Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Questions for Your Horse Trainer

If you are considering putting your horse in professional training, it is worth your while to find someone who can meet your needs and the needs of your horse. To find the best trainer for your situation, here are some simple questions you can consider asking a prospective trainer:  
  • What are your fees? 
  • What sort of experience do you have? What is your training background? Your methodology?
  • May I see your facility? How will my horse be kept and what sort of daily care will he/she receive?
  • How frequently will my horse be worked, and for about how long?
  • What sort of tack do you use? Should I provide my own tack? Do you use training aids?
  • Where will my horse be ridden? 
  • Will other people be riding my horse, like working students or assistant trainers?
  • Does groundwork and lunging count as a training session?
  • May I ride my horse while he/she is in training with you?
  • What can I do to help prepare my horse for training?
  • What will my horse be fed while in your care? Do I need to provide the feed? 
  • What veterinarian do you use? What is your procedure for handling health concerns or emergencies?
  • Can I observe the training sessions if I contact you ahead of time? 
  • What happens if you are having trouble or difficulty working with my particular horse?
  • Do you have a training contract or paperwork?
  • Can you recommend any other trainers in the area for me to consider?
Most trainers will be happy to answer your questions and talk about their training program. Remember, you want to find a trainer who you are comfortable with, and who is a good fit for your horse. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November Snow

This November we had our first snow of the season, just in time for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Summer Success :)

We've had a great 2010 summer season full of horsey fun. Here's a quick wrap-up:

* The fence got painted, with some help from our friends...

* Kelsy and Huxley (age six) put in a solid event season at Training Level; winning their last show of the season together.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Beach, as Hux Sees it!

As told from Huxley's perspective...

At first glance the "beach" or what I like to call "The Land of TERROR" seems harmless enough, a lot of sand, logs and a few sticks. But this is un-true!
There are things lurking in the sand, you have to watch out for them!

Ocean City, Our 2010 Beach Trip!

Today we loaded up Huxley, Specks and Brico for a beach ride. It has been years since any of us have ridden on the beach; Hux and Specks had never been before. As always it was great fun and the horses were better behaved than we thought they would be. It was however typical Washington beach weather, despite the fact that at home it was close to 80 degrees and sunny; cloudy, foggy, windy, and rain at times but still tons of fun!

Patti & Specks, Ches & Brico

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pippin's a Champ - Officially!

Today Pip proved that he's the best in the Northwest, at least when it comes to Training level eventing! He finished the Equestrian Institute Horse Trials on our dressage score of 25.5, leading the Area VII Training Championship division from start to finish. We competed against sixteen other horses and riders, and Pip was the only pony in his division. Also, to our knowledge, Pippin is the only Haflinger in the U.S. to have won a Training level event.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pippin's Going to Championships

Ready or not, September 17-19 Pippin will be attending the Equestrian Institute Horse Trials Area VII Championships at Northwest Equestrian Center. Pip hasn't been to a single horse show since he qualified at Training level in early May, but I've been riding him regularly all summer around the farm. All of my competition focus the past several months has been on getting Brico out. Now that Brico has finished his first show season, I'm finding it a strange (and welcome!) transition going from jumping a green, unbalanced 16 hand Thoroughbred back to jumping my 14 hand super pony!

Hanoverian Sporthorse For Sale

Our friends Kathy and Jessica are offering a lovely 6 year old, 16.1 hand Hanoverian x Thoroughbred sporthorse mare for sale, "Winney." Winney is out of the Hanoverian stallion Winnetou.This mare has fabulous gaits and amazing natural jump talent. With her classic looks and open stride, she would clean up in the hunter ring. That said, her athleticism makes her well suited for dressage or eventing. She is well started in basic dressage and over jumps.You can visit her ad on dreamhorse, here. The ad features a video.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Painting Party

