Category Archives: horse training

Fun in the field at the Hampton Riding Centre

My friend Jennifer owns and operates the #HamptonRidingCentre. Each year she offers a series of training clinics for aspiring cross-country riders. At the beginning levels she believes it is important to develop confidence in riding at faster speeds and jumping while riding at speed as well. It’s not as easy as it might sound or look!

For me, as a photographer, it’s fun to capture the action as people learn while having fun out in the field enjoying their horses instead of being confined to a fenced-in riding ring. Enjoy the slideshow!

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I hope you enjoyed your quick overview of these ladies learning about regulating pace and jumping obstacles within the pace. Thanks, Jen, for letting me play too!


Also posted in BLOG, horses, New Brunswick, photography Tagged , , |

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood….

Yesterday was a perfect day – warm and sunny but not hot and unbearable. What more could you ask for when sitting out in an open field photographing the 2016 area Pony Club Rally.

Ready for the first cross-country rider.

Ready for the first cross-country rider.

The kids had set up their tack rooms, ready for inspection, in their horse trailers. And, while that was going on, the grooms and riders were preparing for the cross country phase of their event.

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Then it was time for the riders to walk the course!


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And, of course, the volunteer jump judges (conscripted friends and family) were heading out to their assigned spots as well.

The first rider on course was testing out the jumps.

Shyanne White

Shyanne White

She was followed by the Pony Club competitors:

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Everyone had a safe ride and good fun – that’s what it’s all about! Congrats to all the riders, grooms, teams, coaches, judges and organizers for a terrific day!

By the way, for anyone wishing to purchase any images, the watermark will be removed prior to printing.



Also posted in BLOG, horse photography, horse photos, horses, photography Tagged , , , , , , |

There is joy everywhere – if you look for it

There should be moments of joy every day. Some may be greater or less than others but, if you look you look, there will be a moment, a glimmer or, if you are incredibly lucky, a whole lot of joy waiting for you to find it.

On the way to Mt. Hebron

On the way to Mt. Hebron

I coach a young dressage rider and, this season, her new young horse “Lumi”. They live on a farm near Sussex in an area called Mt. Hebron – where the wind never ceases – hence the name of the farm – Wild Wind Farm. The last few miles of the trek are on a dirt road, often rutted or full of pot holes depending on how recently the road was graded – or not. But – the trip is worthwhile. On the way, if you stop and look, there are sweeping vistas of farmland and forests as far as you can see.

Another vista

Another vista

In the early evening, when the sun is getting ready to set, it’s a peaceful place.

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And on arrival, the fun begins. It’s been a mentally challenging week for Lumi. First she participated in a clinic with Robin Groves at the Princess Louise Park Show Centre in Sussex. Much more mature horses than this brilliant three-year-old have been intimidated by the arena and the various goblins located in the corners, the bleachers and all around the building. Lumi took most of it in stride and even the really scary monsters only gave her momentary pause.

Robin Groves

Robin Groves

The scary in-gate

The scary in-gate

Zara and Lumi on the long side of the arena beside the noisy barn

Zara and Lumi on the long side of the arena beside the noisy barn

THAT's the spot!

THAT’s the spot!

A little to the right, please?

A little to the right, please?

After a couple of days of play time with her pasture buddies, Ajiba and Stella, Lumi was ready for last night’s lesson – and the introduction of a couple of ground poles. She took it all in stride and afterward was content to pose for a few quick shots.

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Who's that behind me?

Who’s that behind me?

Of course, the herd of yearling Standardbred boys crowded the fence to get a glimpse of the new redhead in town.

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And we couldn’t ignore Ajiba who proved that an Arabian horse, even the dreaded ‘chestnut mare’, could be an amazingly versatile horse. Throughout her life she has been a Western horse, an English horse, a Dressage horse, a Games horse and so much more – growing up with Zara. But that’s a story for another time.

Ah - Ajiba - the all 'round wonder

Ah – Ajiba – the all ’round wonder

And then there is STELLA! Every time I hear that little donkey’s name I laugh and think of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. I can hear her name being called out…. SSSSTTTTTEEEEELLLLLLLAAAAAA!

Pasture companion to the two redheads, her loud hee-haw, hee-haw, can be heard across the valley and into the hills, especially when her buddies leave her behind. She gallops up and down the pasture, braying loudly for all to hear – calling them home again.

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As spring inches toward summer the days are getting longer leaving is wonderful evenings ahead to learn together, enjoy the time, and find joy in the everyday things that truly make life worth living.

Have you smiled yet?





Also posted in All Things Equine, animals, BLOG, happiness, happy images, hobby farms, horse photos, horses, horses hobby farms rural living lifestyle, learning, lessons, life, longer days, photography Tagged , , , |

ALMOST spring-like

The wind was more discreet today so +5C felt a little warmer. I decided that this would be a good day to visit a couple of riding clinics happening in my area and catch a few photos for the next NBEA newsletter. Of course, indoor riding arenas in this neck of the woods tend to hold the dampness and cold a little longer than the outdoors. Knowing this, I dressed for the occasion. Yes, STILL wearing long underwear. Sigh.

