Sunday, June 30, 2013

Obstacles Surpassed

The Obstacle Clinic with Joann Long from Gentle Dove was a lot of fun yesterday.  It was held at If Only Farm in Freeville, which is a lovely facility. 
The dreaded car wash

I was there riding Hudson, and my friend, Pam Newton, was up on Starlight.

Working in the indoor, clinician Joann Long started the morning by demonstrating how well her big half-Percheron, half-quarter horse gelding negotiated a variety of obstacles, including traversing objects such as a pile of bubble wrap and plastic bottles, pushing his way through a stack of large, blue plastic barrels, sitting quietly while water was sprayed from a high-powered squirtgun from his back, rolling the huge ball and so on. 

Joann also gave us a brief and impressive demonstration of bridleless riding.   Then, we did some drill-team work, asking for precision from our horses as they rode either single file or in pairs as Joann added obstacles gradually to acclimate the horses. 
Pam shows Starlight a ball, which was dragged, later.

After a generous lunch break, we arrived back in the arena and worked in threesomes at each obstacle station.  When we all made it around, Joann had us work our horses around flares and smoke, and she also fired a pistol (blanks) as our horses gradually moved closer and closer.

So, that was the format.  As for my experience, personally, here were the key highlights:
  • Travel/trailering/loading and your basic horse logistics all went fine.  This is the key on
    Hudson ignoring the pig and shoving me.
    any trip for me!
  • The stalls were nice and cushy and gave Hudson and Starlight good breaks for eating, drinking and peeing.
  • Hudson showed me, once again, that she hates the “car wash” obstacle and LOVES the ball, the bigger the better.  She wiped her face over the towering, multi-colored ball that frightened many other horses and would have pushed that thing all over the arena if she could have.  You can see the big ball in this flyer for the clinic.
  • Starlight was a rock star for Pam, negotiating all but one obstacle like an old pro.  Pam said that someone asked her how long she and Starlight had been working together.  Since it was only Pam’s third ride on Starlight, this simple question was actually quite
    Pam tosses a rattly hula-hoop over a cone.
    a nice compliment (and well deserved).
  • Pam makes good cookies (hey, food is on the most basic level on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, so of course it’s important).
  • No one hit the dirt the whole day! And with 19 horses negotiating scary obstacles in a tight area, that IS saying something.
  • The clinic was the right level for Hudson and Starlight, in terms of their experience and condition.
  • We all arrived safely home, tired and satisfied. 

Hudson sees herself in the mirror for the first time.

Starlight and Pam ride say "No problem" to the smoke.

A spontaneous game of "Toss the Pig."
"Can we go home?"

Friday, June 28, 2013

How do they always know...

...that it's the day before a clinic?

"Mud? What Mud?"
"With this camouflage, she'll never see me."

That's better. Well, one out of two ain't bad.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Twin Tiers Horse Activities, June 29-July 1, 2013

Shows, clinics, trail rides, derbies, hunter paces...What to do?  What to do?  

I made my pick: I'm off to the Gentle Dove Obstacle Clinic at If Only Farm with two horses and a friend this weekend.  It looks like a fun event and a good fit for Hudson and Starlight.  I'll tell you all about it when we're back home.

Whatever you decide to do, have a great time with your pony!

International Horse Show, Syracuse
When:  Friday, Jun 28, 2013
Where:  NYS Fairgrounds (map)
Description:  Syracuse International Horse Show To Benefit Upstate New York Hospice Alliance Inc. June 26th - June 29th 2013 New York State Fairgrounds Coliseum Syracuse, New York Naomi Blumenthal Show Manager 2013 Judges: John Whalen & Mark Bodnar Please direct any Horse Show questions or comments to: Julie Kritzler (315) 736-1928 or Naomi Blumenthal (315) 682-1933

Pure Country Cowboy Races, Second Leg
When:  Friday, Jun 28, 2013
Description:  June 28-30: PURECOUNTRY COWOY RACES SECOND LEG! Pure Country Campground, New Berlin, NY Campground

Twin Tiers Trail Riders
When:  Friday, Jun 28, 2013
Where:  See Schedule (map)
June 29 – Hector National Forest, Hector, N.Y.– contact April Smith, 570-827-0987 or

