Monday, October 14, 2019

Reminder: Stalls Available for Boarders!

We hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed it with friends and family. We wanted to take a quick minute to remind you that there are still a few stall board openings at Southwind for the winter! Now is the time to get your stall before it gets too cold.

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 to see the farm and learn more today!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fall Trail Riding Tips!

Fall can be an excellent time of year to venture out on the trails and we encourage it here at Southwind Farm! With the changing leaves, beautiful scenery and wildlife, plus cooler temperatures it can be a very enjoyable experience! However, it's important to maintain safety and safe riding practices at all times, especially out on the trails. Thanks to an article from Horse & Ride it talks about seven possibly dangerous situations that can arise while out on the trails. The article talks a little more about each one and how to avoid it, if possible. Take a minute to check out the article below and make sure you stay safe this fall as we love all of our boarders and horses!

Photo credit: Pine Creek Valley Trail Riders

"Proper planning can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying a trail ride and trail ride safety. Without it, you can wind up in predicaments ranging from inconveniences to serious threats to your safety, as well as that of your horse and your trail-riding pals.'

'Even with proper preparation (see sidebar, "Plan Ahead," below, for tips), unexpected situations can arise, and you must act quickly to keep all the horses and humans in your party as safe as possible. Here are a few common problems in trail riding safety to keep in mind. If one of these situations sneaks up on you, you'll also be armed with information necessary to get out of it quickly and with as little harm as possible (Horse & Rider)." Read the full article here! 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Post-ride Trailering Trips for a Smooth Trip Home

Some horses have natural anxieties about the trailer that come from a previous owner, experience or just a quirk in their personality. Keeping trailering safe and calm for both you and your horse is important to being autonomous with your horse. Often times it's easy to know what to do pre-trailer ride but the ride home can often be overlooked. Thanks to an article from, there are a few more things to think about before throwing your horse back on the trailer and heading out.

"You’re headed back from your trail ride. You reach the trailer, unsaddle, brush off your horse, get him loaded, and head down the road. Twenty minutes! It’s a new record time. This is exactly the behavior that gets riders in trouble. After a long day of riding, and especially after multi day trips, it’s tempting to hurry up and get on your way. When you do this, you create chaos. You hurriedly go through the motions and leave yourself open to forget important things, such as a saddle left on the ground. You overlook the once-over that ensures that your horse is injury-free and your equipment is in good repair.

'Over time, your rushed process causes your horse to become anxious at the trailer, which makes your ride back more difficult and puts a sour tone on an otherwise-pleasant experience (Horse & Rider)."

Here are a few tips from the author to ensure a safe and smooth trip all the way around!

  • After your ride, use your checklist to ensure that everything you’ve brought is accounted for and put away. If you break tack or lose a hoof boot, make note of it so you can replace it.
  • As you head back to your trailer, mentally prepare yourself so you don’t become overly anxious and affect your horse’s emotional state. If you get anxious your horse will, too. 
  • Before you load your horse, he should be relaxed and comfortable. If you rush him, he’ll feel as you do when you’re rushed in and out of an appointment—emotionally run-over. Instead, tie him to the trailer and loosen the girth, but don’t get in a hurry to jerk the saddle off. Let him relax as you prep your tack room.
  • Organize your tack room so that when you take off your horse’s gear you don’t have to struggle to put it away. Hang up your bridle, pull out grooming supplies and water buckets, and make sure everything’s clean and ready to use again.
  • After your horse has cooled off, but before you load up, make water available. 
  • Complete a thorough check of your horse by rubbing your hands over his body after your ride to look for injuries.
  • After your ride, inspect your trailer and the load-up position. Not all trailers have good internal lights so bring a flashlight or head lamp if there’s a chance you’ll load up after dark.
At Southwind we love our trail riders and adventurers!! With close access to several county parks and areas to ride in, there's always a spot to load up and go exploring! Learn more about our farm and boarding opportunities at:! 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Amazing Horse Facts Part 2!

Hello all! We are continuing our Random & Amazing horse facts today in order to mix things up a bit and to expand your equestrian knowledge. (Because, why not??) Some of these you might know and some might surprise you!

Also don't forget that we love and welcome horses of all breeds, ages and disciplines at Southwind! Learn more about our stall boarding available at:!

