Thursday, September 26, 2013

Twin Tiers Horse Activities, Sept 26-29, 2013

We have several interesting activities in our area this weekend.  Besides a great assortment of shows and clinics, you will also find our only local mounted shooting activity (that I'm aware of).  

Whatever you decide to do, have a great time with your horse on this perfect autumn weekend!

Autumn in New York Horse Show
When:  Sep 26-29, 2013
Where:  Syracuse Fairgroudns (map)
Autumn In New York Horse Show Competition #6346 Rated B in Green, Junior, Amateur-Owner , 3'3" Performance, Green Pony & Pony Hunters Rated C in Children's and Adult-Amateur Hunters

Légèreté Clinic with Andrea Walz at Lane Cove
When:  Sep 27-29, 2013
Where:  McGraw (map)
Description:  Légèreté Clinic with Now Andrea Walz Friday-Sunday September 27-29 - We are pleased to announce an open clinic with Andrea Walz, a certified instructor of Philippe Karl's School of Légèreté. Irene is an accomplished rider, teacher, competitor, coach, and clinician. This is a very rare chance to ride with a licensed teacher in the School of Légèreté in the US. The clinic is "open" which means any rider may participate. Unlike the School of Légèreté, riders need not apply and be accepted. Irene is willing to work with all riders of all disciplines.
Clinic Location: Lane Cove Dressage 3773 Stillwell Rd McGraw, NY 13101 Please register quickly If you would like to take advantage of riding with a certified instructor of the School of Legerete. Many participants of the PKINPA course have expressed interest in participating in this particular clinic. Sessions will be filled on a first come first serve basis using the online entry form. Payment is due within one week of registration. Entry Form:

Northern Tier Trail Competition and Mounted Shooting
When:  Sep 28-29, 2013
Where:  Lawrenceville (map)
Description:  Sept 28: Northern Tier Trail Competition Camping will be available for $25 for the weekend at the competition, and $15 if paid prior to Sept. 15th. No electric, no water. Open field, primitive camping. Signups start at 9 am. Competition starts at 10 am. $25 per class per horse/rider combination. One rider can use more than one horse. And any horse can be used more than once as long as it is by a different rider. This competition is targeted for all equine. All breeds, all diciplines. Gaited, or non gaited, The only equipment requirement will be safe usable equipment. Clothing requirements: NO tank tops, No shorts. Boots or shoe with a heel, Helmet required for 18 and under.

Dressage Schooling Show
When:  Saturday, Sep 28, 2013
Where:  Luzerne County Fair Grounds (map)
Description:  Northeastern Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Association and the Northern Tier Combined Training Association present a dressage schooling and combined training show

Way-Ont Saddle Club Ranch Sorting and Pleasure Show
When:  Saturday, Sep 28, 2013
Where:  Newark, NY (map)
Description:   September 28th Ranch Sorting ; September 29th Pleasure Show 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

GVRDC Trail Trial - at Booth Farm
When:  Sunday, Sep 29, 2013
Where:  Scottsville (map)
Description:   GVRDC Trail Trial - at Booth Farm. Access is via Hartman Estates 1554 South Road, Scottsville, NY. Download the Trail Trial Entry Form.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hudson's Field Trip to Cornell

Have you ever wondered what occurs during a lameness evaluation at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine's Equine and Farm Animal Hospital? 
Hudson wearing a patient's "wrist band" on her halter.

If you're lucky, you have never had reason to experience it, but I know that many horse owners, and pet owners in general, are glad to have that well-known institution in the region when it comes to the expert care of our critters.

I am one who has always been curious as to what goes on there. And now I know, because Hudson and I, with friend Trish Pierce, trucked ourselves up there on Friday to see what might be making my big, black-and-white beastie show signs of pain.   
I'm hearing the plan for the day.

Her symptoms are subtle: With regular work, she doesn't want to be ridden downhill. This issue becomes worse with work.  When you "google" this, you will find every possibility under the sun -- sore back, saddle fit, sore hocks, sore stifles, sore front feet, vision, ulcers.

Yeah, right -- that's a big help!

The "Big Red" hall.
Then I noticed she seemed to be feeling pain when turned sharply on our gravel pad near the barn.  Also, I thought she took two lame steps when transitioning from the canter to the walk the other day.  She has been diagnosed with sore front hooves in the past, and I have noticed that with more work, she seems to have issues.

