Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to survive winter with horses, part 3

Well, Denny Emerson has given me some motivation this winter.

I usually tap out on winter and just trudge through, but I'm teaching more this winter than ever before, so I know I have to keep my "kids" (I use the word "kids" loosely, since my students range from 9-50something) entertained, especially when the weather is too crappy to jump, or the footing too messy to cross your own tracks too many times.

Like I said, with Denny's tips for kids, I've gotten some ideas to challenge us without stressing out our horses or our footing!

Nancy and Anna have both had bareback lessons- I didn't manage to get a picture of Anna, but here's Nancy, riding bareback for the first time! On Vanna, no less! They had a great ride with a little bit of trotting thrown in, and Nancy had to battle some typical Vanna-tantrums sans saddle.

And, because I enjoy terrorizing my "big kids" as much as I enjoy terrorizing my "little kids," I made Nancy do around the world, which she may have enjoyed a little TOO much...

Another challenge for the winter will be crafting fake ditches out of a brown tarp and a "liverpool" out of a blue tarp. I can't give Denny all the credit for this one, Amy made me and Stacy and Megan do this in our lesson a couple weeks ago, but I liked it, so I stole it.

You can tell that Major and Oliva were quite concerned about the ditch. Not.

I also made Jess and Gracie play with the tarps one day. Gracie jumped like a gazelle over the first one, but then proceeded to canter ON THE TARP the next time, so I tried everything in my power to make it scarier, with little success. I spent the rest of the lesson trying to spook her with a tarp, and obviously, was very unsuccessful.

Another fun but slightly torturous task I've put my kids up to is drill team maneuvers. This actually worked incredibly well for Tori and Audrey and it was fun for Amanda and Shannon, as well. Maybe we're not the best at it yet, but whats winter for?! PRACTICE makes PERFECT!! (You might turn your volume down for this video... I'm really loud, if you didn't know...)

And what have I been up to, you ask?

Fence demolition. Because destroying things is one of my very favorite past times.

 Susan, Amy and I decided to make a couple jumps out of the left over fence pieces. Stay tuned.

There are a couple other things I hope to teach this winter, including some unmounted lessons. I plan on teaching a lesson for everyone on pace, unmounted lessons on things like wrapping legs, making sure we can all put our tack together correctly, bits and their purpose, different disciplines, stuff like that.

Any suggestions on what else I can teach this winter, mounted or unmounted, are greatly appreciated!


  1. I should try the fake ditches/liverpools thing.

  2. Taco and Elby both practiced over the "liverpool" yesterday!

  3. I almost died laughing when you threw the tarp at her! Too funny!!