Saturday, November 10, 2018

November rides

This October and November have been one of the rainiest times in Texas history.  This presents a challenge to the barn buddies and the people who groom the horses for their assignments in the ring. Some of the horses led into the stalls are fresh from a roll in the pasture. One day, the horse was so dirty, he received a bath before we could groom him. Each horse has a personality, just like we do. One horse in our class always wants to be the leader. One prefers to follow. That means the other two in the class get to take pot luck. Sometimes the supervisor allows a ride outside the ring. Quite refreshing for the riders, helpers, and horses. All seem to love the beautiful days with changing leaf colors and cool breezes.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Time to resume

The temperatures soar in Texas summers, so horses, riders, and volunteers take a break. The next session starts on August 20th. I'm counting the days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Volunteers

Working with other volunteers is a blessing and an affirmation of the goodness of the human spirit. The people who are helping with the horses are donating their time and energy to make life a little easier for those struggling with challenges.

Many of the volunteers have been working with the equine therapy program for years. They also participate in the special Olympic programs, but it is the day-to-day care that is demanding. Volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. One gentleman told me that he worked with a baseball program in another state where handicap people could enjoy playing the sport. He had been very involved there and looked for another opportunity to serve when he moved to Texas. Another volunteer is a college student who just finished her first year (pre-med) and even though she has a summer job, she makes time to come each week. Some of us are new to horses, so we have a sharp learning curve. Others are old hands who grew up with horses and are generous with their knowledge and patient with those of us who lacking skills.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Books about horses

Horses have long been a favorite with young readers I thought I’d take today to post some titles about horses. Maybe these books will rekindle some of your memories when you read one or more of these books.

Black Beauty

The Horse and His Boy

My Friend Flicka

The Black Stallion

National Velvet

King of the Wind

Misty of Chinocteaque

Homer the Racehorse

The Phantom Stallion series



War Horse

The Man Who Listens to Horses

Taming the Star Runner

Monday, May 7, 2018

The tack room

The tack room has a wide selection of reins, halters, saddles, pads, girths. Each horse or rider has specific equipment.

The sidewalkers look at the posting of the day's riders, the horses they will ride, and the equipment specific to the horse and the rider. Some riders need stirrups, some do not. Some need a thin pad under the saddle. Volunteers select a pad, a saddle, extra pad, girth, lead rope, reins, and the halter. We then get the bucket with the different types of brushes and the pick for the hoofs of the horses. Sidewalkers start the grooming process, but the horse leader supervises the saddling and putting  the halter on. 

When the horse is moved from the "grooming area" to the arena, the instructor checks everything on the horse again.

When the rider is on, another check is performed by the instructor to make sure the rider is seated properly. 

Then it is time to "walk on" and begin the fun. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In the Waiting Area

Two of the horses are in the four-horse stall area await their grooming. You can see the buckets at the bottom with the items to be used. The pick on the top is for the hoof. The brushes are used after the curry comb. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Post 10 - Beautiful Day

Sunshine and no wind, a perfect day for the children to ride and play.

The creative instructor brought out foam swords for the youngsters and challenged them to manipulate a ring on to the sword and then to quickly bring the sword across their bodies which would fling the ring off. Smiles and laughter galore. They loved watching the rings soar. The task involved stretching, focusing, coordination, and controlling movements. Other games include trying to guide the horse through a cone pattern in the ring. The horse leader actually guides the horse, but the riders are encouraged to hold the reins and encourage the horse to “go” or “whoa” as instructed.  Toward the end of the hour, the four participants played a horse version of musical chairs—no horses rushing for chairs, just moving and stopping with the music. 

November rides

This October and November have been one of the rainiest times in Texas history.  This presents a challenge to the barn buddies and the peopl...