Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Addition at Nayborly

We have a new member of the Nayborly Farms crew! Because of Sewickley's lameness, in October I decided I would look for another Thoroughbred event prospect. I wasn't in a rush to find another horse due to my busy work/class schedule. On top of that, I own three horses already (Mikey, Pip, and Sewick). Nevertheless, we noticed "Don"--a 5 year old Thoroughbred--for sale on and decided to drive down to Longview, WA to check him out. We figured between the three of us--Cheryl, Kelsy, and I--at least one of us would come up with a good reason NOT to buy the horse once seeing it in person.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jumpernite in December

Jumpernite is held at the Trails End Arena in Tumwater three times every year. We've been competing at Jumpernite since the days of Mikey and Precious. Though somewhat expensive, it's one of our favorite shows to attend.

One of the reasons we like Jumpernite is that they offer a warm-up course before the competition begins. This is an opportunity for horses and riders to practice the course and get used to the arena. If you and/or your horse are nervous at shows, doing a non-judged warm-up round is an excellent way to get your feet wet with minimal pressure. Patti and Arron and Kelsy and Huxley all rode a schooling round early in the morning before the show got underway.

Patti and Arron entered the 2'6" Pony Jumpers division. This was a large class of sixteen horse and riders. Arron and Patti had a smooth first round and advanced to the jumpoff. Though they weren't as fast as some of the other pairs, they stayed on course and had a clean round. They finished in seventh place and won a purple ribbon for Patti's growing collection. Arron is twenty-six years old.

Kelsy and Huxley entered the 3'-3'3" Warm-Up Jumpers Power and Speed class. Power and Speed is a class in which the first half of the course must be jumped cleanly (no dropped rails or refusals). If the first fences on course are jumped cleanly, you then proceed immediately to a timed jump-off round over the last half of the course. The fastest clean round wins the class. Hux hadn't jumped a course since August and had never jumped a 3'3" course in competition. Nevertheless, Hux was a super star and jumped a clean first round to advance on to the jumpoff. Though they didn't take any of the inside corners, their jump off round was clean and forward putting Hux in 6th place out of about fifteen riders.

Chesna and Pippin also entered the 3'-3'3" Warm-Up Jumpers class. In his typical style Pippin had a clear first round and advanced to the jumpoff. In the jump-off Pippin made a statement about "Pony Power!" and put in a smoking fast jumpoff to win the class. Though they had a little bobble at the last fence--which was really Chesna's fault--they pulled it off to beat the second place horse's jumpoff time by a respectable four seconds.

We had a great time at Jumpernite and are looking forward to attending Jumpernite in January. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Okay a quick update from Bellingham about Tino the rescue horse. Tino came the middle of last week and is settling in well. He has already gained a bunch of weight since the rescue program got him 3-4 weeks ago. My best guess as to what breed he is is some kind of Grade Quarter Horse or a Quarter Horse cross. We will be able to tell more once he gains all his weight back and sheds out this spring. He is currently about 13'3-14 hands and according to his teeth approximately 4 years old.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congratulations Flech

We just received word that Flech found a new home this week! We wish Flech a healthy and happy future with his new owner; he deserves the best.

This means that all four of the geldings we helped market for sale this summer/fall have been rehomed. Good horses are good horses, even in a rough economy. Whether or not you seek professional help when marketing your horse, we recommend that you always get clean and quality photos, write up an accurate and informative text ad, make sure the horse is healthy and up to date, and be realisitic about your target buyers and pricing. It goes without saying that the most important thing you can do for your for sale horse is sell them to an appropriately matched new owner. If you have any specific questions about selling horses, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Update From Bellingham

Chesna worked for a holistic small animal vet--housesitting and exercising her horses--while she was attending Western in Bellingham. Thanks to that, I get to board Huxley at the vet's farm this quarter.

It's a small private barn that is not open to boarders, but Hux and I have lucked out in the fact that the owner was willing to board him for the three months I'm in Bellingham finishing school this fall. The barn has four stalls, hay storage, a feedroom, a tackroom, a guest bedroom, and a full bathroom. The loft is someday going to be a HUGE dance floor. I've told Huxley this is the nicest place he will ever live!

The arena is a good sized outdoor arena that is mostly sand with some hogsfual mixed in, and it has been holding up nicely to the Washington weather. The turnouts are large hogsfuel paddocks with big run in sheds. For pasture there are four fenced acres of beautifully kept grass.

Huxley's new best friend is the barn owner's Thoroughbred gelding, Charlie. Though Charlie is in his late teens, he seems to tolerate Huxley's antics well and even plays with Hux from time to time.

Just down the road from the barn there are some logging roads that go forever up into the foothills. The barn owner and I have gone on several long rides that took us along scenic routes that overlooked the valley below, as well as provided great views of Mt. Baker.

Currently Hux has been working on getting steadier with his dressage and jumping bigger fences consistently. His goal for this winter is to go to JumperNite, a local jumper show, and make it around a 3'3 course without scaring me, him, or anyone watching. I think we can manage this goal...

The second weekend in October my friend Alyssa came all the way up to Bellingham from Portland, OR. She is also a horse person, so besides the normal college student stuff we did horse things as well. Saturday we went on a trail ride. Alyssa rode Huxley and I borrowed Charlie from the barn owner. We just followed the gravel road behind the barn to where there is a look-out overlooking the valley below and the Nooksack River. Alyssa used to do Hunters before she moved out west, but hasn't jumped much in a few years. So of course I made her jump Hux, and there had to be pictures! For not having really jumped in a long time and not jumping over 2'6 when she did, I think she did great. And Huxley was great about having someone else jump him.

