Monday, January 30, 2017

Don't forget...A Few Spots Available for Boarders!

Good morning!
We hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed it with friends and family. On this chilly Monday morning, we wanted to remind everyone that there are still a few board openings at Southwind for the winter! Our experienced staff all live on the property and help maintain a routine that keeps our horses happy and healthy.  Not only do we have the facilities you need to train your competition horse, there are also miles of trails for conditioning and pleasure.  All types of riding are welcome, as are your own blacksmith and veterinarian.  We have always emphasized a relaxed atmosphere that is essential to every horse’s well-being regardless of discipline.  Our location in Damascus, Montgomery County, MD provides easy access to I-270 and I-70.

PS- did we mention that we have an indoor arena!?!?

Be sure to check us out and contact owner Sheri Thornley today to set up your appointment!
www.southwindfarminc.com







Monday, January 23, 2017

Calling All Boarders!! Southwind wants YOU!

Are you looking for a new place to board where you are not just another number? What about access to an indoor arena, outdoor arena, cross-country jumps and area for hacking? Here at Southwind Farm we welcome boarders of all ages and disciplines.

We are more of a "family environment" and have a community feel. We are currently accepting boarders (both mares & geldings) to our farm. We also offer field board for clients with one or more horses in stall board. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact Sheri at: (301) 253-9417 or sherithornley@msn.com and set up a time to come out and see the farm.

Or, visit us online at: www.southwindfarminc.com 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Winter Workouts for You and Your Horse

Good morning,

Today we are sharing an article from thehorse.com entitled 'Winter Workouts.' Here at Southwind as you probably know, we do have an indoor arena which makes it much easier for our boarders to be able to continue their training programs through the winter.

If you are new to the farm or have access to an indoor arena over winter for the first time, this article is for you! It gives a great overview of some ways to keep you and your horse in shape this winter.

Photo: Keith Larson

"Winter workouts are valuable for maintaining fitness, preserving training, and promoting mental well-being. Winter exercise also provides an opportunity to fix problems in a horse's training and prepare both horse and rider for the upcoming competition or riding season.


In addition to their exceptional credentials as experienced riders and trainers, all three have equine scientific backgrounds, lending their knowledge of the horse's physiology to their fitness plans."


To continue reading the rest of the article to learn more, click here! 

To learn more about Southwind Farm and our indoor arena/boarding opportunities visit us at: www.southwindfarminc.com 



Monday, January 9, 2017

Looking for new boarders! Join the Southwind Family!

Good morning,

Are you looking for a new place to board where you are not just another number? What about access to an indoor arena, outdoor arena, cross-country jumps and area for hacking? Here at Southwind Farm we welcome boarders of all ages and disciplines. We are more of a "family environment" and have a community feel. We are currently accepting boarders (both mares & geldings) to our farm. We also offer field board for clients with one or more horses in stall board. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact Sheri at: (301) 253-9417 or sherithornley@msn.com and set up a time to come out and see the farm.

Or, visit us online at: www.southwindfarminc.com 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Happy New Year!

Good morning,

We wanted to wish everyone at Southwind Farm a very Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that 2016 will be over in two days but we look forward to all of the adventures 2017 will bring!


For now, we leave you with this adorable photo of one of Southwind's newest members, Gary the Goat, giving kisses to Sheri's daughter Addie!



Monday, December 19, 2016

Trainers of Southwind Series: Meet Mary Macklin

Good morning everyone,

Today we are continuing our 'Trainers of Southwind' series where each week we highlight one of the many different trainers that teach at Southwind. Up next is Mary Macklin!

Mary is an event rider who has competed internationally through the Two-star level. She has been competing for 17 years and has taken countless babies up through the ranks. Mary has worked with many great riders such as Jan Bynny, Sharon White, Jimmy Wofford, Vanessa Swartz, Fred Weber and Susan Graham White to name a few. She spends most of her training time working for and with Olympian Stephen Bradley, and has been doing so for the past 12 years.

Also an employee of the Frederick County Public School system, Mary has been teaching horseback riding for 15 years. 5 summers of those years were spent teaching summer camp for grade school children. She has students ranging from beginners at their first pony lesson through Preliminary level event riders. Mary has also been approved to move forward with her Level 2 ICP Certification after completing workshops with Robin Walker and Darren Chiacchia.

Mary has also worked at both Bowie and Laurel race tracks as well as galloped at private farms. The local Maryland farms also gave her the opportunity to work with babies, both handling and breaking them for many disciplines. Mary has worked at barns dealing with unbroken draft horses as well as Rolex veterans. She loves riding, training, and competing and also the smiles she sees on her students faces.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Riding Your Hose In The Winter

Did anyone happen to catch the snow flurries we got here in Maryland yesterday morning? How about the freezing cold wind we've been having? Well, hopefully you weren't caught trying to ride in the cold!! But if you were, have you considered boarding somewhere with an indoor? If you haven't, check out this great article by blogger, Mitzi Summers on riding in the wintertime. It highlights many of the indoor benefits but also has a comical spin on what we all know about trying to ride outside during the winter months.


