Monday, August 25, 2014

Out to Pasture

Announcement: The Twin Tiers Horse Blog has gone dark; however  I continue to provide information about local equestrian activities and competitions on The Twin Tiers Horse Facebook page, link here.

Please enjoy looking back through old posts on this blog, which I may revive in the future.

The Twin Tiers Horse and all blog posts and its original images/photos are copyrighted.  They may be used with permission.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

This Week's Pick: Walnut Hill, Aug. 6-10, 2014

For those looking for elegance, gorgeous horses, the best of rigs and some of the finest driving skills in the sports, head up to Pittsford, NY for the Walnut Hill Driving Show.  This is a major competition in the driving world, and it will bring out some of the sport's best teams.  

From Walnut Hill's website.
The weather should be perfect for this unusual event, so head north and check it out.  

Whatever you do, have fun with your pony!
What: Walnut Hill Driving Show, Pittsford, NY. 
When: August 6 - 10

Where: Pittsford, NY

From their website: Once each year, during 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. It was the last decade of the 19th century - The Gilded Age.

In an attempt to recapture the essence and spirit of the 1890's, the Pittsford Carriage Association annually hosts The Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition. This international celebration of the art and sport of traditional driving in held in a 19th century country fair setting on the commodious grounds of Walnut Hill Farm, located at 397 West Bloomfield Road in Pittsford, New York.

This living showcase of Americana presents a unique marriage in modern day equine sport, that of combining the pageantry and beauty of exquisitely turned out equipages with the excitement of demanding competition.

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.

And Walnut Hill is not complete without you. We hope you will join us either as a competitor or as a spectator! This gala event is truly special and you will not be disappointed. 

For more info, email Walnut Hill Farm or call 585-385-2555; Tricia:  585.820.4555

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Week's Pick: The Fair! July 30 - August 3, 2014

Photo Credit:
I am still a sucker for county fairs, and that's why this week's pick is the Chemung County Fair horse show.

There's just something about little girls in braids on their ponies, with a Ferris wheel in the background, and sleek jumpers casually taking colorful jumps with the clang of the midway as background music.

Sigh.  I haven't worn braids for decades. 

Anyway, go to the fair, and have a great time with your pony! 

Chemung County Fair Horse Shows
Hudson (thinner) and I (fatter) at the Fair, circa 2008

Horseheads, NY
July 31 - August 3, 2014

Horse Show Schedule
Office Hours: 6:30 am - End of Show Day

Thursday, July 31st
9:00am - Hunter Show

6:00pm - Speed Horse Show

Friday, August 1st
9:00am - Hunter Show

Saturday, August 2nd
8:00am - Open English Show

Sunday, August 3rd
8:00am - Open Western Horse Show
8:00am - Dressage Horse Show

Here's a link to the fair show schedule:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

This weekend's Pick, July 5-6, 2014

This weekend's pick is the 2nd Annual Thoroughbred Jubilee Benefits Horse Show.

This show is open to all horses on Saturday and to thoroughbreds only on Sunday. 
Here's a chestnut TB mare who needs a home! 
Proceeds will go to Second Chance Thoroughbreds, an organization that retrains and re-homes off-the-track thoroughbreds, giving them a second career and a new chance at a good life.

The Sunday show includes two special classes.  One is for "warhorses," which I believe means older thoroughbreds who raced longer than most.  My favorite special class is the one that will contain only chestnut thoroughbred mares, a group of redheaded equines with a big reputation!

By the way, the thoroughbred mare pictured at right is available from Fingerlakes Finest.  Here's a link:

I hope you can participate, either by competing or by going to watch.  Whatever you do, have a great time with your horse this weekend!  

Happy Independence Day!

Here is the information from the show's Facebook page:

2nd Annual Thoroughbred Jubilee Benefit Horse Show 
All proceeds benefiting Second Chance Thoroughbreds Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

When: July 5-6, 2014

Where: at Chemung County Fairgrounds in Horseheads, NY

New this year - Saturday, July 5th will be an open horse show for all breeds!

