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Patti Dammier has a PhD in psychology and has been an educator of horses for over thirty years. She studied equestrian science in Spain, Portugal, England.
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There were so many big horses in their stalls and a few ponies as well. I started to take riding lessons and loved it! Since then, we have moved and I have been riding at Foxwood. I have really improved as a rider and I am very excited to compete this season on the Foxwood show team.

I love being part of the Foxwood family. Everyone is so nice and helpful, and we are really a team. My goal is to become a great show jumper and compete at the highest level possible. The thought of competing really excites me. I even wrote my school speech on riding and horses, it was awesome! I have always loved animals, especially horses and have even thought about going to school when I get older to be a veterinarian. For now, I want to learn all I can, listen and learn from my coaches and compete every chance I get…and of course win some ribbons! Partnered this season with Sera aka Simply Magic , the entire Foxwood Show Team is excited for Elizabeth and her debut in the show ring.

Elizabeth getting her show attire from Doonaree Tack Shop. On June 10th, several of our students will be participating in our Foxwood Farm in-house horse show and for many of them, this will be their first time competing.

Patti Dammier (Author of Behavior Modification for Horses)

Parents and students new to the equestrian world need guidance on how to prepare for a horse show and even our more experienced riders need some reminders;. I was starting to compose of list for my students on preparing for a horse show last week when I received my latest issue of Horse Sport magazine. It was perfect timing as one of the featured articles was written by top Canadian rider, Erynn Ballard.

Erynn entered the show ring at the age of six under the guidance of her parents Sandi and Dave who own Looking Back Farm. Even at such a young age, it was obvious she had an incredible natural talent for riding. Her ability to get on multiple types of unknown horses and win, established her as one of the top junior catch riders in the country.

Reconditioning Your Horse After Winter

She began the year competing at The Winter Equestrian festival in Florida and was awarded the Christie Conrad Perpetual Trophy for equestrian excellence. Clean your boots, wear clean clothes, clean your horse and your tack and keep your barn aisle neat and tidy. When you walk into the ring, the first thing people notice is how you look. Bridles need to fit the horse and saddles need to fit the horse and rider.

Spending a little bit of extra time to make your tack shine, will be worth it! Horses give us so much and in return ask for patience and kindness. Fix your problems at home with patience and good training, not in public with temper and attitude. No matter what your result, pet your horse and walk out of the ring. Classic and effective position is important at any stage of the game.

You should never get to a point where you can take anything for granted — not your position, your horse, or the level you jump at. Show where you are the most brave and confident and give yourself the best chance of success. I have every intention to post more frequently on this blog; however, between cleaning up after the last ice storm, followed by a wind storm in addition the wrath of winter, I seem to run out of time so quickly these days.

Luckily, some of my awesome students have come to my rescue, providing me with snippets and stories of their riding life at Foxwood and abroad so for the next month, it looks like I can catch up on some of my work;. As true as this may be, that is not what I said. Presenting circumstances have dictated the necessity of an amendment to my complacency and I simply followed the road signs that fate had provided.

My longstanding relationship with my riding instructor and friend, Paige, dealt me a hand that dictated an adjustment. Paige became an instructor at Foxwood a few years ago and I changed barns in order to maintain the trust and continuity of our relationship. As a result, the trepidation of change was minimized. Apprehension was further minimized in knowing that my friend Anne, boards her horse, Sierra, at Foxwood.

The third flower in this arrangement was in meeting Robyn, who has become a cherished friend, is a first rate coach and a perfect compliment in assuring that making the drive to Bradford is the correct road. My first ride at Foxwood was on Velvet. She is a dear, but not very challenging. She was gentle, compliant and good for trotting with no stirrups but when a faster mount was offered, I accepted…this came in the form of a two part package, MacDuff and Bella.

Bella is a lovely Cleveland Bay mare and we are working hard at our cantering. He is a big boy. We two elders plug away and get very excited when we achieve a new goal. We all take comfort in routine. Upon arrival at Foxwood, I will go out to the paddock to get Duffy. When I call his name, he looks up, stares, and then, will saunter over to me.

I have the power it is orange and crunchy!!! It makes me feel pretty good. Upon arrival on one rainy day, I went out to get Duffy and was met with an unanticipated level of resistance. Coaxing words and carrots failed. The ponies had just been put into this lovely grassy paddock and were galloping around playing hard to get.

Carrot bribery was not working. After a half hour, of growing aggravation, my learned-horse friend, Anne, came to my rescue. I learned to put the lead around the neck before trying to put on the halter! It is so simple when one knows the answers. On another occasion when I went out to get MacDuff, he decided that he would eat his carrots and not move.

