"Helping Horses With Their People" for over 30 years.

This month I can finally say that I have been teaching professionally for over 30 years. One of my first after school jobs was teaching and training at Barlow Knoll Stables in Gettysburg PA in 1982. I remember this job and how easy I thought it was but at that point I already had over 10 years experience teaching my friends to ride my horse and numerous ponies that were bought and sold at the auction.

There are no blue ribbons from my first shows in 1968 and 1969 but not because I wasn't riding well enough but because I was telling the other kids what to do and what they were doing wrong. My Mother was an Instructor and I thought I was suppose to help I guess.

Now, I am sure that is what I am suppose to do. "Helping Horses With Their People" through riding lessons, clinics, lectures and saddle fit evaluations is my purpose in life. Any time a student has a good ride, it is a better ride for me. Seeing a horse change from unhappy to happy because of a saddle change or adjustment, sends chills up my arms. Sometimes, you could just cry.

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to help you with your horses.

Level 3 Clinic Saturday May 19, 2012 still has room for more riders.
FMI on our clinics go to Clinics

Western Dressage

Nic & I rode in a western dressage clinic at Blue Goose Stable in Cochranville last weekend. It was a great weekend with my horse, meeting new friends and doing what I love to do ride and talk about saddles!

There are a few shows in the area that are offering western dressage classes at their schooling shows for riders that want to test their training progress. The tests are very basic and simple to help guide riders in the right direction for developing balanced, calm, supple and responsive western horses. Very much the same as classical dressage the objective is to build a horse up mentally and physically and enhance our relationships.

Does Proper Saddle Fit Really Make a Difference

At a recent saddle fit evaluation the horse appeared to be foot sore. The shoes had been pulled, the ground was dry dirt and the feet were short. Before I adjusted her Schleese saddle, I needed to see her ride. During this part of the evaluation we can see how the horse travels, his attitude and overall general behavior, the rider's position and the dust pattern. The dust pattern confirms what we see for instance; did the saddle slip to one side, forward or back and if there is any uneven pressure.

Generally horses that are feeling pain in their feet or legs show it by limping. Generally sensitive horses that are feeling pain in their backs show it in their behavior. A lot of horses show their discomfort by taking short strides, hollowing their backs, dragging their toes or appearing to be stiff or off in the hind end.

After the Schleese saddle's tree width and angle had been adjusted, the horse's shoulders were moving more freely. The same horse on the same ground just a few minutes later did not appear to be foot sore. When the horse's shoulders are allowed to move at their full range, the horse's feet land on the ground heel to toe as Mother Nature intended. The shock can be absorbed through the joints. If the horse is taking short choppy strides because the saddle is pinching the shoulders, the horse will land toe first. Too much pressure repeatedly on the toe can damage the tiny little fragile bones in the foot. Navicular, ring bone and founder are ugly words that no one wants to hear. Let's just say YES! proper saddle fit does make a difference.

Favorite link of the month http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjeD1GnL3nI&feature=related
Jochen Schleese talks about proper pain free saddle fit.


Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 11am Saddle fit lecture and evaluations
Tombetsthefarm Open House at 5404 Mondell Rd. Sharpsburg, MD FMI contact Betsy Ayers 717.215.5103 or Terry

Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the home of Vikki Erb 529 Miller Rd, Halifax, PA FMI contact Terry

As always, thank you for reading our e-newsletter and for all the responses. Call, text or email me and if I don't respond, please try again. I don't think cell phones and computers are always dependable. I always try to respond within 2 days. Happy riding everyone!

TTYS & God Bless