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.



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:

Monday, December 5, 2016

Winterizing your barn... yes it's coming!

Good morning!

Did anyone notice the sleet we had last night here in Montgomery County? With some light snow predicted for later this week as well, we thought we would share a great article about tips for winterizing your barn! Southwind works very hard each fall to prepare for winter and ensure your horses get the best care over the winter months. If you are looking for somewhere to board this winter, that INCLUDES an indoor arena, be sure to email Sheri today!

Spike rocking his holiday sweater

12 Tips for Winterizing Your Barn 
By Debbie for RAMM Fencing

With the increased storm activity that we all have been seeing, and long winters approaching, are you ready for the fall and winter months ahead?  Don't be left out in the cold, (pardon the pun), with endless projects when the snow starts flying.  Organize your horse barn now and get your winter projects done so that you will be able to handle any inclement weather no matter when it hits!

1.  Safer Stalls Prevent Injuries.

Your horse may live in its stall 50% of the time, if not longer. This is one of his 'homes' that needs to offer a sense of security.  A horse's stall should be a safe place that provides comfort, rest and easy feeding. 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.

2.   Ventilation, 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.  Grilled or mesh partitions in between each stall will allow horses to socialize with each other and let natural air flow between stalls. Any stall 'part' such as windows, doors, partitions and grill or mesh for partitions can be purchased separately and installed into an existing stall.* Dutch doors allow air flow directly into your horses stall.  Installing a mesh bottom door with a Dutch door will allow both doors to be opened providing great air flow as well as letting your horse have a good view of the outside of his stall. The mesh door also protects the bottom Dutch door when just the top is opened! Additionally, mucking your stalls regularly will keep the build up of ammonia at bay.

3.   Save Both Time and Money with Stall Mats. 

If you feel that its time to look at a better way to keep your stalls in shape, think about adding stall mats or a mattress system. Some of the benefits include using less bedding, keeping a level surface for your horse which also allows for easier and more efficient cleaning. Horses don't 'circle' their bedding and hay into a dirt floor and you no longer take the base of your stall out with the old bedding when you clean.  Stall mats save both time and labor as well as minimize stall base maintenance practically to none.

4.   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.  If you're thinking about using automatic heated waters, now is a good time to get water lines run and individual waterers in stalls. Be sure to make waterers low enough that horses don't have trouble drinking from them, but high enough that hay and dirt don't easily get into the bowls. Generally setting bowls at a little below shoulder height works well. Smaller animals or ponies need lower bowls for easy access. If your horses are in pasture a lot, be sure to consider a waterer that is made for outdoor pasture use. Pre-plan and be sure it's situated in a place that horses can congregate easily. Since areas like this get so much wear, rubber wash mats around a waterer can help to keep the dirt around it firm and in place.

If you would prefer to use buckets in your stalls in the cold months, consider using an insulated bucket holder. They help to keep heavy ice formation at bay. By filling buckets twice a day, the labor associated with breaking thick ice from buckets is helped immensely. The use of the bucket 'floater' that lays on top of the water does not seem to be an issue with horses water consumption. If you would like to avoid ice completely, try a heated water bucket in your stalls. The buckets fit nicely into a bucket holder that also helps to keep them in place if water gets low, discouraging horses from 'playing' with the bucket. The cord is protected with a coiled wire, which can be run through the stall wall or out of the partition to a standard outlet. The buckets automatically turn on and off at 42 degrees, taking the worry away from a continual 'on' heater. Electricity costs are pennies a month, but peace of mind? Well that's priceless!

5.   Maximizing Areas for Manure Disposal.  

Be sure that when you clean your stalls you have the easiest path to and from your manure pile, bunker, compost, or wherever you dispose of used bedding.  Whatever your means is for cleaning - tractor and spreader, 4- wheeler with bed that dumps, or even a wheelbarrow, think about your path when snow is on the ground and take measures now to make your path easier to use. Spreading small stone on a path helps with traction. Filling low ruts on the ground now will help to avoid places where you could get potentially stuck.