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
21. An adult horse’s brain weights 22 oz, about half that of a human. (Source: The Equinest)

22. Horses still hold a place of honor in many cultures, often linked to heroic exploits in war, China being one of those countries. (Source: National Geographic)

23. Horses can not vomit. (Source: The Equinest)

24. There is only one species of domestic horse, but around 400 different breeds that specialize in everything from pulling wagons to racing. All horses are grazers. (Source: National Geographic)

25. A horse can see better at night than a human. However, it takes a horse's eyes longer to adjust from light to dark and from dark to light than a human's. (Source: Cowboy Way)

26. The first cloned horse was a Haflinger mare in Italy in 2003. (Source: The Equinest)

27. Horses like sweet flavors and will usually reject anything sour or bitter. (Source: The Equinest)

28. Wild horses generally gather in groups of 3 to 20 animals. A stallion (mature male) leads the group, which consists of mares (females) and young foals. When young males become colts, at around two years of age, the stallion drives them away. The colts then roam with other young males until they can gather their own band of females. (Source: National Geographic)

29. Most of the time, wherever a horse's ear is pointing is where the horse is looking with the eye on the same side. If the ears are pointing in different directions, the horse is looking at two different things at the same time. (Source: Training Horses Naturally)

30. Horses produce approximately 10 gallons of saliva a day. (Source: EquiNews)

31. On the underside of a horse's hoof is a triangular shaped area called the “frog," which acts as a shock absorber for a horse's leg, and also helps to pump blood back up the leg. (Source: PawNation)

32. Horses height is measured in units known as "hands." One hand is equal to four inches. The tallest horse on record was a Shire named Sampson. He was 21.2 hands (7 feet, 2 inches) tall. He was born in 1846 in Toddington Mills, England. (Source: Cowboy Way)

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
33. The average horse's heart weighs approximately 9 or 10 pounds. (Source: Steinbeck Equine)

34. The record for the longest jump over water is held by a horse named Something who jumped 27 feet, 6 and 3/4 inches on April 25, 1975 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was ridden by Andre Ferreira. (Source: Equine Life Solutions)

35. The record for the highest jump made by a horse is held by a horse named Huaso who jumped 8 feet, 1 and 1/4 inches on February 5th, 1949 in Vina del Mar, Chile. He was ridden by Captain Alberto Larraguibel. (Source: YouTube)

36. Scientists believe that the first known ancestor of the horse lived about 50 million years ago. This prehistoric horse is called Eohippus and had four padded toes on the front legs and three padded toes on the back legs. (Source: Chronozoom)

37. Horses with typical anatomy are "obligate nasal breathers" which means they must breathe through their nostrils and cannot breathe through their mouths. (Source: The Horse)

38. Horses drink at least 25 gallons of water a day (more in hotter climates). (Source: Healthy Pets)

39. It takes 9-12 months to re-grow an entire horse hoof. (Source: The Equinest)

40. Horses with pink skin can get a sunburn. (Source: The

41. A zebroid is a cross between a zebra and any other member of the family Equidae (which, besides zebras, includes donkeys, ponies, and horses). … A "zonky" is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. … A "zony" is a cross between a zebra and a pony. … A "zorse" is a cross between a zebra and a horse. (Source: Cowboy Way)

42. You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If that area is cold, so is the horse. (Source: The Chronicle of the Horse)

43. Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees. (Source: University of Minnesota)

44. If a horse has a red ribbon on it’s tail, it kicks. (Source: Equine Tips)

45. Horses are social animals and will get lonely if kept alone, and they will mourn the passing of a companion. (Source:  The Equinest)

Tah dah! There you have it! totally amazing (some bizarre) horse facts to store for that next trivia game you play!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Random & Amazing Horse Facts: Part 1

Good morning all! Today we want to mix things up a bit with some totally random, yet amazing, horse facts to expand your equestrian knowledge. (Because, why not??) Some of these you might know and some might surprise you! Today we start part 1 so take a look below and enjoy :)

And don't forget that we welcome horses of all breeds, ages and disciplines at Southwind! Learn more about our stall boarding available at:!

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
1. Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal. (Source: HorseswithAmie)

2. Horses can run within hours after birth. (Source: ScienceKids)

3. When horses look like they’re laughing, they’re actually engaging in a special nose-enhancing technique known as “flehmen,” to determine whether a smell is good or bad. (Source: Wikipedia)

4. At one time people thought horses were colorblind. They’re not, though they are better at seeing yellows and greens than purples and violets. (Source: The Horse)

5. A horse's teeth take up a larger amount of space in their head than their brain. (Source: LiveScience)

6. You can generally tell the difference between male and female horses by their number of teeth: males have 40 while females have 36 (but honestly, most us are going to use the much “easier” way).

7. Horse hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human hair and fingernails. (Source:

8. The horse trailer (“horse box”) was invented by Lord George Bentinck, a U.K. man who needed a more effective transport for getting his six horses from one racetrack to another.

