EQUUS CURITO BLOG

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November Calendar

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Hello EC Riders!

2019 started out as a very difficult year for our barn.  The Strangles outbreak was  stressful, exhausting and expensive.  We recognize that all of these negatives were a shared experience with our Boarders and that many of you incurred significant vet bills in addition to lost time enjoying your horse.
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We have emerged stronger.  We believe our new approach to Biosecurity is comprehensive, complete and at a level practiced by the best boarding barns in the country and far superior to most.  We continue to work with Dr. Tom Lenz on all aspects of our operations and are pleased to tell you that he will remain part of our team through 2020.
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We made significant investments in our facility in 2019.
  1. Heated Ritchie automatic waterers in the stalls.
  2. New fencing to separate boarder only areas
  3. Secure enclosed grain storage room
  4. LED lights in the indoor arena
  5. Boarder Lounge
  6. Quarantine facility off-premise
  7. Daily hands on well-being checks of all of our herd
What to expect for this winter:
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We will not be holding any large clinics or shows from December – March.  Haul-ins for lessons and classes from owners we know and trust will still take place.  The visiting horses will be temp checked at the trailers as is already our protocol.
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Unless we have a very mild winter, we will not be taking any new horses into quarantine for admission to our boarding herd from December through the end of February.  If you know anyone who wants to become part of our barn, please let them know this.  Time is of the essence.
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A note from Ashley:
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I am so thrilled to have you all with us, after what was for many of us, a challenging year.  My lesson and training horse program took a sharp dive after the strangles outbreak and it has been wonderful to watch that grow and re-develop over the summer.  My schedule is quite full again and I appreciate each and every one of my clients for coming along side us as we developed new protocols for visiting horses.
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October is the month where we sit down as a team at EC and plan out the coming year.  I made some time to sit back and think about my goals for 2020.  While I do love to compete, I found myself needing to create more of a balance between my competition goals and just enjoying time with my horses.  Our 2020 calendar will reflect this.  Our motto for next year is Do Less Better.  After 3.5 years in business at Equus Curito, we have a good handle on what events work and don’t work for us.  What to expect:
  • MRHA Shows Ashley and a group of students will be competing in all of the Missouri Ranch Horse Shows for 2020.  We will be holding clinics, classes and lessons to help you prep.
  • EC Trail Ride EC will be hosting an off-property overnight trail ride in 2020.  Details to follow!
  • Flint Hills Trips These will be boarder-exclusive trips working cattle in the flint hills.  Wonderful food and first-class accommodations.
  • Women’s Retreat Trail Ride We will offer an overnight trail riding retreat where you bring your own horse!  Fellowship, self-discovery, personal development, goal-setting etc!  Kim Worlow, our life coach will be leading these retreats and Ashley will be there to support you through the trail rides!
  • Clinics We will host a very limited number of outside clinicians for 2020.
  • Summer Camps Our youth summer camp program was a great success this year and we look forward to continuing that for next year.
  • Fun Shows/Ranch Obstacle Shows We will not host any large events but we will continue to have our small shows for boarders and lesson takers.
  • Class and Lesson Schedules Ashley and Alexis will continue to be available to you for both private lessons and classes.
  • Training Horses We have shifted to being primarily a boarding horse facility.  However, we will take in a limited number of outside training horses for dedicated owners who wish to further the horse’s knowledge.   This could be as few as one training horse per month.
I had to cut out one major thing from the 2020 calendar.  UHCA/EXCA racing.  While it was not an easy decision, I can’t do it all and I had to find some open space in my calendar for other things.  I will still be available to coach those who want to continue to compete in cowboy racing but I will not be attending any races, myself.

If you are interested in joining us either for our overnight camping for 2020 or Missouri Ranch Horse Shows, I would encourage you to participate in the 2020 Goals Meetings November 16th.  These meetings are free and will be in small groups talking directly with Ashley about your 2020 goals and we will come up with a plan to get there!

