At one time, most states may have had a horse guard for the governor, but disbanded the units as horses were replaced with less dignified but more efficient forms of transportation. Indeed, the 2nd Connecticut Governor’s Horse Guard, its facility located behind the Reed Middle School in Newtown, CT, doesn’t often actually guard the governor, although the governor is commander-in-chief of the unit. Lt. Fay, one of the public information officers of the guard, explained that the guard is a non-deployable or ceremonial unit, although technically the governor could deploy them at the request of the President of the United States. [Read more…]
by George Peters
Looking back at some old videos from the AQHA, I’m always impressed how my three favorite cow working events have evolved: the cutting, working cow class, and the roping events. What is cool to me is they all are skills that the top ranch hand and their horse could do well enough to get the job done! Add the trail obstacles to get to the job and back and you have a ranch horse, and if the horse is smooth to ride on the way to and from the work, now we are talking the real deal, a good working ranch horse.
These foundation skills have become very specialized, and also have roots in many other events. I have been told by my old friends that at [Read more…]
by Mitzi Summers
It is important to investigate and learn varied techniques to train and to improve your driving horse. Knowledge of the final result required will help to focus your training. Your horse was almost certainly taught to long line as part of his initial schooling. In hand work, proper lungeing techniques, and work under saddle will also serve to aid you in continually improving your horse.
Of the three methods, lungeing is the least physically taxing for the trainer. If done properly, with the correct equipment, it still should be an exercise carried out with thought, precision, and a thorough understanding of how to improve your horse for driving.
It is of paramount importance for a driving horse to stand absolutely still until given the signal to move. To accomplish this it is necessary for [Read more…]
Cover photo by Judy Van Put
Mary Mugnai, of the Island Long Riders in costume before performing her Mounted Shooting Demonstration.
The Missouri Foxtrotter is fast becoming a much-in-demand, go-to breed for those seeking a versatile and athletic all-around horse. Fortunately for those who appreciate these docile and intelligent horses, there is now an opportunity to find a Missouri Foxtrotter for the first time, here in the northeast.
Foxwillow Farm is located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, high on a hill overlooking the Willowemoc Creek, Livingston Manor, NY. Alix Didrich, farm proprietor, had for more than 20 years, been a successful breeder of Polish Arabian horses, having produced 140 foals under the name of Violet Hill Farm. [Read more…]
When my husband and I decided to move my old Belgian draught horse to his new home at our new home, we immediately started looking for a buddy for him. We were searching for a mini burro; we found Kid Cobra and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.
Kid Cobra is a 20-year old Standardbred bred and trained for sulky racing. When I met him, he had left the racing world behind him and had become a ward of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF).
Founded in 1989, the SRF is the original equine rescue program. Its offices are in New Jersey, but SRF is a national organization with anywhere from five to 15 facilities used to board and train animals prior to adoption. Most adoptions occur along the East Coast due to shipping costs, but SRF has animals placed in almost all 48 contiguous states. [Read more…]
Flapjack Attack — or “Jack” as he is known around the SUNY Cobleskill campus — was a champion trotter at Saratoga’s Harness Track, breaking the track record in 2004 and winning the honor of being named Horse of the Year, as well as Top Aged Trotter and Trotter of the Year.
He gave up his racing career in December of 2005 and soon began a new career to partner with Officer John Bagdovitz as the first and only mounted patrol horse in NY State’s University system when his owners Michael Riggi of Clifton Park, NY and John Mongeon, Jr., of Ballston Spa, NY donated him to the college.
“The owners gave him to SUNY Cobleskill for the express purpose of doing mounted patrol,” reports Bagdovitz. “And I have to say that he is truly a great mounted patrol horse!” [Read more…]
by Mitzi Summers
Showing should be the result of hours and hours of honest, ethical training of horse and rider. It is a chance to judge for yourself how you have been doing, and yes, show off a little if you have been doing a good job.
Show nerves are a real part of the picture. No matter how many times a well-meaning friend tells you to relax and just have a good time, people ARE looking at you and judging you, and let’s face it, anyone not connected with you is rooting for someone else.
The more you show the easier it will get. So if you are ready and can afford it, go to as many as you can. [Read more…]