Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rally Obedience and Horses

In dog training, there is a discipline called rally obedience. The video below shows a miniature horse going thru the course. In the second video, my Icelandic Horse and I are practicing weaving the cones (the horse weaving while the person stays on a straight path).

It's a good exercise to practice and aids in getting two-way communication between horse and human. The horse learns to interpret your body language and the suggestion of pressure.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Have A Horse in Your Life

To Have A Horse in Your Life

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a young girl courage, if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful.

Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle or a computer, a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses and drink heartily; we know we've made the right choice.

Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves.

If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it.

Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing all the more interesting.

If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday, but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car or tractor in "drive."

In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences - if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is what it's all about.

If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn.

And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven.

You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.

If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures.

If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals. Some of us need these reminders. When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.

We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.

Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return.

Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion.

In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses--or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place.

Author Unknown

Monday, December 08, 2008

Freddy Knie Circus

Freddy Knie Circus.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Language of Natural Horsemanship

Here is a sample of excerpts from, and information about, the book, The Language of Natural Horsemanship:

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Few Types of Horse Bits

Here are a few different types of bits. Some are more severe than others (icelandic, gags); some are severe if used with nosebands, some may not be suitable for horses with low palates, or horses that are micro-managed through the reins and bit, or with riders who have heavy contact on the reins.

Click onto the image to see the image in larger and higher resolution.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Effects of the Bit

Bits can be torture to horses!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trailer Accident

Trailer accident with a horse.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Equine Dentistry

Power Point Presentation from Equine Soundness Inc.

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by hhdressage

Horseman's Journey

Believe: A Horsemans Journey

Believe: A Horsemans Journey continues to chronicle the mans efforts as catalyst and mentor as we meet thirteen people with whom he has worked.

Through their words and through Brannamans perceptive introductions to each essay, we experience first-hand the hope and confidence that he has instilled in them and their horses. You will discover through these stories how many untapped dreams and abilities you too possess, and how you can bring them to fruition. So journey with Buck Brannaman, learn from him, and profit from the voyage.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Horse Shoe

Are these galloping boots? Or maybe just a new "horse shoe".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obstacle Course Video

Click on the link below to watch the Obstacle Course video by WowFactorRadio with Roger Kyle. This video will reply for 7 days. Please send the link to your friends.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

English / Western

A demonstration of english and western riding, and when the riders switch horses!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Leslie Desmond Young Writers Contest

For Immediate Release
December 2008 Issue of EQUESTRIAN MAGAZINE

No One Can Tell it Better than a Child!

Novato, CA -- Author, producer and trainers’ coach Leslie Desmond is sponsoring a contest for young artists and writers who want to share stories and pictures of their favorite horse, pony, mule or donkey.

Winners and runners up will have their stories and art or photographs featured on the Young Writers section of and receive a copy of her popular 3-volume DVD series "American Horsemanship for Young & Old" by Leslie and her students from Novato, CA.

As a young girl growing up in Western Massachusetts in the early 1960s, Leslie was given a retired Thoroughbred named Brown Jug. The 13-year old former race horse was owned by family friends whose daughter had gone off to college. She could no longer care for her beloved best friend, and Leslie was desperate to bring him home. "My own parents did not know much about horses in those days, so I relied on the kindness of others to teach me how to ride and take care of him.

"At first, he went way too fast and was not easy to steer, but it wasn’t long before we understood and loved each other anyway. Although I know she meant well, the woman who tried to help us often yanked on his mouth and whipped him if she thought he didn’t do the right thing. I did not know what the right thing was either, but we got along very well so I was certain he knew how to do some things in a good way.

"Brown Jug’s worry and confusion about all this soon turned to sadness and I could not bear to see this, so I began to correspond regularly with some well known authors who published stories for children about horses and other animals. As it turned out, they were happy to hear from me.