This summer Kelsy and I were faced with the daunting task of painting the dog yard, paddocks, and outdoor arena fencing with two coats of white. We know from past experience that this can take a significant amount of time and energy. With part time jobs, horses in training, horses of our own, limited summer weather, and in my case the approach of Fall Semester; we were despairing about how to get it all done. But in the depths of our despair we saw a glimmer of hope--we came up with the idea of hosting a Painting Party. Honestly, at first our plans to invite friends, family, and friends of friends to a Painting Party were all in jest. After all, who in their right mind wants to come and paint other people's fence? Nevertheless, we opened a painting invitation to anyone and everyone, offering free food, beer, soda, and farmy fun.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baywood Pony Club Demo

In the middle of July we did a small demo with the Baywood Pony Club at their annual summer camp. This is the third summer we've been to the Baywood Camp. This year the pony clubbers had a chance to try out tricks with Pippin, Huxley, and Arron. It was a great group of riders, and we had a lot of fun!

Huxley and Kelsy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brico Goes Schooling - Pictures

On July 11th, after our demonstration with Baywood Pony Club, I took Brico for a quick schooling session on the Rainbow Meadows cross-country course. He's been there before, but this was another opportunity to get him some more much needed cross-country practice. We stuck with Beginner Novice and Novice level jumps. Pictures courtesy Kelsy and Hux.

Calm about the ditch...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Congratulations Kevin!


We are happy to announce that last week we sold our Westphalian Warmblood sporthorse prospect, Kevin. He will remain local to Western Washington and continue training in dressage and trail riding. He has a wonderful new owner and a bright future ahead!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Westphalian Warmblood For Sale - SOLD

***Kevin was SOLD as of summer, 2010.***

Raju's Whit, bred at Copper Spring Farm, is a 3 year old super star! "Kevin" is out of a German import stallion, Rodioso, who currently competes in FEI dressage (schooling Grand Prix). His dam, Whitney, is a gorgeous grey who excelled at hunter/jumpers and is still sound at age 22. Kevin is the ideal young sporthorse prospect. He has a solid start under saddle and has more talent than we could ask for. Excellent movement, correct and sturdy conformation, and a temperament that does us proud.

Jumping is second nature to Kevin. In free jumping, he has the boldness for cross-country and foxhunting (he would make a stunning hunt horse), the scope for show-jumping, and even the style for hunters.

Perhaps the best thing about Kevin is his winning personality. Why bother with a Warmblood prospect that has all the athleticism but not the brains?! Kevin was incredibly easy to start, is great on the trails, in the herd, and to handle in every way (clips, hauls, bathes, ties, etc). He has always been a "people person" and is eager to please--no funny business under saddle. You will have a willing companion and competition partner in this young horse. Perfect for an Amateur who wants a talented (but also safe and sane!) prospect. Please feel free to visit his Advertisement on Dreamhorse.

Please contact us at (360) 264-2553 or KelsyMarieSmith@gmail.com for inquiries about Kevin. We have more pictures and video available upon request.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brookwood Hunter/Jumper Schooling Show

Like everything else on the blog, this post is just a bit late in being posted. On May 1st Ches and I loaded Huxley, Brico, and Kevin for the Brookwood Hunter/Jumper schooling show. It was a low key show which was a great way for both Brico and Kevin to get their feet wet in the horse show world. Huxley did two small jumper classes and used the courses as what they were--schooling rounds--to learn that we don't always go away from home and stop listening to the rider. Brico did several little Hunter classes and one Jumper class, and was great for all of them. Poor guy barely has any jump training, but we keep taking him to all these little jumping shows. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? Below is a video of his Jumper round.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Before and After

So many times we see horses advertised on websites such as Dreamhorse, or even in magazines, with terrible for sale pictures. Oftentimes, these horses will be listed with a pretty hefty price, but look like a backyard nag. People do not want to pay a lot of money for your backyard nag. However, you would be shocked what a little elbow grease, and some professional looking pictures, will do to help make a "nag" look like a fancy show horse. We have several examples from over the years of horses that we have been asked to clean up and market for clients.

Below are some before (left) and after (right) pictures of a Paint gelding we where asked to market last. The time difference between the pictures is only a week. It really is amazing what cleaning a horse up will do. We pulled his mane, banged his tail, clipped his chin/bridle path, and gave him a deep cleaning bath. Toss a nice leather halter on and you have a totally different looking horse!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Show's Over!