Obstacle Clinic with Joann Long/Gentle Dove at If Only Farm
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Where:  Freeville (map)
Description:  Special Obstacle Clinic, with Joann Long - June 29, 2013 Join us Saturday June 29 for a Special Obstacle Clinic! "Versatility" Obstacle Clinic, Mounted Police Style Saturday June 29, 2013, 10am - 3:30pm Joann Long, a multiple time North American & NYS Obstacle Grand Champion, of Gentle Dove Farm will hold a special clinic at If Only Farm. Learn mounted police training techniques that encourage partnership and communication to achieve exceptional trust between horse and rider. Sign up early, this is a popular clinic! Participants: $175/rider, pre-registration with deposit required Auditing: $25/person Contact us now to reserve a spot!

Susquehanna Valley Whips and Wheels Pleasure Driving Show
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Where:  Lycoming County Fairgrounds (map)

2013 CNYHC Horse Agility/Play Days
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Description:   Horse agility -- For confident horses & riders, there are under saddle obstacle clinics…but my events will be dedicated to those that aren’t ready for that level of training, have a horse that cannot be ridden, or just want to build a relationship with their horse. Parelli Natural Horsemanship methods (I am working at level 4+). I will also work with anyone who wants to explore the Parelli horsenality concept and how it can improve your relationship with your horse. Schedule: 10:00-12:00 discussion/determining of horsenalities, working in obstacle playground 12:00-1:00 lunch break/discussion time (a lunch will be available for a donation of $5.00, or you may bring your own) 1:00-3:00 advancing obstacle performance Rain date: June 30. Cost: $30.00 per horse/partner - CNYHC member $35.00 per horse/partner - non-member $15.00 per auditor All proceeds go to CNYHC (an incorporated non-profit horse club dedicated to furthering equine care education) Proof of current Coggins & rabies required. Please bring folding chairs. For questions and registration form: contact Paula Vervaet, 315-852-6443 farm location is near Sheds, NY

Brookfield 50/30/15 Competitive Trail Ride
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Description:  Brookfield 50/30/15 Competitive Trail Ride June 28-June 30, 2013 Madison County Fairgrounds Brookfield, NY 2013 RULES AND GENERAL INFORMATION This competition is sanctioned by the Eastern Competitive Trail Riding Association. Rules may be found at Please review the rules on the web site for information on RIDE TIMES, JUDGING, TRAIL CONDUCT, ELIGIBLE HORSES, MEDICATIONS, SHOEING AND LEG PROTECTION etc. (All types of sole of hoof protection are permissible in all sanctioned divisions again on a trial basis in 2013.) RIDE DATES The 50 mile ride will take place Friday June 28-Sunday June 30. Pre-ride exams will be available starting at 1:00 and continuing until 6:00 PM. Prior arrangements for late vetting must be made with the Ride Secretary( or 518-882-1515 at home or 518-577-9638 cell). The 30 mile ride will take place from Friday June 28- Saturday June 29. Pre-ride exams will also be available starting at 1:00 and continuing until 6:00 PM. See above. The 15 mile ride will take place Saturday June 29-Sunday June 30. Pre-ride exams will be available starting at approximately 3:00 PM following the vetting out for the 30 milers.

Mary Mudge Memorial Show
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Where:  Chemung County Fairgrounds (map)
Description:  MARY MUDGE MEMORIAL SHOW CONTACT: Eva Mudge 89 Kiser Rd. Horseheads, NY 14845 (607) 739-9520 E-mail:

Miniature Horse and Shetland Pony Show
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Where:  NYS Fairgrounds (map)
Description:  Miniature Horse & Shetland Pony Show New York ESMHA Sam's Town Qualifier Weekend and New York CSMHPC Show Down Qualifier Weekend. Featuring American Miniature Horse Registry, Classic, Modern, Modern Pleasure and American Shetland Pony Registry. Telephone 315-986-3026 Email

Way-Ont Saddle Club Event See Schedule
When:  Saturday, Jun 29, 2013
Where:  Newark, NY (map)
Description:  June 29th **Rain Date Ranch Sorting** 6:00PM 7:00PM Way-Ont Tough Enough To Wear Pink Weekend .  FOR MORE INFORMATION President Vice President Deana Jones Lori Schrieber 585-214-7114 585-738-4318 Ranch Sorting Harvey Kay Game Shows Pleasure Shows Jr. Rodeo Doug Ruffell 585-690-6921 5763 Clark Road, Newark, NY 14513