"I asked if there was a better way to communicate with Brown Jug. To my great relief there was. I wrote often, and they wrote right back, usually with some good advice and warm words of encouragement."

Margurite Henry, who penned "Misty of Chincoteague" and many other books, wrote to Leslie in 1964-1966 and sent her pictures of the famous foal taken at night with an early flash camera. C.W. Anderson, who wrote and illustrated "Heads Up, Heel Down" and over dozen other titles, urged Leslie to stay calm about things, and keep old Brown Jug clean and in good shape. "He also suggested that I pay close attention to the way others rode, and to see if the horses looked pleased with the situation," she said.

Joy Adamson, author of a trilogy about an African lioness named Elsa and other members of the pride, wrote "Born Free", "Living Free" and a other good books about wildlife. Several times she wrote to Leslie about taming the wild lions, and the damaging effects of man on the delicate African habitats that lions need in order to survive.

"Those authors provided support when I needed it the most. Years ago, they were my inspiration to ride well, and keep my horse clean and fit. Later, they inspired me to become a free-lance photographer and journalist. Today, they inspire me to say: 'Now, come on, all you kids! Go find a pen and some paper, or a lap top and set down your story!' I don’t think anyone can tell a better tale about a horse or pony they love than a child."

Desmond, co-authored and published the best-seller "True Horsemanship Through Feel" with the legendary horseman, Bill Dorrance (1906 – 1999) of Salinas, CA. In 2006, she produced the unique, 102 track 10-CD audio book called "Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel".

Entries will be accepted through Leslie’s website, and at:

Young Writers’ Contest
Leslie Desmond International School of Horsemanship
P.O. Box 2642
Novato, CA 94948 USA.

Each submission must be received no later than February 15th, and be accompanied by a letter from a legal guardian or parent to authorize publication of the story and art work on the internet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Listen To Josh Lyons

Listen to Josh Lyons explain his horse-training methods.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Slow-Down Feeder

A new feeder to help slow down your horse's eating:

More info:

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Bruzzle

This is my Icelandic Horse's temporary "Bruzzle", pending the arrival of the plasticized version.

Believe it or not, this horse can be ridden by any "professional" or "certified" Icelandic Horse trainer or judge with this specialized control equipment.

To learn more about it:

Bruzzle. ("While flash nosebands and crank cavesons could be tightened to an adequate degree for most amateur’s horses, superior equine athletes ridden by qualified professionals needed something more intimidating.")

or start here:



Rueckgrat Aufwickelender (Spine Cranker);
Guter Sitz Ice Cap (Memorial Edition)Saddle; Impulsion Boots

Friday, October 24, 2008


Wouldn't you like to have a relationship with your horse like this? and to be able to ride like this?

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Woman Spanish Riding School

The first woman rider has officially been selected for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saddle Fit and Pressure

Saddlemaker, Charon Caldwell Discussing Saddle Fit with Dr. Joseph Leviner, Chiropractic Physician

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quotes from True Horsemanship Through Feel

A book by Leslie Desmond and Bill Dorrance:

True Horsemanship Through Feel.

A few quotes:

Pg 303: Buck:
"...if a horse gets to bucking with a person, it's only due to self-preservation and maybe something that's been left out...."

Pg 306: Changing Eyes:
"...You'd work both sides of your horse so both eyes get used to seeing you... He would get so he could see you anywhere and it wouldn't bother him...."

Find the book here: True Horsemanship Through Feel

Sheath Cleaning

The pony, Tonka, is pretty dirty in the sheath area. I take my time with horses and don't try to rush into things, so we're just getting around to addressing the sheath cleaning.

The other day when he was in the round pen, I took a picture when he was slightly dropped, to use as a baseline for reference. He is very scaley and loaded with "stuff". Not much gunk because it's not sticky, it's pretty hard. With the light (and mottled) skin, I worry about something being cancerous.

It must be very uncomfortable for him.