But, it was worth it to get out and visit with some friends I haven’t seen in a while. Thought I’d share some shots from today’s trip. Keep in mind that, in addition to being cold and damp, indoor arenas are notoriously dark with poor lighting. That, combined with horses’ dislike of camera flash, meant shooting wide open (very shallow depth of field) with a fast shutter speed (to stop motion) and a very high ISO (that adds a lot of ‘noise’ to an image). With those caveats, here we go:

Hoover THOUGHT he should come with me - not.

Hoover THOUGHT he should come with me – not.

On my way to Norton I noticed two ultralight aircraft playing above a field.

Two Ultralights

Two Ultralights

At the first clinic (dressage), clinician Denielle Gallagher-LeGriffon (formerly from NB) had flown in directly from Florida. I THINK she noticed a slight change in temperature and bundled up accordingly.

Denielle Gallagher LeGriffon

Denielle Gallagher LeGriffon

Somehow I think the riders and horses were a little bit warmer.

Alyssa Gaudet

Alyssa Gaudet


Denielle giving instructions

Denielle giving instructions

Then I headed cross country to Hampton and spent some time at “Foshay South” (formerly Gallaway Ridge Training Centre – owned by Denielle’s parents, Michael and Alison Gallagher). (Dr.) Rob and Suzanne Stevenson bought the property last year. Deanna Phelan was on hand to conduct one of the Long Term Equestrian Development clinics for hunter/jumper riders sponsored by the NBEA.  Natalie Russell, Hetty Smith and Melissa Pierce were lined up to face the challenges posed.

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Also posted in All Things Equine, BLOG, cold, horse photos, Photography techniques, spring, winter Tagged , , , , |

What a wonderful week-end to rejuvenate the soul!

After years of enduring cold, wet, rainy, long week-ends in May, this year’s broke the mold and delivered warmth and sunshine!

For me, Saturday started out with a pre-dawn drive through the early morning mists in the hills leading into, and through, Fundy National Park.

Dawn breaking through the mists beside the Bay of Fundy as seen from the look-off in Fundy National Park, NB

Luckily I missed colliding with the young cow moose who was guarding the entrance to the park by standing in the middle of the road. Unluckily, I didn’t have quick and ready access to my camera to document the sighting.

I made my way to Riverside-Albert, site of the Albert County Early Horse Show. Run by volunteers, the show committee placed a lot of emphasis on having fun, camaraderie and affordability. As a result, there were about 80 horses entered and probably close to 100 riders. It was heart-warming to see so many young people participating as many of the more formal shows are experiencing a decline in entry numbers due to ever-increasing costs.

The youngest ones just wanted to have fun…

While others needed to keep in touch between classes…

Since my Dad’s family is from Albert Co., I took a break and drove up the road to visit my parents’ graves. The local cemetery was started in 1892, and I found stones showing relatives born as far back as 1818. And that was just in a few minutes of walking around. As cemeteries go, it’s a lovely spot with beautiful big trees and grand vistas overlooking Shepody Bay.

I even had the opportunity for a quick visit with a cousin who lives nearby – and the chance to make plans for a longer visit in the near future!

Sunday dawned warm and sunny as well. I took a quick jaunt to Norton to watch some friends ride in a hunter-jumper clinic with Alan Wedge. Originally from this general area, Alan now makes his home near Calgary, AB.

Under Alan’s watchful eye, riders like Hetty Smyth concentrated on the task at hand.

Meanwhile, at the Princess Louise Park Show Centre there was a dressage show going on. I dropped in and had great visits with various friends.

Tomorrow is another day and, I’m sure, more photo opportunities. Maybe I’ll even get some gardening done! Holiday week-ends are meant to give us a chance for the three R’s: rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Enjoy YOUR long week-end. I am.

Also posted in community, day tripping, family, horse photography, horse photos, horses, lifestyle, nature, New Brunswick Tagged , , , |

New from Boot Camp

Hi all. Well, I’ve been at ‘boot camp’ now for about 10 days. Things started off easy, considering how totally out of shape I am. But, the rumour is that ‘easy’ is about to be a thing of the past.

At first all “The Trainer” (hereafter known as “TT”) wanted was for me to walk around the arena, and maybe trot for a couple of minutes. Yep, I can do that.

But NOW, she’s starting to ask me to BEND! What am I? A Slinky? And she expects me to keep trotting at least 2 or 3 times around the arena before I can go back to shuffling along. I think not. I am definitely going to have to introduce her to my repertoire of evasion and resistance tactics.

My human came to visit today and watched our session. She seemed pleased. I suppose she thinks I’ll let HER ride me to. Huh! We’ll have to talk about THIS for sure! At least she brought me some carrots and made me the envy of my barnmates.

Also posted in horses hobby farms rural living lifestyle

Heard a nasty rumour

I heard that my person actually has PLANS for me this year. Did she ask me? I think not.

Apparently I’m going to boot camp for a month to ‘refresh’ my skills. She wants a trainer to remind me why I should be well behaved when my person wants to ride me. Really? In her dreams! Just because she has brittle bones, why does that mean that I shouldn’t buck when I feel like it? Hmm.

I tried to weasel out of this by developing a badly swollen sheath. But the vet came and fixed the problem. Darn. He also gave me all my shots so I won’t catch anything from the horses at boot camp barn. So much for pretending to be sick to get out of going to school. I’m still thinking about other dodges I might pull. Any suggestions?

Also posted in hobby farms, horses, horses hobby farms rural living lifestyle, life changes, lifestyle, rural living, rural living lifestyle