9. In 1872, Leland Stanford (1824-1893) made a bet that at some point in the gallop all four of a horse’s legs are off the ground at the same time. Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) proved him right by using a series of 24 cameras and photographing a racehorse named Sallie Gardner. (Source:  HorseswithAmie)

10. Horses are more secure and comfortable when trailering if they can face the rear, but they prefer openings. (Source:  Animal People News)

11. Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up. (Source: ScienceKids)

12. A 19th century horse named ‘Old Billy’ reportedly lived 62 years. (Source: Manchester Museum)

13. From 1867 to 1920, the number of horses shot up from 7.8 million to 25 million. Experts believe this was due to the rise of the automobile. (Source: HorseswithAmie)

14. Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time. (Source: ScienceKids)

15. The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph (55 mph). Most gallop at around 44 kph or 27 mph. (Source: Purely Facts)

16. The Przewalski’s horse is the only truly wild horse species still in existence. The only wild population is in Mongolia. There are however numerous populations across the world of feral horses e.g. mustangs in North America. (Source: Onekind)

17. Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions. (Source: CBS News)

18. Horses will not lie down simultaneously because at least one will act as a look-out to alert its companions of potential dangers. (Source: EquiSearch)

19. Vocalizations are highly important to horses. Examples: Whinnying and neighing sounds are elicited when horses meet or leave each other. Stallions (adult male horses) perform loud roars as mating calls, and all horses will use snorts to alert others of potential danger. (Source: Onekind)

20. Approximately 4.6 million Americans work in the horse industry in one way or another. The US horse industry has an economic effect of $39 billion annually on just nine million American horses. There are approximately 58 million horses in the world and the vast majority are cared for by humans. (Source: American Horse Council)

How many of those did you already know and what was new? Happy Riding everyone!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Enjoy Fall at Southwind Farm!

Fall is right around the corner and cooler temps and autumn leaves are only a matter of days away! Today we want to send out a quick and friendly reminder that we have a few spots left for boarders this fall at Southwind Farm. Come enjoy one of the best seasons for riding at Southwind knowing your horse is getting top care!

For more information, contact Sheri at: or visit:

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Taking a moment this morning to congratulate Southwind's owner, Sheri Thornley, on a fantastic placing at the American Eventing Championships!! Sheri and her horse Toga finished 8th overall in Training Amateur Championship 2019, was Reserve Champion T.I.P. (Thoroughbred Incentive Placement for highest OTTBs) and her Training team for USEA Area II finished as Reserve Champion teams. Way to go Sheri! Southwind is proud of you!


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Good LUCK Sheri at the AECs!

We are taking a quick minute this morning to wish our very own Sheri Thornley good luck and three great phases as she travels to Lexington, Kentucky for the USEA American Eventing Championships this week! Working to qualify each year, Sheri is an "AEC veteran" having competed several times. However this year the event will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park as a first. Good luck Sheri & Toga! We can't wait to hear how it goes!

Follow all of the action here:

Learn more about the AECs here:
The 2019 United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) will take place at the iconic Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky on August 27 - September 1. Every horse and rider combination from Beginner Novice through Advanced level will complete their AEC week with show jumping in the prestigious Rolex Stadium. The USEA is teaming up with Equestrian Events, Inc.(EEI) and Mary Fike to make the 2019 AEC an unforgettable experience for every competitor. 

With the AEC being the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels, new and exciting updates have been made to the 2019 AEC. Updates include the addition of a 'Modified/Training Championship,' the increased purse for the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, and the return of the Adult Team Championships (ATC). 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Photo Tour of Southwind!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

We'll let these photos, taken by the very talented Scott Stinnett, speak for themselves!
If you are looking for an all-inclusive boarding operation that has all the amenities without the large barn feeling in Montgomery County Maryland, come out to Southwind Farm today!

Learn more at:!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Six Cool-Down Strategies for Your Horse

"Summer's heat and humidity can be much more than just uncomfortable. They can be deadly. Horses lose their lives every year to heat stroke. Countless others struggle through anything from weakness to colic as a result of inadequate care in hot weather. Don't let this happen to your horse (!" Click on the article from our friends at Horse & Rider to learn about some cool down strategies for your horse to help finish out these last few weeks of summer and hot weather!

To learn about Southwind's facilities (including a shaded indoor arena and trails!) for boarders of all shapes and sizes visit:!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Rider Safety in the Heat

Shew, it's been hot and humid recently! While summer rages on, our horses still need to get ridden when safely possible. And although we focus a lot of times on our four-legged friends, it's important not to overlook our own bodies as riders in this summer heat.

