Monday, March 2, 2015

"Exorcising" out the Winter Riding Blues

Who out there in horsey land hasn't been affected by this cold, snowy winter?

 We have been very fortunate this winter. Many barns and stables have had roofs collapse endangering horses lives. We have managed to continue our daily horsekeeping and stable routines. The main stables have remained above freezing allowing the horses and riders a comfy respite from the snow and cold. The Cover-All indoor arena has 15 foot snow drifts acting as insulation and the sand -rubber footing mixed with MAG flakes has remained soft and damp. Our greatest challenge has been keeping the paddock gates and roadways clear for turn-out.

Our Rosebud Riders haven't let sub-zero temps or thigh high snow stop them from enjoying their winter rides. In the arena, they have focused on jump patterns to improve their turning and balance. And on our coldest days they are working on their canter lengthening and hand-gallop in the two-point. But their greatest joy has been galloping through the snow.

"Sing like no one's listening, love like you have never been hurt, dance like no body's watching, live like its heaven on earth and ride like its your last time in the irons"
Enjoy your winter riding ...


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Setting Goals to Achieve Your Riding Dreams

We're finally in the year 2015. The new year is a great time to set new riding goals. If you haven’t come up with any goals, you still have time to write down this year’s goals. People who take the time to write down goals and read them often seem to have a better chance of attaining them. Knowing what your goals are can many times help you define what steps are necessary to reach them.
You should try and set short term and long term goals.
My goals for Teddy includes overcoming his fear of poles

1) Break it Down.  Write down your action plan for each goal. Be specific.
2) Visualize your goal. Be realistic .. do you have the resources to achieve your goal or do you need to attain them? 
3) Pick a date to go with each goal.  Anticipate roadblocks and obstacles, don't become discouraged. Adjust and carry on with your action plan. Celebrate your successes. 
4) Stay positive! Believe in yourself and find ways to say "YES" to your horse. 
Setting small goals that can be accomplished within 30 days is so powerful.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Saintly Rosebud Camp Horses

The life of our Rosebud Academy Camp horses and ponies is not necessarily easy. They work and work day after day teaching riders the basics. Every horseback rider started with that gentle soul that carried them around and around the arena as they struggled to learn "UP DOWN UP DOWN".
Each and everyone of these saintly creatures handle unbalanced and unsure riders, the poking, the pulling, the kicking without a single protest. The lesson horse teaches riders how to do it right. It may take  many tries and many rides but each rider knows that their trusty lesson horse can be depended on to keep them safe while they develop the skills and passion that will carry them onto the backs of many more horses.
The Camp horse gives these kids more than a riding lesson...they give confidence, they help develop a sense of team work, they offer fun, they offer their unconditional love.

Its not an easy life but these are very special horses.  They deserve your utmost respect and your devotion. They live for your hugs and treats.
Give your special lesson horse a big HUG for me.
Ms Charlene

"Sing like no one's listening, love like you have never been hurt, dance like no body's watching, live like its heaven on earth and ride like its your last time in the irons"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Pony Under the Christmas Tree

What little girl doesn't wish that Santa will bring a pony for Christmas. My Christmas Wish list had at least one pony request each year. I grew up watching the Lone Ranger and having shoot-outs at the OK Corral. Having your own pony was the stuff dreams were made of.
I love that its a dream that young and old "horse-crazy" girls still have. Its a magical place where horse and rider are swept away by the hope and the possibilities that Christmas Wishes bring.
Mimi & Charlotte
Merry Christmas & May All Your Wishes Come True

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Earning Your Wings At Winter Riding Camp

I had the wonderful opportunity to watch another young rider earn her "wings" recently. The pure joy and excitement that is expressed the first time a rider "lets go" and canters without the rein is without a doubt one of my greatest rewards as a riding instructor. Its also one of my prerequisites for my riders before they are allowed to canter independently off the lunge line.

The concept of riding without hanging on to the mouth of the horse should be the first thing every rider is taught. First on the lunge with a quiet horse and then independently on the rail. Eventually, riders should be able to stop, steer, and yes, even jump with out rein contact.
Learning to ride with an independent seat with real balance should be the cornerstone of teaching riders. However, it has been my experience that many riders have been taught to hold a tight rein, pull turns, and pull to stop.

