Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Twin Tiers Horse Events, Sept. 1 - 4, 2011

I can't believe another week has flown and it's time to post this weekend's Twin Tiers equestrian activities!  

There are a lot of tempting events this weekend.  I might just trailer one of my ponies over to the Chemung County Fairgrounds for some exposure to a show, since there are two there this weekend (they'll never notice a party crasher).  I'm also very interested in the Reined Cowhorse events at Alfred, and the clinic with Susan Strong Kelley sounds really good, too.  What to do, what to do?

Have fun, whatever YOU do!

Sept. 3-4: Northern PA Horse Club show
Chemung County Fairgrounds
For details: Sandy Knowlton 1196 Dutch Hill Rd. Pine City, NY 14871
(607) 734-2769 E-mail:

Sept 3-4: NYPEA Summer GoldChemung County Fairgrounds
For details: Michael Green, 114 Emmons St., Newark, NY 14513
(315) 359-9004, Cell (315) 573-8513 E-mail:

Sept 3: Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club Cross Country Schooling on Horse Trials Grounds
10am - 2pm. Cost is $30 for GVRDC members, $40 for non-members. Helmets with chin straps, vests & armbands required & riders must have someone with them (either mounted or on the ground).
If you need to school with a trainer, contact Carol Kozlowski at (585) 226-6287 or

Sept 3:  Focus on Horse Clinic
Geneseo, NY, In this clinic Susan Strong Kelley will be teaching participants how to get the horse "In front of your leg" Susan will be using skills acquired through over 35 years of practicing Natural Horsemanship on the ground, as well as her on going work as a qualified Centered Riding Instructor.The clinic will begin with work with the horses on the ground then progress to the mounted work. The horses will be rewarded to a complete equine massage afterwards by Terry Crisafulli, Licensed Vet Tech and Certified Equine Massage Threrapst. Participants will come away with individual instruction on how to easily massage the area's where their horses need it most! and a complete understanding and ability of how to get their horse to move forward more freely!
For details: Download Clinic Schedule. For questions, contact Susan at (585) 243-5056 or go to

Sept. 3: Genesee Valley Pony Club Lucky Horseshoe Horse Show at Wheeler Green, Nations Rd, Geneseo, NY. Starts at 9 am. Click Here for a Prize List.
For details: contact Charity Donnan or Anamaria Cole at or

Sept. 4: NBHA Barrel Racing -- Skyline Memorial Classic Weekend
Saturday's  Speed Club Show
Saturday, Sept 3rd at 9am
Fig 8 * Polebending * Cloverleaf - All Divisions
$200 added 3D Polebending  ~ $500 added 3D/4D Barrels
Download Entry Form Here for Saturday's Show

Sunday's Skyline Memorial $$$ Show ~ NBHA NY06 sanct.
Sunday, Sept 4th - exhibition at approx. 11;
draw closes at noon; run to start at 12:30 pm
$800 added NBHA 4D Open Barrels & $200 added 3D Poles
Download Entry Form Here for Sunday's Show
For details:

Sept. 3-4: New York Reined Cow Horse Association and National Reined Cow Horse Association Extreme Penning
Alfred University Equestrian Center, 9 a.m. both days.

September 1 – 5: Twin Tier Trail Riders
Susquehannock State Forest, Potter County, PA. This is Steve and Jeanne’s ride open to everyone with a deep fried turkey dinner on Saturday night.  Last minute additions will be if space is available. Day riders just let me know you are planning to come. The dinner is a dish to pass and can come or the ride, dinner or just one or the other. Everyone is welcome but an idea of count is helpful. Parking is tentatively planned for Twelve Mile Gas Well parking but have to be changed when we have the actual count.
For details: Contact Jeanne Root to be included on the camping permit 570-596-3653.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Riding Shouldn't Hurt

I have been feeling nauseous for the last couple of days, ever since I read this article, delivered to my email box, courtesy of The   “Is Your Horse's Bit Harmful to His Mouth?” by Casie Bazay, BS, NBCAAM.