I tried desperately to get him to come with me. No, he would not budge. Out came Anne as always to my rescue. Anne suggested I give him carrots once we arrive back at the barn. So far that suggestion has worked very well. Another trick I learned was from Desiree, with whom I ride on Fridays. After Duffy ate his carrots and decided to play hard to get, I turned my back on him and just stood there. Eventually, he came over and put his face near mine, which put a huge smile on my face and a sense of satisfaction in winning the battle of who is going to concede first.

Arriving at the barn and heading out to get him is special. There is a bond between rider and horse. One beautiful summer day, I headed out to the front paddock to see if MacDuff was under the trees with the other horses enjoying the shade. I turned around and there he was right behind me waiting patiently for his carrots.

Like any other living being, horses learn by their experiences. Old dogs can learn new tricks with repeated lessons and understanding. He has learned many lessons from his life at Foxwood. We are all happy that Catherine has joined our FoxwoodFamily…and we know that Macduff is, too;. As someone who has pretty much grown up around horses — and who has spent the last 20 years taking care of them full time — I often forget that not everybody has been as up close and personal with horses as I have.

A couple of years ago, I met a wonderful woman named Catherine via my friend who was her instructor at the time. Catherine is a fabulous writer and I hope that in sharing her horseback riding experiences, it will bring a little perspective to each of you. My story begins seven years ago on the occasion of my sixtieth birthday.

As a senior, I embarked on a mission to learn to ride a horse. In the realization of this quest, the pleasures of learning a new set of skills, forming cherished relationships with experienced riders of all ages, coming to love the pleasures of the touch, sight, the olfactory, and tactile nature of an equine relationship, and feeling the joys of sitting astride a horse in motion have enhanced the quality of my life immensely. It started seven years ago. We have all heard the familiar adage that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks… I am the old dog and can announce that this is a fallacy.

When I turned 60, my daughter, Kelly, decided to organize a surprise birthday party. This task was complicated by the simple fact that she lives in Ottawa and the party was held in Tottenham. She remembered that I had always wanted to learn how to ride. The party invitations contained a request that, in lieu of a gift, a donation in any amount would be consolidated and used to purchase a series of horseback riding lessons.

Not only was the party an unadulterated surprise, but I ended up with eleven lessons, boots, and a helmet as well as a place to ride. Other animals ran only when they had a reason, but the Horse would run for no reason whatever, as if to run out of his own skin.

This, however, I have. I get it at about forty cents a flask, and take it as required. Saddle up. Cunninghame Graham, letter to Theodore Roosevelt, Even an E-type Jaguar looks merely flash beside a really smart pony and trap. All the sounds dear to a horseman were around me - the snort of the horses as they cleared their throats, the gentle swish of their tails, the tinkle of irons as we flung the saddles over their backs - little sounds of no importance, but they stay in the unconscious library of memory.

You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people. The reason is the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom. Here, where grace is served with muscle And strength by gentleness confined He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.

There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient. A horse is at least human , for God's sake. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye Spending that many hours in the saddle gave a man plenty of time to think. That's why so many cowboys fancied themselves Philosophers. Russell I go about looking at horses and cattle. They eat grass, make love, work when they have to, bear their young.

I am sick with envy of them. I suppose that's why I prefer horses. No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses. They see through us at a glance. And after all, what is a horse but a species of four-footed dumb man, in a leathern overall, who happens to live upon oats, and toils for his masters, half-requited or abused, like the biped hewers of wood and drawers of water? But there is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should forever exempt him from indignities.

It takes a while for the horses to learn to trust you. Mine was very shy and fearful at first, still is with men and strangers. He is now the most wonderful guy on the planet. Having trained STBs at the track, you got to meet them Amish ocasionally, not that most of them would talk to a woman, a culture thing, didn't really offend me, they got used to me and realized that I wouldn't lie about a horse's soundness some of them simply view horses much like we would a truck or a cow. It has a specific job and needs to not question it or misbehave. It isn't viewed as a companion pet or partner, it's job is to serve it's master without question.

It isn't as nice a life as we prefer the horses have, a sassy horse doesn't last too long with them unless he conforms, the pony I have Haffy can be a bit oppinionated. Move to fast or raise your voice and he's in the back of his stall. Just go slowly and quietly, ask reasonable things of him and let him get his confidence back.