6.   Store Up On Bedding.

Now is also a good time to decide what bedding you will need through the winter months. If you're using saw dust or shavings, decide where you will store it. If you're buying in bulk, which can save money, think about constructing a three sided storage area for easy access.  Some people pour a concrete pad, use a wood floor or some other means of keeping moisture from getting to the bottom of the bedding. Consider using a tarp or cover to keep bedding dry if your storage area is outside of your barn. Other options for storage can be an empty stall, the corner of an indoor arena, or an unused trailer. Always use caution when getting bulk shavings to be sure it does not contain wood from nut or fruit bearing trees, which can be toxic to horses.

7.   Buying Hay at the End Summer Will Cost Less Than Through the Winter.  

Towards the end of the summer season you can pre-plan, save money, and have your hay ready for winter.  Hay storage needs to be well ventilated. New hay, directly from the fields, requires a 'curing' time of at least a month to 6 weeks.  Heat from fresh hay curing (sweating while it dries), can build up between bales and become extremely hot. If you're stacking new hay, provide pockets for air flow. Be sure your hay storage area can get plenty of air. Check hay daily by sliding your arm in between bales and open areas to allow air flow, (if needed), during the drying process. Early purchasing will prove to give you better hay prices rather than waiting until after the first of the year when prices can double.  You may also want to check on prices for large round hay bales. Some horse owners prefer using these and filling a round hay feeder less frequently as opposed to bale feeding.  It's something to consider, (depending upon your preferences and how much your horses are in pasture), and could be a money saver for you.

8.   Cobwebs are a Fire Hazard.  

Give your barn and stalls a good dusting. Cob webs that catch bits of hay, bedding and dust can be fire hazards. A dust-free barn is better for both you and your horse's health, too. Dusters can be purchased with handles that extend allowing you to reach up into your rafters and tops of your stalls. Even a broom will work. Or if you want to go a step further, cover a broom with an old cloth and that will help to further collect unwanted cob webs and collected dust.

9.   Collapsible Saddle Racks and Blanket Bars Makes Working with Your Horse Easier. 

The winter months can be chilly! So being able to get your horse tacked quickly and easily can be a big help. You can make or purchase collapsible saddle racks that allow you to have your saddle and bridle at your fingertips! Once your horse is groomed and ready to saddle, it's so convenient to reach behind you and pick up your saddle with It's pad and put it right on your horse's back.  Collapsible saddle racks can be as simple as a homemade length of wood, approximately 14"s long by 2" wide with a large eye screw that can hang on a hook on your stall wall. When its not being used, it can be turned sideways and hang on the wall, flush. Or you can purchase a metal saddle rack that is sturdy for western saddles and collapses flat on the wall.

After a good ride on a cold day, your horse may become hot and need to be cooled off before being turned out or put in his stall. Using a cooler helps to wick moisture to the wool cooler top keeping your horse drier. The cooler will also keep your horse warm until dry. Once you are done with the cooler, what do you do with it? Blanket bars on the front of each stall or in a convenient place in your barn will allow your cooler and blankets to hang and dry easily. Some blanket holders lock out, away from the stall door, to allow for more room and ventilation.  If you have several horses in your barn, the blanket bars help to keep each horse's blanket ready for easy turnout.

10.   Unclutter Aisles. 

No matter how wide your barn aisle or walkway is, it's important to keep them free from rakes, pickers, and small items such as brushes, buckets and lead ropes. Having your stall cleaning tools in one convenient place saves time, rather than having to go from one end of your barn to the other to find things. Find a good corner or wall where you can hang tools and always return them to that place after each use.  Hang lead ropes and halters on each horse's door or you can purchase a row of hooks that hang over your stalls front partition for quick and easy access.  Keep brushes in tack boxes or brush boxes that are out of the way of your horse's path.  Be sure that your aisle has some kind of traction so that horses don't slip from wet or snowy hooves.  Natural dirt floors are easy for horses to walk on, however, they can become dusty.  Rubber pavers are an option and they help to keep surfaces level, have a non-skid surface and reduce dust. Stall mats are another option that will keep the dust down and give better traction. If you have a concrete aisle that tends to be slippery, consider using a concrete sealant mixed with grit to help provide a rougher surface. You can also consider using rolled rubber matting.

