Laramie Ride – By Linda Ballou
Jul29

Laramie Ride – By Linda Ballou

Every summer author Linda Ballou goes on an adventure that almost always involves horses.  “Lose your Heart at the Laramie River Ranch” is Linda’s latest exploit as she traveled by horse through parts of scenic Colorado and Wyoming. You don’t have to be a horse person to enjoy the Laramie River Ranch, but if you are, you will fall in love with the miles of trails in the vast expanses of Colorado and Wyoming. The ride to Crazy Mountain is a steady climb to a knoll with a head-spinning view of the snow-streaked Rewah Range. Long’s Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park is seen poking into blue skies in the distance, and to the north, the frosty white Snowy Range of Wyoming rests on the horizon. In between there is nothing but you and the Wild West of America. The Laramie River Ranch is a breath-taking stop in time that reminds us how the world was before our ancestors came to tame this land. Krista Burleigh, leading my ride, dreamed of owning a ranch and spending her life sharing her love of the outdoors and horses with her guests. She and husband Bill, roamed the West to find the perfect spot. They picked the Laramie River Ranch for its isolation and endless miles of trails that fan from the ranch and offer a variety of terrain and great footing for the horses. I have sampled many dude ranches and the LLR offers an unrivaled, rustic, authentic western experience on the back of well-trained, fit horses. From a distance the sage-covered hills look barren, but on closer inspection you find they are peppered with a profusion of wildflowers; giant white angelica, lavender lupine, pink vetch, yellow cinquefoil, and orange Indian paintbrush brighten the scene. This is a land of extreme beauty and extreme moods to match. Our ride started out with a blustery wind that kept the bugs at bay. Then an intense sun shone through a mountain of mushrooming clouds forcing us to shed layers of clothing. When we returned to the barn, a cloudburst sent us running to the shelter of the lodge. All of the guests congregate for happy hour at the end of a riding day. Jalapeno poppers and Buffalo wings were my favorite appetizers. Dinner begins with fresh greens, followed by a healthy entre choice, and ending with divine desserts. The day’s activities are shared in the dining hall. Non-riders may hike with a naturalist, do a little fly fishing in the Laramie River, go birding, or just read a good book. A spate in the hot tub under velvet heavens scattered with stars...

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Everyday Wisdom – Mounting Block Mishaps
Jul20

Everyday Wisdom – Mounting Block Mishaps

By subscriber Vanessa Larocque and Alice Champlin                         Vanessa leads Hadley properly. They two are in step. His head is in a natural head set, no stress here, and parallel to her shoulder. Vanessa is “in charge.” If Hadley is lazy and not moving forward, Vanessa taps him gently on the flank with her dressage crop (in her right hand) telling him to pick up the pace. The more you practice leading horses properly the easier it gets and the more you are in control of the situation. Vanessa prefers to use a rope halter for the “teachable” moments in horsemanship. The rope halter gives her leverage; when Vanessa applies pressure Hadley feels tension over the poll and near the nose bridge and across the face. The rope halter is a tool that is to be taken seriously as it can also hurt a horse if used improperly. In other words, “DON’T YANK THE HORSE” especially when they are in a rope halter. Vanessa knows whenever teaching a horse something new, you allow time. She intentionally  set aside at least an hour today to work on leading skills before she tackles the mounting block.   Vanessa deliberately leads Hadley improperly to demonstrate how easily people get hurt because they are leading a horse wrong. If he lunges forward, he will knock her down. If he pulls back, he’ll wrench her arm or shoulder.                                             After showing Hadley the mounting block, Vanessa squares him up with the with it then stands on it. She wants to get him accustomed to her being there. She rubs his back and verbally tells Hadley to “stand.”  This becomes an daily ritual as she reminds Hadley consistently what her expectations are. Hadley learns through repetition, he is to stand quietly when it comes to the mounting block.  ...

