Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some snapshots of our holiday/musical rides!

Weekly lesson students have been working hard preparing their choreographed, musical rides for friends and family. Costumes and props were carefully prepared and practiced well ahead of time with the horses.
Check out some of the pictures from the rides including themes like: "Mele Kalikimaka: A Hawaiian Christmas" , "Jingle Bells", "Winter Wonderland", "Jai-Ho!", and "Wanted: Dead or Alive". (If anyone has additional pictures or video they would like to send in, please send to

Monday, December 14, 2009

Updates for 2010

With the new year quickly approaching, we've got an awful lot to look back on, and an awful lot to look forward to!

You can look forward in the next few weeks to a slideshow of some of the highlights of 2009.

Holiday rides start this week, and they are shaping up to be better than ever. Let's hope the weather holds out for us!!

There will be no regular lessons from Dec. 21st to the 27th. However, Nicole will be available to book some lessons/supervised riding time during that week. Please call or email for availability.

New student forms and a new waiver from the OEF will be made available online and at lessons over the next few weeks. Please also note that our rates ad programs will be changing slightly in the new year. January and February will be transitional months where anyone with an existing package can finish up, and so everyone can continue to enjoy our current rates for another few weeks. Rates will be increase (slightly) and riders will be encouraged to commit to lessons one month at a time and prepay for their rides at the beginning of the month. The option to be refunded a portion of the lesson fee, with 24 hours notice of a lesson cancelation will still be in place. Also look out for special rewards and breaks on lesson prices for riders with perfect attendance.

Our website will be under construction (hopefully still fully functional) over the new few weeks. Please check back for updates! Also, big news! Our business name will change over from Lindsay Hayes Equestrian Coaching and Training, to Hayes Horsemanship in January. A new logo is in the works with our very talented graphic designer, Sheri Houston at End of the Line. Shortly thereafter we hope to offer clothing with the brand new logo (I know, I know, not in time for Christmas...).

A horse Birthday Party is also in the works for the beginning of January.

Horse ground-work sessions have been requested, so we will look into planning some type of clinic or workshop.

We will be looking forward to hosting our second horse show in the spring, (most likely the end of March). This may coordinate with a UWO Equestrian Team horse show.

That's it for now, further information will be posted in the new few weeks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Team Peanut!

For everyone wondering what the Sofmeister was doing while we were away in Oklahoma, she was at Hotel Nicole supportin' the team! Here she is Sunday watching the live feed!

Some sad news

Some sad news to report today. For anyone who remembers Tequila, my first horse, she was put to sleep this past weekend in Fort Myers, Florida.
I adopted Tequila from a horse rescue in Lindsay, Ontario called "Heaven Can Wait Equine Rescue" and a very nice lady named Claire. Tequila was just a yearling at the time and cute as cute can be!
I originally went looking at another horse, but it was very shy and not sociable. Tequila on the other hand was very sociable and I took to her right away. She was delivered to me on her first birthday to Bridgecreek Stables. I worked with her on the ground, grooming, saddling, picking up her feet, touching her ears and face for about a year. She helped me through some tough times too. I started to ride her halfway through her 2 yr old year and it was the first time I had the opportunity to start a young horse all the way through the groundwork and then mounted work. She had a few tricks she liked to play, like sneaking out of her halter in the crossties by snapping her head to the side and undoing the quick release, and then just standing there.
With all the coaching I was doing by that time, I moved her over to the farm I was working from and she made a whole bunch of new pony friends. I applied for Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center and planned to take Tequila with me.
Tequila quickly gained a reputation for having a very outgoing and quirky personality. She was very opinionated and a few times, just threw herself into the ground to protest whatever the rider was asking for! No one was ever hurt by her, and she sure gave the students who did ride her some good stories!
Eventually graduation came about and I had a job offer in England I was seriously considering. My roommate had a facility waiting for her at home and desperately needed some good lesson horses to get her started. She bought Tequila from me and I was thrilled to be able to keep in touch with her and have the opportunity to visit her. I knew she would receive the best care at her new home.
I graduated, and 3 months later Tequila set off for her new home in Fort Myers. She got quite sick for the first little while and we later laughed that both she and I had problems with the heat! I was having heat stroke problems regularly that summer, and the vets in Florida couldn't figure out what was wrong with Tequila, other than an adverse reaction to the strong heat waves. I visited with Tequila twice since graduating in '05 and had to laugh at the bond she and her buddy from Meredith Manor, Gus shared.
Tequila started to recover from the heat issues and just this past summer was sold to one of Teresa's students at South Florida Equestrian Centre. The deal was made that Tequila would stay at Teresa's farm and remain part of the family. Tarin, Tequila's new owner, became the centre of Tequila's life. Regular baths, riding, treats and even showing in the gaming classes at the local shows became the routine. Tarin and Tequila made a great team and I got to hear some of the stories first hand from Tarin's mom Amy when we did our trip to Congress in October.
Unfortunately, just weeks before Tarin's big plans to show Tequila at the local fair, she was kicked by another horse. The kick shattered her leg and left no choice but humane euthanasia.
Tequila was buried underneath her favourite butt-scratchin' tree.
Although she was only ten, Tequila's life was considerably extended from what could have been a very early end as a yearling before she was rescued by Heaven Can Wait. I am indebted to the people that loved her and enriched her life, especially Teresa, Tarin and the whole family at South Florida Equestrian Centre.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Promo's Promo's and more Promo's

A big part of the NRHA Futurity and North American Affiliate Championship is the advertising and promotional opportunities. Vendors include everything from tack, tractor, feed and supplement dealers to individual trainers to huge breeding and training facilities. Stalls are decorated with flat screen tv's and boxes of candy are readily available to invite passersby in to have a look. Most breeding stallions have their own "business cards", one page glossy ads with a picture on the front and all their earnings, offsprings earnings and pedigree on the flip side. Advertisements for farms for sale in the million dollar and up price range were posted across the grounds, and there were free samples of the newest products on the market.

A stallion "business card" with a picture on the front. The horse's name is Wimpy's Little Step, the name of the breeding farm that is selling his services, Green Valley Ranch is at the bottom.

A 4 page booklet advertising this farm for sale.

The Equine Chronicle, a large publication geared to the quarter horse community.

The official program for the NRHA Futurity.

Another quarter horse publication.

A free dvd promoting the joint supplement called "Adequan".

And a horse lovers gift guide for 2009, just in time for the holidays!
All of these publications and more will be available to view at Briarquest during your regular lessons! See you there!