Thanks to our friends at the CDC here is a great chart to help you spot the early signs of heat-related illnesses and what to do if it happens to you or someone you know. Remember to always stay hydrated and work your horse only as much as you both can handle.

We're so thankful to have an indoor arena which at least provides a bit of shade and a cross breeze when there's one available, but staying safe and keeping hydrated is still important! Learn more about our other amenities at:!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Safety First WhenTrailering This Summer!

With summer in full-swing and abundant competitions, clinics and schooling opportunities almost every weekend, it's important to maintain trailer safety when you are hauling horses.

Trailering in the summer requires some different precautions compared to other seasons such as spring or fall, so we are sharing this quick article from Equus magazine for all of our friends as a reminder!

"The inside of a horse trailer can easily become 20 degrees warmer than the air temperature outside. Horses working to keep their balance in such conditions can quickly become stressed, fatigued and dangerously overheated. As you travel this summer, take precautions to ensure your horses stay cool on the road.

  • Open trailer windows and vents. But make sure that doing so does not encourage a horse to assume an inappropriate position while you are moving.
  • Do not put sheets or coolers on traveling horses, even to "keep them clean." They'll overheat and arrive sweat-stained anyway.
  • Skip heavy quilts and bandages on legs and go with lighter-weight shipping boots. If all the horses in the trailer are experienced travelers, you may want to ship with just bell boots on to protect coronary bands.
  • If you have to stop en route, park in a shady spot if possible. Offer the horses water before you set out again.

Once you've arrived at your destination, unload and offer more water as soon as you can do so safely (" To read the original article, click here! 

To learn about our top-quality care of all breeds, ages and sizes of horses here at Southwind Farm visit: today!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

REMINDER: Annual Yard Sale THIS SATURDAY! 7/27

Good morning everyone!

Just a quick reminder that this Saturday, July 27th is our Annual Southwind Yard Sale from 8:00am to 2:00pm. It looks like the weather is going to cool off a bit and be lovely! This yard sale is a multi-vendor sale with everything from soup to nails, tack, tools, back to school stuff, household items, antiques, and even some furniture!! You won't want to miss this!

For those who want to participate its' not too late! The cost is $10 for as big a spot as you need for a table or two. (Sorry, no plastic tarps allowed as they kill the grass.) 

Email Sheri Thornley at: for more info/questions.  We hope to see you this Saturday!

Yard sale address: 11415 Bethesda Church Rd, Damascus, MD 20872

Monday, July 15, 2019

Meet Heidi Martin, Assistant Barn Manager!

Meet Heidi Martin! Southwind’s Assistant Barn Manager!

Today we want to introduce you to Heidi Martin, who joined Southwind Farm in April. You’ll see Heidi here during the week, assisting Sheri with managing our barn full of horses.

Heidi has degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education and began her riding career at the age of eight. She got her first horse at age 12 and evented him through Novice level, eventually getting to the Preliminary level with her next mount. Heidi has been a working student for Sally O’ Connor and after earning her degrees she decided to pursue her passion for horses as the barn manager at Waredaca Farm. After successfully managing Waredaca for a few years, she left to start a family.

Heidi’s experience in barn management and as a horse owner has given her a wide variety of experiences and knowledge caring for horses. She has taught horseback riding for over 30 years is a Level 4 Certified Horsemanship Association instructor, in addition to being First Aid and CPR certified.

We are so thrilled to have Heidi here at Southwind as she has contributed so much in her short time already! If you haven’t met Heidi yet, be sure to say hi next time you see her!

Learn more about Southwind Farm here: 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Save-the-Date: Southwind Annual Yard Sale, July 27th!

We are really excited to announce the date for our annual Southwind Farm Yard Sale! This year the event will be held on Saturday, July 27th.  Come out to the farm and for a variety of items for sale, horse and non-horse related. You can also reserve a table for yourself or have a table set up if you can't attend. More details to come later but for now mark your calendars!

Contact Sheri Thornley ( for more information or to reserve a space!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Wishing Everyone a Happy 4th of July!

We just wanted to take a minute to wish all of our fantastic boarders and their friends and families a Happy 4h of July this week!
We hope that everyone stays safe and gets to enjoy some extra time with their horse(s)!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Southwind Website Has Been Updated!

We are really excited to let everyone know that the Southwind Farm website (visit it here!) has been recently updated. Although our high quality standard of care hasn't changed it was time our website got a little face lift! With new photos of the farm, clear & concise information and boarding information you will find everything you need. We are also going to update this blog weekly with lots of great information so be sure to follow us here and on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Now Accepting Boarders!!