These symptoms are not intense, but I have entered Hudson in one of the Genesee Hunt Races in October and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be doing something that hurt her.  So our trip to Cornell was a combination of a lameness exam and a soundness exam.

Dr. Fubini explains how to flex the fetlock.
We pulled up to to large front doors and Trish checked us in while I unloaded Hudson.
Then the great, red, sliding doors opened and we stepped into the mysterious world of Cornell Equine. 

Hudson went into a large stall with shavings and water, and I hung her hay bag to keep her brain busy.  We were attended to immediately and frequently by a number of veterinary students, and also met Dr. Susan Fubini, professor and section chief of large animal surgery, who would be attending to Hudson. 
The infamous big white arse and a hind flexion.

In short order, students checked Hudson's vital signs and tested her front hooves for pain (none was detected).  Then Dr. Fubini reappeared, along with Dr. Lisa Fortier, whose focus is on bones and joints, and a group of students.  Hudson's joints were flexed and held, and then she was trotted down Cornell's long, well-padded, red hallway.  No significant pain was detected.

Trotting on black top.
We went outside and trotted her on the blacktop.  Nope, no particular signs of pain. We went into the lovely round arena, with its medical-school viewing area and she was lunged.

Nope, nothing.  So we saddled her up and I rode.  She took some short steps on sharp turns, but nothing Dr. Fubini said she would even call out in a pre-purchase exam.

On the lunge line with spectators.
In came Steve Kraus, Cornell's head farrier. He looked over Hudson's hooves and didn't see any concerns except possibly thin soles, which he said would be checkable in X-rays. He said that many horses are presenting with sore hooves this year, because the rainy summer has caused more softness and movement in hooves.  He said the weather can make a huge difference in the way hooves respond.  Last summer, when things were drier, Cornell didn't see as many sore hooves as this year, he said.

Next came peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Trish and I, and X-rays of the front hooves, for Hudson.

Dr. Fubini helps tack up.
Dr. Fortier called us in to review them.  Her main points were that Hudson's hooves are beautifully balanced and her coffin and navicular bones are perfect.  She said my 10-year-old heavy girl has the hooves of a 2-year-old!  Also, she has tons of sole -- nothing thin about them.  The only spot of concern was a touch of arthritis starting in the upper pastern joint, and she recommended I take off a bit more toe during trims.  She said the arthritis is nothing to worry about now, but getting some of the weight off my favorite fatty was definitely prescribed.

Feeling like I'm in the Spanish Riding School (on my fat, piebald Lipizzaner?)
The fact that she was the first person to tell me that Hudson is too fat was a surprise to both Trish and I.  Usually vets tell me that from the moment they see her.  It's a constant problem that I'm not always as diligent in fighting as I should be. 

A check of the stifles was the last part of our visit. They were proclaimed tight, which is good. 

Overall, they detected a mild lameness on a few steps and the start of arthritis in her pastern.

There was nothing left to do now but pay the bill and go home.

Good shot from the viewing area.
The payment part is what everybody worries about at Cornell, but I was very relived to see that the full cost was just over $400, and most of that was the cost of X-rays.  The actual exams were quite inexpensive, especially considering I had a section chief, an orthopedic specialist and the head farrier all examine her, not to mention a plethora of vet students.

Mr. Kruas evaluating her hooves.
I ran to get the truck and trailer and, when I pulled up, I could hear Hudson's little whinny from her stall, inside the building.  The only small thing about Hudson is her whinny.  It's the sweetest little voice, and completely unexpected from such a big girl.  I'm pretty sure she recognized the sound of the truck and was reminding me that she really wanted to be on it so she could go home. She verified this by climbing aboard without hesitation.

It's hard to get a shot of a farrier's face!
Overall, I'm pleased.  I'm pleased by the service she received, and all the expert eyes looking at her, and how kind and easy everyone was to work with at Cornell.  I'm thrilled to hear how good her feet are (and, incidentally, pretty pleased with myself. I have been her farrier for most of her life, and to hear I'm doing a good job is always a relief.  On Friday, I heard I am doing a VERY good job).

I was delighted with Hudson's behavior.  If she was questioning what the heck we were doing there, she never let it show.  She just played along, cooperating gamely with every step of the process. 

Leaving through the big red doors.
The only down side is I still don't know what exactly is going on with her, but at least I know I can go on with her training without worrying about exercise-induced founder or navicular/caudal heel syndrome, serious concerns that were nagging at me.

