Friday, October 22, 2010

Balance Detector

Ever wish you could know how it feels right at the moment when you are most balanced with your horse's movement? With all the technological advances of today, wouldn't it be great if someone would invent sensors that are small enough to fit into your tack and transmit where you are in your seat and reins?
Check this out:

Jane Savoie unveiled the new EQ Equisense Systems recently at WEG, to an enthralled audience. With her assistant trainers and the help of an Equicizer, visitors to her booth were able to experience it for themselves. You can see on a screen where you are in or out of balance, correct it, and have the strong reinforcement of knowing how it feels. This is very important in being able to improve your position quickly, and know how it feels when making minor adjustments. One woman who had a session where she started out very crooked, came back the next day and sat very well balanced immediately, probably the result of neurological "learning" and memory of how it felt when in good form the previous session.
Interestingly, I had recently viewed a DVD from Alexandra Kurland using similar principles, though her version was on a stationary object similar to a horse, taking a lesson practicing different rider positions and cues using focused body awareness. She also reported very effective improvements in rider position in a shorter time than some of her students who were taking riding lessons during the same time period. The DVD is titled "Helen House Horse", so named as the "horse" is a stationary object that can be in your house.
I am very excited to visit Jane in her booth at Equine Affaire in Massachusetts next month, November 11-14. You can visit virtually at the new EQ Social site, and meet others interested in balanced riding.
What are your methods for achieving balance? Do you think the EQ System would agree they are working?
Who's going to Equine Affaire, MA?

Follow-up: I WENT! It was so cool! I was crooked, and learned where and how to "feel" myself into balance. Here is my friend with Jane, her session went very well. I was so excited, I kept forgetting to ask the million dollar question: How much does this cost? Ha ha.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WEG 2010 - Para Dressage

Cathy Lloyd and Majestic

This past week I visited friends at Willow Tree Farm in Riverhead, LI, where I was able to get a sneak peek at Team South Africa's Cathy Lloyd as she prepares for next weeks World Equestrian Games where she will compete in the sport of Para Dressage.

For the first time, Para Dressage is being included at this exciting event, giving it a worldwide audience that will increase awareness for those not yet familiar with it.

Imagine riding a complex dressage test with your own horse. Now, imagine doing it without full control of one or more limbs or limited sensation in some area. If that isn't enough, how about riding a NEW horse you have only had one month to get to know? And in a new environment, with the whole equestrian WORLD watching. It is amazing to consider the different ways this affects training cues and methods of working with the horse, and yet horses can communicate and respond with their riders so well, a spectator is often not even aware of anything different until the rider dismounts and gets into a wheelchair or an impairment becomes visible in some other way.

When speaking with Cathy, she mentioned feeling humbled riding with some of the other competitors who have more complex situations than hers. She herself is spending one month with a borrowed horse who, though wonderful, is quite different than her own. This requires making adjustments to things as detailed as choosing music to suit his rhythm and tempo, changing her previous freestyle routine. Watching her ride and attempting to conceive of coping with even one or two of those things, which I would never have guessed when seeing her, is an inspiration, to be sure.
To keep an eye on Cathy, look up Team South Africa Para Dressage on the WEG website, Majestic's Nom de Show is "United We Stand".

Here is a link to only one of many good articles on Para Dressage, please add to the list.

Who are you excited to watch at WEG? Post away!


Monday, August 30, 2010


I'm not the only one who has it as an adult, how about you?

Here is a surprising story from someone who has ridden more horses than most of us ever will, yet still, even after a lifetime spent in the Winner's Circle, something was missing...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Playing it Cool

What are your favorite ways to keep cool and keep playing? Share them with us!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer Events 2010

Clinics, Cubbing, Shows, Playdays...

Please add events, this will be continually updated.

As a part-time horseperson on a minimal budget, I appreciate being able to attend clinics as an auditor. Having access to high caliber trainers and experts for as little as $15.00 a day at times, and in my local area, is a great pleasure. I strongly suggest auditing to anyone who hasn't tried it, you really can learn a lot from observing, even without participating with your horse. Many good clinicians interact with auditors, you can get answers to some of those burning questions from a reliable source.

