Category Archives: Horse Riding Camps

Mind your melon and save your money! Riding helmet shopping 101

Safety has always been my number one concern when teaching students how to ride. I find safe horses and ponies to teach on; I follow the farm safety protocol of Equine Canada, I have had my facility approved by the Ontario Equestrian Federation; and when it comes to riding apparel, I recommend safety vests but mandate a properly fitted, approved helmet for all of my riders.

With the start of a new session this week, it’s a great time for riders to check over their equipment to make sure that everything is safe. Even if your helmet has never sustained any damage or impact from a fall, ALL manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 5 years…and for many of us “mature” riders, if not replaced, we may be wearing helmets that are no longer approved.

This coming weekend, manufacturers and retailers are offering great discounts on riding helmets for International Helmet Awareness Days (September 16/17), so it’s the perfect time to purchase a helmet for a new rider or replace your existing helmet – especially if older than 5 or if you have had a few falls in the last couple of years.

Once you choose a tack store, the decision then comes down to safety standards, fit and style:

Helmet Safety Standards
The first thing you will want to look for is a helmet that is ASTM approved. ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) tests all types of sports and work equipment including equestrian helmets.

Helmets are subject to drops, sharp and blunt blows, and extreme temperatures. If a helmet bears the ASTM certification, you can be assured that it is made to pass at least the minimum standards set by the ASTM.

Fitting a Helmet
To get the best fit, you’ll need to try some helmets on so it is imperative that the rider who is getting the helmet be present for the fitting. The sales person may measure your head with a tape measure before starting to select helmets to try on. This will give you a general size to work from. This measurement is only used as a guideline for finding the right size and to start trying on helmets as some helmets fit different shapes of heads differently.

Once you have the helmet on your head, leave the harness undone and tip your head back and forth, and side to side. The helmet should sit firmly, not sliding forward or backwards. The helmet should be snug, but not tight. Remember that the linings will compress with use, so take that into account. Do up the harness and notice how the helmet feels. It should feel secure but not like your head is being squeezed. Pay attention to any pressure points that may become irritating. The helmet should be between one half (1.25 cm) to one inch (2.5cm) above the eyebrows. If the helmet looks perched on your head or sits too low, try another style.

I can’t stress enough, the importance of having the rider try on different helmets, making sure you are shopping at a reputable tack store with knowledgable staff. I’ve had several students come to the barn with helmets they received as Christmas gifts or birthday presents, that do not fit properly. Having owned a tack store, myself, for many years and having taken a workshop on how to fit a helmet, I know how imperative it is to have the rider sized properly. Many tack stores will not allow you to return a helmet, for sanitary/safety reasons, so if you wish to purchase a helmet for a gift, get a gift card and then take the rider into the store to get properly sized.

Helmet Style
The style of helmet you choose is entirely up to you and there are many different options:

For weekly/daily schooling purposes, a schooling helmet is appropriate and they come in a range of colours with patterns/designs, etc and are easy to keep clean by simply wiping off. Most of them are vented, making wearing a helmet on a hot, summer day rather bearable:)

If you are going to be showing, a velvet/velveteen show helmet is more suitable; however, the popularity of helmets, such as Sam Shield, are on the rise and they are not velvet/velveteen. In most cases, it comes down to the discipline of riding that you are doing as well as how much money you wish to spend. Keeping all of that in mind,
whether it’s a colourful, schooling helmet or a sparkly show helmet, remember that the most important part is making sure it fits!

Buying Used Helmets
Should you buy a used helmet? The answer is NO! And tack stores will not sell used helmets. The same thought applies to using a 2nd hand helmet. Over the years that I have been running lessons and camp, I have had a few riders who show up to their first lesson with their mom or even grandma’s old helmet. I understand the sentimental attachment to the old helmet; however, most likely, it is not approved.

So, with a little information about fitting helmets, and with some great discounts being offered this weekend, if it’s time for a new helmet or time to replace an old one, happy shopping!!

Until next time,
Robyn

At the show

That fantastic “Foxwood Feeling” of summer!

Here it is, the beginning of September and I haven’t posted all summer! I have every intention of keeping this blog up to date with news around the farm, interesting horse/rider articles, etc. but somehow, farm life gets too busy that the writing has to wait until I have some down time – and the only time that happens is when I can go away!

It was the busiest summer, EVER, at Foxwood Farm:

Our summer camp started the first week of July with our CIT program. Kelsey, Charlotte, Martina and Paige all helped out with getting the tack clean, the ponies schooled, the crafts set up and the games prepared. Once camp officially started the week of July 11, we were all set.

Over the course of 5 weeks, our campers experienced sessions that were filled with riding (of course;), stable management, horsemanship demonstrations, and several visits from special guests. I think one of the guest highlights was in week 3 and 5 when Wendy Eagle from Wellspring Equine, brought her miniature horse and her filly to Foxwood. The campers asked questions and then got to groom both minis as well as drive the older miniature horse. I know that we all would love to see them again next summer!

Despite the scorching heat of the summer, my staff kept their cool – thanks to fun water game, freezies and popsicles for everyone – and we had a great time. Many thanks to my camp staff for all of their hard work: Alex, Kaitlyn, Kaleene, Jessica, Jamie, Megan, Jacklyn, Emily, Grace, Charlotte, Kelsey, Paige, Martina and Kaela.

Along with camp this summer, weekly evening lessons were offered to adult riders, as well as novice-advanced riders. Many of these riders were on our show team and lessons were used for schooling our horses and working on our equitation skills. Many lucky Foxwood students had the opportunity to spend lesson time riding in our cross country course – doing interval training, as well as jumping our welcoming cross country jumps. We will be setting a date, shortly, to build some new cross country jumps this fall with the hopes of offering a mini event (dressage, cross country and stadium jumping) in the spring of 2017 to our intermediate and advanced riders.

With one horse show left for 2016, I am thrilled at how well both of our show teams performed this summer! Our Bronze series team, consisting of Jacklyn (Lily), Emily (Jane), Lindsey (India) and Elizabeth (Sera) participated in 5 shows in the Lord Simcoe series, which were held at the Essa Agriplex in Barrie. From the start of the season, I watched all riders form great partnerships with their horses. There was stiff competition with ‘A’ and Trillium circuit riders using this series for their own schooling purposes and our riders rode up to the challenge. Our final show of the season was at the Barrie Fair on August 25th and I was very proud of our day and placings. We will be celebrating the season at the Lord Simcoe series year end banquet in October.

Our Everett schooling series show team have proven to be strong and very competitive this year with at least 2 Champions and 2 Reserve Champions at every show! We have one Everett show left to compete at on September 18th and then our banquet with the Essa Equestrians Club will be in November. There are many new show riders in this group for the season, along with Foxwood riders who have moved up divisions or switched horses, and I am thrilled with our results.

Our team success would not be possible without the help from our grooms, Charlotte and Taylor, along with help on show days from parents, family members and Foxwood friends.

It’s been a incredible summer and now on to a busy fall at Foxwood…stay tuned for more postings on what exciting events we have coming up, starting with our Fall Session which kicks off this Saturday, September 10th!

Until next time,
Robyn

ps. – hope you enjoy our Fantastic “Foxwood Feeling” movie of summer!

Equine Canada Level 2 Coach, Ally Sillers, is now coaching at Foxwood!

With the change in seasons (even though it is still feeling like winter!), comes a change in the barn with the arrival of an amazing new instructor! As many of you know, I am currently working on obtaining my Equine Canada coaching certification and I met with Ally Sillers last year to discuss the steps I needed to take in order to accomplish this. At the time, I asked Ally if she would be available and interested in doing the EC Rider level evaluations for my students who were taking part in our monthly OEF horsemanship program. We have been keeping in touch over the winter to determine some testing times for both me and my students and I was elated to learn that she was available this spring to coach here. What an incredible opportunity, not only for me to learn from her, but also for all of my students – not just the ones who are testing for their Equine Canada Rider levels.

Ally Sillers is an Equine Canada certified Level 2 Coach, with over 40yrs teaching experience. While living in New Brunswick, Ally ran the Rothesay, Kennebecasis and Fredericton Pony Clubs from 1985 until 2000 before starting her own riding school, Callander Hall. She has taught beginner to advanced students, who have ranged in age from 4 to 70 years old. Ally has had students win provincial championships in dressage, hunter/jumper and eventing – and one of her students, Kara Grant from Prince Edward Island, took part in 2 Olympic Games, competing in pentathalon. In addition to great riding accomplishments, many of Ally’s students have gone on to become veterinarians, farriers and part-time coaches.

Ally is a National Evaluator for the Equine Canada Coaching program and also tests for the EC Learn to Ride program for Rider Levels 1-8. She is a facilitator for the Equestrian Theory Course and has prepared over 20 successful candidates for the Instructor of Beginner Coaching Evaluation. She has a love and interest to pass on her extensive knowledge and to promote the coaching program and was the coaching coordinator for the province of New Brunswick for 5 years.

In 2014, Ally moved back to Toronto for family reasons and currently coaches at the following barns in Ontario: York Equestrian, Waterstone Estates , Gimcrack and now Foxwood Farm:)

“I have been lucky enough to make a career out of my passion” –
and Foxwood is very lucky to have you, Ally! We’re looking forward to the great lessons and the learning opportunities!

Until next time,
Robyn

Check out the latest video of Ally teaching at Foxwood:

We are thrilled to have Ally and her incredible knowledge at Foxwood!

We are thrilled to have Ally and her incredible knowledge at Foxwood!

Melting snow and shedding ponies…it’s time for the Foxwood Spring 2016 Newsletter!

We’ve enjoyed an amazingly mild season and it’s been great having so many of our riders enjoying horse riding lessons this winter (and we haven’t even had to open up the “hot shot” box;)!

It’s going to be a busy spring at Foxwood: lessons, shows, our show team and our fundraiser, which will “kick off” March 5 with our Swap days. We will be doing some fundraising this year to purchase a very important piece of equipment for the barn – a defibrillator.

Our spring registration for lessons officially starts this week and we have made some changes to the scheduling to accommodate more classes.

Lesson Information
Our spring session starts the week of Monday, March 21. The
13 week session is $585 including HST. Payment options include cheque, MasterCard, Visa and American Express and payment may be made in 2 installments: the first payment due the week of March 21 and the balance due May 1, 2016.

Spring Schedule for lessons:
Mondays – Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
Tuesdays – Beginner (2 classes), Advanced
Wednesdays – Novice, Adult, Advanced
Thursdays – Beginner, Novice, Advanced
Fridays – Adult (am), *Show Team practice pm
Saturdays – Beginner, Novice/Int./Advanced

If you do not know what level your rider is, please email me: ridefoxwood@gmail.com

As there have been some issues surrounding our makeup policy, effective March 21, there will be 2 preset makeup dates for the spring session, which will be held the week of June 20th. Each rider is permitted to have 1 makeup/session. As it is very difficult to reschedule and make changes to existing classes, we appreciate your cooperation.

Foxwood Spring Horse Show
The tentative date for our spring horse show at Foxwood is Sunday, May 29th. This is open to all Foxwood riders with the beginner/novice classes in the morning and the intermediate/advanced classes in the afternoon. More information will be posted in the barn in April.

Foxwood Show Team 2016
It’s going to be a fantastic show year for our team with our participation at 2 different series: Bronze level and schooling. The mandatory show meeting is on Saturday, February 6th in the tack room at 1:45pm. Anyone interested in competing on the team this year must be in attendance.

Ontario Equestrian Rider Levels
For those students interested in continuing with their OEF rider levels, once again, we will be offering horsemanship classes with Wendy Eagle (who lectures at the University of Guelph), once per month on the following dates:

Saturday, Feb 6– 1:30 pm – 3:30pm
Saturday, March 26 – 1:30 – 3:30 pm

If your rider is working on Level 1/2 , classes are $20. Foxwood students will be given the opportunity to test for their levels in the late spring of 2016 and there will be more classes available for April and May.

All information on future class dates will be posted in the tack room and on our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/Foxwood-Farms-Bradford-Ontario-106886766016951

Foxwood SWAP DAYS
Start cleaning out your clean barn clothing (no helmets) and bring to Foxwood to sell to other Foxwood riders. Swap starts Saturday, March 5 and will run to Saturday, April 2. 10% of your proceeds will go to our fundraiser. Items not picked up after April 6 will be donated.

Foxwood Swag
Show your barn spirit with a Foxwood jacket, cap or tee! Order forms for Foxwood swag are on the tack room bulletin board and we will be placing orders twice per month. *New this spring – Foxwood saddlepads!

Foxwood Summer Camp
Our summer camp registration forms are out and as in the past, our spaces fill up quickly! We have added an ADVANCED SHOW Camp week for riders age 9 and up, and have brought back the very popular theme weeks, Holiday Theme week and Horse Adventure week.

More information, along with the registration form can be found on our website at: http://foxwoodfarm.ca/files/4214/5375/9363/2016CampApplication.pdf

Important Foxwood Dates:
Saturday, Feb 6th – OEF Horsemanship class at Foxwood 1:30– 3:30pm
Saturday, Feb 6th – Foxwood Show Team meeting 1:45pm
Saturday, March 5th – Spring-cleaning…It’s SWAP time! Foxwood Fundraiser “Kick off”
Monday, March 14th – Foxwood goes shopping! Join us at Doonaree Tack shop to “get your gear”
Monday, March 21st – Foxwood Spring session begins
Saturday, March 26th – OEF Horsemanship class at Foxwood 1:30– 3:30pm
Sunday, May 29th – Foxwood Horse Show
June 20-24th – Foxwood makeup days
Mon. July 4th – Thurs. July 7th – C.I.T. /Counsellor Camp

With more exciting dates to follow, it’s always a fun time at Foxwood!

Until next time,
Robyn

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Celebrating 2015 and looking forward to another fantastic, Foxwood year for 2016!

We are now into the final weeks of our fall 2015 riding session and what a fantastic year we have had at Foxwood!! 2 fun schooling shows at Foxwood, an amazing season for our ShowTeam, a great float in the Bradford Santa Claus parade, and not to mention our OEF horsemanship classes, a visit from the Candlelighters and finally, our decorating day for the holidays this past weekend.

So, how are we going to top that off for 2016?!

Winter Riding Session

Our winter session starts the week of January 4th, 2016 and runs for 10 weeks. The cost is $375/session plus hst (payments can be made in 2 installments – payable the first week of January and then the 1st of February). As with last winter, if we need to cancel due to the weather, I will post no later than 2pm that day on my Foxwood Facebook page and send out an email. Makeups will be given in the case of cancellations due to bad weather.

As I have already started scheduling our winter classes, please let me know by December 18th, if you or your child/ren WILL be riding in the winter session. Please note that priority for our 2016 Show Team will be given to those riders who continue throughout the winter.

Foxwood Farm ShowTeam

Our first information meeting will be held on Saturday, January 9th at 1:30 pm. This meeting is for students/parents who would like more information on what is involved with showing on our team. The signup sheet for the 2016 Foxwood Farm ShowTeam will then be posted. There will be a few changes this year to our signup procedure, which will be explained at the meeting on January 9th. If you are unable to attend, but still would like some information, I will gladly email out the agenda and notes from the day if you let me know.

Christmas ideas

NEW! Foxwood polar fleece zip sweatshirts! Black with silver Foxwood logo. Only $50/including hst. Check out the latest Foxwood SWAG order sheet in the tack room for more items
The last order will be submitted on December 17th!

We also now have a local embroidery company who is able to do saddlepads! Order sheets are available in the tack room.

OEF Rider Level Classes
We will be continuing with our Ontario Equestrian Federation classes in 2016 in preparation for testing sometime in April (once date is confirmed, I will let everyone know). The cost for the winter classes is $30/level 3 riders and $20/level 1 and 2 riders. The classes will be held on the following Saturdays from 1:30pm – 3:30 pm. Please let me know if you/your rider will be attending:

Saturday, January 9th *LEVEL 3 ONLY
Saturday, February 6th – *LEVELS 1, 2 and 3
Saturday, March 26th – *LEVELS 1, 2 and 3

IMPORTANT 2016 Foxwood Dates

January 5th – Winter Session begins
February 23rd – Registration for Summer Camp and Spring Session
March 21st– Spring Session begins
June 12th – Foxwood Farm Schooling Show
Mon. June 27- Wed. June 29 – Foxwood C.I.T. Training Camp

Looking forward to another great year with my #FoxwoodFamily !

All the best to everyone for a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

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Winter care for our Foxwood horses and ponies

4 more days…yes, I am counting down until the end of February. According to the local weather networks, this has been the coldest February on record and for those of you, like me, who have to work outside, we KNOW it is! Even though we have bundled up our horses and ponies this winter in warm blankets and bring most of them into a warm stall at night, they have also had enough of these temperatures! Some of our horses live outside 24/7, but with access to a run in shelter, they are able to get out of the elements.

I have been monitoring our horses and ponies very carefully this winter to make sure that they ARE staying warm and in good health. A good blanket is needed and it must not only be warm but waterproof as snow soaked blankets will only make a pony/horse colder. There are lots of blankets on the market but I have found that the more expensive brands like Rambo and Bucas, last longer and are better quality than others. If you wash and waterproof your blankets at the end of each season of use, this will also help prolong its’ life. It’s important to check blankets over daily for rips and any damage done to surcingles or leg straps. Leg straps should be checked before your horse/pony goes out in the morning and again, when it comes in at night. The same with the surcingles as often, horses and ponies love to roll so the blankets may shift slightly. Now that my horses and ponies have been wearing their blankets for many months, some of them have started to get some slight hair loss across the chest. Once the blankets are removed in early spring, generally, it doesn’t take long for their spring coats to grow in and repair the bald patch.

Another major issue to monitor in the winter is how much water your horse/pony is drinking. Some people assume that horses can eat snow to get their required intake ; however, this is definitely NOT the case. Horses will actually drink more water in the winter than at other times of the year because unlike spring/summer grass, hay is dry and they require more water to help digest and to avoid colic situations. To encourage my horses and ponies to drink more, I keep my outdoor water trough heated and I always have a salt and/or mineral block available. These blocks have vitamins and minerals that they do not get otherwise and the salt block makes them thirsty, which then sends them to the water. My current outdoor trough is 150 gallons and during the winter months, I will fill it up twice/day…that’s alot of drinking! For those horses that come in at night, they have water buckets in their stalls that get filled up several times over the course of the evening. If the buckets are completely frozen at night check, I will replace the bucket with a new one with fresh water. I have become very strong and skilled at using the rubber mallet this year to pound out ice;)

Some of our horses and ponies require a little extra feed over the winter as they may be old or just have trouble keeping up to the chubby ponies. Some of them get grain in the morning and at night – both times after they have had a feeding of hay which generates heat in their bodies. Without going into full detail about who eats what, every horse/pony has specific requirements so when introducing a new feed or when I get a new horse/pony, I always check with my local horse feed nutritionist to see what is best suited for that animal.

So, all of the key elements are covered at Foxwood to keep our ponies and horses happy in the winter: food, water and shelter…and of course lots of love! And let’s hope that all of the shedding we have been seeing while grooming our ponies and horses lately, is a sign that spring is just around the corner!

Until next time,
Keep warm!
Robyn

Salty keeping warm in his blanket and eating LOTS of hay!

Salty keeping warm in his blanket and eating LOTS of hay!

Horsin’ around in 2015 at Foxwood!

Here we are, 22 days into the New Year and this is my first blog of 2015! Usually at this time of year, I would have extra time; however, this month has just flown by and we will be entering spring before we know it (and let’s hope it is an early one this year:).

For me, January is the month for planning. I have already received most of our horse show dates for the upcoming horse show season and weather permitting, it looks like our first Foxwood Farm Show Team outing will be in March at one of the Trillium horse shows at the RCRA riding complex. Hosted by Joker’s Hill farm, these winter schooling horse shows give riders the opportunity to “get back into the saddle” in a competitive environment before the full season starts in May. I know that some of my eager horse show riders would love to start going to these winter events in February, but given the unpredictable weather patterns these days, I am a bit hesitant to trailer my horses and ponies until we are through the most part of winter. Once spring arrives, we have many horse shows on our agenda: Trillium shows at Palgrave and several other farm locations in the central east zone; Essa Equestrian schooling shows out in Thornton; and of course, the Barrie Fair at the end of the summer – which we came home with 1 Champion and 2 Reserve Champions last summer:)

Summertime also brings Foxwood Camp and our flyer with all of the information and our registration forms will be posted and mailed out today. I am so excited that we have a returning counsellor from 2 summers ago who brings so much fun and enthusiasm every day to camp. Lindsay is currently a university student who has worked at Foxwood Farm for many years as both a counsellor and riding instructor. She has competed successfully in dressage, jumper, cross country events as well as on Pony Club national teams for PPG (Prince Philip Games). Some of my campers will remember, with fondness, her glory moments here at Foxwood riding our small pony, Feisty, around a couple of jumping courses…the two of them connected from the beginning and they have a very special pony/rider bond that is great for my campers/riders to see. Along with Lindsay, as head counsellor, we have a few junior counsellor who are current riding students at Foxwood and who have all be CIT’s (counsellors in training) for the past 2 summers. It is wonderful to have staff who are not only familiar with the barn rules/etc. but who also know our Foxwood horses, ponies and returning campers. With several fun and interesting theme weeks this year, I know that this is going to be the BEST year of summer camp that Foxwood has ever had!!

Now to the New Year’s resolutions…I have been studying to take my Ontario Equestrian Federation rider level/instructor certification for many years. My plan was to do my certification last year; however, when I lost my riding partner, Becks, in December 2013, my plans had to be put on hold as I no longer had a horse to do the testing on. But now, I have Salty. Even though I haven’t been riding much this winter due to the cold and my busy lesson schedule, I am hoping to form a partnership with Salty so that I can advance my riding and then obtain my OEF certification by the end of 2015. The process is a lengthy one as it involves not only a riding test, but also a written test on stable management, a practical test on horsemanship as well as a teaching test component. I have been taking lessons, with a Level 2 riding coach and will also be mentoring with another Level 2 coach to expand my knowledge. In my riding lessons that I teach, I incorporate the OEF rider level requirements and we will be offering testing at Foxwood for my students who wish to work towards achieving these rider levels.

So, it’s going to be a busy year and I am looking forward to each and every Foxwood milestone!

Happy New Year to all,
Until next time,
Robyn

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Me and Salty

Merry Christmas Mischief

It never seems to amaze me how my ponies always seem to get into some sort of mischief either right when I am either leaving the farm for errands or before lessons. Even more interesting, is how their escapades lead them to more trouble over the holidays! Perhaps they sense all the excitement of the season or it could be that they are starting to get bored with the winter weather and are simply looking for some fun!

Yesterday morning, I went out to the barn to start my daily horse chore routine. First, I go into the new barn to feed then turnout the 6 horses that are stalled in that barn for the night. I usually hear a few soft nickers before the morning greet from Salty (a BIG, loud whinny), but for some reason, yesterday, all was silent. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in and part of me was worried…until I saw George out of his stall! Manure dropped in multiple spots in the barn aisle, a hay bale demolished, and a very sheepish look on his face. It wasn’t until I looked down in front of his hooves until I noticed the unwrapped and uneaten (strangely enough) “LickIt bar” and some remnants of what appeared to be horse treats. As I slowly approached George, I then saw the Christmas stocking on the ground! He had taken not his, but Jane’s from her stall hook, and had devoured most of the goodies that had started to fill her stocking. I didn’t get angry at George – even though the barn was a disaster and the cleanup was going to add to my list of morning chores – but slipped his halter over his head, attached his lead rope, put on his turnout blanket and lead him outside to the paddock.

When I came back into the barn, the nickers started and Salty gave me his morning whinny. I think they were shocked that George, the “spooky pony” of the barn, had managed not only to escape from his stall, but was also bold enough to steal Jane’s goodies! Needless to say, we have many more treat bags in the barn and Jane’s stocking won’t be empty come Christmas. And as for George? He’ll get some, too:)

After I turned out all of the horses, I started thinking about some of the other “fun” times my ponies have had over the holidays. Of course, mischief and Feisty go together quite easily and although I have many stories to share about Feisty, one in particular took place Christmas morning about 6 years ago. We had Feisty only for a few weeks at this time (I should have known by his name…who DOES buy a pony with the name Feisty?;) and he was just settling into his new Foxwood family.

It was Christmas morning and as usual, I was the first one up and was out to the barn with my morning coffee. As I approached the barnyard and started counting, I realized that I was missing a horse. We had a few horses living out that winter and Feisty, with his thick, fluffy, pony fur, was one of them. It became pretty clear that the one who was missing was the one who could squeeze through the fence – as a centre rail in the barnyard had obviously been pushed out and something small would be the only thing to get through.

Luckily, with lots of snow on the ground, I could see the small, pony hoof prints and they lead across our neighbour’s hay field in the direction of our neighbour’s who also have horses. I ran into the barn, grabbed a bucket of grain, along with Feisty’s halter and lead rope then woke up my husband who drove me down to the neighbour’s place. Shaking the bucket of grain by the fence, I was expecting him to come galloping up to me; however, I had no such luck. Feisty had found a nice, cozy place in the tree line and was “socializing” with the other horses. Of course, the snow along the fence was thigh high so I trudged through it, shaking the bucket as I moved and as I got a little bit closer, Feisty charged towards me. He dove into the bucket, grabbed a mouthful then tried to turn and run. Luckily, my quick “pony wrangling” skills came into action as I quickly slipped the lead rope around his neck, got his halter on and had to pull, with full force, Feisty’s muzzle from the bucket. We trudged across the field, through the deep snowdrifts – me, angry with Feisty for creating all of this extra work and Feisty, angry with me for not letting him finish the bucket of grain!

So, with 5 more days left until Christmas and a barn full of treats for all of my horses and ponies, I can only assume that there will be a little more mischief on the farm before 2014 comes to an end;)

Happy holidays to all,
Until next time,
Robyn

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George, looking innocent

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Feisty, always planning something;)

“Twas the last week of lessons” – the Foxwood holiday poem

“Twas the last week of lessons,
And all through the barn,
Every creature was stirring,
Zoom, playing with her yarn.

The stockings were hung,
For each gelding and mare,
With the hopes Foxwood riders,
Would fill them with care.

I, in my barn coat,
Emi in her new cap (Charles Owen, of course;),
Minnie in the house,
With Kiera taking a nap.

Were finishing lessons,
And saying goodnight,
When a loud, crashing noise,
Gave us a good fright.

From out in the paddock,
There arose such a clatter,
We sprang from the barn,
To see what was the matter.

And there, with a twinkling,
We heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing,
Of each Feisty hoof!
(because we all know when Feisty wants to do something,
he’ll do it;)

Dressed up like Santa,
All he wanted to cheer,
Happy Holidays to all,
and a very prosperous and healthy
New Year!”

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