Our stadium round today was clear and inside the time. Though Pip was a bit behind the leg (and required a few love taps with the jump bat), he didn't have any trouble getting around the course without faults. I have come to realize that I will probably never own another horse who can jump like this pony can! We finished second in Training Horse on our dressage score of 32.7, .4 behind the leader. Pip won a red ribbon and a much needed white dressage pad with embroidery.

I'm very happy with Pip's double clear performance, he is pretty awesome :) I was hoping that he could have taken the blue, but regardless, Pip's score was better than all of the final scores in the Training Level divisions, except for the horse/rider who beat us in Training Horse. I also think Pip's second place finish means he is qualified to compete at the Area Championships later this summer--though I'll have to do some research to confirm and decide if it is worth the effort. Pip gets to enjoy some relaxed riding over the next couple months, as I will be shifting my focus on getting Brico much needed show miles. We also have training horses again this summer, and Sewick will be returning home soon! And for anyone wondering... Pip rolled in the dirt the second I turned him out at home.

All three of Pip and my "moms" were in attendance at the event today for Mother's Day: my mom Brenda, and also Cheryl and Barbara. Barbara and her family bred Pips at Southern City Haflingers and gifted him to me when I was fourteen--couldn't have asked for a more perfect gift! Cheryl is Pip's co-owner and trusted "food lady." He had a good time being the center of attention today and even doing some tricks for his following after the competition was over. A big thank you again for the support from the Haflinger Horses Community Website and Emily Gibson; Kelsy for serving as unofficial trainer/groom, and for all the well wishes from friends. Eventing, and riding in general, is definitely a team sport!

Update: Pippin's Video, courtesy Kelsy...

On that note, a congratulations is in order for our friend Jessica Bryant and her horse Bravo. They got first place this morning in Novice Rider on a double clear score of 33! Brav was one of our first horses at Nayborly Farms Summer Camp years ago, and Jess and her mom have brought him along ever since. This summer Jess and Brav are hoping to qualify for the Pony Club Event Championships at Novice level, which will be held in California.

Another great horsey weekend! We'll post about our other events and happenings this summer as they come. Thanks for reading.

** Both Pip and Bravo competed barefoot, without horse shoes, in all three phases **

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pippin's Cross-Country Update

Today we had perfect May weather for Pip and I's Training level cross-country round. Though Pip seemed a bit lackadaisical in warm-up, he perked right up when we galloped towards the first fence on course--a large table with flowers on top. My plan was to get up some speed early on and we cruised up the big hill and over the first three fences without much trouble. Though I had hoped to trot down the "Snowy River" hill, Pip cantered down the drop and hill--it wouldn't have been worth the trouble to try and stop him. He galloped straight through the water complex and hugged the turn for the galloping stretch. There was no slowing him down through the mid-field and we didn't check up our speed until the coffin complex at fence 17. Despite taking the long route option for the Trakehner (fence 14), at the end of the ride we were clear and well inside the time! In fact, Pip had the fastest time in his class (we finished in 5 minutes and 18 seconds, the optimum time was 5 minutes and 39 seconds). Others in our class had jump penalties or incurred time faults, including the overnight leader. Now we are in second place, only .4 behind the new leader.

Pip had a big cheering squad and we really appreciated everyone coming out to say hi and help! We always say the reason Pip has a big head is because he gets so many compliments. We can't go far at a show without getting a "cute pony" comment in passing--one rider even said Pip looked like he could be a Unicorn.