Click for November Calendar

Categories General

Sedona Update 5 – 3rd Saddling

Do you remember from the last blog I talked about the single most important principle in my training program?  It is teaching the horse to manage their emotions!

Definition of an Emotional Horse: A horse that is easily triggered onto adrenaline (fight or flight side of their brain) OR once triggered onto adrenaline, is difficult to calm it down and bring it off adrenaline.

Horses, just like humans, can either think or react.  It is our job to not keep the horse in a bubble of comfort its whole life and avoid all of the things they don’t like – but rather to expose our horses to new environments, situations, and things to increase their emotional fitness.  When done properly, this process of exposure will expand the horse’s comfort zone and actually trigger the horse to think rather than to react.

Usually the first time a horse learns to manage its emotions is during the starting process.  This is why saddling and starting is such a critical point in a horse’s life.

They will either learn how to properly think through and process scary things or they will learn that their fight or flight (emotional response) is the most effective way to survive their interactions with people.

 One of the most challenging aspects of becoming a horseman is to remain on the thinking side of OUR brain and not allow our emotions to be triggered when our horses experience an emotional trigger.  It is our job, as the leader, to be the counterweight to our horse’s reactions and remain grounded, calm and purposeful.

My goal here in this video and after, was not to catch Sedona and “rescue” her from the situation by removing the saddle.  But instead to allow her to fully explore the option of blowing up and trying to get rid of it.  The fact that my cinch was good and tight is a critical success point in this session.  She wasn’t able to find comfort by reacting emotionally and getting rid of the trigger.  Instead the trigger (saddle) stayed consistent through the process of her blowing up and finally coming back to the thinking side of her brain and re-connecting with me.

How do you handle it when your horse experiences an emotional trigger?  Do you need more tools and knowledge to manage your emotions and create a calm result with your horse?  Ashley works with the public, teaching these critical horsemanship skills to build more confident and competent horse and rider teams.  

Check out our sponsors!

Double C Performance Horses

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Whites Automotive

Rutlader RV Park

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Capo Customs

Ortho Equine

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Timber Creek Louisburg

Cutchaw Properties

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Categories General, Sedona Updates

Sedona Update 4 – Flanking

Note: I am catching up on my Sedona blog.  This video was taken the day after the last one (back in the spring).  We are still working through filling you in on the first 30 days of training.

I cannot stress enough that this is not a how-to video.  This Sedona series is a look inside at our training program so you can know what to expect when sending a horse to us.  Flanking is a fabulous technique when done correctly and can be disastrous  when done poorly.

Why do we flank horses?  At the core of our program, the single-most-important principle, is to teach our horses to manage their emotions.  By that I mean their fight-or-flight response.  It is also important to us to have a full and real evaluation of a horse before swinging up into the saddle for the first time.  This means knowing what the horse’s worst-case-scenario reaction (loss of emotional control) might be.  This is a method we use to create a controlled situation where we trigger a flight or fight response from the horse.  We teach the horse how to control their emotions and how to come off of an adrenaline spike and calm down and relax.

The video goes on to explain that at some point your horse will get triggered on to adrenaline.  It might be when a deer jumps out on the trail, it might be when he leaves his buddies for the first time.  Wouldn’t you want to own a horse that knows how to calm itself down in stressful situations and doesn’t continue to escalate?  As a horse owner myself, that skill development in a horse is a must for me.

Please watch the video below for a more in-depth explanation.

Ashley Purdin

 

Check out our sponsors!

