Analogies and The Wizard of Oz

I absolutely love analogies, love them, couldn’t live without them. That which could take a novel to explain can be communicated quickly and simply with an analogy.

Definition: analogy (a-nal-o-gy /a’nalegee) Noun. Similarity in some respect between things that are otherwise dissimilar, a comparison based on such similarity. A resemblance, likeness or parallel.

So, I was having a lesson a few weeks ago and started describing the personalities of my herd (sigh, yes, a small herd, but still a herd) to my instructor.  And all of a sudden it came to me that […]

Fire!

The four letter word that brings fear to everyone, but hits especially hard to horse owners on rural farm property.

The smell of smoke in the dog days of summer is so out of place and unexpected that you question your nose and doubt the olfactory glands that are shooting adrenalin throughout your neurological system: FIRE!

Quickly, you instinctively move towards the closest window, pressing flesh against window screen, breathing deeply through your nose to convince yourself you really aren’t smelling smoke on this breezy summer morning. Not trusting just one of your five senses, your eyes […]

Stall Cleaning

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Cleaning a stall is crucial to maintain the health of your horse(s), and may aid in limiting  the spread of contamination when an outbreak of infectious disease occurs.

It may also be necessary after a period of disuse or as a precautionary measure when infection is suspected. Here’s how:

1.  Remove all bedding from the stall. Do not put contaminated bedding in a manure pile or anywhere near animals. Piles of manure and bedding are perfectly suited for the breeding of bacteria. Dispose of soiled bedding by spreading it in an area where it can break […]

Ode to My Barn Swallows

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I had the most joyous of experiences last night, as I was cleaning stalls. 

The barn swallows were putting on a show above the paddocks and pasture as the sun was setting.  There must have been over fifty of them, swooping and soaring as they put on a show, it seemed, just for me.  I found myself laughing out loud and clapping.  I had to reach for the fence to keep my balance as my head tipped back to watch their wild flight.

Oh, how I love my swallows.  I start looking forward to their arrival every year […]

Your Last Ride

A situation came up this week that really got me thinking about making the difficult decision of retiring a horse.

When is enough, enough? When have these generous animals given us enough so that it is now our turn to be generous with them?

Some horse owners deal with the end of usefulness pragmatically by delivering their faithful steeds to an auction for the few dollars they might bring, and the many dollars saved on the care of a horse deemed no longer useful.

Others go above and beyond in geriatric care, as a friend of mine has […]

Meet our new guest blogger: FarmGirl

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Horsekeeping on four different properties over 31 years, the author has her feet firmly planted on her forever home, Freestyle Farm, in Wilsonville Oregon, where her farm motto is “It’s always something”.

Cindy is an avid dressage and trail rider and the owner of an interesting assortment of horses who each have their own story to tell.  Besides being a part owner of a successful manufacturing business and a garden enthusiast, she is also a former Reserve Portland Mounted Police Officer and monthly columnist, “Trails by Tyree” for the regional publication, Northwest Rider. She is a member […]

FINDING THE PERFECT HORSE FENCE, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

First of all, I must admit that I love the way uniform fencing – one style – looks running throughout a property or even a neighborhood.

Love it! But like so many things in life, horses and horse fencing included, pretty is as pretty does, so looks sometimes has to come secondary on the list of priorities.

And those priorities, other than good looks, are first and foremost: safety for horse and human. Practicality and utility have to outweigh human esthetics and vanity. The other issue at hand is that almost any fencing will work for some horses most of […]

Equilates: Improve Your Riding & Your Mind

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The first time I heard the term “equilates,” I thought it might be Pilates for horses.

In fact, it is Pilates developed specifically for those who ride horses.

It seems a couple of people claim to have coined the term and developed the system, but dressage champion, Betsy Steiner, has trademarked the term. Her website, Equilates, describes the method as:

“…the sport-specific training method developed by Betsy Steiner using the basic premises of Pilates: promoting elongation of the spine, muscular flexibility and balance, strengthening the core resulting in the relaxed concentration and flow needed to create the […]

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