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The GOOD HORSE – “BRONSON” July’s Horse of the Month
Jul01

The GOOD HORSE – “BRONSON” July’s Horse of the Month

The GOOD HORSE – “Bronson” By owner Bianca Lukasik Thank you Malibu Feed Bin for your gracious prize for “Bronson” and his family.             Our story begins with the rescue of a Lusitano, gelding named “Bronson.” A year ago, when we first met Bronson we had high hopes of bringing him home. He was standing in a pile of filth; his head was tied straight up to a tree and bound by a rope and chain. He had bleeding lacerations running down both front legs resulting from a cruel and unconscionable act known as “rope tripping.” Horses that fall prey to this inhumane practice are usually used for entertainment purposes before slaughter. The horse is terrorized and chased out of a shoot or pen only to have a single rope thrown around the pastern forcing the horse to flip over on its back; the outcome is usually a horse with a broken leg or snapped spine. Bronson was lucky enough to escape this horrible fate thanks to our perfect timing. We rescued him from a hellish situation and everyday he shows us how grateful he is. Bronson has shown great promise in the area of three-day eventing and has shown a natural aptitude for the sport both physically and mentally. He’s improves strength-wise thanks to the right diet, supplements and the right amount of exercise. Good ownership has helped on my part and the right training, with Jessica Karlsson, has also been a great help. Bronson is full of life, love and has a commanding presence; he draws you in. Our whole family adores him. I can’t believe how satisfying it is to see a horse transformed from a starving, neglected, abused animal and become a healthy, energetic, and happy equine. He got there because people wanted to save him. It’s awe-inspiring to see Bronson achieve and through recovery we are reminded how terribly he has suffered but yet he still has such a will to live and allow people love him again. Happy horsing,...

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THE GOOD PONY – “Smokey” June’s HOM
Jun01

THE GOOD PONY – “Smokey” June’s HOM

  “Smokey” thinks that he is a horse – no one bothered to explain to him that he is only 12.2 hands.  I bought Smokey when my first daughter was born – he was 4 years old, and I bought him 5 minutes after meeting him.  He is the best little guy.  He is a welsh type B, and turns 9 next month. If you ask Sophia, my four year old, she will tell you that he is as close to a unicorn as they come. She loves to trot, and her legs are finally long enough to kick and make Smokey go.  He is the dirtiest pony, and loves to roll. Keeping him somewhat clean is a full time job. Smokey is still learning, but he has a heart of gold, and loves his kids. He is an adventure pony on the trail, and a flashy gentleman in the show ring, but best of all, he lives in the front yard where he gives kisses to parents and kids in the neighborhood every day. For submitting “Smokey,” Sarah has won a prize from Agoura...

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EQUINE BENEFITS – Come Celebrate THE DAY OF THE HORSE
May18

EQUINE BENEFITS – Come Celebrate THE DAY OF THE HORSE

  Day of the Horse Don’t miss this great tradition celebrating the history and culture of our vibrant equestrian community in the Conejo Valley. Day of the Horse is an annual event that is open to the public that is full of fun activities aimed to educate and spread knowledge about horses. This event celebrates fun, food and entertainment on our beautiful 30-acre equestrian park.  Our goal is to host a family oriented event that brings our residents and businesses together for an enjoyable day!   We welcome vendors! To reserve booth space, please complete our registration form www.eticorral37.org/events You may visit our website for event updates at www.eticorral37.org or Email at eticorral37@yahoo.com   Event Date: Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm ·      Horse Demonstrations ·      Kids Corner ·      Shave-It Truck Exhibitors: ·      Foxfield Drill Team ·      Valley View Vaulters ·      Chemaine Hurtado, Symphony Dressage Vendors: ·      Animal Guardians Horse Rescue ·      Bright Star Saddlery ·      Greater LA Paint Horse Club ·      DAC Horse Vitamins & Supplements ·      Two Bit Woodworks ·      Created by Ken ·      Wrapped N Ribbons   Conejo Creek Equestrian Park 1350 E Avenida De Las Flores, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 www.eticorral37.org...

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THE GOOD HORSE – Loving “Jack” Pony of the Month for May
May01

THE GOOD HORSE – Loving “Jack” Pony of the Month for May

Pony Jack is “Horse of the Month” and we are so lucky to have his 9-year-old owner tell his story. Kalianne leased Jack for two years before her parents purchased him. Good Ponies are hard to find and Jack is special. Acquiring him took patient persistance but well worth it.   Kalianne and Jack have won a prize from the Calabasas Saddlery.                   Kalianne and Jack have a special bond of empowerment and trust. This is what horses do for young people – they teach commitment and perseverance. DF77DBF4-856C-44D8-8BD3-984EB07B1CD5.MOV                ...

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