This study found that the majority of domestic horse skulls examined have bone or tooth damage caused by bits.   I realize this is a very small study, and I realize that it was conducted by a person who developed and sells a bitless bridle, so don’t go all reiterate-the-obvious on me.  In fact, the study was recently a topic of “conversation” on a COTH thread, where these points were batted about. 
The spin, in reining (credits to Wikipedia).

The same thread presents this study, however: “Surgical Removal of Mandibular Periostitis (Bone Spurs) Caused by Bit Damage,” by Thomas J. Johnson, DVM.  This more medically-focused article, starts out with this sentence, “Many performance horses suffer from painful mandibular periostitis caused by bit trauma.”

There are a couple reasons these articles are upsetting to me.  The first is that I have long suspected that bits hurt horses.  When I really think about it, I can’t imagine that they don’t hurt horses.  Even in gentle hands, they must feel terrible in their mouths. 

I work very hard at gentle hands.  It’s the single most important thing I do for my horses while riding, but once in a while a mare spooks or takes an unexpected leap over something, or trips, and I accidentally jerk on the mouth.  I can see and feel that that jerk did not feel good.

Another reason the articles upset me is because I haven’t really thought about it very often.   I was taught, like most English riders, to apply “gentle” pressure to the bit while signaling with the seat to get the horse to drop his head, round his back, engage his hindquarters and “collect.”  I was taught that this is the way to get the horse to use his body correctly, so it’s a good thing.  You’re not yanking on the bit, you’re applying steady pressure with the hands and seat until the horse drops his head.  But even when I was doing it in lessons and shows, the thought would flitter across my brain that reason the horse was dropping his head was to avoid the painful bit pressure, not because he was magically learning the correct way to carry his body.  But that was the “right” way to ride.

A very famous horse wearing two bits. (Credit to
I queasily searched Dr. Johnson’s article until I found this “Frequently affected horses include the following: dressage horses, gaited horses, western working horses, Standardbred and Thoroughbred race horses, gaming horses, and polo ponies.”

I keep thinking of CG, the main horse of my past, and other past horses, and how I probably hurt their mouths as we worked toward dressage shows.  And I have been thinking of how I attempted to start working Hudson away from being “strung out,” which was written all over our only two dressage tests we ever did, by applying the seat and hand techniques I was taught to get her hind end more engaged.   I could tell she was stressed and confused by the change in pressure on the bit, and honestly, I hated doing it so much that I didn’t try it for long.  I wonder if we have to force horses into the “correct” positions.  If you ask them to work, they’ll work for you, but do we have to twist them all up at the same time?

I use the gentlest bits I can, but I am questioning using them now.  The idea of them causing tooth damage and bone spurs, and the horse just bearing this, is pretty terrible.  I have a bitless bridle that I’m going to try on Starlight.   Interestingly, she has been uncooperative only on one point: She refuses to offer her open mouth for the bit when I push my finger on her bar (I never get the bit in the mouth by pushing it against the front teeth).  I have to push pretty steadily while she just stands there looking at me.  Eventually, I get her teeth open enough to slide the bit in, but, duh.  It’s pretty obvious that the pony who has been up for anything under saddle is trying to tell me something.

With Dee, I’ll probably still use a bit until I have confidence in her being cooperative under saddle, but will then move away from the bit. 

If I move away from bits, I will also be excluding myself and my horses from those competitions that require bits.  But, is it so bad?  Aren’t there many fun things to do with the horse that don’t make any rules about tack, other than that it be safe?  There are, and I think that for now, that’s where I’ll head.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Twin Tiers Horse Events, Aug. 27 - 31.

Here are this weekend's (and early next week's) Twin Tiers' horse events.  It's a short,  but loaded, list.  Take a drive to the recognized horse trails in Geneseo or audit Michelle LaBarre's clinic for some excellent horse time this weekend! 

August 27, 28 GVRDC USEA recognized Horse Trials
Geneseo, NY. Levels are Intro, Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary.
Contact Wezo Pierson at (585) 509-5691 or

August 29, 30: Michelle LaBarre Clinic
Black Points Farm, Honeoye Falls, NY. For info about Michelle, go to
To ride in the clinic, contact Mary Delton at Auditors welcome.

August 28: Open Horse Show Series
Stoneybrook Farm, 4 Shaffer Road, Newfield, NY
Classes for all levels of Pleasure and Hunt seat riders
Two Venues & the best prizes of any local horse shows!
Series High points compete for:Charles Owen Helmet, Mountain Horse Tall Boots, Ariat Paddock  boots
For details:  (607) 564- 0063 or (607) 387-3422

August 31 GVRDC XC schooling on Horse Trials Grounds
3 - 7pm. Cost is $30 for GVRDC members, $40 for non-members.  Helmets with chin straps, vests & armbands required & riders must have someone with them (either mounted or on the ground).
If you need to school with a trainer, contact Carol Kozlowski at (585) 226-6287 or

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Week's Events Posting Delayed

My weekly posting of upcoming events will be delayed one day.  Sorry!  I raked, baled and stacked (with help, on the stacking) a whole bunch of hay today, and I'm a bit of a zombie.  I'll post them tomorrow night,

In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures:
This one is blurry, but it shows the formation the horses chose when they spotted a big dog near their pasture.  I think they would make a very good defensive line for the New York Football Giants.

My sister, Jenny, likes Stormkite and said it looks like he has bullet holes on his face.  Not bullet holes!  Kissy spots!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Occasionally Cooperative Ranch Horse

I was getting a little tired of playing duck-and-slap on the trail up the back of the property, ducking to avoid overhead leaves as I rode and getting slapped in the face by them when I miscalculated.  It was time to do some trail clean up, and I needed to be the right height to do it -- the height I am when I ride.

Oh, Hudson!

Holding the loppers in my hand, I rode her to the trail.  I don’t know what her problem was, but she never walked so slowly before, and it felt like two years before we got there, I clutching the getting-heavier-every-minute loppers, shifting them from hand to hand, excruciating aware that they would not be my friend if we ran into trouble.

A reenactment.
When we finally got there, Hudson was very quick to learn the job: Walk a couple of steps, stop under the leafy branches, wait for me to lop the branches off, allow the branches to fall on her head, land on her reins, back, me, then move a half-step to the next one, halt. And so on.  It was very slow, clumsy work, just the thing for Hudson, who hadn’t seemed to want to do much that night, anyway.  As the branches fell around her, she sampled leaves from each and had a little leafy smorgasbord.

She was just as quick to figure out, while I was up there maneuvering the loppers around twigs and branches, some as thick as a finger,  and using both hands and sometimes my body to apply pressure for cutting, that I was not holding the reins very well, if at all.  So then, instead of standing still as I worked as a good ranch horse should, she opted to turn around and try to head back down the trail, or, more fun, walk straight forward into the branches, effectively burying us both in sharp shrubbery.   This naughty behavior required my immediate attention, and correction, and almost left both the loppers and me hanging from branches more than once.

It was slow work, and there were several times when Hudson and I mosied up the trail with every bit of horse and human surface dangling leaves and twigs, looking like the worst-in-class in some bizarre camouflage boot camp.

We got home at dark, just before my husband donned his boots to come searching for us.  A good night’s work on a somewhat recalcitrant ranch horse.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Magic Saddle

I frequently participate in situations that serve to verify my insanity.

I have been fretting about saddle fit for weeks, months.  I finally headed to Trumbull Mountain’s web site (  I have been there before, as it is highly recommended by folks on forums such as COTH.  Kitt Hazelton, at Trumbull Mountain, will look at your horse’s back tracings and photos and recommend saddles that might fit.  She’ll loan you trial saddles to try and has both new and used saddles for sale.

