Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun Day!

Saturday, September 25th marked our youth Fun Day. Participants took part in a serious grooming session in preparation for our bareback riding and painting horses!
Hand-led bareback riding was a huge hit. First-timers got an opportunity to get balanced and comfortable while in the capable hands of our volunteers. Experienced bareback riders (and some brave first-timers) experimented with the balance exerises we often start our lessons with. Some riders were even testing their skills to the maximum when asked to close their eyes and say out loud which legs of the horse were moving and when.

We gave the horse a quick break while the participants lined up and learned some of the basic rules of the event called, "Showmanship". The young ladies learned how to present their horse to the judge from all angles and how to switch from one side of the horse to the other smoothly and gracefully.
Then it was time for some fun! The paints were laid out carefully and the participants got to work painting their horses. Lesson horse Wyatt was covered in every colour hand prints, finger prints and splatter paint. Lesson horse Jane was painted with a beautiful combination of pink, yellow, green and blue polka dots. Student horse Molly was a true masterpiece in stripes, handprints and a face mask. Student horse Promise was painted with white and light blue fairy wings, a rainbow across her hips and a big red heart on her shoulder. Some of the horses manes, tails and forelocks were carefully braided as well.

Thanks for participating everyone! We had a great time!

Intro to Working Cows

Friday night we drove up to Granton for an intro lesson from Jess Cofell about working cows. Nicole and Lindsey gave their horses a solid warm up before their first attempts at, "tracking" the cows. Lindsey rode a 4 yr old palomino mare who Jessie has been showing this year at some AQHA and NRHA shows. Nicole rode a 3 yr old bay mare who is just beginning her show career. Recognize the bay mare? That's because she's J-lo's baby, "Shorty".
Lindsey and Nicole took turns with the cows and practices tracked them around and learning to anticipate where they would try to move next. Then we split them up on either side of the arena and each rider's job was to keep them apart and behind their designated line.

By the end of the lesson the girls had practiced tracking the cows, "boxing" a horse and rider as well as each of the calves. They were successfully moving each individual calf to a designated spot in the arena as well as up and down the long side of the arena.
Thanks to Jessie for providing horses, cows and some great instruction!

Friday, September 24, 2010

We're in The RIDER!

Be sure to check us out in the September issue of, "The Rider - Ontario's Horse Industry Newspaper" along with Ian Millar, Amber Marshall and some of the great equine associations in Ontario.
The article is on page 10 and is titled, "The Next Generation of Great Horsepeople Starts Here!", and includes a brief summary of our clinic in July, 5 Days in the Boots of a Horse Trainer. You may recognize Victoria Gordon riding Misty, Emily Ponte leaning over Sprite's back, and Katie Frost's boots and helmet behind Peanut in the pictures selected for the article.

6th Day in the Boots of a Horse Trainer

September 10th we held our first follow up to the clinic, "5 Days in the Boots of a Horse Trainer", at Bridgecreek Stables. The girls quickly got right back into working with their assigned training horses and picked up right where they left off. After riding outdoors in the sand ring (leading for Karen and Jordan) we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take the horses for a little ride down the road.

The girls also did a refresher class to brush up on their Showmanship skills, worked their second horses (hooray for Sister whose trainers were Katie and Julianna for mounting and being backed for the first time!) and then dewormed all of the assigned horses.
Once again, the horse trainers did a phenomenal job and had some fun! Thanks to the Bridgecreek Stables gang for sharing their facility and horses!

We HEART Justin Bieber!

To celebrate Justin Bieber's London appearance at the JLC, we had a JB themed lesson! Presley and Promise got right into it with sparkly paint, JB T-shirt and wristbands. We even carried on with our lesson plan to ride to the different beats in the music with Justin Bieber's CD! Watch for these photos on the Justin Bieber official fan page!