Group Trail Rides, Starting Young Horses, First Day Hunting, and a New Paddock!

A very successful past two weeks here at FFE! As the weather starts turning into spring and we were graced with daylight savings time more and more starts happening at the stable! Maggie is back into full work and progressing forward each day. As she is starting to learn her body, we are able to work on being more “rideable” meaning that I can lengthen and shorten her stride with minimal riding. She has started to pop over fences again and always surprises me as she leaves the ground just how athletic she has become. Maggie worked very hard this past weekend as we went on two big trail rides with groups of friends!

On Saturday we had a lovely trail ride with the Five Pines Farm crew and part of Spout Run Stables crew! With a total of 11 horses with us we ventured into the beautiful countryside that FFE has to hack on. Maggie handled it as calmly as I ever expected and Wave has his first outing in a group! Wave being a seasoned foxhunter thought that this was going to be much more exciting than a walking trail ride, but figured out quickly there were no hounds in sight. Maggie had another big weekend still ahead of her as a few of Spout Run’s crew and her went up to Thompson Lake in Delaplane. A beautiful trail ride up into the Blue Ridge mountains over looking the lovely vineyards and valley into Loudoun County. A weekly ride that we will definitely be installing into the training program!

We are so grateful to Five Pines Farm for access to their ring for school of our training horses! This week we took Maggie and Wave over to the lovely schooling ring and both Maggie and Wave showed us their potentials! Wave being able to channel his anxious energy into jumping with ease without worrying about outside distraction. Maggie showed a bit of her inexperience and took some time to understand doing her own work while outside distraction happening. She is becoming quite fit for the first time in her life and is slowly figuring out how to deal with the extra energy! Her flatwork is becoming extremely expressive!

As you heard about a month ago, Fearnought, Denya’s personal horse, was kicked in the knee and was on stall rest for a little over a month. The veterinarian came and re-checked him and he is all clear to go back outside and go on walks with the young horses. With Fearnought going back out, we had the wonderful “Broy & Son” come out and put in a new automatic waterer and we built a new paddock! Very excited to be able to rotate my paddocks and be able to separate horses as needed.

Chato is working his way into the program with total ease! By the end of the week (4 rides in) Denya was able to ride him down to Spout Run’s ring and walk, trot AND canter him. Both leads extremely comfortable and absolutely no playing up. Extremely excited about this project and what his future holds!

Wave impressed us all as Denya took him out hunting for the first time in 5 years! He had hunted for 3 years as a young horse but had a break a big break in between. The moment he came off of the trailer he settled into his role. The perfect foxhunter that he is. We had a great day with Blue Ridge Hunt and all came in tired of many miles crossed and beautiful hound work.

Stay tuned for a lot planned in the upcoming few weeks!

Tips and Tricks with Movement and a New Addition to FFE!

As normal, a busy week as we finish up the last week in February! Wave (a TB from Canada) is making great progress, forming a really nice top-line and learning how to work in the ring with a consistent contact. He came to us quite anxious as he had a long break in his work and is really settling into his work, taking a deep breath out on his hacks and starting to in the ring. Maggie, the lovely warm-blood, had a bit of a battle with EPM that is totally under control now and is slowly being introduced back into her work. I fully expect her to be back into full work shortly. Her owners and I have big plans for her! We added a new addition to FFE! “Chato” is a beautiful chestnut TB that is Denya’s personal horse. He will take time to calm down into his new setting and will start working on his base in a month or so! As we are bringing in these young horses, I watch them spook at the dogs and look at them in curiosity and it began my thinking of why we incorporate dogs into their training program. It is as simple as desensitizing horses to movement. We have at least 2-4 dogs with us on hacks to allow horses to become used to movement beside, behind, and in front of them. The dogs both stay with us and venture off, randomly popping out behind bushes, across fields, and running past the horses (quite close!). Young horses or horses that have not been exposed to a lot of elements have to be aware of their surroundings without reactive. It allows us to have an advantage if they will be introduced to foxhunting! It also gives us advantages when we got o shows or events that has a loose dog or even a child. Our horses are all used to something running around their feet! We are excited for the upcoming week as we have some fun updates coming up!

A Medical Week!

A busy start to the week as Denya’s personal horse, Fearnought, came in from the field with a large knee and a lot of heat (first picture). Quickly we called the vet and administered antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and the famous spider bandage. Caroline (Denya’s mother), perfected the bandage in the early 1970s when she was riding for the US Eventing Team. The spider bandage allows for the joint to flex without it sliding down or being too tight in one location. The outside layer of the bandage (and the idea of the “spider”) is either cotton or flannel sheet with the middle being solid and the sides cut into ~10-15 ties (second picture). Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the bandage is what would be on the inside. With Fearnought, we were trying to pull the swelling and heat out of the leg so we used either a Fura-zone sweat or an Uptite poultice. If the Uptitie Poultice was being used that day the first layer was Uptite poultice, wet brown paper, cotton and then the spider bandage. If you were going to do the Fura-zone sweat, first is the Fura-zone, clear wrap, cotton and then the spider bandage. To help Fearnought’s skin we switched between the two every other day (third picture. It took about 10 days but the swelling finally came out and the heat followed shortly afterward. He was diagnosed with a bone edema and is stall rested for 4 weeks an will be re-evaluated then.

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