Izzy the Western Horse

Pictures of Izzy at the JP Forget reining/western clinic at Still Meadows. It was a very useful clinic for us! Spending two and a half hours under saddle each day was plenty to get her over her concern with the loudspeakers and the banners hanging on the rail.

JP had us doing a lot of leg yield with me keeping Izzy as straight as possible and asking for as much lateral reach as possible. At the canter he kept us cantering a LONG time, and we did quite a bit of counter canter. It was exhausting! We also did haunches out on a circle at walk, trot and counter canter to encourage her to reach up and under even more with her hind end.

On the Sunday we ended by practicing some spins. Izzy seemed to get the idea…spinning apparently comes natural to her…shocking, I know!


Izzy the western horse
Izzy the western horse

Lessons Dec 29 – Jan 3

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Rob and I and the critters did, and we have appreciated the warm winter weather! Rob hauled Izzy and I to a clinic this weekend, and I will post an update on that this week!

Please remember the lesson schedule has been altered this week as many people have time off or are away, so make sure you confirm if/when you are riding…not all regularly scheduled lessons are being run this week.

Schedule so far:

Monday 2-4, and 5-6

Tuesday 10:30 and 6:30

Wednesday 5:30

Thursday 11 am

Saturday 10:30

This week will be similar to last week, with a course  that is a  combination of jumps and pole work…but this week YOU will be coming up with the course! We will school the individual exercises, but then it is up to you to come up with the best way to link the exercises together for your horse. This isn’t about speed, it is about being successful with your horse…for example with a hotter horse you may want to put a trot portion of the course in the middle to rebalance and re-settle your horse for the rest of the course.



Lessons Dec 15-20

This week in lessons we will be working on combining jumps with flat work. I have been noticing that riders with good flat work and good transitions when doing flatwork, suddenly lose these abilities once we start jumping! Ideally, jumping should just be flatwork with jumps along the way.

To this end, we will me mixing jumps in the with flatwork, and flatwork in with the jumps!

I am hoping to see riders being able to look and steer to the next obstacle while doing transitions, being able to use lateral aids to help bring their horse back into balance while cantering, and being able to do a simple transition in corners without needing to circle between the jumps!

See you this week!


Holiday Lesson Schedule

With so many lucky people getting away for the Holidays, and with others having time off, I will be teaching a modified schedule over the holidays. Please let me know when you want to ride if you are one of the unfortunate to be staying in Edmonton for the rest of 2014!

Lessons are available:

– Monday Dec 22, afternoon or evening

– Tuesday Dec 23, morning or evening

– Wednesday Dec 24, morning or afternoon only

NO lessons Dec 25-29

– Tuesday Dec 30, morning or evening

– Wednesday Dec 31, morning or evening

– Thursday Jan 1, evening

– Saturday Jan 3, back to regular lessons!

I will be posting a schedule in the barn so riders can fill out when they will want to lesson during this time!


Jumping Clinic for 2015!

Hillside Stable is thrilled to be able to host Jane Stone for a clinic again this spring. The clinic will be March 20-22, 2014. Dressage lessons (private or Semi-private) will be available all three days, and jumping group lessons will be offered on the weekend. Rates to follow. Jane Stone is an eventer and dressage rider currently based out of Vancouver Island BC. We really enjoyed her clinic last year and found that her teaching style fit in well with our program and we all learned a lot! Hoping this year to have some volunteers to help with setting jumps, poop scooping and general assistance.

The week in lessons

Thankfully the weather has let up and Rob has done a lovely job plowing all the snow from the driveway and parking log.

This week in lessons will carry forward  from last week: we will again work on some haunches in, but this week we will work on it at the canter. Remember that this exercise will help the horse keep balanced in the corners and to not drop its shoulder. It helps if you can enter your corner with your outside leg holding the haunch in so that the horse balances on its hind legs rather than falling on its forehand which is what causes the falling in on its shoulder and cutting its corner. This will also help the horse be positioned to get its lead changes!

Next we will try some flying changes over a pole. Similar to doing it over a fence, but the rider needs to create more jump in their canter to get the suspension to do the lead change over the pole. Remember to keep it simple by keeping your body straight over the horse, but looking in the new direction. Over doing the change in direction  by leaning into the turn or pulling the head to the new direction can pull the horse onto its forehand and will result in the front lead changing only. Instead balance with the outside rein, move your (new) outside leg back, and new inside leg at the girth to keep then from falling in.

For jumping we will do a slow and controlled hunter type course working on good, balanced corners and lead changes.