Tomorrow we'll be competing in Stadium jumping. I am always a bit nervous about this phase just because it is the last one and the jumps fall down, but hopefully Pip will be himself and carry us through cleanly! To maintain our second place position we must jump without a rail; I think if we have one rail we will drop to third place and more rails would push us farther down the bunch. The only way to move up is if the leader incurs penalties. Side note: I'm a little bummed that I didn't enter the "Training Rider" division instead of "Training Horse," as Pip would have been leading in that division based on scores (same dressage judge), but hindsight is 20/20. We had a great day and are looking forward to the final tomorrow on Mother's Day (Pip can't wait to be able to roll in the mud again)!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pippin's Event Day One - Dressage

This afternoon Pip and I competed in dressage at NWEC Mother's Day Classic Three Day Event. Since our ride time was late this afternoon, I was able to give Pip his bath this morning. It was great to sleep in and not have to worry about keeping his mane white overnight! We'll see what he looks like tomorrow morning (he's in a body suit--sheet, hoody, and tail bag).

Kelsy and I are used to competing in the Pony Club sponsored One Day Events. They run all three phases in one day--dressage, cross-country jumping, and stadium jumping. It feels strange and drawn out to only do one phase a day. Thankfully we live a mere seven miles from NWEC, so it's no trouble to drive in each day and save the price of overnight stabling; plus Pip gets to sleep at home. This evening when we got home Kelsy and I had time to ride our other horses and do chores.

Pip's dressage test today went fine. It was a good ride but not great. We scored mostly sevens (Fairly Good) and a few sixes (Satisfactory), finishing on a score of 32.7. I was disappointed not to see any eights in our scores, as we usually pull out at least a couple. We are currently placed third in our division (Training Horse). The top five scores are all very close--within one or two points of one another. There is no room for error, so hopefully we'll have two clean jump rounds! I'll have to be careful not to incur any time faults on cross-country tomorrow. The way event scoring works, we can only move up in the placing if the horses and riders scored higher than us mess up and we do not.

On a side note, Pip stirred up some trouble in the warm up ring today. There were a couple of horses who were frightened by him when we cantered by. Gotta watch out for the golden ponies! This is not the first time that we have seen other horses startled by the Haflingers at shows. Once when Kelsy and I were competing Mikey and Precious, we were asked to leave the warm up by a trainer because we were "scaring her client's horse." Our Haflingers were behaving well, but it must have been their bouncy manes or something that set some horses off.

Kelsy, Cheryl, and I walked the Training level cross-country course this afternoon and there aren't any major surprises. I anticipate that Pip will back off the first two fences because they are big, bright fences with flowers (but thankfully Pip knows the power of Mr. Snappy!). Other than that, I plan to trot him down the drop jump on the "Snowy River" hill and also through the coffin complex (Pip hates ditches). We are opting to take the option on the Trakehner as Pip has had bad experiences there schooling in the past. There's a lot of room for galloping so if I keep my eye on the event watch our good friend Melissa is letting me borrow, I hope speed won't be a problem :) Cross-country is my favorite!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The April Aspen Farms Event Derby

The April Aspen Farms Event Derby has come and gone and I am very late in updating about it. Sorry!

Over all it was a great day! Arron, Huxley and Pippin ALL won their divisions. Bravo and Jessie got 3rd in Novice, Specks and Patti got 5th in Beg. Novice. Brico and Stewie both did a couple of 2ft schooling rounds and were stars--well who are we kidding, we knew Stewie would be a star! Huxley and I even rode a dressage test, and it was decent! We got a score of 34 in Novice Test A. Anyways, without further adieu here is everyone's videos from the show.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Schooling at Rainbow

April/17/10 was the first Cross-Country schooling of the season for us, we had planned to go a few weeks ago but got rained out. The weather report was rain in the morning and then clear in the afternoon. For most of the morning it had just been spitting rain but nothing to stop us from doing stuff around the farm. So at 1:00 we loaded up Huxley, Brico, and Pippin to go schooling, figuring the weather would be fine. We decided that Ches would ride Brico first while I rode Huxley and then Ches would ride Pippin after the other two got finished schooling.

Huxley hadn't been jumped in 3-4 weeks because of an off and on swollen, hot leg, and hasn't seen a cross-country fence since last summer. He started off a little fresh but settled into jumping nicely and was overall very good for the first cross-country outing of the year.

