trail riding with young horse
Horses, Every Day

In The Forest

Last week we got lost.

I didn’t mind.  Usually you can just find the way, and if not, just turn around and search for the same trail, right?

She did mind.  Miss gray mare, walking fast and hard up the hills.  They were steep, very boggy in places.  Had to work it to keep up with her.

horse in pasture under tree

Pasture Pics – the only ones today.

Going downhill she’d chew the bit and froth, grunting the “bolt-coming-up-soon-because-I-hate-bending-and-sitting-and-walking-down-and-besides-I’m-all-alone-out-here” grunt.

Took a while to figure out we were following a deer trail, not the main trail.  Getting the cantle of the saddle scraped up by low branches should have been a hint.

relaxed horse in pasture

Seriously, it was really fun!  And she had a blast.  Didn’t have a death wish enough to stop and take pictures, but she was cute hoofing it over logs and sliding down a mossy hillside.

trail riding

Clearly, you’ve figured out I did a little more walking than riding on that trail outing.

Next time, when it has dried out, we’ll keep it more grown up.  Staying on on the main trail.  Keeping dressage boots mud free and fleece leg boots clean.

trail riding with young horse

love trumps hate
Horses, Every Day

Mare Love

Miss V. , staying in great shape during my layoff.

Walking up the steep hill in the new pasture is hard work…

building strenght from pasture hills

She’s had a lot of handwalking too, around the other hills, to take as much advantage of them as possible.  It’s good for the hind and a very low-key way to keep up strength.

And then this Mare love story here.

mares greeting each other in pasture

love trumps hate

On the dressage front – pathetically no news to report.

A little bareback walk happened.  There was no magic, sorry.  No sparkles.

bareback without pad

Almost 7 weeks without riding, something had to be done.  Well, perhaps this wasn’t it…

Switching pace with a special on Thursday morning!  Stop on by then to see what it’s all about!  This one is not going to be a hit with everyone.

You’re welcome.

grey horse in pasture
Horses, Every Day

Monday Morning – And Loving It!

Dressage On A Dime

I try to ride Gandolf on most Monday mornings.

Valiosa gets to saunter around in his pasture for some time then.  We’re both loving Mondays, in our own different ways.

Monday mornings

She rewards mostly by rubbing the tail root on trees.  Hanging up her fly mask from a branch.  And pulling off a shoe if it’s muddy.  Or, as you can see, tearing off bell boots.

bell boots lost in pasture

This is why we love them (?).

Happy Monday!


installing gravel in horse pasture for mud
Horses, Every Day

Paddock News

Spring Time!

Perfect time to fix up the paddock a bit.

New front-fence, safer than earlier, showed up as a nice surprise!

dry paddock

Valiosa’s outdoor shelter from this post – Building a quick horse shelter – has held up great this winter.  The addition of many rubber stall mats, from this post: – Mud Season – helped stave off a complete mud bath in front of it, but not entirely.

So, next project;  lay down a geotextile type material and get a big truckload with two different gravels on top.  Some handiwork with the tractor, I’m pretty sure it will have to be by me, to get it in place.

Then drag all 15 dead bodies, I mean rubber mats, back on top.

To make it happen, she got new fence posts and a new gate installed, wide enough to drive a truck in.

before installing gravel

Most of my contribution to that project was painting it white and decorating with birdhouses.  Not sure how much that counts.

This morning – another trailer outing to LBHA with my young mare. 

She kept it together in the arena and showed promise of producing an even better show result next time out.

Second horse, sultry Antonio, behaved just as well for me, creating a false sense of security that we’ll do just fine at his next show opportunity….

Sounds so easy.  Of course you know how these things go, and it took more than half the day…

Have a lovely weekend!


horse in green winter pasture
Horses, Every Day

Back On Track

Grey Mare has been very cooperative for several rides.

Things are looking up!

Now, where were we?  The training got so tangled up for a while, I almost forgot what we were working on.

Something about yielding for the lateral aid, without the shoulders leading.  It has yet to happen.  I can show pictures of how not to do it?  Just for kicks.


While Gandolf recovered from his abscess on stall rest, Valiosa got to roam his pasture pretty much 24/7.  Some 12 days of grass and mud-spa joy, and a dropped shoe, and she’s ready to move back to her paddock.



Gandolf got his hoof abscess bandage boot off today, and is ready to come out!

Gandolfs pedicure

I’ll ride him tomorrow to see how he feels.  Very forward, I’m sure!

Constipated looking trot

Valiosa, with her somewhat colicky looking rider.  Ah, details.


3 week old Oldenburg fillie
Horses, Every Day

Donavinia, at 3 weeks



Just had to share my friends baby filly just one more time.

This is her with her mom, Stella, in their gorgeous pasture in Lincoln.

Super rambunctious filly

The other horses in their little herd are waiting to get to be introduced to little Donavinia.  Her and her mom will boss them all around!  She’s a brave filly, doesn’t mind coming up, asking to have her body scratched just so, or leaving her mom’s side at any time.

3 weeks old

I had to be quick in snapping some pictures, she was on the move the whole time, running through sprinklers and up and down the hill.

Perfect little body, all full of her self.  She’ll be registered Oldenburg – it will be fun to see her go through inspection in September!

A bit of giraffe lips when scratching just the right spot!

scratch me

Dressage On A Dime Tips

Not stalling, and loving it!

Lucky enough to have access to ALL day turnout.

Not a few hours 10 am – 4 pm, but all day, until evening feed.  With the exception of coming in for grooming and riding.

An ideal world;  a safe stall at night, with attached outdoor access to a small pipe pen.  No cramped quarters with stale air, or inability to find a clean spot to lay down.  Ideal?  You may not agree.

Throughout the years I’ve seen horses kept successfully in everything from 24 Hr 12×12 ft box stalling, to 24 Hr “turnout” in meandering pastures with several horses all living in it.  They were all valued show horses, in full work at different levels.

And they all seemed to cope.  Although most of us probably feel the outdoor ones were luckier, no?

Stubben Bridle

Photo of Jaworzno, courtesy of Tamara Watson Photography.

Without stirring any pots, sharing a piece of the latest on benefits of increased turnout possibilities, from Sweden.  I’m very happy to be boarding at my current barn with so much turnout.

Assertion by Per Michanek, veterinary and researcher, at the lecture “The Happy and Healthy Horse” seminar Nyköping, Sweden in mid September this year.

“Each hour the horse may spend outdoors in a bigger pasture will help it improve in some way,”   says Per.

“Kinetics, respiratory organs, blood circulation, metabolism, heat regulation and the nervous system (coordination) will all be positively affected by movement.

The cartilage lacks blood vessels and is therefore depending on movement in order for the nutrient exchange with the synovial fluid to function.

Standing still is similar to turning off the heart of the synovial fluid. A cartilage in top condition is a deciding factor for an elite performance.”

“The circulation of the blood in the legs is also depending on movement. It is difficult for the heart to pump the blood up from the hooves back to the heart.

The hoof mechanism, where the digital cushion is pushed out each time the hoof is put down, helps pump the blood back up. The musclework also helps the circulation of the blood in the entire horse’s body,” adds Per.

“When a muscle is contracted, it will push the adjacent blood vessels together, which will make the blood push through the next flap in the blood vessel, carrying it on throughout the body.”

Yeah.  Turning out.  A good thing.  Done ranting for today.

Per, I’m sorry if I butchered your piece.  Did the best interpretation of the text to English as could.