas in the Barn

(Author Unknown)

It's the night before Christmas and I'm out in the barn

Blanketing my horses to keep them all warm.

They're eating their dinners, tucked cozy in stalls,

Not aware that it's Christmas, or any day special at all

They dream of spring pastures from their pine-scented beds.

No visions of sugarplums dance in their heads

.But we people are thinking of merry parties and such

Quickly doing our tasks so we don't miss too much.



Added by Kathy on December 24, 2008 at 11:30pm — 3 Comments

Christmas Greetings

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Karen, Echo, Ollie, Sorpresa & DJ

Added by Karen Brenner on December 24, 2008 at 6:30am — No Comments


Hi Guys,

Do you saw left and right on your dressage horse's mouth or wiggle the bit with both hands to get him "on the bit".

If you "saw" on your dressage horse's mouth by alternating squeezing and releasing with your hands, you're riding your horse from front to back. He might look like he's "on the bit" because his head is down and his nose is on the vertical, but you don't have an honest connection from back to front.

The only part of your horse's…


Added by Jane Savoie on December 19, 2008 at 2:30pm — 5 Comments

Tis the season for decorations

My barn, Deerfield Farm, is doing this great contest for the riding school that I had to get involved in. The activity is a Stall Decorating contest. Since the holiday season is upon us, everyone picks a stall and decorates it however they please.

So far the stalls look amazing with tons of garland, mistletoe, plastic snowflakes and candy canes. Really the tackier the better! Everyone gets a prize for decorating, but one will get a grand…


Added by Deanna Lampert on December 18, 2008 at 9:30am — No Comments

Study: Horses recognize their friends' whinnies

I always find it interesting when studies go to great lengths to prove what horse people already know!!

A new study into how horses recognise members of the same herd suggests that it's not just humans who use complex memory processes to identify each other.

University of Sussex mammal communication researchers studied the reaction of horses to the sight of one member of the same herd while they heard the recorded call of either the same horse, or a different…


Added by Susan on December 17, 2008 at 11:00am — No Comments

Toni Thompson Award

Latest News

Toni Thompson presents Andrea Bresee with the Toni Thompson 'Spirit of Dressage' Award

Andrea Bresee receives the 2008 Toni Thompson "Spirit of Dressage" Award at the Toronto CADORA Annual General Meeting, November 1

Perhaps no one was more surprised than Andrea Bresee when her name was announced, in front of a group of 50 attendees at Toronto CADORA's Annual General Meeting, as the the recipient of the 2008 Toni Thompson "Spirit of Dressage" Award. "I…


Added by Andrea & Duane Bresee on December 16, 2008 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Dec 13/2008 - The Year In Review

We had a decent year in 2008 - not a banner year but not a bad year.

We qualified 4 animals for the 2008 SportPony Star Search at the Royal Winter Fair:

Private Benjamin (yearling Half-Welsh/First Premium Premier ASPR filly - *Stockham Commander M X Shades of Spring) first as a 2nd place winner behind an already qualified pony and then in her own right. She was also Reserve Junior Champion at Twinholm Open Sport Pony Show and Champion 2 & Under Half-Welsh at Erin…


Added by Diana on December 13, 2008 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

How to Use the Correct Aids to Communicate Better With Your Horse

Hi Guys,

When you train your horse, you're speaking to him in a foreign language. Think about how it feels to have someone speak to you in a language you don't understand. If you don't know the language, you can't understand them. If they speak slower, you still won't have a clue what they're saying. If they shout at you, you still won't understand.

That's how it is for your horse. When you train, you're developing a non-verbal language with him.…


Added by Jane Savoie on December 12, 2008 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

One Hot Nite - Newest painting in series

I've just completed painting #12 in my Beautiful Horses of Michigan series! It's good to have a dozen done. Just 25 more to complete by mid-March when they will be on display at the Stallion Expo in East Lansing.

One Hot Nite (Chrome) is a Pinto Saddlebreed ASHA/PtHA tobiano stallion with the sleekest conformation I've ever seen. He was calmly standing in the barn waiting for Holly, his owner, when I first saw him. I love sleek…


Added by Karen Brenner on December 8, 2008 at 6:00am — 1 Comment


Hi Guys,

Your horse should be able to flex laterally at his poll to the left and right. If you're not sure if he's locked at the poll, ask yourself some questions:

Will he easily flex to the left or right with one quick turn of your wrist or does he stiffen against the action of the rein?

Does he tip his head on small circles or lateral work with a bend like shoulder-in?

Are his ears level when you ride either to the left or to the right?

If he…


Added by Jane Savoie on December 5, 2008 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

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