11.   Make Sure that Your Lights are Working Properly. 

As colder days approach, it gets dark out earlier.  Lighting is an important part of seeing to do cleaning, feeding and daily checking of your horse. If your lights need to be cleaned from cob webs and bugs, remove light covers and wash your fixtures and replace any non-working bulbs. If your lighting could use some help, natural light fixtures can be bright with out heavy glare. There are also sealed lights available that eliminate the chore of cleaning with high ceilings.  If possible, provide light in or beside each stall, in feeding areas, and outside of any entry areas. This will help you, or anyone else who helps, with your barn.

12.   Horses Out in Pasture? Provide Protection. 

One or two freezes can cut the nutrition from grass that your horses have feasted on during summer. Its important to remember to watch for any signs of weight drops at this time of the year, and regulate your horse's amount of hay. Grain can be a good source of nutrients as well as provide warmth.  If you feed your horse outside, be sure to supplement with enough hay so that your horses can 'graze' with the hay that you provide. If your pastures are turning to dirt, it is very important to be sure that you provide enough roughage, such as grass hay, to keep them 'busy'. Board horses tend to pick up more dirt from foraging that can lead to colic. They also tend to try to eat grass on the other side of the fence, abusing it, and creating costly maintenance. Electric fencing will help to stop horses from leaning and cut the cost of replacing your existing fence. Horses also need shelter from the wind and elements. A simple 3- sided shed, with the back facing the wind, will provide much needed protection. Sheds can be secured to the ground with large anchors that will help to avoid damage from heavy winds.

Before the chilling winds begin, plan to get your barn projects completed. You will be so glad that you took some time to get organized, clean, and make chores more convenient. A few months from now you will glad that your barn runs efficiently and that your horses are easily cared for due to good planning! Have a great month and be ready for cooler weather! Enjoy the cooler days and good rides! Be sure to check your needed measurements with pre-fabricated stall parts. If measurements don't match, you can have custom pieces made for your stalls.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Off to another great week!

Good afternoon!

We are off to another great week here at the farm. We also hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and were able to enjoy it with family and friends.

Sheri, her daughter Addie and Addie's fiance enjoyed the annual trail ride with friends at Packy and Judy McGaughan's Banbury Cross Farm.

How cute are these photos?

We also want to remind everyone that we are still accepting boarders for this winter! It's not too late! Don't wait until there is snow and ice on the ground to realize you would like to board at a place with an indoor this winter :) For more information or to schedule your tour visit:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sheri on The Surrey Blog!

What a chilly 24-hours it has been! Winter has definitely arrived, but the horses are warm and happy! 
In case you missed it, we wanted to share Southwind owner, Sheri Thornley's blog on The Surrey entitled 'What I Learned This Season.' 

Also, we wanted to wish all of our boarders and friends a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Winter is Coming! Some helpful tricks of the trade to stay warm this winter!

Good morning,

We hope that everyone has a wonderful start to their week. Today we wanted to share an article from the USEA entitled 'Tips and Tricks of the Trade: Competing in Cold Weather' because as we all know, not everyone can go south during the winter to continue training. But before we do that we first wanted to thank everyone for sharing the post about our kitty Bob. We are sad to say that she was found and is no longer with us, now reunited with our other deceased animals. Bob will be greatly missed.

This past weekend Sheri was also able to visit with daughter Addie at West Virginia University and continue the celebration of her engagement! 

And now for the article! Don't forget, if you are looking for somewhere to board this winter that has an indoor arena, come visit us!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Trainers of Southwind Series: Barbara Strawson

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 Barbara Strawson!

Barbara is an FEI dressage competitor, trainer, and instructor who has brought her 30 years of experience to training and competing horses from USDF Training level through FEI Grand Prix. Earning her USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as her USDF Gold and Silver Freestyle Medals, Barbara continues to seek out and provide excellent levels of education to horse and rider.

As an active competitor, Barb has studied and competed in Europe under the tutelage of four-time Olympic gold medal winner, Nicole Uphoff-Selke, and is working towards representing her country internationally. While in Germany for 3 years, Barbara trained and competed through Grand Prix while riding as Nicole’s assistant.

