Post by Dara Turner
2009 held a lot of good things for me. I’m thankful for my husband most of all. After 35 years of marriage, he still endures my horse craziness. He is the reason I still have horses today because I almost gave them up several times for economic reasons. I love him very much.
I’m glad I have my horse buddies. Without them, my horse life would not be as much fun. My trainer is very tolerant of my weaknesses & phobias. Lessons are fun and vary in intensity. I will master my weak points. I can also say she is a good friend. The stable owner has been a friend since her mother owned the place. I’ve ridden many Saturday morning group lessons with her.
I’m extremely fortunate to have the horses I own today. I’m glad I took the time to search for the right horse. Every time I ride, they teach me to be a better rider.
So as the hours wind down for 2009, take a few minutes to reflect on the past year. Learn the lessons taught from the bad times. Be thankful for all the good times that have occurred over the year. As for 2010, plan to make your horse experiences better.
posted in Beginners, Riding, Trainers |
Post by Dara Turner
Who or what sparked your interest in horses? Was it a “Black Stallion” story by Walter Farley? Was it your favorite western movie or maybe it was your favorite Saturday morning show? Was it an actor? Or was it someone in your family or close friend? My interest . . . no . . . my passion for horses started at a very early age. The earliest I can remember was stories of horse adventures on the family farm from my mother.
She told of how the older children in the family were responsible for the horse Grandpa deemed was theirs. There 10 in all, a couple of Draft horses but mostly all were paints. Mom told of a feisty mare named Primper (maybe this is why I prefer mares). From the stories, Primper fit this mare. She refused to get her feet wet and always came up with ways not to. From Mom’s stories, I get the impression that she was a little on the spooky side also. There was also a stallion that was born on a stormy night, thus his name Stormy. He became the favorite of the kids and learned to play tag. He also had a preference for fresh water. He learned to turn on the facet to quench his thirst, he just never learned to it off.
Mom told stories of searching for the horses on cold fall/winter days. They would find them in a favorite ravine out of the cold biting wind. By the time the kids found them, they themselves would be cold. So they would stand in the middle of the herd for warmth. When everyone was warm, they would bridle a couple and ride back to the barn. There were stories of lazy summer days in the forest on the property. All the older children & friends were on their horses playing what ever games kids can think of to pass time.
She talked of trying to learn to mount a horse the cowboy way, jumping from the ground at a run and catapulting over the hind end into the saddle. She never really said how long it took to achieve this task or if anyone ever did. There was also the stories of going to the parades. Most of the children and my grandparents participated in the parades. The star of the show was always a 1/2 Arabian Paint named Dick. He, like the rest of the horses, would start out at the end of the parade. By the time the parade was half way through the route, Dick was always leading the parade. He just wanted to be the grand marshal in front.
In my teen years, Mom endured my occasional foray into the horse world. I had friends that let me ride. She tolerated my insistence to stay in the horse barns while at the fair. After I moved out and married, I bought my first horse. While she was never too excited about this, she was always there to cheer me on at the few shows I entered. She never discouraged my growing passion for horses. She would bring her grandchildren out to the barn so they could get to know Iggette. Later on, she brought the great grandchildren out to see my newest horses.
I’m dedicating this post to my mother, Dolores Holland. On August 29, 2009 she lost her long fight with COPD. My passion started with her stories. I hope my stories ignites the passion for horses in someone else.
posted in Beginners, Riding |
Post by Dara Turner
I watched a few hunter hack classes at a recent national show. Hunter hack is an English class that consists of 2 fences to be jumped individually by each entrant, then rail work by the entire class. It is always the same . . . some horses shy away from the first jump or just flat refuse to jump it. The shows always have flowers, brightly colored rails, trees at the side of the standards or any combination of these. Some of the horses have either not seen these before or if they have only at the shows.
The fix is easy. Go to a dollar store & buy some artificial flowers. You can drill holes in the ground rail and put flowers in each hole. Or you can push the flower stems into the dirt just behind the ground rail but in front of the bottom rail. Your horse may still shy away from the flowers for a short time at home, but he will get used to them. Then when at the show, flowers are not such a big deal to him anymore.
Also, paint a few of your rails any color other than white. This doesn’t have to be an expensive task. You can use some left over house, wall or barn paint. Maybe your neighbor has some paint that they would like to get rid of. You can paint the rail all one color or put stripes on it. Use your imagination.
The end effect is to get your horse use to something that you would see at the show. This fix is good for the hunter or jumper classes also. Don’t wait until the next show & wonder why he keeps shying away from the jump.
posted in Beginners, English, Horse Shows, Jumping, Riding |