Monday, March 30, 2020

Ideas for Stay-at-home Equestrians

Looking to keep your mind sharp and learn new things while you are at home and show season is postponed? Here are a few ideas of things you can do to fill your time:

-Go through and read your local show or organization's rule book(s) so you can learn new things and be better prepared when competitions resume

-Re-watch (or watch) your favorite horse-themed movies!

-Update your yearly goals list and detail out smaller goals to start with

-Re-watch old competition videos, both of yourself and professionals and see what you can learn!

-Read a new horse-related book! Whether a training book or a work of fiction.

-Meet up with fellow equestrians in online meetings or hangouts to get your fill of horse talk!

Hang tight everyone and stay safe!! We will get through these challenging times one step at a time!

Learn more about Southwind at!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Barn Safety Tips from AAEP

In this unexpected time of life we wanted to share this info graphic from American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Southwind Farm is home to a wide variety of equines and their people so we want to make sure that everyone stays safe!

To learn more about Southwind Farm and our current boarding opportunities, email owner Sheri at: or visit, 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Stalls Available Now :) Don't Wait- Claim Your Spot!

Reminder: Stalls Available for Boarders!

Southwind Farm has immediate openings for stall boarders of any age, breed or discipline. Come to Southwind and enjoy two outdoor arenas, an indoor arena, a few cross-country schooling fences and trails to enjoy your horse!

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.

Contact owner Sheri Thornley today to set up your appointment to see the farm and learn more at:

Monday, March 9, 2020

Post-winter check in for your horse

Shew! You have made it through another winter with your horse(s)! You are seeing longer hours of sunlight and temperatures are slowly warming with each passing day. That means it's time to plan your horse's spring health program vaccines and examination. No matter what you want to do with your horse this spring, it's important to have a check in with yourself and your vet to address anything from winter moving forward. Here are a few questions to ask yourself & possibly discuss with your vet:

  • Has your horse been in work through the winter?
  • Describe your horse’s feeding program. Have there been any changes in feed? Is he eating normally or have you noticed any peculiar habits?
  • Has there been any weight change? Are you feeding a special diet to control body condition?
  • Have there been any respiratory concerns, coughing, or nasal discharge over the winter?
  • Have you observed any lameness in your horse? Any lumps or swellings?
  • Is your farrier happy with the condition of their feet and/or shoes?
  • Is your horse receiving any treatments or medications?

These may seem like a lot of questions to answer but even if you’ve owned your horse for years, things can quietly change over a winter season so it's important to check in! That's why here at Southwind Farm we work tirelessly with each boarder to address any concerns or needs they have for their horse(s). No matter the age or breed we love all of our horses here at Southwind!

We would love a chance to welcome your horse(s) into the herd so email Sheri at: to learn about our boarding availability! 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Spring Pasture Maintenance

Spring is right around the corner and with temps slowly rising each week, there is hope for all that green grass and warmer days are close by! If you are like most farm owners and equestrians in Maryland thanks to an unusually-warm winter, your pastures have been transformed into giant mud pits. So what can you do to maximize your spring growth this year?

Thanks to an article from the University of Minnesota Extension program, here are a few spring pasture to-dos which can help you get the best use out of your fields for not only springtime but the rest of the year. (Note: we take our pastures very seriously at Southwind and do everything we can to ensure our horses are happy and healthy year-round!

Take a look at the excerpt from the article below:
Plant seed- "The best time of year to seed a pasture is fall. But, spring is an adequate time if you missed fall seeding. April 1st to May 15th is the best time in the spring to reseed your pastures. Keep horses off newly seeded pastures until the grasses become well established and you’ve mowed two to three times.'

Take soil samples-'Test your soil to see if your pastures need any nutrients. You can take soil samples once the frost is out and the ground is dry.'

Fertilize-'Test your soils before fertilizing, so you know how much you need. Often, pastures only need nitrogen.'