Barbara began her FEI career as a young rider, winning a team bronze in the 1985 North American Young Rider’s Championships. She continued this training with Scott Hassler, USEF National Young Horse Dressage Coach. She was the Assistant trainer at Hilltop Farm in Colora, MD from 1990 to 2003. After her return from Germany in 2005, Barbara established her own business, Barbara Strawson, LLC. She is currently managing her own facility, in Clarksburg, MD.

Through her European based training, degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware and her certification in Balimo™, Barbara exceeds the expectations and the varying training needs of both her riders and horses by providing each the necessary tools to achieve their goals.

Barbara's skills and sensitivity allow her to bring out the potential in a variety of horse types and personalities. In addition, her philosophy, that each client is an individual with a unique learning style, results in her ability to help each horse and client to connect to the power of their own potential.

In addition to being an experienced trainer and instructor, Barbara co-authored My Riding Goals Journal and contributed to Equestrian Education. Both books are dedicated to improving personal performance in riding and instruction methods. In addition she has written or been featured in several articles for horse publications such as Dressage Today Magazine.

As well as being an active clinician herself, Barbara hosts International clinicians Nicole Uphoff-Selke and George Williams as well as others.  Barbara is also dedicated to giving back to the community in such endeavors as co-founder of the PVDA Ride for Life Dancing Horse Challenge,  riding in several fundraisers giving freestyle demonstrations and donating her services to silent auctions.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Another great weekend in the books!

Good morning,

Another great weekend in the books! This past weekend was the Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials. Concurrently they also held the Area II Championships. Sheri competed Toga in the Training level Championships and finished 8th in a very competitive class!

Toga sporting his pretty chocolate ribbon!

Her young horse, Biricchino aka "B" competed in the Novice horse division and although his 18th place doesn't reflect it, Sheri said he was wonderful and a cross-country machine! Way to go B!

Are you a Southwind boarder? Do you have weekend competition results you would like to share with us? Email today and share the great news!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Great Weekend for Southwind!

Good morning,

What a great weekend!  Sheri's daughter, Addie GOT ENGAGED! Congratulations to Addie and David!

What a beautiful ring! 

Also this weekend Sheri competed at the Waredaca October Horse Trials.  Although her ride with Toga didn't go as planned, she had a great ride on Biricchino in the Novice Horse division finishing 11th over a tough course. Way to go B!  

Boarder Holly's horse, Clementine, also competed with friend and trainer, Kelley Williams and finished 4th in the Novice Horse division. Great job!

If you competed this weekend and would like your results shared, be sure to let us know! We love supporting our boarders and their horses!  

We would also like to share some wonderful competition results from Heather Achen and Northern Light Farm, residents of Southwind.

Heather's students showed at WBTA two weekends ago. The weather was perfect and they had a great time! After a trying morning, Samantha Steckel and Beth Hosier rode Simon over beautiful courses really showing off all they have been working on these past few months. Carrie Hyde Michaels showed in the Low Adults and won Reserve Champion in good company. Heather said that she was most proud on how they all showed a great amount of teamwork and sportsmanship when the morning was a bit rough."  Congratulations Northern Light riders for demonstrating what this sport is really about!

Carrie jumping Trousseau

Samantha cantering Simon

Beth trotting Simon

Monday, October 17, 2016

Winter is coming! Help prepare your older horses for winter now!

Good morning,

We hope that everyone was able to enjoy the beautiful weekend! Here at Southwind, we have several older horses here on the farm. We work hard to give all of our horses, especially the older ones, the best conditions possible. It is very important as we prepare to head into the winter season that owners of older horses take necessary measures to ensure a good winter for them! Today we share an article link from Hagyard Equine written by Gina G. Tranquillo, VMD, CESMT on preparing your older horse for winter. Take a look here:

And remember, if you are looking for a place to board this winter where your horse will not only get the best of care, but YOU will have access to an indoor arena, please visit us at:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't forget...! A few spots open for boarders!

Good morning!

We hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed it with friends and family. On this chilly fall 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 trainer, 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!?! Come take advantage of it this winter!

