Dressage test fashion and over-facing the young horse

Hello all, this is Amira, your friendly webmaster and wanna-be dressagey rider!

As you know, I listen to podcasts a lot.  One of my favorite programs is the Dressage Radio Show on the Horse Radio Network.

I recently listened to an excellent podcast about Dressage Test Fashion (for the first half) and introducing young horses to the show ring (second half).

Highlights from the fashion segment

Talks about what clothing/equipment to invest in first.  Turns out, good boots not only look good, but they significantly improve a rider’s leg.   If you use piping on your coat or jacket, consider how it may emphasize the wrong things!  For example, a vertical white stripe down the back is virtually guaranteed to point out any crookedness.

Also tips for riding with a tie (pin that sucker down!)  and riding with a coat.  Trends toward bling versus no bling on the horses.  Color choices… did you know that black is not traditional?   How does this all look to the judges?

Highlights from the young horse segment

First off, I think this is applicable to my horse (even though he is 11), and other horses in the barn!  It really is about introducing horses to scary situations gradually, and the long-term problems of over-facing them (pushing them into and through something they cannot handle yet).  Describes how to evaluate a show ground from the horses perspective, what is easier versus harder, and the young horse brain.

You should listen to it too!   You can play the podcast here:

HRN Podcast link to DressageRadioEpisode455

definitely not over-facing the horses at this point
Sonnet demonstrating the height of halter fashion in the background.  Gideon is wondering what is going on.  And Freja is just too cool to care!

New Years newsletter

Winter Weather

The arctic tundra is upon is, and things haven’t been much colder!! All the ponies have a fresh, constant supply of water and hay, and we are keeping close eyes on them. Blankets have gone on in sets, and everyone is doing really well, considering! So far the snow we have had has been very manageable, and without incident. The next two days appear to be the worst, and then back to more normal winter temps. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, and please do not feel the need to have to risk coming out if the weather is rough. We would be happy to handle anything for you that is necessary if you cannot make it out!

Happy Holidays!

The barn Holiday party was a huge success, thank you to those who were able to make it, and sorry to have missed those who could not. The party was our first event held in the Main House, and the use of the space proved to be lovely! At the event, we unveiled our newest feature of the farm, a 60″ indoor/outdoor screen and projector, which will serve as a permanent viewing area in the Dinning Hall for group and individual viewing events of rides and horse shows, and when the weather permits as an outdoor movie night on the farm. Very excited to utilize this tool for critical analysis of rides and expanded theory sessions to supplement our riding time. Looking forward to so much more wonderful time in the Main House!

keep stables holiday party 2017 boarding farmstay

New Year, New You

Every new year presents new opportunity, and with the passing of 2017 comes the time for reflecting upon what 2018 can and should mean for us all. For those on the farm interested in expanding new curriculum, tackling new avenues, and setting new goals for themselves and their ponies, I would like to extend the opportunity to sit down and help you set your 2018 goals and map out a plan of action for accomplishing them. We can schedule these meetings as they work for you, just drop me a note about it and we will set up a time to meet in the Dining Hall and get going! We have lots of items on our farm goal list, very excited about the new opportunities and upgrades we hope to accomplish on the farm in 2018!


While survival seems to be the main mode currently, looking ahead is a great way to stay afloat in crummy weather! Many folks are interested in getting off the farm experience with their ponies on a regular basis, and I would like to start planning events for on and off the farm. Soon the show season will be upon us, and we will plan outings off the farm before the first show to make sure the horses are aware of the outside world. My goal presently is to plan at least one off farm schooling opportunity each month before the first show, and hopefully a couple FixATest clinics to make sure we are ready for the start of show season. Mid Show season, over the summer I would like to do a couple fun outings, not really schooling specific, such as horse friendly water parks or other things we can come up with. Please share any ideas you may have! We will have Karen Rainey back for our FixATest series, and would like to see if folks are interested in working with David Beard again. Have started working out dates for the on Farm events, soon to be scheduled! As mentioned earlier, we now have some fun event opportunities to tie into our regular barn parties, as well. Viewing horse movies, horse shows broadcast online, and anything else we come up with is now possible with our portable projector system. We have many options to keep us learning and enrich our lives even in non-riding weather!


And one more cutie!