Control weeds- 'Spring is a good time to spray annual weeds to prevent them from establishing. Mowing is usually sufficient for annual weed control, but an herbicide may be needed with large numbers of weeds.'

Check fences- 'Snow and deer can damage fences. Check all fencing before turning out your horses.'

Plan your grazing system- 'Think about your pasture’s health from last year. Did you have enough grass or did the horses turn it into a putting green or mud pit? You may need to provide your horse with hay during certain times of the grazing season, and set aside a sacrifice area when the pasture needs rest.'

'Feed your horse their normal hay diet before turning them out to pasture during the first several grazing events of the year (along with the time restrictions). This will prevent rapid eating of pasture grasses, thus preventing digestive upset and laminitis (Original article here)."

Monday, February 24, 2020

Stalls Available for Spring!

Reminder: Stalls Available for Boarders at Southwind!

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 spring! Now is the time to get your stall before spring season starts so you and your horse(s) can settle in and enjoy the many amenities Southwind has to offer!

Our experienced staff live on the property and help maintain a routine that keeps our horses of all ages happy and healthy.  Not only do we have the facilities you need to train your competition horse, there are also trails for conditioning and pleasure.  All types of riding are welcome, as are your own farrier 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.

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!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Save the Date: 4/19 PVDA Schooling Show at Southwind!

Spring is right around the corner and for our dressage boarders the Potomac Valley Dressage Association (PVDA) show circuit is only a few weeks away. This year Southwind Farm will again host a PVDA schooling show, on Sunday April 19th. For more information you can contact the show manager, Carolyn Del Grosso at or visit: to see the full list of competitions.

To learn more about why Southwind Farm is the place to be this spring visit:!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Reasons to LOVE Southwind Farm!

Southwind Farm is not just any boarding facility. We have a few things that we can say truly makes us unique and reasons why our boarders love being here!
  • We LOVE horses of all shapes and sizes and welcome them into the herd! We have NO breed or age restrictions on our boarded horses.
  • We LOVE to encourage learning from all types professionals! We have no training or lesson requirement, and our boarders have access to over eight different trainers who regularly come to the farm. OR you can bring your own trainer in for weekly/monthly lessons.
  • We LOVE our boarders to have peace of mind by allowing their own vet and farrier at the farm! 
  • Our owner and manager Sheri Thornley LOVES to live on site so our boarders know someone is always there. 
  • We LOVE riders of ALL disciplines! The more the merrier!
  • We LOVE our unique group of boarders! We have all the amenities of a bigger barn but a close family feeling and camaraderie among our boarders.
  • We LOVE being located in northern Montgomery County and just minutes from three other big counties: Frederick, Howard and Carroll!
    What else is there to LOVE about Southwind?? Plenty! 
    Come take a look and see for yourself! Contact Sheri today or visit, 

    Sunday, February 2, 2020

    Upcoming Events close to Southwind Farm!

    Did you know one of the greatest perks about Southwind is our location? The farm is nestled in the heart of Damascus, Maryland in Montgomery County minutes off of I-270, but is also conveniently close to other counties as well! Five minutes up the road and you are in Carroll County with access to I-70. Drive 15 minutes and you can be in Frederick County and 25 minutes puts you in Howard County which makes Southwind perfect for boarders located in any of those areas!

    Southwind is also close to many local events of all disciplines! So if you board here and enjoy taking your horse out there are a variety of event options to choose from (including miles of trail riding!). If you are curious about some of the upcoming events close to the farm visit our friends at The Equiery here:

    If you want to come take a look at Southwind and see why we have boarders that commute from all over the DC & Baltimore metro areas, email Sheri today at: or visit:!

    Monday, January 27, 2020

    Easy Ways to Help Prevent Ice Balls This Winter

    Winter weather doesn't have to mean you can't take your horse out and about. Looking for a safe, quiet hack in the snow but you are concerned about ice buildup in their hooves? There are a few things you can do to help prevent them from happening!