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They are ususally quite bombproof once you do. Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post. I guess he kind of just seems like a horse who's kind of been overstimulated. I know that at least 3 possibly 4 of my haflingers were owned by Amish people in the past. I have found that they take a little longer to relax and trust you and be a friend. Their personality takes longer to come out. My one mare was extremely head-shy and is still getting used to not turning her head away when you walk up to her.

Such a great trustworthy horse. Such wonderful ground manners. Not pushy or anything at all, so well behaved and still, would never try to hurt you. They are calm and easy to train to ride even if they have only been trained to drive. They are very good with voice commands. That's really helpful with my 8 year old who is so small to give her aids in the saddle.

Also if you say "WHOA" they really plant their feet and stand still for you. I try to respect them and give them their space and not overwhelm them, and give them tons of love. Also just talking gently to them a lot and spending time just with them, not asking them to do anything. They have come a long way and are absolutely wonderful horses. They really do love kids and are very protective of them.

I have seen amish people interact with their horses several times. Mine didn't eat treats at first, now they are completly spoiled and will scarf anything out of your hand.

The Queen feeds carrots to race horses at Manor Farm Stables

Also mine didn't canter at first- not even in the pasture, just trotted really really fast. After I showed them to canter, they love it and canter on their own. They do still go into the really fast trot though. I've always gotten better results by giving voice commands in a "manly" voice.

All the Amish horses I've dealt with driving horses tended to tune out a higher voice, but really pay attention to the lower registers. Other than that, just lots of good ole desensitization. Like you'd do for any shy horse. They need to be trained to accept petting and affection, since it probably wasn't in the job description for them before.

Tamara in TN. We feed the others.

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Dancing Lawn. She's improving with time, though. My amish plumber and carpenter thought that was a hoot. Originally posted by nightsong View Post. Why don't you just leavehim alone for a while? My ex-Amish horse was very standoffish when we first got her. She was also a former race horse so some of her attitude may have come from that life as well. It was almost as if she hated life and thought all people sucked. Her spirit wasn't entirely broken, as it was her "look" that caught my trainer's eye as she trotted down the road, but something was missing.

The Amish clan that had this horse are not particularly kind to their critters. It was at least a couple of months before she wasn't grumpy when being groomed. My trainer worked really hard at spoiling her rotten, including force-feeding her peppermints until she learned to like them! We've had her for about a year and a half and she's now easily the happiest horse in the barn. As a lot of people have said, there are varying degrees of care with everything both in and out of the Amish community.

There are many Amish who take great interest in the well being or their horses, but they are also a fact of life and transportation, not unlike everyone in all communities only years ago. I have several friends and even family I'm 3rd gen. On the training note: There are many that aren't used to getting fussed over the way that my animals are- but then again, I got mine for companionship and pleasure, not as my main for of transportation. All of mine are ex- racers, and though spoiled as a racehorse gets, not affectionate. I would just sit outside each of their stalls until they got curious about my book, if I had anything to eat, "watchya doin'" moments, etc.

This was huge for my guys, and the easiest way to non- invasively get them to learn I'm OK, in fact, I'm downright cool! Doesn't hurt to have a favorite treat hidden somewhere within smelling range, but not necessarily easy to get to, until they "ask". I have a chronic thrusher that has arthritis in his creaky old hocks- hates getting them treated. I combine the treats and lovin's with the treatments to keep him calm and easy to work with, as well as just happy.

Just a thought. Founder of the High Maintenance Horses Clique.

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Originally posted by shakeytails View Post. Help Contact Us Go to top. Yes No. OK Cancel. Stallion Spotlight Real Estate Spotlight. Complete Profile Welcome to the Chronicle Forums. Complete Profile Announcement Collapse Forum rules and no-advertising policy As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. I guess he kind of just seems like a horse who's kind of been overstimulated Why don't you just leavehim alone for a while? Don't worry, nightsong. He won't be doing any real work until after he's been castrated and that has healed.

My nagging him for 30 minutes a day isn't too big a deal. I've got to handle him to give him his ventipulmin and smz's, and to treat his thrush. It's important for me to do something else besides this lest I become the evil medicating lady and he decides he doesn't want to be caught or handled by me. I spent one whole session with him trying to get him to eat a treat Dan tried to show him too. He did take a piece of apple and a piece of a Dumor treat, but wasn't interested in finishing them or taking seconds.

I went to the grocery store the next day and got carrots, and I was so excited when he stood there and ate 4 baby carrots and asked for more! I need to get myself that T-shirt that says, "I train horses He is pony sized, so I'm kind of skeptical that he would be a logging horse? Just does't seem to make sense