Cohocton Hunter Pace
When:  Sun, June 30, 1pm – 5pm
Where:  Impatent Acres, 3120 Henry Drum Road, Cohocton, NY (map)
Description:  Five to Seven miles of trails over natural terrain with about 30 jumps from 6 inches to 2.5 feet. All jumps have optional go-arounds. June 30, July 28, Sept. 15 Oct. 20 1-5 p.m. (last ride out at 4 p.m.) Impatent Acres, 3120 Henry Drum Road, Cohocton, NY 14826 Cost: $20 per ride. Youth (under 18) $15 per ride. Riders must go out in groups of two or more. Children 13 and under must ride with an adult 21 or older. Proceeds to benefit Local Youth Horse Clubs -- Loon Lake Raiders, 4H Club, 4PenNY Pony Club. For information:

GVRDC Firecracker Derby - Hideaway Farm.
When:  Sun, June 30, 4:00pm – 4:30pm
Description:  June 30: GVRDC Firecracker Derby - Hideaway Farm. Contact Jim or Farley Wagner at 585-924-1866 or

Horse Camp, Dun Roamin Farm
When:  Monday, Jul 1, 2013
Where:  Millport (map)
Description:  Horse Camp- 2 different choices for weeks Ages 10+ Monday July 1th -- Saturday July 6th Sunday July 21st -- Friday July 26th Experience: Novice to advance The week will be filled with horse related activities from classroom discussions to riding skills in both the English and Western disciplines, as well as trail riding, and training in natural horsemanship. There will also be class room discussions. Please contact DUN ROAMIN FARM LLC for more information.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Am I on a horse or a cement block?

I normally use the Freeform saddle on both my riding horses, even though there is about a 500-pound difference in their shapes.  That's one of the many things I like about it -- it fits everybody.

But when contemplating taking both Hudson and Starlight out on a ride together, I had a problem.  What saddle to put on Hudson?  I have three possibilities in my collection of used saddles, and one was the Abetta endurance with a hoop/Arabian tree.

As a test, I put it on her and rode in it.  I have never been keen on it, but now I'm sure it's the most God-awful uncomfortable thing I ever sat on.  It feels like I'm riding on a square block of wood, somewhere high above her back.  It bruises my thighs and I cannot get my balance in it.  Hudson, oddly enough, did not seem to mind it, except I think she thought there might be something wrong with me, flopping around up there like that.

With that appealing description, the Abetta is now for sale at a bargain price.  If I didn't describe the way the it feels well enough, the photos should do the rest.

How she looked before the ride. Yeah, I was skeptical, too.

How I felt during the ride. Except I wasn't smiling. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

DeCato Alone

"You left me ALONE!"
"We're back. You OK?"
The other night, poor little DeCato was left alone for the first time in the several years that I have owned her.   

It was a highly unusual situation -- I had a guest come ride.  

In the past, when this happened, I would pull out two horses and leave three, so no one was ever alone.  But with just three horses now, DeCato, the most herd bound of them all, was alone.

At first she charged up and down the paddock, scattering sheep and humans, alike.  So we put her in the run-in, where she couldn’t break out in a fit of fear.  

She wasn’t happy, and we heard her call a couple times, but when we got back, I was happy to find her fairly calm and totally dry.  I was expecting a dripping, exhausted and stressed mare, but this wild-born mustang managed to keep her act together.   

"Everything's OK now, so I'm just going to yawn."
That is good, because both Hudson and Starlight will be going out for the day soon, so DeCato better start making friends with the sheep!

"Let''s both yawn, OK?"  "OK.""

Twin Tiers Horse Events, June 21-25, 2013

Hay, O Hay
I loveth and hateth thou
Thou feedeth my critters during all the days of the year
But thou maketh me worketh so hard
And thou maketh me misseth all these great activities this weekend.

Have fun with thy horseth this weekend!