The result for the horse is: 

  • The complete deterioration of lightness and responsiveness of the mouth.
  • A building of the under muscles of the neck and a deterioration of the longitudinal muscles of the horse which completely changes the mechanics, carriage and paces of the horse. 
  • Makes any future correct or remedial training of the horse far more difficult for the rider and completely traumatic for the horse. 
  • Causes a proliferation of horses that won't stand, horses that lose their brakes, horses that become dangerous run-aways.
  •  Horses that are crippled with incorrect muscle crookedness, stifle problems, and sore backs.  

The result for the rider is:

  • Falls... Hanging onto the rein does not keep you on the horse. Staying balanced on your seat bones does.
  • Fear... Rider loses control of the horse as the horse no longer has brakes.
  • Failure... Rider gives up riding. An activity that should be fun and safe becomes filled with tears and frustration.

Riding with the correct contact can and should be taught. But first the rider should be taught how to control and balance their bodies without using the horse's mouth as a crutch.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

10 Things to do this Winter Break to get ready for Summer Horseback Riding Camp

  1. Watch a Horsey Movie                            Justin Morgan Had a Horse
  2. Read a great book about horses
  3. Work-out those riding muscles  Unmounted warm-up exercises
  4. Dig out last summer's camp video and have a good laugh
  5. Catch up with your camp friends
  6. Send a note to your 4-legged camp friend or better yet send him a camp package complete with horse treats and don't forget a "selfie"
  7. Learn a new friendship bracelet pattern. Check out
  8. Quiz yourself.... what does a Coggins Test? What breed is native to Austria?
  9. Hmmm maybe you could use a refresher course before Horse Jeopardy 
  10. Make a S'mores Hot Cocoa   
What You'll Need:
  • 4 cups hot cocoa (see note)
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
What To Do:
  1. Pour prepared hot cocoa into 4 mugs.
  2. Evenly top each mug of cocoa with marshmallow creme and graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately.
Notes :Use your favorite hot cocoa mix or for every mug of S'mores Hot Cocoa, heat 8 ounces milk with 2 tablespoons chocolate flavor syrup mixed in.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrate "The Year of The Horse" at Summer Horse Camp


In Chinese astrology, the Horse year is considered a fortunate year that brings luck and good things. The Magical Horse has supernatural powers, is heroic, strong, and can even fly!  A white celestial cloud Horse is sacred to the Chinese Goddess Kwan Yin. Her white Horse flies through the heavens, bringing peace and blessings. The Horse is a hero in China because important battles were won due to the power and strength of the Horse.

People born in Horse years (2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906) are bright, cheerful, popular, and fun loving. They find people and crowds exciting, and love parties. The horse’s childish innocence, sunny disposition, and natural charm attract many friends. The horse is a highly intuitive animal, so people born in a Horse year follow their hunches. Their keen judgment and natural intuition often help them make the right decisions throughout their life. Usually they don’t need to struggle in order to succeed and obtain the fine things life has to offer.

Casual and outdoorsy, the Horse year is about freedom, returning to nature, and enjoying life and life’s adventures                                                       


Using arts dated from the ancient Chinese Ching Dynasty, when the elite royal soldiers were trained in both riding and Tai Chi, we will explore and try to understand and master the flow of energy through balance and intent. All of these skills are taught very effectively by Tai Chi.

Riders need a strong center of gravity, excellent body control, and the ability to   move with softness yet strength.

Riders find that Tai Chi improves body alignment and balances strength with suppleness. Tai Chi develops the deep stabilizer muscles of the core of the body that are essential to strength and endurance in the saddle. Balance and strength are further enhanced as students learn to center themselves from their "dan tian" or energy center located in the cradle of the pelvis. As riders follow a choreographed Tai Chi sequence, their ability to direct and coordinate independent movements of the arms and legs improves steadily. Fluidity, coordination, balance and agility are some of the many benefits that translate directly into riding success.

We may not have been born during a Horse Year but we can all enjoy the luck and good fortune that The Year Of  The Horse promises.