Starlight, patient in the rain, with red chalk marks on her back.
One night in the pouring rain, I drew chalk lines on my mare, Starlight, as recommended by Trumbull Mountain’s tracing instructions.   Then I bent a supple artist’s curve along the chalk lines, carefully transferring the shapes to a large piece of paper.  I mailed them off to Trumbull Mountain and at the same time emailed photos of Starlight’s conformation to Kitt, as recommended on the web page.

After a few days, I received this note: 

Hi Amy –Your tracings arrived in the mail today, thanks for sending them.  I can see what you mean about the saddle moving forward; Starlight has an upslope to her croup and she’s quite wide – the combination (pretty common in horses of her breed) can make it tough to keep the saddle off the shoulders.  If you can let me know your price range, and if you’re looking for new or used, I’d be happy to make some recommendations.
Thanks –

What followed was a volley of emails, ending up with her recommending and offering a loan of a Duett Sonata, 36 cm.  

Well, it so happens that I had tried a 36 cm Duett on Starlight, an Allegro, and determined it was too wide.  Of course, it had to be too wide.  I had purchased it for my half-draft, Hudson.  How could it be the right size for an APHA pony?  Sure, sure, she moved well under it and all, but it did slide forward a bit, and it must be too big, right (even though it was definitely too small for Hudson)?

When I talked to Kitt about this by phone, she said simply that it seemed that it should fit, based on my tracings, and suggested maybe a saddle maker in Connecticut could narrow it for me if I sent measurements and photos.

Satisfied with this idea, I started using the Duett on Starlight.  Guess what?  It fits much better now that a saddle fitting expert said it should fit.  

What do you say about that?!  

I say, insanity verified.  And now, onto the next calamity.

Twin Tiers Horse Events, August 20-21

We have a small assortment of events this week, but good ones.   Have fun with your ponies.

August  20:  Open Partnered Workshop Gentle Dove Farm & Big House Stables
8:30 - 3:30
Classical Riding Techniques
& Obstacle Training 
15 Avon Road Geneseo, NY 14454
For details Flyer ;   Registration ; Contact Susan KellyDirections

August  20-21: Twin Tier Trail Riders
August  20 – Arnot  Forest- check direction sheet for parking info on Rt. 13 after Alpine Junction.
Linda Hendricks 607-342-3534 and Carol Johnson 607-598-7295 or or
August  21 – Connecticut Hill Ride – parking at the old Archery Grounds off Carter Creek Rd.
JoAnn Schwab 607-739-2554 or

August 21: PBF Open Sport Horse Show at P&B Family Ranch
8536 Center Rd, Holland NY

Aug. 25 – Sept 4: NYS Fair Horseshows
Syracuase, NY

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Take a Breath

I’m always planning with my ponies: “I’m going to teach this one X, then we’re going to go to Y, then we’re going to Z.  And then with this other one, I’m going to A and then she and I will head off to B, and finally be at C.”

Fill in the blanks for the letters.  It could be X=training level test 1; Y=Cayuga Dressage September show;  Z=Empire State Paint Club fall show.  And it could be A=Obstacle Course training; B=a Cohocton hunter pace and C=the Extreme Cowboy obstacle course in Canisteo.

Just ride.

Always planning, planning, thinking, thinking.  Goals are important as a rider and trainer.  The focus of working toward a goal is what makes my ponies and me progress in our skills.

But there always comes a point in the summer when I just say, to quote my little niece when confronted with a three-story- high water slide,  “No!  I’m not doing!”

And for a week or so, all plots and plans and schemes just go away.  I decide I don’t want to do any X,Y, Zs or A,B,Cs.  During that time, I drop all the pressure from myself and my horses and we just enjoy each other’s company.