Birchtown Summer Series 2013
When:  Friday, Jun 21-22
Where:  Forest City (map)
Description:  Birchtown Summer Series 2013 June Sunday, 16th Friday, 21st Saturday, 22nd July Friday, 12th Saturday, 13th Wednesday, 17th Friday, 26th Saturday, 27th Sunday, 28th August Thursday, 1st Thursday, 8th Saturday, 17th Thursday, 22nd These shows will be held in our indoor, outdoor or grass field. Show arena will be announced the week of the show!

Reese Ranch Rodeo
When:  Sat, June 22, 2pm – 7pm
Where:  Reese Ranch Rodeo (map)
Description: Reese Ranch Rodeo Inc. 299 Kinner Hill Road Pine City, NY 14871 (607)-742-6259 (607)-738-1240 The Reese Ranch was originally built to help-out beginners interested in rodeo activities. Our bulls range from your basic beginners to N.F.R. and P.B.R. backgrounds. We do our best at keeping all riders safe but one has to remember that bull riding and handling is one of the most dangerous sports on Earth.

New this year the Reese Ranch Rodeo will be adding Horse Gaming Events to the schedule. If you are a horse gamer, beginner or experienced, we would love to see you here. 

Twin Tiers Trail Riders
When:  Friday –Sat , Jun 22-23, 2013
Where:  See Schedule (map)
Description: · June 22 – Day 1 of 2 days/ride PA Grand Canyon West Rim – contact Jeanne Root,, 607-425-4128. Parking at West Rim lot across from the maintenance building to ride the Canyon Trails. · June 23 - Day 2 of the PA riding, contact Ken Bellis, Mansfield, PA Contact 570-368-0799 or Sandy Ride will be in Tioga Forest near Morris Run, PA. Call Kenny or e-mail Sandy at above.

Big Loop Hunter Pace
When:  Sat, June 22, 9:00am – 12:30pm
Where:  640 Artline Rd Eldred, PA 16731 (map)
Description:  Reserve the dates! May 18 June 22 July 20 August 24 September 21 October 19 Hope to see you all at the Loop for the hunter paces! Lets make it the best season yet! 640 Artline Rd Eldred, PA 16731

Cayuga Dressage Schooling Show/Recognized Dressage Competition
When:  Saturday-Sunday, Jun 22-23, 2013 23
Description:  June 22nd: CDCT, Inc Dressage Schooling Show. Chemung County Fairgrounds, Horseheads, NY Jacqui June 23nd: CDCT, Inc. USEF & USDF Recognized Dressage Competition. Chemung County Fairgrounds Horseheads, NY Jacqui CONTACT: Donna Young 11 Cline Rd. Binghamton, NY 13903 (607)669-4156 E-mail: 

Dressage Clinic with Linda Todenhagen
When:  Saturday Sunday, Jun 22-23, 2013
Where:  Gasport (map)
Description:  Dressage Clinic with Linda Todenhagen - Chestnut Ridge, Gasport, NY. To ride in the clinic, contact Sue Williams at 716-772-2957/2707 or go to

Way-Ont Saddle Club Event
When:  Saturday, Jun 22, 2013
Where:  Newark, NY (map)
Description:  June 22nd Ranch Sorting 6:00PM 7:00PM June 29th **Rain Date Ranch Sorting** 6:00PM 7:00PM Way-Ont Tough Enough To Wear Pink Weekend
Contact: President Vice President Deana Jones Lori Schrieber 585-214-7114 585-738-4318 Ranch Sorting Harvey Kay Game Shows Pleasure Shows Jr. Rodeo Doug Ruffell 585-690-6921 5763 Clark Road, Newark, NY 14513 

Horse Crazy Camp, Verde Views
When:  Monday, Jun 24, 2013
Where:  Harpursville (map)
Description:  : HorseCrazy Camp - This camp is for ages 12 to 18 and runs from 9am - 3pm. Cost: $275 Please let me know if you need more information. We can be found on facebook and online at Verde Views Equestrian Center 380 - A Palmiter Road Harpursville, NY 13787 

GVRDC Twilight Dressage - Hideaway Farm
When:  Tue, June 25, 4pm – 7pm
Description:  June 25: GVRDC Twilight Dressage - Hideaway Farm, Geneseo, NY. Volunteer Opportunity: Volunteer scribes and ring stewards are needed during the show. Contact Roxanne Clark at (585) 278-0960 Closing date 18.