Thursday, March 26, 2015

Influence as Leadership

By Mary Gallagher

Recently I have been working with a young owner whose horse is challenging her leadership. He has managed, with great skill, to make her timid. He is very sensitive to her body language and how she moves away from him each time he steps into her space. He has figured out how to get her to step away with his head, his shoulder, his teeth, his hip, and his hind feet, to gradually gain total control over her. To be sure, she is young and small, and he is big and imposing, and when he asserts himself he is daunting. But this scenario is also quite familiar to many an adult owner and rider, who find themselves pushed around by their horses.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let’s Start with Gratitude

Hi folks!

Let me welcome you to our new blog! I guess it’s a little funny to say, having already posted 74 articles, but this is the first real, live post, so I’m excited to get going. We’ve been talking about the idea of a blog for several years, and its time has come.  I will be sharing my thoughts and vision for these Freedom Farm Notes in future posts, but first, some thanks are in order.

The authors of all the newsletter articles-turned-blog-posts have generously shared their time and expertise over the years, bringing us all many gems of insight into horsemanship and health. Thank you all! I am glad to see all of your (and my) good work accessible and searchable, and I look forward to more! Working in tandem with this blog is our website, home of lots of basic information about Freedom Farm and its mission, as well as our calendar, videos, and downloads. The website has grown and changed along with us, and  I’d  like to thank its previous builders, Grace Lambert (who was also our founding newsletter and Facebook editor) and Angus McCullough (who also created our very popular welcome video and many superb photos), for creating and shaping our early web presence! And a big thanks to Mary Tulin for channelling all of the above into our new website, newsletter (with assistance from Thomas Gallagher), and this blog, along with many more wonderful photos, many by her husband Kip, of Freedom Farm and its community of people and animals.

I am grateful to you all, and all the people and horses who make Freedom Farm the special place it is, just by being here with us: students showing up for lessons, classes, camps, our instructors and camp helpers, and all who come to support kids and grandkids, friends and relations both horse and human. Thanks for partaking in and helping share our message of natural horsemanship and health with the world!

With deepest thanks,


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Zinc for Equine Health: a matter of balance

By Barbara Noble

In my last article, I briefly discussed copper. Today I'd like to explore the role of zinc.  Zinc's indispensible contribution in your horse's body is to be a part of many enzymes.  For example, enzyme activity is included in insulin production, blood clotting and wound healing. Zinc deficiency can also be seen in horse's coats, their hoof quality, immunity, persistent skin infections and ongoing thrush.

Clinic Report: Craig Johnson - reining and versatility

By Kathy Schmidt

My horse Hazelnut and I attended the Craig Johnson Clinic at Freedom Farm last weekend, and we had a great time! It was a bit out of our comfort zone, as we do Western about once a month for cow work, and otherwise focus on dressage and jumping, along with our usual chores around the Farm. It was a great group, including 8-10 folks and their gorgeous horses who show in western pleasure and/or reining. Craig was great, laid back yet very serious about his job, which has ranged from teaching individuals, to training and showing World Champions in reining, and now coaching folks in ranch versatility!

Lesson Notes: Our Horses, Our Teachers

By Mary Gallagher

Here at Freedom Farm we have the greatest teachers, our horses. Over the years, these great teachers come and go in our lives, but even as the horse passes on, the lessons remain with us.

New Years Message - January 2015

This post was originally our January newsletter, Vol 5 issue 1 (just as the 70-plus posts preceding this one originated in the past years' newsletters). I include it here as the sentiments are still fresh, and this coming year's calendar still forming! -MG

Dear Friends,

Our first issue of 2015 is dedicated to gratitude, acknowledgements, and events to start the New Year.
We look forward to another great year of growth and learning for us all.

Nutrition Supplement Awareness

By Barbara Noble, BS, CRNA

While others are thinking of holidays, my mind is on copper and zinc. The other trace minerals, iron and manganese are generally readily available. In our area (Pacific Northwest) iron is so available as to be an excess problem. Manganese is usually plentiful, and deficiency not a problem. However, copper and zinc are barely present in our soils and consequently are barely present in our pastures and hay.