I recently visited Willowbrook Farm near Allentown, PA. They specialize in Natural Horsemanship with an emphasis on Parelli, but host a mix of clinics and playdays. Playdays are a good blend of personal playtime with some professional guidance, Peter Fuller and his students are on hand for tips and assistance. A mere $20.00 gets you use of the large outdoor Parelli Playground (great obstacles and room to graze or play), indoor ring, and plenty of equipment (cavalettis, barrels, playballs, jumps). There is also a bunkhouse with separate rooms and RV hookups, paddocks and stalls available for overnight stays.
see for more info

Windy Hollow Hunt Cubbing Season Opens

Saturday July 31, 2010
Cubbing is traditionally a time for Hound puppies to refine their developing hunting skills. This also offers humans and equines new to the sport an opportunity to acclimate gradually before Formal Hunt Season begins. Practicing standing still as well as working up to a fitness level comfortable for a chase is good for all involved. The cost to participate is less than in formal season, and you still get to enjoy the benefits of a tailgate afterward.
A Hunt Clinic is set for mid August, a fun ride followed by good food and a "Foxhunting 101" educational discussion.
see for details

Summer Activites at Maplewood Warmbloods

Jen Vanover
460 Bart Bull Rd.
Middletown, New York 10941

International Dressage Symposium
October 16-17, 2010

2008 which featured Klaus Balkenhol, Colonel Christian Carde, and Dr. Gerd Heuschmann will be very hard to top, but we have put together another spectacular event.

2010 will feature Monica Theodorescru and Michael Klimke. The format for this event will be similiar in format as the 2008 event with a private lesson day on Friday (closed to public) followed by a 2-day symposium (public auditors) Rider applications and auditor registration information to follow soon.

This year, the event will be indoors and include special door prizes, 50/50 raffle, Saturday evening VIP dinner, and so much more. Be sure to be on our newsletter list for information on event focus, rider registration, public auditing registration, vendor opportunities, and more! Special discounts to juniors.

A not-to-miss event! Add it to your calendar today!

Rider Applications & Public Auditor signup will start August 1, 2010. See MWW's website for information. Attention Auditors! We will be trying a new online registration to save you time and effort. Stay tuned!

4th Annual Breed & Dressage Show
August 6-8, 2010

1 Breed Show, 2 Dressage Shows, 1 Weekend!!!
Maplewood Warmbloods
460 Bart Bull Rd.
Middletown, New York 10941

This is the 4th Annual Show at MWW. It will include a Friday breed show and a Saturday and Sunday dressage competition. Intro Level through Grand Prix including FEI Young Horse Classes! A not-to-miss event!

We've listened and this year will be adding the following:

Lights in the outdoor arena
Farm PA system
Centerline Events Secretarial / Event Staff
2 Show Rings
2 separate dressage shows (2 separate scores) in 2 days

More information and a prize list at

We hope to see you at one of our special events this year. Keep up-to-date with Maplewood Warmbloods on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lessons with Rosie Mally

Recently a few of us took lessons with Rosie Mally, benefitting from her extensive Dressage experience.
As a backyard part-timer on a young horse I learned a lot, and felt some good changes happening in myself and my horse as she guided us closer to that elusive "sweet spot" where both horse and rider are independently balanced yet moving in harmony. I liked that she gave constant feedback and explained HOW and WHY things build toward better biomechanics (or not), so I can get a feel for where I am and also be aware of what the bigger plan involves. It was encouraging and inspiring to see how well Rosie assessed each horse and rider and tailored the lesson to address their strengths and areas of potential growth so individually. It was very nice to see that she takes sufficient time without trying to rush, letting the horse's and rider's mental and physical readiness set the pace.