Though we don't have a truck and trailer in Bellingham, Hux and I happened to find a ride to the last Cubbing Fox Hunt of the year with the Fraser Valley Hunt. It was a lot of fun to be able to get out and gallop in a large group of horses. Hux really needed a good run, because after a few hours of galloping he came back sweaty but far from tired!

Winter has finally arrived with tons of rain and wind in Bellingham. Huxley has decided that he would like to grow a short winter coat. His extra coat really isn't working well for me because he gets sweaty if I work him hard at all. We really need to be working hard on our canter for dressage next year, among other things. So to help with the sweating, Huxley got a modified blanket clip. He doesn't mind too much as long as I promise to keep him blanketed and warm. (Before and after pictures below).

The barn owner has decided to rescue a little three/four year old gelding who goes by the name of Tino. Tino will be coming some time this week. I am told he is just a bag of bones right now, but Tino couldn't find a better home. He will be loved and have plenty of food. Pictures will be posted when he arrives.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A New Home for Slick

We are pleased to announce that Gunnabeslick, aka "Slick," found a new and loving home this week! We had Slick here at Nayborly for a few weeks this summer for tune up training. We also took marketable photos of him and created a for sale video of him in action. He was a wonderful horse to work with, and we are glad to hear he has found a great home! He will be doing trail riding and dressage. Below are some photos from his time with us over the summer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

...and One More

Wow this hasn't been updated in forever. Sorry folks! I will try to get it updated this weekend/week before classes start. As of today I'm packing and leaving for Bellingham with Huxley, and Chesna has already started graduate school.

I just wanted to post that we know of one more horse for sale this summer/fall. He is a great, great horse; anyone can ride him. His name is Flech and he's a 14 year old Paint gelding. Flech is show ready if you know of someone wanting to do that, and he's just overall a fun ride.

Monday, August 24, 2009


So much happens during the summer that it's hard to keep track and up to date! Here's our attempt at filling you in on some of the goings on at the farm...

At the end of July our friends Carolyn and Marilyn came to camp here for their annual horsey vacation. They spent several days with their horses Gunnar, Bear, Sky and Dash and got in lots of trail riding. We always forget to take pictures of these ladies, probably because we're having too much fun! The best we got was a picture of their base camp.

One of our favorite trail rides takes us off Thompson Creek Road along a wooded ridge, down a hill, and out underneath the powerlines with a view of Mt. Rainier. Below Cheryl and friend Theresa got ahead of us on the trail for a little perspective.
We have five Haflinger geldings here at Nayborly Farms: Arron, Mikey, Precious, Chucky and Pippin. They're kind of like our farm mascots. During the day the boys tend to nap or crowd around and watch us ride the training horses, until it is their turn to ride that is!

One of the best times of year is when the Skookumchuck hay fields are mowed and baled. The fields become pristine turf for galloping and the hay bales are fun to dodge or jump. If you have a need for speed, open mowed hay fields are horse riding heaven!

Our friend and fellow rider Jesse came and spent several days with us earlier this month. She brought along her two horses, Stuey and Bravo. Both Stuey and Bravo are past summer campers, so we love having them around! Below Jesse and Brav strut their stuff.

When Jesse was here we decided to practice our jump positions and work on our horses' technique. We set up a grid of fences and built the height of the jumps up as we rode. Gridwork is great for horses because it allows them to work out jumping challenges fairly independently of their rider; gridwork is great for riders because it allows them to practice their position, balance, and truly "going with the horse."

Sandy, a Trakehner x Quarter Horse mare shown below, was here for three weeks and spent time working on consistency in her trot and canter work. We now have Blaze, her Thoroughbred cross colt, for a month to start under saddle.

Spencer was here for a month. He boarded at Nayborly Farms during his yearling summer so he could have some youngster playmates, and the following year we broke Spence out. This year he came back for a month for some continued education. Below Spencer demonstrates "bumping up" to the trailer. We teach horses to step over to the fence, the trailer, and/or a mounting block so that we can easily get on and off of them. Spence is a pro at bumping up from his first summer with us, but we make sure to challenge him from time to time by asking him to do it from the right side (generally people mount on the left and horses get in a habit of doing things from that side).

Our friend Melissa brought her niece and nephew out to do some pony riding on Mikey. We thought this picture was cute with Kelsy and Bravo in the background!

As the months change so do the weeds and flowers around the farm. Now we mostly have ugly stuff like tansy, thistles, and ragwort; but whatever this weed is looks pretty.

Some horsepeople don't believe in feeding their horses treats, but that is not the case around Nayborly. Our horses are expected to have manners when it comes to hand feeding, and if done properly hand feeding does not make a horse pushy or harder to handle. In fact, we like to teach our horses tricks and use treats as a reward. Below Hux demonstrates his flexible bowing skills.

Our old little farmhouse is also home to all sorts of animals, some by invitation and others not so much. This was the first time the frog made an appearance.
Our summer is not over yet and there's still lots of horse activity taking place. We've also already started a waitlist for horse training next spring/summer. Thanks for reading!