Last night I climbed on my friend Hudson and we took a long, leisurely ride around the plantation.  Hudson is a mare who is totally steady under saddle except if she hasn’t been ridden for a few weeks.  Then, her first trip out under saddle is full of spooks, crow hops, jigs and bolts, as if she has never seen these trails we have ridden so many times.  Since I had ridden her fairly recently, though, last night’s ride was her normal, dead-slow walk, interspersed with surprisingly brisk trots and gallops.

We rode around the seven-acre hay field, noting that the hay will be ready for a second cut soon.  We strolled down the hill to the pond, seeing how low it is.  We trotted up the pipeline and for once didn’t see a deer, turkey or grouse.  It was just that kind of quiet evening.  In the nine-acre field at the top of the property, a resident red tail called out an annoyed, flutey shriek as we trotted by.

As I rode, I thought, “I really don’t want to do all those things I have been planning.  I just want to do this.”

And it felt good to think that.  Truth is, though, I’ll be back to planning all those activities again soon.  I know it.  I can’t stop myself. 

But for this brief point in time, I have mentally pulled off that track.   I’m just going to ride.
Now you see them...

Now you don't.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Horse Events, Aug. 12 - 17, 2011

There are lots of fine horse events this weekend for Twin Tiers horse enthusiasts.  Have fun!

Aug. 12 -14: CNYDCTA Dressage Camp Cazenovia
College . Clinicians Emma Sibley Griffen and Donna Young.
Open date 7/1 Entries by 8/1/11. Contact Susan Camp at

Aug. 14: Northern Tier PA Horse Club Association Show
Chemung County Fairgrounds.
For details: Hope Johnson (607) 962-0286

Aug. 17: Davidson Knolls Hunter Pace
3200 Hopkins Rd., Canandaigua, NY
Davidson Knoll Farm will again be offering a summer Hunter Pace Evening Series in 2009. Put the dates on your calendar now, because you don't want to miss these!

Riders in teams of two or three will follow a well-marked course of about four miles through natural hunt country at an "ideal pace". The winning team is the group whose time on the course is the closest to the "ideal time". Fences a maximum of 2'6" and are optional. Six pairs of ribbons will be presented for closest to optimum time per division.
For details: 585-393-0754

Aug. 15: Trail Competition at Callie Winds Stables
929 Hornby Rd Beaver Dams NY 14812. Sign-Ups at 9:30, walk through at 10:00 and show at 11:00. We have several classes Open $20 (payback), Junior $5 (ribbons 1-6), Novice $8 (ribbons 1-6) and an In-hand $2 for beginners, young horses, minis

Aug. 10 – 14 Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition
Once each year, during the second or third week in August, the picturesque Pittsford, NY countryside comes alive with the magic and romance of an earlier era - a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner - a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

Our comprehensive five day schedule of classes offers spectators the opportunity to view a wide variety of 19th century carriages exhibited by over 250 competitors from some 20 states, Canada, and Europe. Antique vehicles from tiny pony carts to huge road coaches drawn by a four-in-hand (four horses) appointed with highly polished brass and silver harness will be participating in all phases of classical driving competition, including cross-country obstacle classes and the elegant pleasure driving classes in the ring.

Aug. 12 – 14: Twin Tier Trail Riders
Brookfield State Park, Brookfield, N.Y.
Contact JoAnn Schwab 607-739-2554 or

Aug. 13: Sweet Water Farm Fun Show to Benefit Martha Peterka
Click here for Prizelist
Route 492
Jackson, PA 18847
(570) 756-3268

Aug. 9 – 12: Coliseum Classic Horse Show
NYS Fairgrounds Coliseum
Unrecognized Hunter Horse Show oriented towards a fun, family event for anyone with the love of horses.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I noticed a ding and some swelling on Starlight’s right hind leg the other night.  Either she got kicked or was knocked into something during a tussle in the stable.  So, she has had the week off.  She has shown a fairly normal stride despite the injury, but I’m not good at detecting subtle lameness.  When I start watching legs for lameness, unless it’s really obvious, first I get hypnotized by the fascinating movement, then I end up thinking all the legs look lame.

Tonight the swelling was considerably down and she seemed to be walking normally.  But it’s still a little swollen, and although I wanted to ride her, I figured, why rush it?  We have our whole lives to ride.  I can wait another few days until the swelling is gone.

A ride, many moons ago.
So, besides riding Hudson a couple of times this week, I pulled DeCato out  for some work.  I had started DeCato the same time I started Starlight, last December before ice and cold shut us down for the winter, but due to there being only one of me, and due to Starlight being so fun and cooperative, DeCato went on hold.   It seems like a long time since I had her walking and trotting under saddle, around the arena at our old house.

Sure enough, she was very rusty, not cooperating much at the longe line work I attempted.  We did walk and trot in both directions, but most of the time she was staring urgently back toward the barn, and when someone whinnied for her (Dee, I think), she about came apart, whinnying back and stopping all work.

DeCato is a funny one.  I swear you could light a firecracker behind her and she would just move aside as if to say, “Oh, were you doing something back there?  Here, let me give you some room.  Carry on.”   I can drape her with a tarp, rattle bags, make a clamor, do a rain dance with a tom-tom, and she doesn’t care at all.  It’s as though, as long as I’m creating the racket, she is fine with that. 

But new objects along her path are sometimes cause for a major freak out.  And being away from the other horses is extremely stressful for her. 

So, we have our work cut out for us.

When Dee whinnied, DeCato stopped paying attention to me, whinnied back and stood still, staring at the barn.  I could not cajole her into forward movement with the longe whip, sound or body language.  But I kept working, telling her that one trait I have that helps me succeed as a horse trainer is always being more stubborn than whatever horse I’m working with.   

I finally decided I couldn’t get enough “crack!” sound from the whip with my left hand, so I crossed my arms and put it in my right hand.  With the stronger hand working it, I finally got enough action and noise behind her butt for DeCato to say, “Oh, all RIGHT. I’ll trot in your damned circle.”

A few rounds of that and we stopped.  So, after success with this, albeit wan, we took a walk together to the pond and back.  Leading her in strange places in the past has sometimes been difficult, but she was good for this trip.  Despite being a mare who locks up at times, she does like fast, forward movement when she feels safe, and has a lovely, long walking stride.  She's a mustang, but my horse dentist supposed she might have a bit of Tennessee walking horse in her ancestry.    

I’m pretty sure, if we had someone on a calm trail horse in front of us, that I could get on DeCato right now and take her out on a long trail ride without issue, even though she has only had a few short rides under saddle.  She’s that kind of horse, happy enough with whatever we’re doing, as long as there’s another horse there.   Yeah, she’s herd bound, but we’ll work on that, and sometime in the near future, she’ll be a good little riding horse.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Contractor Cometh. Save the Toads!

This week I started preparing for the contractor, who will come Thursday or Friday to start a major drainage project around the barn.  This will involve leveling, gravelling, drip-lining, animal-walkwaying and drainpiping.   It means my husband and I have to remove everything from the barn area.   “Everything” includes a couple hundred bales of so-so hay we made in a first attempt, which has been a bit of a pain, but there’s a more important thing that needs to be moved.

It’s the toads. 
What to do with Mama Toad?

This summer, we have been inundated with baby toads in the stable.  They have been hopping under foot like crazy, causing me to walk, and lead the horses, like I’m playing “Red Light. Green Light.”  I don’t want to step on these little animals that are having enough trouble with all the changes in the environment that people have created.

Yesterday, I solemnly instructed my husband that, when he sees the toads, he is to catch them in a bucket and release them in the woods by the pond, so they don’t get run over by the contractor.   The last three nights, I have been out looking for them, thinking that it would be easy enough to find the little guys I have had to avoid stepping on for three weeks. 

