Article Archives

Starting your own colt
Colt Starting Quiz
Problem Horses, part 1
Fear Problems, part 2
Bad Actors, part 3
The Cold Backed Horse
Want to Compete?
Bit Basics
Going Places
Common Sense, Horse Sense
Horsemen's Christmas
Rainy Day Training
Try Something Different!
Green Broke
Resolution Time
Going in Circles
Hot Enough for Ya?
Pleasure or Equitation?
Return to Work Carefully
Saving your "Good Stuff"
Holding Western Reins
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Cold Weather Warm Up
Expect the Unexpected, 1
Expect the Unexpected, 2
Bad Attitude
Horse of a Better Color?
Power of Exercise
Importance of the Herd
Bath Time
Even Up
Choosing a Martingale
A Good Night's Sleep
Alternative Therapies, Part One
Alternative Therapies, Part Two
Get the Most out of a Clinic
Blanket or No Blanket?
Does Practice Make Perfect?
A Change of Pace
The Power of Observation
On Line Horse Trading
The Right Horse at the Right Time
Putting On A Show
Weather Or Not
A Lifetime of Stall Cleaning
Water Obstacles
Who's Your Trainer?
Make a Long Day Easier
A Good Place to Start

Day Easier on Humans too
Value of Video
Hand Me the Curry ...

Make the Most of the New Year

Here we go into a New Year, with all the excitement and possibilities ahead. What are your resolutions where your horses are concerned? Do you strive to become a better rider? Are you eagerly awaiting a new foal this spring? Is a new horse, or horse trailer or saddle in your plans?

One of the best aspects of horse ownership is that there is always something to look forward to; that summer pack trip into the wilderness or a special competition, perhaps a fun trail ride on the beach or attending a clinic. It can be as simple as spending more time with your horses, just grooming and playing with them. For horsemen, nothing much beats time spent with our animals.

As we look forward into 2009, we also see some trying times. Costs of feed and transportation are high, and many of us will have to cut back on the number of activities or new toys we have planned. Some horse owners will have trouble affording the basics of caring for their horses – feed, farrier and vet care. Now is a good time to resolve to help those in need by donating to a rescue group or Humane Society. If everyone contributes a little – either time or money – life will be better for the horses who are in need. Remember too that, to our horses, it’s not the most expensive item that matters, it’s whether the horse’s needs are met. Plenty to eat, a dry place to shelter up, and some activity is all most horses request. It doesn’t cost anything to spend some time grooming or to make sure your horse is getting some exercise. If you are into showing, consider swapping outfits with another competitor or shop at a thrift store and modify the clothing to make unique show-ring attire. As you plan your year’s events, find a friend to share the travel expenses. It is entirely possible to show on a budget!

The next several months, with the wet, cold weather, are crucial to our horse’s well being. This is not the time to cut back on feed especially for the very old or very young horse. Keep an eye out for health problems that will cost much more to treat than to prevent, such as rain rot and thrush. A little time and care now will keep your horse healthy and happy. Vaccinations are important – watch for vaccination clinics sponsored by clubs or by veterinarian clinics.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to improve your own skills as a horseman either. There’s a wide variety of books, videos and magazines which can help you improve any aspect of your horsemanship. Don’t be afraid to try something from another discipline – the basic information about good horsemanship doesn’t rely on the style of saddle or breed of horse. Look for a mentor to help guide you and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you already know everything. Even Olympic riders take lessons. There is always something more to learn.

So best wishes as we head into 2009 – may you spend many quality hours with your horses!


Doris Eraldi of Eraldi Training in Potter Valley, specializes in training for all around horsemanship. She can be contacted at 707-743-1337, or by e-mail

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