This afternoon, I had nothing on the calender, so decided to *do* nothing. I put him in a small corral and took a book and chair to sit and read. I figured I could click him if and when he dropped. No pressure. Nothing asked. That would be a start to sheath cleaning.

Well, in watching him, I didn't get much reading done. It's hard to read and watch for the slightest try in dropping. Impatient, that's me.

I thought about it, thought about the mechanics, and decided that if I put some lubricant inside the sheath, that would at least help with loosening up some of the scaley stuff, even if he didn't drop. As I put my hand in, I was able to touch him, and clicked. He's pretty smart, and I think he made a connection.

I didn't want to stand with my hand inside of the sheath (neighborhood kids and all....), so I figured if I just put my hand on the sheath, on the outside, I would be able to feel if he was dropping at the slightest, and click that.

Yes, that's all it took for him. He got the idea, and dropped more and more each time.

I got some pictures for a baseline. I added more lubricant to soften the scaley stuff, and altho the whole procedure only took a few minutes, and we didn't *do* any purposeful cleaning, he looks a little cleaner. Not clean by any standards, but better than he was.

As I said, I don't hurry through these things, so it'll wait til the next opportunity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Photo Editing and Re-sizing for Email and Lists

Keep this message. File in it your drafts folder, or save it as a document.

Here's an option in addition to (on-line photo editing) for re-sizing photos:

You can also try these other on-line free programs:

You can edit the picture to make them smaller, or crop them, etc.

Crop your photos to show the object of the picture (getting rid of all the excess sky, ground, extraneous stuff), and then re-size your photos to 400 PX height, and less than 100 KB.

Feel free to forward or share with your friends and other lists.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Teachers Vs Learners

By Lydia:

Here is something I've learned throughout the years. And yes, it pertains to the Parelli method of instruction as well as to any other method, and it also pertains no matter what the subject is based on.

It is a teacher's responsibility to present new knowledge and facts to the student in such a way that the student CAN (not necessarily does, as that depends on the student) understand it and put it to use. It is the teacher's responsibility to present it in such a way as to hold the learner's attention. I have had some teachers who present things in such a dry, factual, monotone way that no matter how interesting you otherwise found the material, this teacher would put you to sleep, hence your attention wanders and you cease listening.

Is is the learner's or student's responsibility to speak up to the teacher and admit they 'don't get it' so that the teacher CAN present it in a different way that the student CAN grasp it. It is also the student's or learner's responsibility to pay attention and strive to learn the lesson, sometimes using the material learned and rephrasing it into a situation where it makes sense.

What good would it do for me to teach you to tie your shoes correctly if you've never worn shoes and probably never will? I have just struggled to teach you a concept you have no basis or grounds to understand the mechanics and 'why' of. On the other hand, if I taught you the same knot as a way of making a harness so your goat could haul your produce to market, you would find it useful and it would make more sense to you.

So, it is always the teacher's responsibility to present material in such a way that the student can and will find it useful, consequently they then retain the information and use it, or at least file it away in their brains for future use and reference.

Many of us cannot do algebra equations, yet we DO use it nearly every day without realizing it. Algebra is having standard equations that various 'facts' can be plugged into them in a meaningful way, in order to derive a meaningful answer. For example, here's a standard equation:

X divided by Y equals Z.

If we plug the numbers into this one equation in a certain way, we will come up with a useful answer.

X = number of miles traveled since last fill up
Y = number of gallons pumped into the vehicle since the last fill up
Z = number of miles my vehicle is getting per gallon

What the Parellis are teaching us are the standard equations we can plug facts into to come up with a meaningful course of action to follow that is relevant to each of us, our particular horse and that horse's current behavior to get the desired results. In other words, our Parelli equation might read something like this:

X times Y = Z

X = the horsenality we are dealing with on that day
Y = the amount of time we need to spend playing the correct game to get the
Z = desired result of a 'soft' confident horse

As students it is our job to do a little research and figure out which game we are lacking in for that particular horsenality.