Wouldn’t you know it?  They have all vanished.  I can’t find a baby toad up there.  The only amphibians I found were one wayward frog, who was just too boingy for me to catch, and the big, mama toad.

The mama toad has lived here for years, I’m guessing, based on her size and the reading I have done on toad’s being territorial.   So I found her last night and was faced with a dilemma.  Do I move her, completely disorienting her and risking her hopping her way back to her territory before the contractor comes, or do I keep her safely in a terrarium until he’s gone, then release her back in the stable?

After some debate, which included a trip with her to the house to consult with my husband, I released her in the woods down by the pond. 

I will be watching for her though.  When she hops back to the barn, I want it to be as safe for her as it always has been.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twin Tiers Horse Activities, Aug. 6 - 9, 2011

We've got a nice variety of horse events this weekend, horse fans!   In addition to the list below, don't forget about the Chemung County Fair (links on the right side of page).  Have fun with your ponies this week.

Aug. 6: WNYDA Challenge Series Dressage Show and Chestnut Ridge Combined Test and Jumper Classes
Gasport, NY. For more information, contact Sue Williams at (716) 772-2707/2957 or
For prize list and entry forms, go to

Aug. 6: Versatility Horsemanship Clinic with Luke Reinbold at Oakhill Farm and Ranch
Nunda, NY. For registration forms and info contact us at 585-468-5441 or, or go to

Aug. 7: Irish Draught Horse Society of North America Hunter Pace
10 am to 2 pm at Batzing Farms, 3932 Batzing Road, Caledonia, NY.
For more information, download the Flyer.

Aug. 9: Obstacle & Sensory Clinics and Training - Mounted Police Style
Empire Farm Days – Gentle Dove 2973 New York 414 (Ovid St)
Seneca Falls, NY 13148
11 am – Developing Horse-Rider  Partnership Mounted Police-Style with  Joann K. Long
 2 pm – Obstacle & Sensory Training  Mounted Police-Style with Joann K.  Long
Click HERE for more information!

August 7: NBHA Barrel Racing
Crystal Valley Saddle Club
River Road, S. Corning, NY
$500 Added

Aug. 5 -7: Empire Appaloosa Assoc. Classic Horse Show
The 2011 EAA Classic will be the 29th annual show. The EAA is a dedicated group of horse people whose goal is to promote the Appaloosa Horse.
NYS Fairgrounds Coliseum
Telephone 607-589-6548 Website Visit Web Site Email

Aug. 6- 7: NYS Pinto Horse Assoc. "Lots of Spots" Horse Show
Pinto horse show for youth, amateur and open exhibitors
NYS Fairgrounds 4H rings
315-672-5105 Website Visit Web Site Email

Aug 5 – 7: NYS Eastern District Morgan Horse Society Open Horse Show
Fonda Fairground, Fonda, NY
Judge: Jaison Von Ballmoos
NEW for 2011:
Morgan Hunt Seat Pleasure Championship
Morgan Western Pleasure Championship
Jack Benny Equitation(39 & over)
Judging From The Rail Clinic--open to all ages
Contact for prize list--show manager Jackie Ross-Quality Stables 607-432-8977;
Show Secretary: Tamara Lynch;

August 5-6, 2011 - DENA KIRKPATRICK Barrel Racing Clinic
Binghamton, NY
Oakwood Manor Arena, Join us for Dena Kirkpatrick's FIRST clinic in the northeast!  $250/day in our *new* 75 x 144 indoor arena! Nicky Kurty,  607.427.6875, E Mail,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Forget the @#$%^& Saddle

I give up.  Tonight I rode in the dressage saddle that fits my pony the best.  HOWEVER, after riding on her neck all night, despite my dismounting twice to reposition the saddle, I'm giving up saddles forever.

OK, maybe not, but it was fun to get rid of the darn thing and practice riding bareback for a while.  Time to call the saddle fitter.