Cornell's service and people were great, and I have nothing but good to say about our experience.  And a big THANKS to Trish for being my wingman! 

Telling vet student Betty Lobanov about "The Twin Tiers Horse" blog. Thanks for your help with Hudson, Betty!
At home to many whinnies.
"Phew! Our fearless leader is home!"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Twin Tiers Horse Activities, Sept 20 - 22, 2013

This week we have loads of activities, all over the Tiers.  From shows to rodeos to hunter paces and everything in between, you will not be bored with this line-up.

Whatever you choose, have a great time with your pony!
Empire State Paint Club Amateur and Fall Futurity
When: Sep 20 -21, 2013
Description:  Sept 21 & 22, 2013 ~ 4 Empire State Paint Club Youth/Amateur and Fall Futurity Will be held at Chemung County Fairgrounds in Horseheads, NY Printable Forms for Sept Show for 2013 are not available yet!

Pure County Cowboy Races Leg Four and Finals
When:  Friday, Sep 20, 2013
Description:  Sept 20-22: PURECOUNTRY COWBOY RACES LEG FOUR AND FINALS! Pure Country Campground, New Berlin, NY

Northern Tier Trail Competition
When:  Saturday, Sep 21, 2013
Description:  Sept 21 or 23: Northern Tier Trail Competition Camping will be available for $25 for the weekend at the competition, and $15 if paid prior to Sept. 15th. No electric, no water. Open field, primitive camping. Signups start at 9 am. Competition starts at 10 am. $25 per class per horse/rider combination. One rider can use more than one horse. And any horse can be used more than once as long as it is by a different rider. This competition is targeted for all equine. All breeds, all diciplines. Gaited, or non gaited, The only equipment requirement will be safe usable equipment. Clothing requirements: NO tank tops, No shorts. Boots or shoe with a heel, Helmet required for 18 and under.

Chestnut Ridge Harvest Horse Trials and Dressage Schooling Show
When:  Saturday, Sep 21, 2013
Where:  Gasport (map)
Description:  Harvest Horse Trials and Dressage Schooling Show at Chestnut Ridge, Gasport, NY. For more information, contact Sue Williams at (716) 772-2707/2957 or For prize list/entry forms, go to

Big Loop Hunter Pace
When:  Sat, September 21, 9:00am – 12:30pm
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! Let’s make it the best season yet! 640 Artline Rd Eldred, PA 16731

Reese Ranch Rodeo
When:  Sat, September 21, 2pm – 7pm
Description:  http://www.reeseranchrodeo.comReese 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. There will be awards and cash prizes for certain classes. Registration will start at 1:00 P.M. and the Rodeo will begin at 2:00 P.M. Rain or Shine!. Entry Fee: $5.00 per class Places will be awarded 1st- 3rd Payback awarded to classes with 5 or more

Schooling Dressage Show at Park Place Farms
When:  Sunday, Sep 22, 2013
Where:  Mendon (map)
Description:  Schooling Dressage Show at Park Place Farms, Mendon, NY. For more info, download the Flyer and Entry Form

First Annual Open Barn & Demo at Mystic Mountain Farm
When:  Sun, September 22, 11am – 3pm
Where:  New Woodstock, NY (map)
Description:  Please join us on Sept. 22 from 11AM - 3 PM for our First Annual Open Barn & Demo Day at Mystic Mountain Farm and From the Ground UP. Please see flyer attached and come observe all of our programs, go for a hike and check out all that's new! Demonstrations of Groundwork, Therapeutic Riding, Natural Horsemanship, Equine Assisted Activities and more!! Free admission, food and family-friendly drinks. Hope to see you there!

If Only Farm Equestrian Center Fall I Horse Show
When: Sunday, Sep 22, 2013
Where: Freeville (map)
Description:  Fall I Horse Show September 22, 2013 Information & stalls 607 347 4615, 607 227 4635 Directions: 607 793 5702 or 607 227 4635 Judge – Ring l – Sandy Madaio, Fayetteville,NY. Grounds and insurance fee: $20; Entry Fees: $ 10 Per class – Hunters & Equitation Jumpers $20 PER CLASS Pay Back $20, $15, $10, $5, $5 NEW!! “ Marshall & Sterling League” Classes $ 15. Proper attire required.   Call for classtimes: 914-672 0512 , 607 227 4635;

