Featured Blog Posts (18)

Cider is My Thigh Master

Cider is My Thigh Master

The past two weeks I did not ride at Debbie's stable at all, which means that I did not get a lesson and I did not get to ride with the double bridle.

I have been able to ride Cider, thank goodness.

Cider is so stiff now, and she…


Added by Jackie Cochran on September 26, 2020 at 1:36pm — No Comments

MJ and I Try a New Bit

MJ and I Try a New Bit

In my eternal search for a yet more perfect bit I decided to try one of Fager Bit's two new types of Weymouth curbs. Unlike the Mullen mouth Victoria curb these new curbs have a “port”, but it is not angled like the Cambridge mouth port which is parallel to the shanks of the bit. The Fager “port” goes up vertically from the line of the shanks of the bit. The Fager site…


Added by Jackie Cochran on October 10, 2020 at 10:40am — No Comments

A Scary Experience

So I had an extremely interesting ride today. It's been a couple weeks since I have gone out to the barn, but with clients coming out tomorrow I really had to get on a couple of the buggers to get them ready.

My first ride was great! The horse is extremely trustworthy and equally good outside as he is inside - a total ammy horse!

The second ride... Well this is where things got fun. The mare is not only chestnut, but…

Added by Moocow on October 13, 2020 at 9:52pm — 1 Comment

The Oakley Diaries 46 - Labour Day Ride

We got invited to the Eglinton Caledon Hunter Pace meet on Labour Day. Not an actual hunt, but a long course across country, very far from the city. I think I've found Oakley's calling.

The course is simple, we follow a marked trail 19km long, which wends its way over hill and dale, across meadows around crops, along paths and through woods. Sometimes we walked, sometimes we trotted, sometimes we cantered, and sometimes we galloped full out. Still kind of fun to pass my friends like…


Added by B. G. Hearns on September 14, 2020 at 8:54am — 1 Comment

The Oakley Diaries 45 - Summer 2020

We began the summer, after the Solstice, with some relaxing of the COVID-19 health restrictions. Finally, open-air competitions were allowed, and, glory be... there was a weekend with a training meet and I wasn't working! The competition was a teaching format, which means day one, I went round the entire course with a coach, over all the jumps, and day 2 went round again, but as a competition.

So we spent the first training day doing well enough, our dressage was sloppy... much…


Added by B. G. Hearns on August 28, 2020 at 9:31am — 1 Comment

Why Now Is the Time to Buy original Art

The coronavirus has forced us to cancel our holiday plans, reduce travel and stay local to help reduce the spread. This has been a terrible blow for tourism and hospitality.

But some commercial sectors are booming during the pandemic.

Home improvement and renovations are doing record business as people turn their attention and holiday budgets to improving their homes and surroundings.

Which makes perfect sense a holiday although good for the soul is fleeting but… Continue

Added by Linda Finstad on August 6, 2020 at 7:54am — No Comments

It Does Help, But

It Does Help, But

I actually had a lesson this week, on Thursday, and while the temperatures were “only” in the 70s F, the humidity matched the temperature. This is the one drawback of riding early in the morning, when I ride at the dew-point temperature the air is SATURATED with moisture. This reduces the cooling efficiency of my summer gear which often depends upon evaporation.…


Added by Jackie Cochran on August 22, 2020 at 10:40am — No Comments

Hoof Care Mistakes to Avoid with Your Horse

There is a very old expression in horse care that goes, “No hoof, no horse” and it couldn’t possibly be more true. Horses are very large, heavy animals that stand on what amounts to a tiny foot in comparison to the rest of them. 

While hooves seem durable and able to withstand anything, they are actually very susceptible to injury and must be maintained properly to keep your horse healthy. Improper shoeing of your…


Added by Sandra Ericson on June 23, 2020 at 8:12am — No Comments

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…


Added by B. G. Hearns on May 25, 2020 at 5:38pm — 2 Comments

A Sacred Trust

A Sacred Trust

This week Debbie had a summer camp (next week too) so I was not going to get a lesson anyway. In some ways, then, me getting sick came at a “convenient” time, I wasn't too sick, took my homeopathic remedies and stopped doing much at all, and my fever finally went away. I would have hated missing my lesson for being sick, isn't it odd how the Universe works sometimes?…


Added by Jackie Cochran on June 20, 2020 at 10:50am — 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…


Added by Linda Finstad on April 15, 2020 at 9:27am — 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.…


Added by Jackie Cochran on March 28, 2020 at 1:47pm — 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!…


Added by Jackie Cochran on April 11, 2020 at 2:46pm — 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…


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


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

Strange And Beautiful Horse Breeds Around The World

There are many more breeds of horses located all over the world than most people are aware of. We know the breeds of our home countries the best and we may know a few of the very popular breeds, such as the Arabian because they have been so popular as racing stallions and for breeding programs in the USA. This is just one horse out of hundreds…


Added by Sandra Ericson on November 9, 2019 at 8:30am — No Comments

Everyday Art for Everyday people

Everyday Art 

Social Experiment

To determine if art enriches your life.

There have been several scientific studies on how art enriches our lives. 

According to Professor Semir Zeki, neurobiologist at the University College of London, when you stare at great artworks, the part of your brain that is stimulated…


Added by Linda Finstad on November 25, 2019 at 5:41pm — No Comments

The Oakley Diaries 42 - A Goal Achieved

   We finally achieved a short-term goal that I'd set, which is, to clear 4' (1.2m).


   Early this year, I'd set that as a goal to work towards, because I firmly believe that one must always have a goal in everything, something to work towards. A goal gives one a reason to do things, to learn, to improve. Goals also measure milestones, points where one can look back and feel a sense of achievement.

   I also believe one should have at least one…


Added by B. G. Hearns on December 7, 2019 at 9:38am — 1 Comment

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