Here is a random clip on youtube from her recent clinic, 4/24/10:

Link to our lessons on youtube and vimeo:

Visit Rosie's website for more info:

When was your last lesson? Please post any related comments and share clips if you have them, we can all use a little inspiration from one another.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Straightness Article

I'm passing along some info from an article by Dr. Deb (Bennett, PhD), titled "The Anatomy of Straightness" (Eclectic Horseman magazine #53). From the Equine Studies website,, click on "Knowledge Base", and you can download three articles:
"Lessons from Woody"
"True Collection"
"The Ring of Muscles"
It is a lot of info, I am still in the process of reading it myself, but it does give me insight into why what I thought I could do to help with straightness wasn't working. Consistent forward movement without resistance has been fairly elusive for me, what a relief to hear some new ways of acheiving this that seem easier, and that once my horse is more comfortable, he may even be less resistant as a result.
I am interested in partnering up with someone to try the exercise mentioned in the "Lessons from Woody" (p 17) with following the tarp, if anyone's game.
What articles have helped you and your horse recently? Post them to share, maybe we can start a monthly meeting day where we focus on a common idea or concept as we ride together.

See you at the barn.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fly Reduction

Time to gear up for minimizing flies, keeping numbers down early in the season will make maintenance easier. Our wonderful beneficials, aka Fly Eliminators, are arriving soon, thanks to all who contributed : )
Here is a fwd from a friend with some good additional info and remedies, check them out. I am going to try making an Epps trap (wish me luck!), and will definitely put up some gallon jug traps around the barn, using the Amish recipe on the homemade list. Share your favorite.
We use Arbico Organics Fly Eliminators, but Spalding has good info on fly prevention as well.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Swing into Spring Activities

    Ready...Set...Pace!  It's official, Hunter Paces are starting up, as well as many other fun community activities.  Time to get in the swing of Spring, share some good rides with old friends, and meet new ones.

    Here are a few upcoming events, feel free to add to the list:

Sun May 2, 2010 SPARC Trail Ride

Now through Fall 2010 Season Hunter Paces with Windy Hollow Hunt

Sat May 8, Driving Clinic Middletown
I am having a hands on Driving Seminar on May 8 from 10-3 at my farm.  Shadow Brook Farm is located at 89 Camp Orange Road, Middletown, NY 10941  845-692-5046 or 914-443-2431.  Cost is $50.00 for the day. 
Each participant will learn all about single driving and pairs.  Everyone will get a chance to drive and have a mini lesson.   For more info. go to the website listed below or contact me at above numbers or by e mail at .  Thanks.

Bettyann Seablade
Shadow Brook Farm

Sun May 16, WHH Spring Dressage Show

June-August 2010 Roading Hounds with WHH
Great preparation for Hunting, beautiful trails with hounds, quieter and shorter ride than a hunt, FREE, informal dress, western tack OK.  Come for the ride, stay for the tailgating!  Mmm, tailgaiting...

June 6, 2010 Driving Clinic

Another good resource for events:

See you out there,

Colonies Farm
Albert's favorite activity: a run up the pipeline!
Won't you all join us?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

i was riding Bandit in field close to other horses he is a young 5 yr old horse {just turning 5} apon doing a jump he stopped leaned foward ,kind of fell on jump{bandit} i went over his head in a summer sault , landed saw black the pain excrutiating and broke my collar bone . I did a christopher reeves flip ,thank God I am ok surgery on tues to fix collar bone.
I am nevous to jump Bandit now everyone is telling me get rid of your horses! I believe u need to do what u love and leave the rest to God what does everybody else think I also think rider carelessness plays part. This incident i wasnt at fault i dont think i could have prevented it,it was truly an accident. Bandit fell to other side after i fell or he would of landed on me

Spring Turnout!

Our favorite time of year, shaking off the Winter and trading hay for lush pasture grass. No more blankets, just a morning sunbath to warm up for the hard life of a grazing animal.

Stay tuned for updates, see you Sunday, April 25 at our first Hunter Pace of the season, check Windy Hollow Hunt site or Facebook page for details : ).


Colonies Farm