Sunday, July 6th will be the all-thoroughbred horse show including The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program sponsored classes!

T.I.P. Divisions to include:
+Thoroughbred English Pleasure W/T/C Division
+Thoroughbred Western Pleasure W/J/L Division
+Thoroughbred Cross Rails Division
+Low Thoroughbred Hunter Division

T.I.P. Classes to include:
+Thoroughbred English Pleasure W/T/C Class
+Thoroughbred English Pleasure W/T Class
+Thoroughbred Western Pleasure W/J/L Class
+Thoroughbred Western Pleasure W/J Class
+Thoroughbred Hunter Classic
+Thoroughbred Jumper Classic

T.I.P. High Point Awards:
+High Point English Pleasure Thoroughbred Award
+Hunter High Point Thoroughbred Award
+Jumper High Point Thoroughbred Award

Various non-T.I.P. divisions/classes to be offered as well.

All thoroughbreds welcome, including those not raced. T.I.P. numbers are only required for T.I.P. sponsored divisions/classes. Get yours online ->

A full show program with entries will be available soon!

If you are interested in being a volunteer or sponsor for our show, please email with your interest

For more information:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chasing Tails

"Who, me?"
Some of you may remember my sad story of the tail-eating ram.

To re-cap, last year, I noted that all my mares' tails had been chewed, and eventually I realized the culprit was Webbly, the love-sick ram who prefers the company of mares to his own kind.  (Here's the story: Link)

Well, we eventually finished the sheep fencing and were able to relegate the mad tail-nosher to his own side of the fence.  He was bereft, but the mares couldn't care less.

The tools.
Since then, by the way, some disparaging comments were directed at my mares' threadbare tails.  

Well, even though their luxurious locks have not yet finished growing back, circumstances have brought us right back to a situation that is imminently tail-threatening.  I have had to temporarily separate the two rams, Webbly and this year's ram lamb, from the ewes.  Webbly can't hang with his daughters as they hit maturity, and the ram lamb can't hang with any ewes, because I have observed that there is nothing hornier than a ram lamb at about five months old, and not even his own mother would be safe.

There's nothing sexier than good lingerie.
The only place to keep the rams (until we install yet more sheep fencing) is with the mares, who placidly ignore the rams' attention, even when Webbly jumps straight up in the air as high as their heads.

But, I must protect the tails.
I have not found anyplace locally to buy tail bags, at least, none that I can get to with my insane schedule of late.  But I happened to be in a shoe store at lunch and spotted the thigh-high stockings on sale.

Can you see the light bulb above my head?

So, three white thigh-highs and a dosing of bitter-tasting spray later, and I have my latest scheme to keep that hair-nibbling ovine off those tails!   I'll let you know how it works out.

Oh, and anybody looking for some lovely sheep?  I happen to be selling two ewe lambs and a ram lamb.  Your purchase of these beautiful sheep will help protect my horses' tails!

OK, OK, can't blame a gal for trying....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Day at the Derby

Cool slow-mo of the winner.
I decided to take my own advice and trekked up to Mumsford, NY yesterday with a friend to watch the Saturday competition of the Derby at the Genesee County Museum.

The Museum represents a 19th century village, and until yesterday, I didn't know this lovely attraction existed in our area.

The Derby was located in the village's Great Meadow and it was a lovely venue with gorgeous jumps for beautifully turned out hunters on a perfect sunny day.   With plenty of seating on a grassy hill and the sun to our backs, we really couldn't have picked a prettier place to spend a day.

Saturday's event was the $5000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, won by Jen Alfano on the dapple gray Me Again.

Sunday's event is the $35,000 International Hunter Derby and it's another beautiful day for a competition.

