Saturday, August 21, 2010

Born to Fly

Hi folks,

More blogs coming soon, I PROMISE. I've started two that I need to finish.  But for now, I wanted to give you a little treat. Or...well..I think it's a treat, I'll let you make the final judgment ;)

 Below is a video of me playing with Sunny on the day that I took her home.  She taught me lots while she was here. Some of the big things were being in the moment, as well as an acute sensitivity to personal space, and understanding comfort/discomfort motivation to a new level.  I'm very proud of what the two of us were able to accomplish in our time together, and I hope that her owner finds as much joy in playing with her as I did :)

Please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Heart and Desire Welcomes Sunny!

 Hi Folks! 

I'd just like to give a warm welcome to Sunny, a 2006 Palomino Quarter Horse mare, who will be joining me as the "opener" of my 2010 training season!

Sunny spent 6 weeks with me last fall, getting a foundation put on her.  She's back in  2010 for another 4 weeks.  Sunny is by far one of the smartest horses I've ever had the pleasure of developing, and I look forward to playing with her again this June.  Last night we had our first play session--liberty in a 50x100 foot corral and a walk/trot/halt/back up bareback and bridless ride.  If that's any indicator for what the next 4 weeks are going to be like, I rather look forward to seeing where we can go!

Here, Sunny and Crest get reaquainted over the fence. They were very good friends last fall!

I'll update on her progress as we go on!

Savvy ON!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June Posture and Growth Experiment

**Experiment started on May 31st, 2010**

Today, I was inspired to begin a Posture and Muscle Growth experiment with one of our horses at the farm, and I decided it would make for an interesting ongoing blog topic.

Cricket is a 16-yr-old Pinto/Arabian cross mare that belongs to the owner of my facility. She's a relatively high spirited mare, and is a great teacher, but she comes with a fair share of bio-mechanical struggles. When she first arrived, her feet were hideously overgrown and she had a string-halt in her right hind leg that was causing her some degree of discomfort.   Being a barefoot trimmer, I've taken charge and gotten her feet under control with proper trimming and care. Just that has reduced the intensity of her string-halt immensely.

Cricket, while a much healthier horse than she was when she came here, is not very strong.   Looking at her as she was standing at the rail the other day,  I decided that for my own interest, I'd like to start trying to fix some of her biomechanical "crooked-ness" through a thorough, well rounded program of exercise (fitness and flexibility),  as well as a more constructive and issue-specific trim routine (vs. the maintenance level she's been at for the past year).

Here are my thoughts, and I apologize, I didn't think of this prior to trimming, so I don't have hoof photos for you:

For her Feet:
She wears her toes and outside-quarters strongly. It's not uncommon to have her keep that at a healthy length, and have a quarter to a half inch of extra hoof at the end of a 4 week trim cycle. This indicates to me that she's dragging her toe, mostly, but that she's also landing mostly on the outside of her foot, and unbalancing her stride.  This past trim, I rolled her inside quarter down more extremely to encourage her to land more squarely and heel-first, and I also took her toe back as far as I could without putting her sore, so that she's less inclined to drag it.

So far, I've noticed marked improvement in her tracking in the back, as well as a small improvement in her landing.

The above photo is Cricket after her trim.  Prior (again, no "before" picture, darn it!), she was strung out in the back, particularly in her right hind, putting more weight on her forehand.  Here, she stands square on her own.

Above is an edited version of the previous photo, with markings showing where I'd like to see improvement in her muscle tone.  The "+" signs indicate where I'd like to see muscle build.

For her muscling: 
**Hill therapy --  It seems like I do a round of hill therapy with Cricket every summer, but this is going to be the first season where it'll probably have desired results, simply for her conditions' sake.
**Flexibility building patterns -- Figure 8's, evolving to weave, and lots of small circles and partial disengagement will help her stretch her back legs farther underneath her, find flexibility in her rib cage, and a flow from one bend to the next.
**Backing up and down hills,  Yo-Yo style -- will help her develop an increased sense of HQ awareness and strength.

So that, my friends,  is my grand plan.  A standard hill therapy program is set at 6 weeks.  I'll take a photo at the end of each week, and post it as a compare/contrast to the original and to the weeks previous.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear them!

Savvy on!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Hi Folks!

I just wanted to give you all a warm welcome to my new blog, the Heart and Desire Horsemanship Blog.  This blog is specifically geared towards keeping people updated with what's going on with my business and horsemanship.  My hope is to make this a hub in which I can keep clients and friends updated on progress, share breakthroughs and things that I learn,  and a place for me to post information and "online lessons", too, if the situation calls for it.

Please feel free to email me ( with any ideas and suggestions, as well as if you've got any questions for me.