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

Monday, October 3, 2016

Reflections of Southwind Farm

Good morning,

Today we want to share with you a beautiful letter written from Meridith Hurd, reflecting on her time at Southwind Farm.  Don't forget we are still accepting boarders! Contact Sheri today at: 

"When I came to Southwind as a boarder with my two horses Cinder and Dom, I was a sophomore in high school. Some of my most favorite memories as a young adult were going to the barn (after my homework was done) to go on a relaxing trail ride with friends or to take a lesson in preparation for a show. At the time, I was actively riding, training and showing in hunters and jumpers, and also foxhunted for many years until my family made the decision to retire Cinder and Dom. Both my parents rode at Southwind too! It was truly a family affair. 

Shortly after Cinder and Dom were retired, I went off to college. However, while both horses were enjoying retirement, my parents and I added to the family with two new horses Juanca and Bayley who moved into Cinder and Dom’s stalls. Juanca and Bayley both needed training and I couldn’t have been successful without the knowledge of Sheri’s horsemanship.
I not only have fond memories of spending time in the barn riding, but also enjoyed many evenings at the barn socializing; and weekends supporting fellow boarders at local horse shows, horse trials and other events.

The horses were always happy at Southwind and the care was and still is excellent. It is the perfect facility to go to enjoy spending time with your horse. It’s nice to have a place where you know the horses’ needs are always first. They say time flies when you are having fun, as September would mark the beginning of our 17th year at Southwind Farm. As I have recently relocated out of state, I was able to take my horses with me. But that is not without saying how much I will miss the Southwind “family” and will look forward to staying in touch.  Not only did I have the opportunity to make lifelong friends, but my horses made life long friends too." 

And here are some beautiful photos of the farm taken last week!  Photos courtesy of Laura Muncy, Heather Achen and Constance Yuan. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Trainers of Southwind: Meet Carolyn Del Grosso

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 Carolyn Del Grosso!

Carolyn Del Grosso has been riding horses since the age of nine.  She joined the Seneca Valley Pony Club at age 11 and got her "B" rating and evented through the Preliminary level. She put herself through college teaching summer camp in Potomac and decided that the business world was not really for her after getting my MBA at the University of Maryland.
Carolyn started doing more dressage around 1980 when the horse she was riding at the time proved not very athletic over fences.  She trained and competed him to the Prix St Georges level.  Shortly thereafter it became apparent that in order to move up in dressage she would need to have an imported horse as the ones being bred in the United States at the time were just beginning to improve.
In December of 1984, with the help and support of some friends and her boss, Carolyn was able to import Arklicht, a Hanoverian weanling.  He arrived on Christmas eve of 1984 so they nicknamed him Kris Kringle.  She was able to get her USDF bronze, silver and gold medals on him and competed through the Grand Prix level.  They also did many demos over the years, sharing their love for dressage from the Cherry Blossom Parade to the Horse World Expo and beyond.

Carolyn has trained with Sally Swift, Kay Meredith, Ginna LaCroix, Walter Zettl, Linda Zang and Rebecca Langwost-Barlow. She loves taking clinics and continuing to learn!

Carolyn continues to teach students from all disciplines and levels with a couple that have made it to the FEI level.  She has a laid back approach to progressing up the levels or just getting the student where they want to go.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Trainers of Southwind Series: Kelley Williams

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 Kelley Williams!

Kelley is an advanced level eventer that began her life with horses while attending summer camp at Camp Olympic in Rockville, Maryland.  After attending a few camp shows, Pat decided that mother-daughter riding lessons might be fun.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

After graduating from St. Mary’s College with a degree in Mathematics, Kelley began working for Dr. Will Engel of Ridgeview Veterinary Practice (large animal veterinarian).  Working at the practice has helped fine-tune her horsemanship skills over the years.  In addition, Kelley continued with her riding and competing, and soon found a love of retraining young horses off the track and teaching students.  That, coupled with her passion for eventing, led to her current career as trainer for A Bit Better Farm.

Known for her absolute dedication to her horses, her students, and her wonderfully supportive family, Kelley has developed A Bit Better Farm from a small family barn to a leading event facility.  Possessing an enviable amount of patience, she is a naturally gifted trainer and instructor who always seems to know what her pupils need, whether they be human or equine.  Kelley draws great gratification in her teaching and coaching, and firmly believes that she learns as much from her students as they learn from her.   To learn more about Kelley visit:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Southwind Boarder Competition Results!

