A Phil Shipman Mini Clinic

Time for some ground work! You can’t control a horse’s feet from the saddle unless you can control them from the ground. Phil Shipman is a master of both. From the minute I brought Cheerio out of the paddock and he pointed down at the gelding’s hoof and said “move that one,” Cheerio knew he was in expert hands–and so did we.

Together, we worked on safe leading, on lounging at the walk, backing and forthing–what the Perellis call “the yo-yo game”–getting side passes and other dressage moves from the ground, and then on bridling–Cheerio is known for waiting until that moment when you’ve got only the reins around his neck and marching himself right off into the nearest stall or tack shelf.

By the end, though, he was a pussycat–at least for Phil.

Cheerio was like, I love you, man. You get me. You complete me.

And then he was a pussycat for me, and then for Kristyn (maybe not quite so much our devoted slave as in the picture above). He needs us to be consistent and persistent, and show him that what we ask, we’ll work to get. The more we do that, the closer he gets to the great horse he has inside. And in the saddle, later that day, he was soft and supple and ready to listen. More of that, please!

Snow Days and Lead Ropes

Here’s what it looks like here:

it’s only about 18 inches of snow, but it’s enough.One thing we’ve been talking about a lot here lately is leading the horses. A bunch of us are Warwick Schiller fans, and he likes his horses to follow him. We love how he leads them– but this snowy season has us really thinking about why we lead our horses at the shoulder. For one thing, done right, you can give your horse cues that are similar to those you give on his back–you’re in about the same place. You can touch him like you would with your leg. Then there’s this:That’s about to fall off the roof.It’s actually pretty small compared to the ones that came off earlier–and it’s right above the plowed path for our horses. So when you’re leading them, it could come down–foom!–right on their butt. They’re good horses, but that’s going to make them jump forward, and if an 18 hand horse is jumping forward, that’s not where I want to be!

Rescue Horses Have Arrived!

Freddie and Palomino NameTK are settling in. They arrived last night at about 11, and came off the trailer quite friendly and calm–we’ve had horses that came from much fancier origins be crazier by a long shot! They’re exploring their round bale at this point and that’s what they need. Poor Palomino needs a solid 200 pounds. And if you’re wondering why they’re wearing such rags–we’ll throw these blankets away when they’re done, so we popped on two that were destined for the bin anyway. They’ll get new blankets soon!

One fun update–we got a call from Freddie’s former owner. She’d sold him 8 years ago, and was surprised and upset to find out from friends that he’d been sent to the auction house. If he doesn’t work out here, he has a permanent home with her, and now we’ve got a great history on him. That’s very good news!

We’ve had some questions about how this works–what’s our hope for Freddie and TK, and how do we chose them from among the many, many horses at the auction/on the auction Facebook page? The fact that Freddie had a story sure caught our attention. We look at their confirmation, and there’s a short video of someone riding that gives us a little information about who they are under saddle.

We’re always looking for a great horse who will fit in here, but if that doesn’t work out, we want to bring in horses who can find a happy ending. We’ve had auction rescues go to other homes or barns, competition riders or to therapy programs. And one is a much-loved, if somewhat grumpy, part of our lesson program.

Rescue Horses Coming In!

We are welcoming Freddie and Palomino Name To Come tomorrow. Both were on their last day before heading to the kill pen, and we were so glad we had the funds to bring them here and give them another chance. Here’s what we know about them (pics are screenshots from us texting each other to make the call–thus the extraneous stuff on the edges):

and we know less about the other guy. (See below). We had some video on both, they look like good movers and they look kind. Of course, they’ll be in quarantine–together, at least—for 30 days, but we can get started meeting and working with them carefully from the round pen. More updates to come!

Clinic With Richard Lamb July 16 & 17

LUCKY STAR is happy and excited to announce a clinic this summer with Richard Lamb.  I am attaching his website so you can get excited too!  Bring your horse, and get ready for a fun time.  We will be offering private lessons as well as group lessons with Richard with a lecture at lunch.  Please e-mail me for more information and check back shortly for sign up forms.



Back to School, and the Chores Start Early



The fog is just lifting—morning fog being a literal term around here—and it would sure be a beautiful day for a ride. But as you can tell from the skirt, she’s off to school.


Someone on Facebook called this “idyllic.” Kristyn and I would agree, but don’t ask Wyatt. It’s 7 am and he’d rather be staring moodily into his Rice Krispies.