Saturday, April 8, 2017

Stop! Don’t get on that horse! (Yet.) Part 1 of 2

by Jessica Crouch

Spring is finally here and many of you are eager to get riding again.  Maybe a friend has invited you for a trail ride and offered you a horse you don’t know well.  Maybe you are anxious to get your green horse going again and see if you can develop him a bit more this year.  YOU are anxious to get riding, but before swinging into the saddle, there are some basic things you should do to check if your HORSE is ready.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Calendar of Events for 2017 (so far...)

by Mary Gallagher

(Copied from our February 2017 Newsletter. -MG)

Our usual schedule of classes and arena use will stay basically the same, and is being updated on the Calendar page on the website as I type. You can save yourself a phone call by checking there first. Of course, I am happy to answer questions about upcoming events, and get your RSVPs for classes.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Relationship: Communicating on the Ground

by Mary Gallagher

I am always looking for a better way to be around horses—mine, my clients’, class and clinic participants’. Over many years, I have often heard people comment that they really prefer to just to get on and ride. So often the pressure we put on ourselves to achieve results and ‘get it done’ gets in the way of our relationship with our horse, which is why ground work makes so much sense.
Charlie and his owner having a conversation.

Ground communication makes going slow okay. It is all about the horse’s story, so going slowly and purposefully allows us to put our agenda aside, and begin to see and understand what the horse is telling us.

When approaching your horse from the ground, spend some time watching him. Really see him.  Don’t be hasty to judge, just give him time to let go of the show.  Let him impress you with what he knows. In his exuberance, he will most likely show you all his groovy moves.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Years Greetings, Appreciations, and News from Mary Gallagher

Dear Friends,

Good bye to 2016, hello to 2017!

Let's start with an appreciation....

I always feel that the start of a new year is the best time to express the gratitude I feel all year round, and say thank you to all the wonderful folks who have helped Freedom Farm grow and reach out to so many horse people all over the world.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Equestrian Lifestyle at Freedom Farm: Feet First

By Jerry Schmidt and Mary Gallagher

A natural lifestyle is the foundation of our horses' health at Freedom Farm. Foundational to that is the care of their feet, which are, without exception, barefoot. It's a great first topic of this series on natural equestrian lifestyle. -MG

Our boarding and training business, dedicated to keeping horses in a more natural environment, is a huge undertaking in the horse industry today. The way our horses live – moving barefoot with a herd, enjoying access to natural grasses and hay 24/7 – is not how horses are typically cared for, especially if you have competition aspirations. Yet that is how our horses live and compete: barefoot and in a herd environment.

Magnum’s Rough Year, Part Two: Oh No! Laminitis!

Not feeling well at all!
by Mary Tulin

Mary and Magnum's story of insulin resistance continues with more hard times, dealt with effectively. A good example of proper horse management. -MG

Magnum really wasn’t feeling well.

His move to a dirt pen with old pals had seemed like the perfect situation: get him off grass, keep him in a herd with room to play. The big dirt pen by the hay barn was roomy, with his old herd right next door. Within weeks after the move, however, he got worse again. Dirt pens are great, but this one was next to pasture, grass within easy reach of questing muzzles. Magnum munched freely, and paid dearly.

Friday, October 7, 2016

"Are you sure you still want him?" Scooter’s Story

by Breanna York and Dekker McKeever

It has been a pleasure to welcome Breanna  (a long-ago student of mine), her husband Dekker, and their two horses, Helo and Scooter, to Freedom Farm. I asked Breanna to share Scooter's story with us. He and Dekker are regulars in our Friday morning Ground Work class.  - MG

“Are you sure you still want him…???” Barry pleaded with me, his desperate eyes frantically scanning my face. He barely held back the rearing, bucking, flaring miniature stallion. The 10-month old miniature horse looked like a tiny woolly mammoth, painted with a smattering of chestnut red and summer sky white clouds. A tiny woolly mammoth whose name would be Scooter, fighting to flee his chicken coop stable.