Past Horses in Training

Happenings On The Farm

Jack and Jill are back on my farm for the winter.  Jack and Jill are Cleveland Bay-Saddlebred crosses owned and bred by John Hammond of New Hampshire.  These two came to my farm last year for "phase one" of their training.  Last year included lots of doting in the barn while separated from the herd and learning to cross tie.  This may seem basic to some, but not for horses whom are truly raised in a herd.  Continuing after that was a lot of desensitizing and acclimating to change.  The horses were both saddle broke while at my farm, but not ready for anyone to ride.  After that I sent them home to mature a little and take a break.

2014 grnd drive

So far this winter has been a repeat of last year.  I wanted to build on a strong solid foundation. Ultimately, we want Jack and Jill to drive as a pair so there is no need for rushing training or skipping steps of learning.  Good preliminary driving skills of the horse and driver have to be instilled for safe driving to come.  Jack matured a lot over his time at home and Jill has always been a steady horse.  Jack is smart,  he just likes to over react when he doesn't like a situation.  He has finally learned to think through a situation before he gets upset.  This can be seen from the cross ties all the way to him pulling a drag. My time for Jack and Jill has been interrupted by other engagements and I feel bad about the gaps in time loss, but I also know that repeating steps after time off is very important to ensure no gaps in the training.  I am very happy with the horses' advancement in their learning  even with a week off here and there.  

2014 drag

 


Up Mount Ephraim: Elise & Watson, Meadow & Me

Top of mountain
 Elise and I headed out for a great local trail ride up Mount Ephraim.  She rode Watson and I rode Meadow.  Dirt roads, a highway crossing and deep mud were just the beginning.  I don't do this trail enough to know that there was an alternative route around the steep ledge near the top of the mountain.  Meadow and Watson slowly picked their footing to take us to the top.  We were all rewarded with a 360 degree panoramic view of the area.  We could see Okemo Mountain,  Stratton,  Ascutney and even Killington Mountain.  Meadow stood like a statue and seemed to soak up the scenery.  Watson reminded us he was a six year old and pawed the ground to tell us he had seen enough.

Almost there

A couple times on the trip we had to stop so I could adjust Meadow's boots.  Each time I got off, she was relaxed while I tugged and tightened her boots.  She just seemed to know I was trying to make her feel better.  We found a better trail down the ledge.  Meadow lead the way, confident and pleased with the hike.  I kept thinking back to the spring and how she couldn't leave her pasture-mate with out being nervous.  I was so proud of her maturing and  proving to become a real trail horse.   Elise enjoying view

Meadow top ephraim