Good afternoon,

We have a few more results to share with you from some of our boarders at Southwind. We love our boarders and are very proud of their accomplishments!

At the FADS dressage show at Blue Horse on August 28th:
Cashell and her mare Riva finished
-1st level test 3 - 73% 1st place
-2nd level test 1 - 69.5% 2nd place (their first time at 2nd level!!)

At the Seneca Valley Pony Club Horse Trials on September 4th:
-Cashell and Riva finished 7th place in the Novice Senior division with a score of 37.5 after a costly rail in show-jumping dropped them from 3rd to 7th place. But Riva did really well and jumped over the ditch bold and bravely (which is an improvement from last time!)

At the Maryland Horse Trials Fall Starter #1 on September 11th:
-Stacy Whitiak with Susan Lauffer's Bear With Me ("Teddy") had a clean cross-country round at Stacy's first Beginner Novice event!

Great job everyone! Stay tuned for results from Morven and a continuation of our 'Trainers of Southwind' series!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Playing Catch Up

Good afternoon,

We have a few things to catch everyone up on with the happenings of Southwind Farm!  First off, Sheri and her horse Toga finished 6th in the Professional’s Choice Master Training Rider at the American Eventing Championships 2016. They looked great and had fabulous jumping rounds. Way to go Sheri!
Sheri and Toga on the Jumbotron

Southwind Mascot, Spike, says horse shows are hard

Also Sheri's daughter Addie is back at school and doing well at WVU! Sheri was able to go visit this past weekend and join her for tailgating and football. Looks like these two had fun! 

Also, don't forget we are still accepting new boarders!! Don't wait until there is snow on the ground to wish you had an indoor arena! Come check out Southwind today and see our convenient, indoor arena. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

GOOD LUCK to Sheri!!

Good morning!

Today we want to send lots of good wishes to Southwind owner, Sheri Thornley, as she is headed to the American Eventing Championships (AECs)! Sheri qualified and is competing her horse Toga in the Master Amateur Training division as well as the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP).

This year the AECs are being held at the beautiful Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. To learn more about Tryon visit:

Sheri and Toga compete dressage Wednesday at 2:21pm, cross-country Thursday at 2:16pm, and stadium on Friday at 3:20pm.  GOOD LUCK Sheri and Toga!

Stay tuned to see how they do, and the continuation of our 'Trainers of Southwind' series next week!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Southwind Trainer Series: Carol Herron

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 Carol Herron!

Carol is a USEA Certified Eventing Instructor, ARIA certified instructor and has successfully completed the USDF Instructor Certification Workshops. Carol teaches students of all ages in a variety of disciplines. In dressage they range from Intro to Fourth Level and in eventing they range from Beginner Novice to Training Level. Her approach to teaching and training is based on classical standards, closely following the Training Scale. She believes that the horse and rider should enjoy the journey and her number one rule is safety first, for both horse and rider!

Carol currently competes her horse in dressage at the Intermediare I level and trains with Christopher Hickey, Pan Am double gold medal winner, during the winter months.  And she trains with Barbara Strawson, successful Grand Prix rider, during the summer months.  Carol spends her summers from May to October in Maryland and the winter months in Fort Myers, Florida.

Monday, August 15, 2016

'Trainers of Southwind' Series: Meet Packy McGaughan

Good morning!

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 Packy McGaughan!

Packy McGaughan has achieved many accolades in the eventing world as both a successful rider and trainer. He began his career as a young rider in the late 1970’s and early 80’s and where he went on to compete at the North American Young Rider Championships. He then received the Gold Medal at the 1987 Pan American Games in Eventing and graduated from the USET Rider in Residence program. A popular trainer in Area II, Packy has trained two National Young Rider Three-Day Champions and has trained many notable upper-level event riders including Matt Flynn, Lillian Heard and Daniel Clasing.
Photo courtesy of Packy

Don't forget you can bring your own trainer to Southwind Farm as well! We want our boarders to have access to all of the help and training they want, 24-7. If you are looking for an environment like this, come visit us at:

Monday, August 8, 2016

'Trainers of Southwind' Series: Meet Heather Achen

Good morning,

Today we are starting our 'Trainers of Southwind' series where each week we highlight one of the many different trainers that teach at Southwind. Up first is Heather Achen, resident trainer of Northern Light Farm.