    Thanks to our friends at Equus, we are sharing some tips from an article entitled "4 easy ways to ice-proof your horse's hooves" which offers some great ideas to get you started! (Click here for the full article or keep reading below for the tips!)

    "One winter hazard that riders in northern climates know well is ice balls. When snow and ice get packed under a horse’s hoof, it warms up slightly against the sole, then freezes readily against the cold metal of the shoe. The ice can quickly build up until the horse is walking on a hard, solid mass of frozen material, called “ice balls” or “snowballs.” The wetter and more dense the snow, the more likely it is that snowballs will occur. “Slushier” ice will fall away from the foot more readily, and light, dry snow won’t pack well, but wet or icy snow can easily get compacted into a tight, hard block.'

    'Walking on the uneven mass even for a short time can cause a number of problems from tripping and sliding to strains or sprains of the muscles, tendons and joints. Persistent snowballs can lead to bruises and hoof cracks. Horses do OK much of the
    time when there is snow all around, but once on a firm surface, many will teeter as if they are on high-heeled shoes.

    'Removing large masses of ice from under your horse’s feet can be difficult, and by the time you discover them, the damage may already be underway ("

    1. Let your horse go barefoot.
    2. Add anti-snowball pads.
    3. Try a home remedy.
    4. Get your horse hoof boots.

    Don't feel like dealing with the ice and snow at all? Come board your horse at Southwind where  you have access to our lighted, indoor arena! Learn more at: 

    Monday, January 20, 2020

    Who is Welcome at Southwind??

    Did you know Southwind Farm is unique in that we are not a one-discipline farm? What about the fact that outside trainers are welcome to come teach their students and others? So, who exactly is welcome at Southwind?

    • All breeds of horses
    • All ages of horses
    • All disciplines
    • Outside trainers
    • Outside veterinarians 
    • Outside blacksmiths
    • All types of equestrians are welcome in the Southwind Farm family!

    Here at Southwind we have always emphasized a relaxed atmosphere that is essential to every horse’s well-being regardless of discipline! So what are you waiting for?

    To find out more and our current rates, please visit our website: or email Sheri at:

    Monday, January 13, 2020

    Ride Inside This Winter

    Okay we can admit it, the recent mild temps for January have been wonderful! But don't let them fool you into thinking we aren't still going to have a winter. Colder temps and snow are likely to return so why chance it when you can ride inside this year?  Come join us at Southwind farm where you can utilize our indoor arena all winter long! Email for more information. 

    Sunday, January 5, 2020

    Tips to Winterize Around the Barn

    Winter brings a lot of bad weather but it doesn't have to mean poor horse care! Everyone around the farm works very hard each year in preparation for winter to ensure all of the horses get the very best care over the winter months. Because keeping horses and boarders happy and healthy is our #1 priority. Having an awesome indoor arena to ride year-round through the winter months is just a bonus here at Southwind! Learn more about boarding at today!

    Here are a few tips to winterize around the barn from an article from Debbie RAMM with RAMM fence:

    • Safer Stalls Prevent Injuries. Check all of your stall walls to be sure that there are no protruding nails, sharp edges or worn feeders that could result in an injury. Replace any old wood and be sure your stalls are free from split, chewed, and uneven boards. Holes in stall walls or any open spaces can turn into a place for a potential injury from a kick or a curious nose.

    • Ventilation is a Key to Better Health. Horse Barns need to have good ventilation so that your horses stay healthy. You can offer natural ventilation  through windows in your horse's stall. Hinged, grilled, or mesh doors allow you to open, close and clean your windows and sills while protecting your horse from the actual window.Additionally, mucking your stalls regularly will keep the build up of ammonia at bay.
    • Save Both Time and Money with Stall Mats. Some of the benefits include using less bedding, keeping a level surface for your horse which also allows for easier and more efficient cleaning.
    • Never Guess if Your Horse Has Enough Water. We all know that water is very important for our horses any time of the year and especially in cold months. Water not only hydrates, but also helps to keep horses warm in colder weather.  

    • Store Up On Bedding.