This was the first time the Derby was held at this location, and I'm betting it will become a popular annual event.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This Weekend's Pick, June 6-8, 2014

You just HAVE to go to the Derby this weekend, dahlings.  I have not figured out exactly what this is, but I know I want to see it!

If this is not your sort of event, check out the many other options on the Big Calendar, to the right on this page.  There are a couple of fun obstacle clinics, a reined cow horse show and lots more.

Whatever you do, have fun with your pony!
USHJA Hunter Derby at Genesee Country Museum

WhenJune 6-8, 2014
Where:  Mumford, NY, United States (map)
Description:   USHJA Derby at Genesee Country Museum
From their website:
For lovers of horses, history, philanthropy and fun: Welcome to the inaugural charity Hunter Derby at the Genesee Country Village & Museum. 
You are invited to join us for a day of unforgettable excitement, exceptional elegance and wonderful food as we watch the highest caliber of equine athletes and their riders compete for $35,000 over a challenging vintage hunt course. Staged in the Great Meadow at the Genesee Country Village & Museum in the gorgeous Finger Lakes region of Western NY on June 7th and 8th, 2014, this first annual hunter derby brings you the grace and charm of a by-gone era while you surround yourself with friends, food, shopping and thrilling entertainment. 
Your attendance and support benefits the Genesee Country Village & Museum and the Rochester Women’s Giving Circle. It also keeps our region’s long and proud equine traditions fresh and alive for future generations to enjoy. 


Friday, June 6th

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Competition arena open to flat (weather permitting)
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Charity Warm-up (weather permitting) National Derby Competitors only

Saturday, June 7th

7:00 am – 8:00 am Competition arena open to flat (weather permitting)
9:00 am – 10:00 am Charity Warm-up (weather permitting) International Derby Competitors only
11:00 am $5,000 National Derby – Course Walk
12:00 pm $5,000 National Derby – First Horse on Course
6:00 pm International Riders VIP Reception (by invitation only)

Sunday, June 8th

9:00 am Gates Open
9:30 am $35,000 International Derby – Course Walk
Bar Open
10:00 am Educational Course Walk
10:30 am Brunch Buffet
11:00 am Calcutta
12:00 pm $35,000 International Derby – First Horse on Course
4:00 pm $35,000 International Derby – Awards Ceremony
All Times are Approximate

Monday, June 2, 2014

Muscle Work

Hudson and Starlight were treated to a sports massage this past weekend, courtesy of Kerry Miller of Second Star Equine Massage Therapy.  My husband had surprised me with gift certificates for the massages at Christmas, but I decided to wait until it was bit warmer out to try out Kerry's work.
Kerry does the hard part while I stand by, drinking coffee.

Hudson definitely responded to the massage, being very clear on what she liked and what she didn't.  Hudson has demonstrated a variety of body soreness issues, so it was not surprising to see my big girl having big reactions.  By the time Kerry got to the back end of the first side, Hudson was starting to get it, stretching her neck out with a quizzical look, as though she were thinking, "Oh! That might feel good if I could just relax!"

It ain't easy to get that big neck to bend!
Starlight was more subdued in her responses and a more cooperative about the body work.

Although I have one more massage certificate, I didn't have Kerry work on DeCato, since the little red mare is almost never asked to do any work whatsoever.  But I was a little sorry about my decision when I saw DeCato waiting expectantly at the gate for her turn, and then her regretful look that seemed to say "Hey! What about me?" as Kerry left.

I can see where massage could be an appreciated part of a horses' routine.  Come to think of it, I would like it to be part of mine, as well! 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

This Weekend's Picks, May 31-June 1, 2014

Look to the North this weekend for a couple of great activities.

In Spencerport, we have an opportunity to see a whole lot of horse-drawn carriages, from minis to horses, as the Northampton Driving Society holds its 28th annual competition.

And over in Geneseo, you can watch all three phases of competition in the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club's Spring Horse Trials. 

There are lots of other activities this weekend too, so check out the Big Calendar, and have a great time with your horse!