Enjoy!

RIDING IN THE WINTER

Tips and Exercises to Keep You and Your Horse Active
By Mitzi Summers


Every fall it was always the same resolution for me-no matter how bad the winter was,I would not succumb to it’s vagaries and find myself merely feeding and grooming my horse all winter and giving him a vacation. No indeed, I would don my snowmobile suit, put ice caulks on my horse if necessary, and snow plow a track around my outdoor ring. Truth be told, however, when the temperature hovered around 17 degrees and the footing was less than perfect, I found myself more often than not inside my house READING about people riding while my horse not always so contentedly munched away on his hay.

Realistically, it is not just a case of “cowboying up” when rough weather comes. Conditions do change drastically for all animals, including the human type, in our Northeast, and we need to accommodate these changes while still trying to work with our equine partners. Some horse owners are quite content to wait out all of the bad weather and start again in the early spring, but for many of us, especially the riders who are dedicated to improving themselves and their horses, the change to severe weather can indeed be a bit troubling.

We will investigate the best case scenario first, (unless you and your horses winter in Florida), that you have access to an indoor ring. Indeed, many stables with indoor rings in our area find themselves on waiting lists every year for people wanting to board in the winter. If you have just moved into this area, be cautious about taking for granted that you will be able to do that-to board your horse at a less expensive stable in the spring, summer, and fall, and then move to a place that has indoor facilities in the winter. Many barns have full-time boarders for just that reason-so that they can save a spot for their horse when the inclement weather comes.

Of course with an indoor your riding is not limited to good weather. You may have to contend with a more crowded ring in which to ride, however, so be sure you check out any rules that that barn has about riding with others. There is usually a “left shoulder to left shoulder” rule when passing. Some barns post times when there are lessons, and boarders are not allowed to ride at those times. Many other stables, however, are more lenient, and will allow you to ride during lessons as long as you abide by their rules. These rules may be that you ride in the same direction of the lesson, that you cannot lunge your horse during a lesson, and that you ask permission before you canter or jump.

I once had the questionable authority to ask the world-famous Katie Monahan Prudent to leave the ring during the winter when she was riding her pony Milltown. She was schooling with just a halter bareback while one of my lessons was going on. Of course this GREATLY dates me, as she was a teenager. But even though the indoor ring was enormous, 150’x 250’, we had a rule in effect that during a lesson riders not in the group had to ride with a bridle and a saddle. It was for safety, as it is a bit more likely that if a rider has a problem, they will generally pose more of a safety risk if they are not using tack.

Lungeing can also present a safety problem. If the horse pulls away from the handler, then it is trailing a lunge line behind it if it runs. Also, people have a tendency to lunge their horses in cold weather to settle them. This is fine, but obviously must be done properly and with control, not as a means of chasing the horse about to “get the bucks out“.

In several dressage barns in Europe when I am over there teaching, lungeing in the indoor ring is prohibited. They take great care of the footing in their rings. They have many top level expensive horses there, and do not want to take a chance if someone lunges and allows the horse to make ruts or holes in the footing.

Proper etiquette is important. For example, you may want to practice a few runs on your barrel horse. You have already made certain that there are no lessons in the ring. But you must notice who else may be in the ring. If it is someone on a young or green horse, you will at the very least tell them what you have in mind and get their permission, or wait until they take a break and possibly bring their horse to a corner of the ring. I remember once riding a young Thoroughbred stallion off the racetrack for the first time in an indoor ring. I had heard a trailer pull up outside. All of a sudden three riders entered galloping, swinging ropes around, practicing for a gymkhana coming up. Let’s just say that the next ten minutes were very interesting for me! Of course, before entering the ring, they should have checked to be certain of the conditions inside. But these should be rules established by the owner of the stable, and management should make it clear that these rules are to be obeyed.

Another thing to be careful of is the use of your voice when riding. Some riders have acquired the annoying habit of ‘clucking “ to their horses almost constantly. This is not correct for several reasons; the first is safety. If someone is riding a nervous horse, the clucking noise may be enough to cause it to bolt. This is also true when riding in any ring including practice rings before a show. Another reason not to let this become a habit is that the horse will become accustomed to that particular sound and become desensitized. I like to save my “clucks” for more important occasions such as if your horse thinks of refusing at a fence, or not going across a stream, or is thinking of backing up or rearing.

In most stables, it is required for anyone entering the ring to ask permission. This is for several reasons, but it is a safety rule. Someone may be just about to go by the door, or there may be a nervous horse or rider having problems. The door opening may accelerate the situation. Someone may also be coming toward the door from a line of barrels or jumps. In many stables, before you enter, either with or without your horse, it is just necessary to shout “Door!” and wait for permission to enter. One barn where I recently taught had a pleasant- sounding doorbell installed. I liked this very much. It was always the same sound, and was easily heard.

To continue reading the original article, click here: http://www.mitzisummers.com/riding_in_the_winter.htm