Brico had never jumped cross-country before and doesn't have much jump training to start with. He was however very well behaved and handled things well, he was a little looky at the fences but after about halfway through the ride seemed to figure things out and start to enjoy himself. The hardest thing for him was jumping down the banks, as he doesn't even like stepping out of the horse trailer, but by the end he was okay with the small drop banks. Huxley of all horses gave Brico a few leads over some of the "scary" small fences, such as down the banks, over the ditch, and a couple of painted 2'6 house type fences.

Towards the end of Huxley and Brico's schooling rounds it started to rain a little and then rather hard. By the time we finished with them it was POURING rain, Ches changed her tack over to Pippin and started to warm up a little bit. Within two minutes we were all soaking wet with some very unhappy horses. There is absolutely no shelter at Rainbow to hide under on course, not even a tree! Poor Pippin had to go and school in the pouring rain and even hail at times. Ches brought him with the plan of warming him up and jumping the course like she would at a show, paying special attention to school him over the ditches, trakehners, and berlin walls.

When all was said and done everyone was soaked--our tackroom in the trailer looked like a lake and had clothes, pads, and boots dripping water every where. However all the horses were really good in spite of the weather.
Huxley over the tiger trap \/
Huxley down one of the banks \/
What Huxley thinks of ditches \/
and what Brico thinks of ditches \/
Brico over the small tiger trap \/
Poor Pippin after he was done looking like a drowned rat \/

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pippin Update

As promised, I'm trying to stay on top of the Pippin show prep updates. Last week was a very busy week for me with work and school, but of course I still squeezed in a little time for horsey affairs. Can't wait to get in more riding time!

Like I detailed in my last post, Pip and I are signed up to compete Training level at the NWEC Mother's Day Classic less than one month from today. What primarily makes Training level stand out from Novice or Beginner Novice is that the jumping gets more technical. The cross-country course is longer (2000 - 2600 meters with 20-24 jumping efforts), ridden at a faster rate of speed, is a bit higher (3'3"), and the types of jumps get more complicated. For example, we will be expected to jump in and/or out of the water jump. There will be a coffin complex (fence, then a ditch, then another fence, all in a row). We also will see trakehners, drops, and ski jumps.

As for stadium jumping, we will face ten to twelve jumps (3'3" high up to 4'1" wide), one or two combinations on course, and possibly a triple bar (which can be up to 4'11" wide!). This is basically the show jumping level I have been competing Pip at all winter, so I know he can do it. However, with show jumping you never know when you might miss a distance and have an unlucky rail down--that's the name of the game.

The weekend of April 3rd we had hoped to get out for some cross-country schooling. Unfortunately, the Washington weather was not cooperative, so instead we hauled over to a local indoor arena to do some grid work. Kelsy (Pip and I's unofficial trainer and riding instructor) set up a grid that would challenge Pip to engage his hindquarters and put in some extra effort (vertical, one stride, oxer, one stride, vertical). With grid work, we always start low and gradually build up the height of the jumps until the horse is jumping at the edge of their comfort range. By the end of the session we had a 3'6" or 3"9 grid set up. Pip actually had several refusals at the final (large!) fence. He's a perfectionist and isn't used to struggling, so when he is faced with a real challenge, sometimes he falls apart. It took us a little while, but he got it figured out and was nice and tired by the end of the ride!

When we prepare for jump shows--events in particular--we always school at least a few inches higher than what we'll be jumping in the competition. This is a fairly standard practice for anyone in the sport, but it should be said that if you or your horse aren't comfortable jumping a little higher than what you will be facing at the show, you are riding at the wrong level. You never know when a course designer will throw in a maxed-out fence on course, and keep in mind that jumps always seem to grow impossibly high when you are hit with some horse show nerves the day of the competition!

The nice thing about Pip is that he's trained, and by no means is he a green horse. He's seen a lot in his little lifetime and he's confident and secure in his own skin (maybe too much so!). I don't have to worry about him getting nervous at a show or acting up because he's overstimulated. Pip is just going to be Pip. Along the same vein, I realize that no work or training we do between now and the Mother's Day Event is going to significantly impact his (or my) performance there. Yes, there are small things we can improve--we can work on getting square halts 90% of the time instead of 75% of the time, we can jump more complicated courses,  practice riding a balanced collected canter when going down a hill--but basically I know that when we go to the show, we're going to be ourselves and fall into our usual patterns and behaviors; hopefully that's good enough to do well! My job between now and the show is to keep him fit, keep him jumping on the weekends, and polish up our dressage.