2013 Barton Valley Farm Hunter Pace
When:  Sunday, Sep 22, 2013
Where: Freeville (map)
Description:  Barton Valley Farm, 560 Irish Settlement Rd. Freeville, NY 13068 September 21 & 22; 9am-noon, Guided trail ride on Hammond Hill State Forrest for exhibitors interested $30.00 5-6 miles; $45.00 to go twice. Ribbons to 6 places, Closet to optimal time wins FREE Hot Dogs 11am-1pm Helmets, current coggins & Rabies required **Come either day or camp for free in the field and ride both days

Sunday, September 15, 2013


While I fretted about Hudson's soreness -- feet, hocks, whatever it is -- Starlight quietly developed a huge abscess in her right front.
The patient.

She was slightly gimpy when I left on a business trip, and since I hadn't ridden her for a little while, I was pretty certain she was cooking an abscess.  

Unfortunately, it was my husband who saw the truly horrible lameness that occurs just before an abcess breaks, and he raised the alarm while I was 2000 miles away.

So I called the vet from the airport and explained what was going on, had her planning to come the following day unless the abscess, if that's what it was, popped. 

I came home to a three-legged lame pony.  So sad!

Once home, I could easily find the spot on her coronary, above the heel bulb where the abscess was getting ready to pop, and gave her a hot soak.  By morning, a large abscess has broken through, and the pony was feeling much better. 
(Photo borrowed from

Starlight had never abscessed in her life until the past few months, and now she has had two, the poor thing, one front and one rear.  

She and I have spent some quiet time together during hoof soakings the last few days, and this led to some random observations:
  • Starlight is the best patient I know.  When I put her foot in a soaking boot (the CleanTrax soaking boot, for those of you who want to know), she stands stock still.  It is as though she was touched in a game of Freeze Tag.  I have never seen such a good soaker before.  Those of you who have a horse that hates soaking will be appreciative of how nice it is to have a good soaker.
  • She is extremely tense in her neck muscles.  While soaking, I did a little of the Masterson Method massage on her neck, and she seems to find it very hard to relax. Maybe it's the Freeze-Tag thing she's got going on (she's a stock horse and they seem to take rules very seriously).
  • DeCato the Mustang is one smart mare.  Unlike Hudson, DeCato was allowed to stay in the run-in during the soaking, because, unlike Hudson, she will not frighten Starlight and push her around. 
My standing still for so long next to Starlight gave DeCato an opportunity to try to mug me for treats.  That reminded me that I had intended to start doing positive reinforcement training with DeCato.
One of the best brains in the barn.

The plastic jug I had used for the soaking water was nearby, so I decided to experiment with my food-motivated mustang.  It didn't take her any time at all to figure out that if she touched the water jug, I dispensed a treat.  

Teaching a horse to touch a "target" is one of the first steps you'll find in any clicker-training, or positive reinforcement, method.  

She's a smart little redhead, that one. 

So that's what's up at my barn this weekend. Lots of meditation time (also some riding.  I haven't stopped gently riding Hudson, but I will be trying to discover the source of her issues through an exam later this week). 

I hope all critters are sound and sassy in your barn! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Twin Tiers Horse Activities, Sept. 12 - 16, 2013

A hunter pace?
Some fun and games?
Dressage, perhaps?
Go see a big name?

Looking for fun?
Well, never fear.
You'll find it on horseback,
Right here in the Tiers.

NYS Morgan Horse Society Regional Championship Dressage
When:  Sep 12 – 13, 2013
Description:  New York Regional Championship – Dressage September 12-13, 2013– NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY Judge: Scott Peterson (S, NY) Introductory to Fourth Level and Western Dressage – restricted to registered Morgans

Twin Tiers Trail Riders Trail Rides
When:  September 12 – 15
Where:  Benezette
Description:  Twin Tiers Trail Riders Trail Rides
September 12 – 15 – Elk County, Benezette, PA. Need to know count of people who will be coming. Contact Linda Hendricks, 607-342-3534 or clearview@htva.​net

Hunter Pace/Hunt Clinic at Limestone Creek
When:  Saturday, Sep 14, 2013
Where:  Cazenovia (map)
Description:   Saturday September 14th: Hunter Pace/Hunt Clinic Combo @ Full Circle Farm, Cazenovia http://www.lime​stonecreekhunt.​org/index.html 

Rolelu Show Series: Dressage Show
When:  Saturday, Sep 14, 2013
Description:  Rolelu Show Series: Dressage Show (Introductory thru 4th Level, plus "eventing" tests), Combined Test (Introductory through Preliminary Levels, dressage and stadium), and Jumping Derby (Introductory through Preliminary level) For more information, entry forms and proposed list of dressage judges, go to: www.rolelu.webs​.com or contact Chandra Wong at (585) 243-0916 or Rolelu@hotmail.​com.