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 a larger barn with a "small barn feel" where everyone is treated like a part of the family. We are currently accepting boarders (both mares & geldings) to our farm of all ages, breeds and disciplines! If you want to learn more, feel free to contact Sheri at: (301) 253-9417 or and set up a time to come out and see the farm.

Or, visit us online at: 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

More About Southwind Farm: Part 2!

We asked Sheri what are some of the highlights of the farm that make it special:

"The things I brag on the farm about are the routine and the atmosphere.  We have a routine here that keeps the horses happy and content. The same things happen at the same time every day. Not only do the horses thrive on it, but so do the people.

If you ask anyone that comes here how fast their horse settled in, they will tell you they were shocked about how quickly they settled in. I recently has someone that was quite worried about how their high-strung horse would settle in. We just treated the horse like any other, put her in the routine, and now she's settled and thriving!!

I take a lot of pride in not only the physical well being of our horses, but also their emotional and mental well being more than anything else. Another thing I am proud about is the atmosphere here at the farm. Southwind is is super non-drama, no judging, and everyone is part of the family. Even though we are a bigger facility, we have a small barn feel where everyone feels welcome."

More about Jorge, Longtime Southwind Staff Member
Jorge has been with Sheri and Southwind since the beginning and he knows the farm better than anyone! He keeps the farm beautiful in the summer as he is an amazing landscaper. He also takes huge pride in his work and if something doesn't get done to his standard, he makes sure it gets fixed. He recognizes problems with the horses and has even noticed a few emergencies before anyone else, making sure the horses got the attention they needed right away. He knows all the details of the farm-- he even knows how many poops every horse does in a day, how much they drink on a normal basis, etc. Southwind would not be the same without him!

Learn more about Sheri & Southwind Farm (now accepting boarders!) at:

Friday, May 31, 2019

More About Sheri, Southwind Farm's Owner! Part 1

Good morning!!

Since our blog is back in action we wanted to give more background on Southwind Farm's owner, Sheri Thornley, for those who are new to the blog or the farm.

On how Sheri got into horses and Came to Southwind:
Sheri has been riding since she was a kid, and officially started her horse "career" in 1983 when she worked at the Greenspring Valley Hounds riding various hunt horses. In 1986 she landed her first barn manager job at Camelot Farm in Monkton, Maryland.   After leaving that position and deciding to work the "9-to-5 life" Sheri transitioned into Washington, D.C. for a few years working for a Union PAC. Shortly after she bought her horse Fred and after boarding him all over, she finally ended up at Windy Hollow Farm in 1996. Fast forward to 2004, Sheri ended up buying the farm and re-naming it Southwind!

On Sheri's Riding Career:

Fred wasn't Sheri's first event horse but he was her "main man" for many years.  Sheri was fortunate enough to have had him from 5-years-old until he died at  age 35 last year (2018).  Fred was such a wonderful horse who loved his job and evented all the way until he was age 23!  Sheri then got her current event horse, Toga, in 2003 when he was 3-year-old. At first she tried to sell him a couple times (a really cool story in itself- for another day!) and then without any luck ended up eventing him through the Intermediate level and then CCI** 2-star level. The year they competed in Intermediate at the American Eventing Championships the pair finished 9th and have returned at Training level finishing in the Top 8 several times since. Sheri describes Toga as her "one hit wonder horse" he is still rocking at Training level. Sheri has had other horses as well over the years and shared her love of riding with her daughter Addie.

Learn more about Sheri & Southwind Farm (now accepting boarders!) at:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Blog is Back!!

Hi everyone!!

The blog hiatus is over and we are excited to announce that we will be posting weekly blogs again! Why may you ask? Because we have had several people express interest in learning more about our farm, our boarders, our instructors and other boarding/lesson opportunities. Instead of sending out emails we thought the blog would be the best way to communicate all of the great info Southwind Farm has to share!

So what is up this week? Southwind info 101. Read below to learn more!

Southwind Farm is owned and operated by Sheri Thornley, event rider and manager of boarding stables for over 25 years. Southwind offers outstanding care for your horse no matter the breed, age or discipline!  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. Unlike other farms, boarders here have unique access to over eight different trainers! We also welcome your trainer too!

Southwind Farm is a larger facility with a "small barn feeling." Boarders visit at various times throughout the day so it never feels too crowded but always feels welcoming.

Our location in Damascus, Montgomery County, MD provides easy access to I-270 and I-70.  We are also conveniently located to southern Frederick county and Howard County.

Learn more at!