Here's a quick run-through of the past week...

Sunday I ran through our dressage test several times to memorize the pattern - Training Test A. There's nothing there Pip can't handle, but we've got to practice stretch down at the walk and trot, since these are not things I usually do in our rides. We also need to practice cantering across the diagonal without changing leads (the test calls for a simple change, not a flying change). Pip had Monday and Tuesday off due to my busy schedule and the bad weather. Wednesday Kelsy took him out for a fitness gallop (with Arron in tow as a pony horse). Kelsy also worked on Pip's stretch down circles for me. I don't think he was ridden on Thursday. Friday Pip and I got in some dressage practice; we cranked up the radio and jammed in the outdoor arena (good thing we don't have nearby neighbors). Saturday I took him out for some more fitness laps in slow canter and trot sets. Sunday, in our outdoor arena, I set up a four bounce grid for him to jump through. I also rode with my stirrups extra short in an effort to break in the pair of tall boots I never wear (they were kindly donated to me last summer by Jen). This Monday, I took Pip out for some more galloping and cantering in the morning before work. You can get a lot done in thirty minutes. And finally, just tonight we practiced dressage to music again.

That's the update for now!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pip to Compete!

On May 7-9, Pippin and I will be competing in the Mother's Day Classic Three Day Event at the Northwest Equestrian Center in Rainier, WA. Pip's coming off a very strong winter show season--he won his 3'3" Jumpernite classes in December and January, his Training Level class at the Aspen Farms Event Derby in February, and the 3'6" jumpers class at Sandmar Farm--and he's looking for a challenge this spring.

To our knowledge, not many Haflingers are represented at the Training level of USEA eventing. Though we can name a handful who compete at Training level; it is the exception, not the rule, to see Haflingers jumping above Novice level. In all fairness, Haflingers are not really designed for upper level eventing (Preliminary level and above). Despite being able-bodied jumpers, they are too heavy to meet the endurance and speed requirements at the higher levels--they are not hot blooded horses. Even though you won't be seeing a Haflinger (at least not a true Haflinger) competing at Rolex CCI****, there is no reason why a Haflinger can't be successful against the larger horses at Training level.

Membership is required to compete in USEA affiliated events. The Haflinger Horses Community Website very kindly sponsored Pippin's USEA lifetime membership. Also a big thank you goes out to Emily Gibson of Briarcroft Haflingers for her generous, continued support of Pippin and his goals. On that note, thanks to all of Pippin's friends and fans out there!

Pippin was bred at Southern City Haflingers by my good friends the Baker/Maddox Family. Their mare, Suki, is a Folenhof M&B Haflinger and a half sister to Precious, Mikey, and Arron. By the stallion Wynston M&B, Pippin was Suki's last foal of seven. I was thirteen years old when he was born, and was given the task of taming and halter-breaking Pip.

When Pip was a year and half old, the Baker/Maddox family gifted him to me as a college investment. Their thinking was that I could train Pip for several years, eventually sell him, and use the money to help offset my eventual educational expenses. Even though I'm in graduate school now and could easily get a substantial sum of money to offset university expenses by selling Pip, I just can't bring myself to sell as we say, one of the only "good horses" on our property! Cheryl Smith has graciously supported Pip over the years as his official co-owner; and Kelsy has spent as much time as me with him in his breaking and training.

Pip has always been a talented jumper. In fact, the first time Pip ever officially jumped was at a local horse show--on a whim Cheryl encouraged me to enter him in a small two foot hunter class, and thanks to his willing disposition, he won the class. We started competing Pip at Pony Club sponsored events his four year old year at the Beginner Novice level. As a five year old he moved up to Novice, and as a seven year old he made the jump up to Training level. In 2008 Pip placed second at a Training level event, and last year Pip won his Training level class at the Chehalis Valley Pony Club event at Caber Farms.