A native of Pennsylvania, Heather has been teaching and training in the industry for almost 30 years.
She uses her Bachelors in Equine Science as well as her deep foundation in dressage to bring a vast array of knowledge to her hunter/equitation lessons.
Heather established Northern Light Farm over 11 years ago and has been up and down the seaboard with successful students from Short Stirrup through Medal Maclay as well as adult amateurs and jumpers. She also has an IEA Team in Region 2 and is president of that region. She prides herself on teaching students true horsemanship skills and what it means to ride through the levels and strengthen communication with each horse. Heather enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels and her desire to learn is contagious!

Also, today is Southwind mascot Spike's 5th birthday!!! Happy Birthday to our Spike!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Access to over EIGHT TRAINERS at Southwind!

Did you know that our boarders here at Southwind Farm have access to over EIGHT trainers and instructors at all times?! With three resident trainers and five that visit the farm weekly to teach lessons, Southwind's boarders get the unique experience of choosing from the various trainers. We also encourage boarders to bring in their own trainer too to join the group of highly respected professionals that teach at the farm.

Thinking about boarding somewhere else? Looking for a change of scenery? Stay tuned for next week's blog which will begin our 'Trainers of Southwind' series where we will feature a trainer each week.

Don't want to wait? Come take a personal tour of Southwind Farm today and see why all of our boarders call Southwind their farm family!  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Caring For Horses in Extreme Heat, Sharing an Article from

Good (hot!) Monday morning,

Maryland temperatures are skyrocketing today and we are predicted to break the record for the area. Here at Southwind Farm we work diligently to make sure each and every one of our horses is taken care of and as cool as possible, but it's important for all of us to be reminded of things we can do to keep our horses cool. Today we are sharing an article from which talks about some things we can all do to help keep our equine family members safe.

Caring For Horses in Extreme Heat
By Erica Larson, News Editor Jul 19, 2016

"With summer's sunny days can come extreme heat. Such situations can cause worry for owners as they struggle to help their horses adjust, stay healthy, and remain comfortable. But with a well-thought-out management plan, horses can stay cool and comfy in the midst of summer.

To help get you started on the right track, caught up with Nancy Loving, DVM, an equine practitioner in Boulder, Colorado, to find out what the most important things to consider are when caring for horses in extreme heat.

When dealing with hot temperatures, Loving said the most important thing an owner can do is provide his or her horse with plenty of fresh water."

To continue reading the rest of this article visit,

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Weekend Eventing Results!

Good morning,

This past weekend Southwind owner, Sheri, and her daughter Addie both competed in The Maryland Horse Trials II in Adamstown, Maryland.  Addie and Toga finished in 2nd place in a big Novice Rider-A division on their score of a 35.0!

Sheri competed her youngster "B" in his first-ever recognized horse trials and first time at the Novice-level finishing in 15th in the Open Novice-A division. Sheri said that he got a 32 in dressage and pulled a few rails in stadium but jumped everything and was a pleasure to ride! We are really excited for this pair!

Also long-time friend and past boarder Lisa Gubenia came up to compete and visit everyone with her horse Kiss A Monster. The pair finished 14th in a big Novice Rider-B division and Monster enjoyed his stay at Southwind. Until next time Lisa!

Monday, July 11, 2016

15 Tips for Safer Summer Trailering for You and Your Horse

Good morning!

With summer in full-swing and 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 for all of our friends as a reminder!  Click on the link below to read more!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Calling Southwind boarders and friends! Maryland Horse Council Membership Drive Redemption!

MD Horse Council Membership Drive Redemption

Hey Southwinders!

Want to join the Maryland Horse Council AND fund raise for your favorite boarding farm?? You can do so by participating in the MHC membership drive redemption program! While Southwind Farm is a member of the MHC under the farm category, everyone can be a member individually.

To do this, print out your membership form and submit the form hard copy with payment to Sheri. She will then send the packet of memberships along with an additional form into the MHC and receive a credit back for helping boost membership!

To learn more and get your form today visit: 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Great Weekend At Southwind!

