A bridge to be reckoned with

I’ve had horses that had “issues” with bridges so it’s hard to imagine the willingness that these two cross a bridge that would have me quaking in my boots. No, actually, I’d probably not risk it. Just watching the video makes me shiver.

I saw this video on Mélanie Pinato‘s Facebook page.



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Horse riding becomes life when…

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 8.15.46 PMI love this article at Horse Listening: 20 Ways Horse Riding Becomes Life Itself.

There are many lessons that I take away from my equestrian activities — one of the most important is that progress is incremental, but sticking to it achieves results. Not just in your riding, but in every aspect of your life. It’s just easier to see when you finally achieve your riding goals.

My horses also constantly remind me to forgive — they forgive many bad rides and confusing aids.

They also help me live in the moment and give me some respite from regrets over what happened in the past and worry over what might happen in the future.

How does your work with horses mirror your life?

Let’s play poker

Poker Ride

This was our ride today — 15.81 miles. That’s the longest ride I’ve done for a long time. I loaned Zelda to a friend for the ride so both horses got a great workout.

Today was our hunt club’s Poker Ride. For those of you who haven’t participated in this type of riding event, a Poker Ride is like a Hunter Pace where you are not timed (you can ride at any pace) and you pick up chips along the way. At the end of the ride you trade them in for cards and the team with the best hand wins.

Poker Rides are great for the summer, when riding at a hunting pace may cause heat exhaustion. They are mostly a good excuse to get out and ride a nicely marked route and catch up with your friends.

Today’s ride was in the town next to mine. I’d heard that the ride itself would be relatively short — the estimate was 5-6 miles. I was riding over with two friends so we decided to hack over to the start. It’s was a bit over three miles each way so we were anticipating riding about 11 miles . . .

The course, however, proved to be nine miles, so we ended up riding 15.8 miles! It was a beautiful day — mid 70s, low humidity — but when we got back to the barn, horses and riders were all pretty tired.  But what a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Do you know what Cavaletti means?

Thanks to Denny Emerson’s Facebook feed, I do! And you should subscribe, too. He posts a wealth of information.

My tip for the day - Subscribe to Denny Emerson's Tamarack Hill Farm Facebook feed. He always posts interesting stuff. Click on the photo to go to his page.

My tip for the day – Subscribe to Denny Emerson’s Tamarack Hill Farm Facebook feed. He always posts interesting stuff. Click on the photo to go to his page.

The word “cavaletti” has the same roots as the word “cavalry” and “cavallo”, Italian for “horse”.

And although we trot horses over cavaletti, the name has nothing to do with actual horses.

It`s a diminutive term, meaning “little sawhorse.”


Feline Friends

My first horse, Bogie, loved cats. His particular favorite was a barn cat who resided at Red Raider, a barn in Ohio that I boarded out back in the mid-90s. He was never happier than when his cat came and visited in his stall and he would nuzzle him with such gentleness. I always wondered how the cat knew to trust him. If I were that small, I’m not sure I’d want a horse nuzzling me! Apparently the horse in the video below feels the same way.

Do you remember your first canter?

Liz on King, 1962

I started riding when I was two. I can still remember riding King at Mr. Spano’s barn. My father used to take me riding on the weekends. I didn’t canter until I was at least 6.

Recently I had the pleasure of watching a seven-year old girl ride her first steps of canter. Even better, I was able to grab some video of it. She did a great job and boy was she proud of herself.

Watching her canter made me remember the first time I cantered. I was probably about six and it was at the riding ring of the Timber Trails Club, which used to be a fixture in Sherman, Conn. I’d been in the summer riding program — which involved riding from the barn through the trails, through the shallow water of a pond and over to the ring.

Trotting was going well; cantering terrified me. I must have driven the instructors crazy by insisting that I wasn’t ready. Finally, my horse took a few canter strides. It was heaven! Instantly I regretted all my delaying tactics. I was hooked and so, I think, was Dana.