Pip, now nine years old, measures in at exactly 14 hands tall. He is by no means a "modern, sporthorse-type" Haflinger. In fact, his dam Suki stands only 13.1 hands tall. What Pip has going for him is trainability, correct confirmation, and above-average movement for a Haflinger. Plus he likes to show off! Though Pip is commonly the only pony-sized competitor in his classes, there is no doubt in my mind that he thinks he's the biggest and best horse out there. He, like all our horses at Nayborly, competes barefoot.

We'll keep you updated as the event approaches, and you can watch for short updates on our Nayborly Farms Facebook Page.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sandmar Farms Jumper Show

On Saturday, Febuary 27th Chesna and I loaded up Pippin and Huxley and headed north to Olympia to pick up our friend Jesse and her horse Bravo. Fellow horse enthusiasts, we have known Jesse and her mom Kathy for many years. Bravo, a Hungarian WB x Thoroughbred x Draft, was actually one of our first summer campers!

Anyways, we picked Jesse and Bravo up and made the long drive up to Poulsbo, Washington to Sandmar Farm for the Hunter/Jumper winter schooling series. We got there around 2:30, but that was clearly too early as the Hunter part of the show was still in progress. The poor horses had to stand around before we got to ride, which was well after dark. There was a break between the Hunter classes and Jumper classes for us to warm-up in the lighted indoor arena; however, we then had to wait a good hour and a half before our classes began. All of our horses lacked any kind of re-warm-up (besides walking around the driveway) before going into their Jumper rounds.

Huxley went in first for the 3' class. At first he was a little shocked that he was jumping again but only tapped the first two fences before he realized that he was indeed on course. He went clean without taking any rails. Good boy Huxley! Hux went on to the jump off round and had a clear, forward, and steady jump off round to win the class as the only double clear performance. His second class was the 3'3" class. He was on the ball this time and knew that he was jumping when he went in the arena. He jumped a clear first round but took the first rail in the jump off down, though he still ended up getting second place in the class because it was a small group.

Pippin's first class was the 3'3". He too went in the arena with no warm up, though unlike Huxley jumped the first two fences like an old pro. However, he hit a funny short distance to the third fence and took a rail, he then came around the corner to the fourth fence (a big vertical heading into a two stride) and slammed on the breaks. He was mostly just offended that he had hit the fence before and expressed his displeasure with a "no thanks" refusal. This only got him hit on the butt and ridden more attentively to every last fence on the course. He did finish in fourth place in the class because, as in all the classes, there were few entries. Pip's second class was the 3'6" class. Much more alert, Pip won this class with a double clear round.

Bravo's first class was also the 3'3 class and once again he went into the arena with no warm-up or idea that he was jumping. Even though he took two rails in the class he ended up in 5th place. Jesse and Brav's second round in the 3'6" class was going great until the last two fences on the course--Brav took the last two rails. Regardless of the rails, they had a nice forward round and both kept their composure. They'll be competing lots more this spring and summer. Jess and Brav are already qualified for the regional Pony Club show jumping and have their eyes set on qualifying in Novice eventing as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Elk Alert

Yesterday night we went out to feed the horses dinner and they were all riled up. We didn't have to look far for the source of their anxiety--turns out the elk herd was just off our fenceline on the neighbors' property. The elk are used to us and the horses, so they wander close when it's not hunting season. The lighting made it difficult to get clear pictures, but some turned out alright...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Arron Gets a New Hair Do

Last week Arron got a new spring hair do, which is some version of a body clip. Hopefully now he won't get too hot on those warm spring days before he sheds out all the way.