Troy Area Horsemen's Game Shows
When:  Saturday, Sep 14, 2013
Where:  Alparon Park, Troy, PA (map)
Description:   This is a fun, games show to raise money toward the year-end awards. Come out and play around with your horse, enjoy games such as musical bags, dollar bareback, pair ribbon and more!
12pm Sign ups open at 10:30AM.  No paperwork required

Way-Ont Saddle Club Event
When:  Saturday, Sep 14, 2013
Where:  Newark, NY (map)
Description:  September 15th Fun Day  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 http://www.way-​

Fall Show, Tanglewood Farm
When:  Sunday, Sep 15, 2013
Description:  Sept. 15: Fall Show, Tanglewood Farm, Jamesville Central New York Dressage & Combined Training Association
English Horse Show, Corner Haven Farm
When:  Sunday, Sep 15, 2013
Where:  Trumansberg (map)
Description:  2013 Open English Show Schedule 6302 Curry Rd, Trumansburg NY May 19 June 2 August 11 September 15 RAIN OR SHINE! $$$SHOW ALL DAY FOR ONE LOW PRICE$$$ -125’x 250’outdoor ring, 80’x 158’ indoor ring -great footing, easy in/out parking -professionally designed jumps and courses.  ATTENTION EXHIBITORS: -flat and fence classes for all levels of horses and riders -hunter, equitation and jumpers. ATTENTION TRAINERS: -easy for clients to plan their showing budget -no hassle w/adding and dropping classes -all classes open to all riders/horses NEW FOR 2013: Marshall & Sterling classes Get qualified for finals! class schedule to be posted on the website by March1 www.cornerhaven​ Email-cornerhav​ 607.387.9557

GVRDC 31th Anniversary Pleasure and Combined Driving Show
When:  Sunday, Sep 15, 2013
Where:  Geneseo (map)
Description:  GVRDC 31th Anniversary Pleasure and Combined Driving Show - Geneseo, NY. Click here for the 2013 Driving Show Flyer:

Gymkhana -- Northeast Pennsylvania Team Penning Association (NePA TPA)
When:  Sunday, Sep 15, 2013
Where:  Kiwanis-Wyoming County Fairgrounds: (map)
Description:  Gymkhana -- Northeast Pennsylvania Team Penning Association (NePA TPA) Gymkhana schedule for 2013 at Kiwanis-Wyoming County Fairgrounds: Sunday, June 9; Sunday, July 14; Sunday, August 11; Sunday, September 15. Start time 9AM till ?? -- see you there.

Ride a Test Dressage
When:  Sunday, Sep 15, 2013
Description:  September 15: Ride a Test Dressage Carriage House Saddlery, Trumansburg, NY. http://www.carr​iagehousesaddle​​tml

Cohocton Hunter Pace
When:  Sun, September 15, 1pm – 5pm
Where:  Impatent Acres, 3120 Henry Drum Road, Cohocton, NY 14826 (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: Donna.Walker@Da​iryMarketingSer​

Craig Cameron Horsemanship Clinic
When:  Monday, Sep 16, 2013
Where:  Damascus (map)
Description:  Craig Cameron Horsemanship Clinic * * * * * September * 16, 17, & 18 * 2013 * * * * * Location: Northeast Training Center 199 Marks Rd. Damascus, PA Come learn with Hall of Fame Horseman, Craig Cameron. This clinic will refine your horsemanship skills with your horse. You'll love the straight talking, down-home and humorous style of this master horseman as he demonstrates the "how to's" of working with daily and exceptional challenges with your horse.

Spots are limited! Reserve yours today before they are gone! Attending a Craig Cameron American Horsemanship Clinic will not only make you feel smarter, think smarter, ride smarter, but will teach you to work smarter, communicate more effectively, and quickly finding new solutions to old problems with a new confidence! Expand your knowledge with results that pay off instantly! Interested in signing up? Contact: Stuart Rybak 570-224-4744 terracegreens@a​

Oh, and for those still wondering where I have been this week, here's another, bigger hint:
Remember this?