Good morning,

This past weekend Southwind Farm was busy! On Saturday we had a yard sale at the farm with a lot of great items for sale. Thank you to everyone who came out and to those who brought things to sell- we had a lot of fun!

On Sunday a few of our boarders took full advantage of the beautiful 80-degree weather and went for a hack around our farm. Here are some photos of their ride:

Connie Y. riding Juice Box (left) and Laurie B. riding Major (right)

Shannon G. riding Marley (left) and Laurie B. riding Major (right)

We love when our boarders send us photos enjoying life at the farm! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Seneca Valley- Results

Good morning!

We have a few results from the Seneca Valley Pony Club Horse Trials this past weekend! Southwind owner, Sheri, competed Toga in the Open Training 2 division and finished in 2nd place!

Also one of our boarders, Rachel Narrow, competed boarder Holly Erdley's mare, Our Clementine, in a big Open Beginner Novice division and also finished in 2nd place on their score of a 28.2. Way to go!
Rachel and Clem with their 2nd place ribbon

Boarder Cashell Jaquish also competed her mare Corrival in the Novice Senior division and finished in 9th with their best dressage score to date... a 24.3! Great job!

Way to go everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Waredaca Starter-Results

Good morning,

This past weekend was the unrecognized horse trials at Waredaca Farm in Laytonsville, Maryland.

Boarder Lauren Carey competed her own Jackalack and WON their Novice division! Jack was on-point and tackled cross-country like a pro. We are so happy that these two are officially eventers now!

Sheri competed her young horse,  Birrichio aka "B," at his first Novice event and finished with a clear stadium jumping round and two stops on XC which were green, learning moments. He was also fabulous in dressage despite the fact that the wind was blowing parts of the arena down around him. Way to go B for your move-up!

If you have any results you'd like to share with the blog email 

Southwind Mascot Spike says "Horse Shows Are Hard." 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lots of Happenings to Report!

Good afternoon,

This blog is delayed due to a widespread power outage we had a little earlier today, but thankfully everything is back up and running!

Last week we forgot to mention a congratulations to Stacy Whitiak with Susan Lauffer's Bear WIth Me aka "Teddy," for their 6th place finish on their dressage score of 32.00! This was Stacy's first event with Teddy so we are really proud of them!

This past weekend was the Waredaca Spring Horse Trials on June 4-5th. Congratulations to owner Sheri on her horse Toga for their solid riding and 6th place finish in a big Open Training division! We also have to give a shout out to Cashell Jaquish and Riva for taking first after dressage with their great score in the Training Rider division.  If anyone else has results they would like to share don't forget to send them to!

Spike is exhausted after a long horse show day

Up next we want to remind everyone about our upcoming Yard Sale on Saturday, June 25th! We will have lots of great items for sale and space for you to sell your things as well! Spots are $10/person or 20% of total profits if you want to leave your stuff for the day. Be sure to catch up with Sheri's daughter Jenny for more info.

Last we wanted to share this for our Northern Light Farm trainer, Heather Achen. FOR LEASE, available 8/1: Avenue, 15.2 h, 12 y.o. TB x WB. Lots of local miles as a 2'6" packer but could do 3', too. Tons of presence, stylish jump with NO stop, pretty mover, perfect ground manners. Also a proven field hunter and has shown/hunted side saddle with success. Email Heather at for more details.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Maryland Horse Trials Spring Starter #3 Results

Good morning,

Today we are sharing a few quick results from The  Maryland Horse Trials Spring Starter #3 this past weekend, on May 29th.  Southwind owner, Sheri, competed her young horse Biricchino aka "B" in the Beginner Novice-C division. Even though he was a little shell shocked being his first time out this year he was excellent and loved every minute of cross-country! They finished in 6th on a 38.50. With Toga, Sheri competed and won in the Training-B division on their score of a 23.40. They also won the TIP award for the division. Way to go B and Toga!

Toga's TIP cup 

Boarder Lauren Carey also competed with her horse Jackalack in the Novice-B division and finished in 4th on their score of a 23.80. This was the pairs second time competing at the Novice level and they also won the TIP for their division. Way to go Lauren and Jack!

Lauren and Jack flying through the water