Saturday February 6th we headed down south to a Jumper Playday in Salkum, WA. We took Pippin, Huxley and Arron. Sadly there are only pictures of Arron because the camera ran out of batteries and we were lacking a camera person by the time Hux and Pip started jumping. Here are some pictures of Arron, sporting his new hair do, and Patti. No one believed that Arron was 26 years old (soon to be 27!). Yay for old ponies!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nayborly Farms on Facebook

For better or worse, Nayborly Farms has taken a dive into social media. If you are a member of facebook, you can now visit our farm page. Become a fan, leave comments, post pictures, join our discussions... Not only will we be keeping you updated on our horsey happenings daily, we'll be posting equine information and news that interests us (and hopefully you too). We would love to have you be a part of it all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Top Twelve Things That Only Haflinger Horses Can Do

We were digging through old files the other day and stumbled upon this article by Chesna. The article won a 2003 haflingerhorses.com essay contest.

The Top Twelve Things That Only Haflinger Horses Can Do

12.   Only a Haflinger can gain weight by breathing.

11.   Only a Haflinger can keep their golden coats clean, while at the same time transforming their white manes and tails to black. 

10.   Only a Haflinger will climb over, under, through or between any type of fencing simply to get to the other side.

9.     Only a Haflinger can be measured in as a pony but wear horse-sized halters, blankets, shoes, and saddles.

8.     Only a Haflinger will learn to perform a trick in a matter of seconds for a cookie, and then a month later ask for a treat by bowing.

7.     Only a Haflinger can be dirty, fuzzy, and wet while also being completely adorable.

6.     Only a Haflinger is smart enough to learn all the wrong things we accidentally teach them as well as all the right.

5.     Only a Haflinger would believe that they are ten times bigger, faster, and better than a Belgian.

4.     Only a Haflinger will come cantering over to see you after you have been gone for a week.

3.     Only a Haflinger can get their riders to laugh so hard that they fall off from at the halt. 

2.     Only a Haflinger can bring about their owner's need of anotherĂ– and anotherĂ– and just one more?

And the number one thing that only Haflinger horses can do?

1.     Only a Haflinger can be so cute, so smart, eat so well, perform so well, have so much personality, and be such a Haflinger that it makes their owners happy every time they see them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January Jumpernite

After a delayed start to the day (the horse trailer did not feel like hooking up to the truck) we made it to Jumpernite with Chucky, Pippin, and Huxley in tow. Unfortunately Patti had to work and therefore couldn't take Arron, but she is looking forward to taking him in February.

This time around the weather was 100 times better than last Jumpernite--about 30 degrees warmer. To start the day off our good friend Melissa rode Chucky in the Pony Jumpers Class (2'6"-2'9"). We have known Melissa for close to 15 years and all grew up riding together. Her current horse can no longer show because of an old injury, so Cheryl offered Chucky to Melissa for any shows she wants to take him to this season. Chucky enjoys getting out and doing stuff, especially going fast and jumping! Chucky and Melissa had a great clear round with a speedy jump off time to finish in second place overall. They won a red ribbon and some prize money.

Next to go was Huxley and Kelsy. First they entered the Young Jumpers Class (3') which is an Optimum Time class for horses aged six and under or riders aged fourteen and under. After that they competed in the Warm-Up Jumpers Class (3-3'3) which is a Power and Speed class. Huxley is starting to get the idea of going out and jumping a course, proving his progress by placing eighth in both of his large classes without even pushing for a fast time. Sadly the videotape ran out of space just as Hux went into the Young Jumpers class, so there is only footage of his second class.

Our final pair, Chesna and Pippin, did not disappoint. Due to the high volume of competitors at this month's Jumpernite it was well into the afternoon before their Novice Jumpers Class (3'3) started. This class was a Speed class, meaning that the entire round was timed and that the fastest clear round would win. Not at all intimidated by the Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds in his class, Pippin made every last inside turn, jumped from some very odd angles, and cleared every fence with style to have a time that was four seconds faster than the second place horse and rider. Gotta love pony power! Ches hopes to bump Pips up to a 3'6" class at the February Jumpernite.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Play Time

Hux and Brico.

Hux wants to play...

...and play fail!

Hux says "Brico is no fun maybe mom will play with me?"

"Mmmmm maybe not?"

"But please, look how cute?"

"Okay how about I nose bump you instead?"

Brico thinks we are crazy. Who chases horses over jumps anyways?

"It's bigger!!! What do I do with my feet?"