LOL, If you weren't confused before Maybe I just did it for you. :-) Otherwise I hope I've given you a new way to look at a problem and figure it out. :-D


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Leslie Desmond

Leslie Desmond, co-author with Bill Dorrance, of True Horsemanship Through Feel, will be in California in October and November.

Don't miss these demos / clinics!

Click onto the image for more detail.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


by Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Exactly a Horse Video, Deer on a Hood

This is not exactly a horse video, but:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why do I like ponies?

Icelandic Horse mare, Cookie

Why do I like ponies?
I reckon I must be mad.
My mother wasn't horsey
And neither was my dad.

But the madness hit me early
And it hit me like a curse.
And I've never gotten better
In fact I've gotten worse.

My stables are immaculate.
My house is like a hovel.
Last year for my birthday
I got a brand new shovel.

I hardly read a paper
But I know who's sold their horse
And I wouldn't watch the news
If show jumping was on, of course.

One eye's always on the heavens
But my washing waves in vain
As I rush to get the horses in
In case it's gonna rain.

And though they're wearing 15 rugs,
The best that you can get,
I bring them in to keep them dry
While I get soaking wet.

I spend up every cent I've got
On horsey stuff for sure.
I buy fancy mugs and fancy rugs,
And then I buy some more.

I should have had that hair cut
Or bought that nice blue shirt
At least it wouldn't be now
Ripped to shreds and in the dirt.

I can't make a bloody sponge cake
I don't even try
But I can back a truck and trailer
In the twinkling of an eye.

It's pants and mud boots
That I live in night and day
And that smell of sweaty horses
Just doesn't wash away.

Once in every now and then
I can dress up for a ball.
Make up and a hairdo
With high heel shoes and all.

I ache from long forgotten falls.
My knees have got no skin.
My toes have gone a funny shape.
From being squashed again.

But late at night, when all is still
And I've gone to give them hay,
I touch their velvet softness
And my worries float away.

They give a gentle nicker
And they nuzzle through my hair
And I know it's where my heart is
More than anywhere.
~~Author Unknown

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Karen Rohlf Dressage Naturally

Here's Karen Rohlf doing some dressage work, bareback and bridleless:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Horse Color Quiz

Here is a quiz on horse colors:

Play Quiz: Strange and Unusual Horse Colors and Markings now!

Dressage, Baucher

An old description of Baucher:

Horse, At Liberty Work

Here is some "at liberty" ground work and freestyle with horse Nirvana:

Pony at the River

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beginning of the End

A friend gives you a horse...
You build a small shelter...$750
You fence in a paddock...$450
Purchase small truck to haul hay...$12,000
Purchase a 2 horse trailer...$2,800
Purchase 2nd horse...$2,500
Build larger shelter with storage...$2,000
More fencing...$1,200
Purchase 3rd horse...$3,000
Purchase 4 horse trailer...$17,500
Purchase larger truck...$23,000
Purchase 4 acres next door...$38,000
More fencing...$2,000
Build small barn...$18,000
Purchase camper for truck...$9,000
Purchase tractor...$23,000
Purchase 4th & 5th horse...$6,500
Purchase 20 acres...$285,000
Build house...$185,000
Build barn...$56,000
More fencing & corrals...$24,000
Build covered arena...$182,000
Purchase Dually...$44,000
Purchase gooseneck w/living quarters...$45,000
Purchase 6th, 7th & 8th horse...$10,750
Hire full time trainer...$50,000
Build house for trainer...$84,000
Buy motor home for shows...$125,000
Hire attorney -- spouse leaving you for trainer...$35,000
Declare bankruptcy, spouse gets everything.
Friend feels sorry for you a horse.....

~~Author Unknown

Friday, September 12, 2008

Janice's Icelandic Horse Bedtime Story

Janice wrote a story about her horses:

Monday, September 08, 2008

Therapy Pony

Here are a few pictures of a therapy pony at work: