Category Archives: horseshows

A Foxwood familiar face – Charlotte Hodgson

When you drive up to Foxwood, and you see the little lemon coloured car, you know she’s here. It’s our junior instructor, extraordinaire, Charlotte! I have had the pleasure of knowing Charlotte from the time she was just starting out riding on her Shetland pony, Champ. From the beginning, I knew that she was going to “grow up” to be an amazing horsewoman as she always seemed to have a connection with not only the ponies that she rode, but also with the horse people who surrounded her.

When I found out in the fall of 2016 that Charlotte was returning to Canada after nearly 6 years in the UK, I messaged her to ask if she would be interested in teaching some of the beginner and novice lessons at Foxwood. I was delighted when she said yes!

She has been back for nearly 1 year and I would like to share some of her riding and horse experiences with you:

Starting off in the saddle around the age of 7, Charlotte has spent more than 20 years around horses in various equestrian disciplines, both working and riding.

She started off competing on ponies at a young age and was successful in the hunter ring with small, medium and large ponies over the years. As a skilled pony rider, she even started training some green ponies (unschooled) and some of them advanced along to be competitive in both Canada & the United States. One of those young ponies was Foxwood’s own, Sera. I purchased Sera in 2000 as a 3 year old and was going to train her myself; until I found out I was pregnant. I knew Charlotte and her mother from riding at another farm and I asked Charlotte if she would be interested in riding Sera while I was unable to. Sera could be challenging at times; however, Charlotte spent the time working with her and soon, Sera was able to have more riders start on her.

Although Charlotte grew out of competing on ponies, she continued showing both in the hunter and equitation rings with a talented thoroughbred called Shades of Grey. She and Grey ended up being long time partners and he was retired in 2006 after a fabulous career in the Children’s Hunter division.

Moving on from high school to university, Charlotte helped start what is now known as the Ontario Collegiate Equestrian Association. She competed successfully on the University of Guelph horseback riding team and had the opportunity, during that time, to train with various hunter and jumper coaches.

Charlotte has recently returned from living abroad in the UK for nearly 6 years where she was involved with a local fox hunting community – riding with the Belvoir Hunt and the Duke of Rutland’s hounds in England. It was an incredible opportunity to ride different horses, connect with other horse people and experience the excitement of riding cross country with the hounds.

Since returning to Canada last October, Charlotte has a new horse who she shares with her mom. Training with FEI eventer, Julie Clark, Charlotte has been introduced to the eventing world and competed this summer with her little Cleveland Bay horse, Rideau. Converting from the hunter/ jumper world to eventing has added to Charlotte’s skill set as she continues to learn more and more about the three phases (dressage, show jumping & cross country) involved in the sport; however, she attributes her hunter background as providing a solid foundation for her change in riding disciplines.

Charlotte is great with kids, having not only taught at Foxwood in the past but she also worked for several years for the town of Bradford with their summer camp programs. She is looking forward to having fun with the students and ponies in the Foxwood Farm lesson program and we are excited to have HER as part of our Foxwood Family!

Until next time,
Robyn

Welcome to the Foxwood Family, Charlotte Hodgson!

Horse Coach Corner #FromWhereIStand – Lessons learned from my Students

The good days show smiling faces, the bad days have tears…but as a coach (no matter what sport), you learn to take the good with the bad and learn from them.

As we celebrate National Coach Week this week, I am grateful to all of my students, present and past for the impact they have all had on MY life. The role of the coach is to guide and mentor others; however, little is said about the role that the student has on the coach.

I started off coaching at my farm in 1999 with some of my neighbour’s children. I had my older horse at the time, who was a great school master and I knew that she was the perfect horse to teach young children how to ride as she was very calm and gentle. I had to develop beginner lesson plans; focusing on the basics starting with grooming and leading, to tacking up and getting on a horse for the first time – things you take for granted as a more experienced rider. It reminded me of how much there is to learn when horseback riding, how much time goes into our sport and how learning, is a process to advancing.

As my lesson barn began to grow, so did my desire to start taking my students to horse shows off property. 2013 was the first official year of the “Foxwood Farm Show Team” with only 3 riders. It then grew to 13 show riders in 2015 and now, in 2017, we have 20 competing show riders! Coaching offsite, in a competitive environment, has different challenges than coaching at home: there is the stress of how the ponies/horse will behave, which is beyond anyone’s control; there is dealing with the nerves of the rider and teaching them to focus on their riding, improving with each round and not just on winning a ribbon; there are the expectations of the families, who have invested time and money, to see their riders do well; and of course, my own expectations of wanting my students to have a positive show experience. Over the last 4 years, I have had to make changes to my coaching style to better prepare my students for the show ring and I have learned how to be a better coach by changing my ways.

The students I have taught, have made me the coach that I am.

Earlier this week, I was tagged in a tweet from one of my students, who was recognizing National Coaches Week. She wrote the following:

“This week is National Coach week, and I just wanted to say thank you so much to not only my coach but also my friend and role model! This summer was my first official show season and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome, as even though I only attended two shows, I brought home champion and a lot of first and seconds, this is all because of the amazing support and motivation I have from my wonderful coach. She is there to coach and support us at every show even when it’s 30+ degrees out! Her words of motivation keep up going throughout the day. I started at Foxwood Farm 2 years ago without any experience jumping and now I’m here, all thanks to you, Robyn! I was welcomed with open arms an now I can’t stay away from the barn (except when I’m away at school). Thank you for an awesome year, Robyn!”