Double C Performance Horses

Yoho Beef

Whites Automotive

Rutlader RV Park

Red Oak Animal Hospital

Olathe Trading Post and Pawn

Capo Customs

Ortho Equine

Partners Print and Copy 

Timber Creek Louisburg

Cutchaw Properties

Doug Busby Photography

 

 

 

Categories Sedona Updates

Sedona Update 3 – First Saddling

The first saddling is such a critical step in a young horse’s development.  When correctly introduced, the horse will learn to accept something new on its back which will set him up for eventually accepting the rider.  When done incorrectly the horse will learn to panic and get rid of whatever is on his back making the rest of the training difficult and dangerous.  Generally when we get a young horse in to start we prefer that the owner had not previously attempted to saddle it.  When starting a young horse we are laying the foundation for the rest of its life and we want to know exactly what foundation was laid.  This will give our clients a better prospect for the future and give the horse a better chance at a positive life with humans.

As always, we love seeing your comments on our posts!

Join us by watching the video below to see Sedona’s first saddling.

-Ashley

 

 

 

Categories Sedona Updates

Sedona Update 2 – Lunging

At some point in every young horse’s life it is critical they learn to give to halter pressure.  I am a huge believer in building willingness and softness in a horse each time it is handled – not just while riding.  I want my horses to be willingly guided under saddle and that process starts on the ground!  Please remember this video series is not intended to be instructional.  If you need help learning groundwork, please contact us for a lesson!  The video below will take you through Sedona’s first lunging experience.  As always remember to comment and tell us what you think!  If you have any questions leave them in the comments as well and I will be sure to answer them.  Enjoy!

 

Ashley Purdin

 

 

Categories Sedona Updates

Sedona: Update 1 – New Beginnings

My career up to this point has been built on training the everyday horse for everyday things.  Trail riding, trouble shooting, obstacles etc…  I have competed extensively in the cowboy racing world and loved it!  But last year, I finally had a team to help me run the barn, Bob and Susan Brennan Owners, Dusty LaBeth Manager/business director, Beth Olson Trainer.  These individuals made it possible for me to spend more time improving myself and showing. Read More Sedona: Update 1 – New Beginnings

Categories Equine Health

Power float vs hand float

My horse, Sedona, at Red Oak Animal Hospital receiving her first float.

I had a recent question from a reader.  From DeAnna: “Curious what your thoughts are on vets using hand tools compared to electric tools. I have had different vets float my horses with electric tools as well as floated using hand tools. I have had both good and bad experiences from both, but do you have a preference of one over the other?”

Questions to consider when having your horse floated: Read More Power float vs hand float

Categories Equine Health

Bumps on a young horse’s jawbone

Pixie’s jaw with eruption bumps.

What are the bumps on my horse’s jaw line?  Meet Pixie, a young, three-year-old quarter horse.  Pixie came to a clinic of mine last week and her owner had been wondering about the cause of the unsightly bumps on her lower jaw that had seemed to pop up over night.  These bumps were hard and seemed to be a part of the jawline itself.  I explained that these were simply “eruption bumps” from Pixie’s adult premolars erupting and pushing the deciduous baby teeth out.  This sparked a discussion about the importance of proper dental care throughout a horse’s lifetime.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about equine dental care: Read More Bumps on a young horse’s jawbone

Categories Training In Motion

Perfectionism in Training

After a great morning of riding training horses, I drove down to Hartman Arkansas for a Body Control Clinic.  During my drive, I listened to a new podcast called Finding the Feel.  (Here is the link if you want to check it out! http://www.findingthefeel.com/)  This is a great podcast guys, I highly recommend it if you are into the western performance world at all.

Read More Perfectionism in Training

Categories Training In Motion

Overcoming Competition Jitters

It happens to every rider at some point. Professional and ameateur riders, alike. That gut-sinking feeling of nervousness that accompanies you into the arena or onto the course. Your mind begins to race. Do I know my pattern? Did the judge say they wanted two spins or three? Who is going to be watching me and what will they think? How will my horse react during that first obstacle or maneuver? And all of the sudden before you have time to answer these and countless other questions running through your brain – your name is called and you are up. For some riders the jitters can even begin the day before. Their night is haunted by dreams of going off course or their horse misbehaving.

Read More Overcoming Competition Jitters

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