Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How To Engage Your Horse's Back

I see a painful amount of people talk about "headset". Headset is just that - setting the head. TRUE headset comes from connection and impulsion from the hind end forward, and this is a great video on how to begin to achieve that.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Stacy Westfall on the Ellen Degeneres Show 3/14/08 part 2/2

Some more projects for 2012.

In an earlier post, I mentioned the fact that I had to rebuild my arena from the ground up. As it turns out, there are actually quite a few projects popping up, and it's still only the first week of the new year. I guess I'll make a list here, and hopefully some of my readers can offer some advice on each one. Questions are in bold.

  • The arena is being regraded, extended to 100x200, then filled with sand. For an all around arena (dressage, jumping, reining, barrels) how deep do you prefer your sand footing?
  • We are building a cabinet/counter with sinks in the wash rack. 
  • Matting the wash stall floor (currently it is just textured concrete. What is your choice for wash stall footing?
  • Getting automatic water put in all of the stalls. I was considering Nelson waterers. Are there any other brands that you recommend? 
I'm sure that I will have more to add later. I came down with something yesterday and I still feel horrible. I ate a donut for breakfast and within 20 minutes my throat had gotten sore and I was stuffy. Last night it turned into flu-like symptoms, so I'm pretty confused about that. I have more to post about in a bit.

Happy Horsing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rescue Tape...to the rescue (yet again)!

Another winter, another broken pipe. When you have a barn full of pipes and spigots, a break at some point is inevitable.

This afternoon I went out to check the horses and came upon a flooded barn aisle and water spraying from a pipe. I felt a bit lost as it was too late in the day for a plumber, but there is also no way to shut off the flow to that particular pipe as the break was BELOW the shut-off valve.

My mind went immediately to Rescue Tape! Now if you have never heard of it, you are missing out (i know, I know, I sound like an infomercial - but I swear by this stuff). I had used it to fix a leaky pipe under a sink in my house, and figured it was worth a try. So I cut off the pipe and put a cap over it (It was too wet to cement it on) and wrapped an entire roll of Rescue Tape around it. That stopped the high-pressure spew, and will hold us over until we can get the plumber out to fix it tomorrow.

If you'd like to check it out for yourself, you can read about it here or check out your local hardware store to see if they carry it.

And take it from me - DON'T forget to leave your faucets dripping at night this winter!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A HUGE New Year favor from my lovely readers?

Hey lovely readers. I have the biggest favor ever to ask of you. 

I have entered a drawing into a tack contest. If my photo gets enough likes, then they will make my idea a reality. I have 200+ less votes than some of my competition, however this is very important to me. You see, the set i designed is pink in for breast cancer in honor of my amazing beautiful mother that lost the fight with breast cancer in 2004. I plan on donating part of any winnings at horse shows in 2012 to breast cancer research at the end of the year, and doing it while sporting this set designed for her would be a dream come true.

All you have to do is go to the Northern Tack page on Facebook, then to the tack contest album in their photo albums, and then "Like" my design. it's as simple as that. Then if you could pass it along to your friends and family I would be forever grateful. I'll post the link straight to my design here, all you have to do is hit "like".

Thank you ALL and again have a happy and safe New Year!

In honor of my gorgeous mother. 

Well hello, 2012!

Where on earth did 2011 go? I feel like I was just here celebrating it's beginning!!

I hope everyone has had a safe and fun New Year's Eve! Now its time to make some resolutions! I have quite a few, so I have chosen some of the most important ones to share with my followers (and feel free to share yours)!

  • Quit my dead-end job as a retail sales associate when I finally get that job I have always dreamt of as a barn manager. I have recently found one and am waiting for a reply from, and it sounds great. Just over an hour away, working Monday-Thursday from 8am-5pm. That would give me 3 days a week home (including crucial weekends for horse shows) as well as evenings with my own horses
  • Show more. Period. Get to AQHA Congress or qualify for the American Eventing Championships would be AMAZING.
  • Take more photos. My dream is to be a professional photographer, and that is never going to happen if I just pass by my camera day in and day out. I have the talent and the schooling to use it, and I have been blessed with the support of the tools needed (a Canon 50D, numerous lenses, and a  flash). Now all I need is to MAKE the motivation be there.
  • Lose the 35 pounds that I have gained back this year, for my health and for my riding career. The extra weight has caused my depression and anxiety to flare back up, and without the extra weight I will be far more efficient in the saddle.
  • Rebuild the arena (as talked about in my last blog post), build a few outdoor corrals, and re-fence all of the pastures.
  • Hold a summer day camp for underprivileged children. Somewhere where they can spend a few hours learning about horses, grooming, playing games, and riding.
  • Help a Make A Wish child's dream come true.
  • Raise $1000 to donate to donate for breast cancer research.

I have so many more, but the list could go on and on. What are some of YOUR new year goals and resolutions?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New barn name, and future plans...

Hey everyone!

Formerly known as Double E Farms, I am now back as Ahyoka Acres. I found that there was at least one other barn named Double E in my general location, but still wanted a name that would honor my heart horse that I lost two years ago. I decided on Ahyoka Acres. Ahyoka is a native american word meaning "the bringer of happiness", so it fit what I wanted to a T. 

With a new name came a new color scheme. As much as I love my royal blue and yellow, I wanted something more professional for the upper levels of eventing. After a lot of thought, I decided on black with red and yellow. Something classy, and with a splash of color, that is also easy to find in blankets, saddle pads, etc (thanks to the newmarket line from Horseware Ireland).

The other news is that we will be grading and rebuilding the arena this spring. When finished it will be around 100x200 and have a nice soft sand footing that should make it weather much better (currently, I have dirt that turns into puddles of mud with the rain). I will also be chucking the wood fencing and rebuilding with the "back 40 pipe and rope" made by 440 Fence Company.

Once the arena is done, hopefully by late spring, I will be able to get a few lessons going which is very exciting to look forward to.