I have been coach, mentor and friend to many students and I thank all of them for the positive role each of them has played in my coaching career.

Of all the coaching quotes I have come across, this one pretty much sums up how I feel:

“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you, I didn’t give up.”

I want them to learn from me, just as much as I learn from them.

I love teaching people how to ride; children, adults, anyone who wants to learn. And if I can encourage people to improve upon their riding skills, while developing an unconditional love for horses, then I have truly done my job as coach while learning along the way.

Until next
time,
Robyn

Part of the Foxwood Farm ShowTeam for 2017

Coaching “my kids”


Coaching ringside at the Essa Agriplex

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!

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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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

Foxwood November 2014 Newsletter

It’s hard to believe that we are now into November and more than ½ way through our fall riding session. We just had our junior/intermediate horseshow and what an amazing job everyone did with their costumes! Check out the photos and write up in the Bradford Times:

http://www.bradfordtimes.ca/2014/10/30/a-horse-y-halloween-at-foxwood-farm

Winter Riding Session

Many of you have been inquiring about the winter session, which starts the week of January 5th, 2015. The winter session runs for 10 weeks and the cost is $350/session plus hst (payments can be made in 2 installments). 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.

Winter riding, if dressed correctly, can be fun. Check out my latest blog posting to see what I suggest for winter riding:

http://foxwoodfarm.ca/blog/fending-off-frosty-for-winter-riding-fun/

We will be hosting several clinics at the farm over the course of the winter: Natural Horsemanship, dressage and hunter/jumper with some wonderful horse people. More information and dates will be posted in December.

If you can let me know by December 1st, if you or your child/ren WILL be riding in the winter session, it would be appreciated so I can schedule class days/times.

Christmas ideas
We DO have gift certificates for those interested and don’t forget about our Foxwood Swag! The last order will be submitted the week of December 16
Here’s a reminder of some important dates coming up:

Saturday, November 8 – The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
42 riders/parents/friends of Foxwood will be venturing to the city to watch the Royal Winter Fair. It’s going to be an exciting night of Canadian showjumping, indoor eventing and the extremely fun Shetland pony races (I am sure that Feisty would be a great competitor!). For those of you with tickets, if you wish to join our group for dinner, reservations have been made for 5pm and I need to know by Wednesday, November 5, if you wish to join us.

Saturday, November 15 – Bradford Santa Claus Parade
We’ve got our theme, our parent committee, our participants and now it’s time to start decorating and getting our float ready. I will be sending out an email later this week to all Foxwood riders who have signed up to be in the parade with information on what to wear and what time/location to meet at on the 15th. Parents who signed up to help, we are now collecting items for the float (the list is posted in the barn) and we will plan to meet within the next week and early next week to get it done.

Friday, November 21 – Advanced/Adult Horse show at 5pm.
The signup sheet is posted and I am hoping that many of my Adult riders will be there to challenge the younger students to a fast, Handy Pony race;)

Sunday, December 7 – Foxwood Kids Christmas party 2-4pm
All Foxwood young riders are welcome to celebrate the season at the farm with a Secret Santa gift exchange and snacks. There is a signup sheet posted in the tack room.

As always, thank you for your support! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Socks and saddlepads – one rider’s addiction

Ok, so I was all set to write this week about changing over to winter riding wardrobes but decided to blog about my current “wardrobe” instead.

For those of you who ride with me, you know that I have 2 addictions when it comes to riding fashion:

Funky socks and saddle pads – something for me and something for my horse.

Now, both items are functional so I can’t say that they are useless purchases; however, given that my sock drawer is packed full, and that in the barn, I can fill up an entire locker AND a wardrobe unit, I MAY have enough; however, if I am out shopping, there always seem to be something new, more colourful, or just different that I can’t resist!

Why do we need a variety of each? Well, socks need to change with the season. In the spring/summer, we can wear the light, nylon ones that come is many colours and patterns while in the fall/winter, we look for socks that will keep our feet warm. I’ve become accustomed to wearing fun socks when I teach and my students get a chuckle to see which ones I select. They are expecting to see me in funky socks and since most of them follow me on Instagram, I have been trying to post a pair a day
#socks #sockaddiction #sockchallenge
With the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair coming up, I am sure that I am going to find a few new pairs to wow them with this winter;)

In the case of saddle pads, well, they aren’t just for MY use but for my students. Considering that on most evenings, at least 6-7 saddle pads get used, the wear and tear can justify the replacement and need for new ones…but only after they have had a good under saddle life (I admit, that sometimes I have a hard time giving up those ones with “sentimental value”, such as personalized embroidered ones of horses/ponies that are no longer with us:(

I like to choose saddlepads that compliment the horse/pony that is being ridden and also ask my students if they have a favourite colour. And, we have EVERY colour of saddle pad in the rainbow from pink, blue and green to mixed colours…and even a few simple white ones.

You can imagine how dirty these saddle pads can get, especially in the heat of the summer or when the horses start to shed out in the early spring. We try to shake them out as best as we can, and will rinse them off with the hose and hang them along the fence, when they are sweat soaked, but after a few seasons, they are ready to be retired…and I suppose that’s how I can justify another shopping spree to the local tack shop!

Until next time,
Robyn

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