Northampton Driving Society Event at Northampton Park
June 1, 2014
Corner of Hubbell Rd & Colby Street
Spencerport, New York 14559
Horses and ponies will compete in a range of classes, from pleasure driving to obstacle competition.
For details:

Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club Spring Horse Trials
May 31 – June 1, 2014
4222 Roots Tavern Road, Geneseo, NY 14454
USEF Endorsed/USEA Recognized Divisions: Training, Novice, Beginner Novice
USEA Recognized Test: Intro
Tentative Schedule:
Saturday: Stabling open at Noon; Cross-country course open at 3 pm.
Sunday: Dressage begins at 8 am. Show Jumping at 11 am. X-C 11:30 AM. All divisions will complete Show Jumping prior to cross-country.
For details:

Friday, May 23, 2014

This Weekend's Picks, May 23-26, 2014

New this week!

Instead of re-listing all the weekend's events from the Big Calendar in a weekly post, I'm going to highlight an interesting horse activity or two each week.  But don't forget to look at the full calendar (to the right), because there are many great activities from which to choose!

This Memorial Day weekend, I'm loving the Troy Area Horseman's Association shows.  This hard-working club offers pleasure and gaming shows on several summer weekends at Alparon Park in Troy.  They have a great facility and are family friendly.  You can ride games on Saturday, then go back for ring classes on Sunday.

Whatever you do, have a great time with your horse this Memorial Day weekend!

Troy Area Horseman’s Association Gaming and Pleasure Shows
When: Gaming show: May 24; 
Pleasure show: May 25 

Where: Alparon Park, Troy, PA, United States (map)

Gaming (gymkhana) Shows. We offer lead-line, walk-trot, walk-trot-canter, youth, and open classes, as well as a class specifically designed for horses that have not been shown much and are a bit green. We also have a jackpot barrel racing class that pays back up to three places. Show begin at 12pm and riders can begin signing up at 10 a.m. on the day of the show. Warm-ups are available in the show arena before the show begins. 

Pleasure shows offer a variety of classes such as halter, showmanship, English and Western pleasure, as well as jumping and driving. All classes are made to be appropriate for any horse and rider combination. We have both registered and grade horse classes; however, horses in registered classes must have the appropriate paperwork in order.Sign up at 7 a.m., start at 8 a.m.

All shows are rain or shine. Payback is awarded for classes with more than 5 riders.  Stalls can be reserved any time before the show or the day of (based on availability).  


Sunday, May 18, 2014

One Ambitous Mare

The Hairy Eyeball, Part 1.
DeCato, the  ambitious redheaded mare, continues to surprise me with her changing attitude toward her stablemates.   

She seemed content at the bottom of the pecking order after we moved here in 2010 and was never higher than second-to-the-bottom since I brought her home in 2008.  Until recently, the only horse I had ever known to be lower than her was a big, scaredy-cat buckskin quarter horse we used to own.

Then, over the course of a couple of weeks, she deliberately bumped Starlight out of second in command.  Starlight, a sweet and mild-mannered horse, didn’t really give her any trouble.  The role was DeCato’s for the taking, apparently.

But several times since then, I have noticed DeCato pinning her ears at the boss mare, Hudson.  DeCato has definitely made the “Make me!” face at times, when Hudson has stepped in to move DeCato -- off a particularly desirable pile of hay, for instance.

The Hairy Eyeball, Part 2
 These encounters seem to be more important to DeCato than Hudson.  The latter doesn’t appear to pay any attention to the little mustang, who stands a good seven inches shorter and at least 600 pounds lighter than my half-draft heavy weight.  But I am curious to see where this will end up.  Will it go on like this forever, with DeCato making pissy faces (which isn’t normally allowed by a lower horse, in my observation), or will Hudson express her authority or maybe even give it up?  

Time will tell, but my guess is that Hudson is pretty secure at the top.

Starlight, worried

Hudson, not worried.