Behind the Stall Door: Morton’s Miss Kitty

She is the pony of many names, but if you’ve spent any time talking with proud owner Nyla Wulfers Joyce about Chloe, you might know her best by the adorable and adoring moniker “My Pony.” The affection with which Nyla speaks of “My Pony” is unmistakably that earned by a lovely first pony who provides hours of company, love, and yes, a bit of a ‘chestnut mare’ challenge. Add to that the fact that her breeding includes arab blood, and Chloe checks off all of the spicy pony ingredient boxes, but one gets the impression that checking off those boxes is a large part of why she is so adored by her family. She’s also sweet and cuddly, and speaking from the experience of the author only, puts up quite well with a ridiculous dog jumping up and down in front of her stall door.

Nyla has big plans for Chloe. The pair recently celebrated their one year anniversary and their partnership has grown exponentially since the day Chloe came home to OOF. Chloe arrived green and unfit, so the two have had to navigate – and continue to navigate – a rehab road with the aim of making Chloe strong, fit, and able to compete in the large pony division on the Trillium circuit. Once Chloe and Nyla have tasted success on the Trillium circuit, Chloe is 100% bombproofed and Nyla is ready to move on to horses (her legs have been ready since 2015!) the plan is to lease her out to kids who are ready to step up to a large pony. Chloe certainly has the movement and jump to be a

competitive entry in the large ponies, and there is no doubt that Nyla’s enthusiasm, dedication, and patience are the recipe to get Chloe there!

Ron Chauvin Clinic – March 10th & 11th
(A couple of spaces left, so sign up if you are interested!)

Old Orchard Farm will be hosting a Natural Horsemanship Clinic Instructed by Ron Chauvin. Ron has been fortunate to have worked with some extraordinary horsemen who have helped him develop an understanding of what a horse needs to excel at his job. At his farm in Erin, Ontario, Ron starts horses and helps horse owners improve their horsemanship.

The clinic will start off with a group introduction by Ron. Each participant will be given a scheduled time where they will receive a one on one session with their horse. This can either be on the ground or mounted. The clinic will cater to each participant’s individual needs. Each participant will be encouraged to watch and listen each training session. Instruction time will be provided once clinic numbers are confirmed.

The cost of the two day clinic is limited to 8 participants at $375.00 / participant
This includes two full days of instruction, lunch and refreshments. Auditors are welcome at a cost of $35.00 / day
If you are interested please email cricket76@rogers.com
A deposit of $175.00 and registration form will be required to secure a spot.

Lauren Bode

Last year several of us had our horses read by Lauren Bode, who is known as an “animal psychic.” She spends 10-15 minutes per animal and tells you what they’re thinking and feeling. Whether you “believe” or not, it’s a really fun and interesting experience. Harry requested that Ellen stop calling him a mule; Zen has the mind of a toddler; Cricket has a potty mouth; and unsurprisingly Monet is the barn neightriarch (get it? GET IT?) and wanted to know about any barn goings on that she might have missed. If you’re interested in having Lauren read your horse, please let me know at newsletter@oldorchardfarm.ca and we’ll get a date organized – probably sometime in March. Cost is $60 per animal, when we have a date confirmed I will collect payment.

In House Horse Show

There will be a St Patrick’s Day in-house horse show. Mark your calendars, go buy some green decorations to put on your horse, and get ready for a fun time! Lots of prizes to be had and lots of fun classes to partake in – like the $5 bill under your leg class and the high jump class. Adults, you’re more than welcome to join in – fun isn’t all for the kids, you know!

OCEA Brush Up Clinic

OOF will be hosting an OCEA brush up clinic with Robyn Baechler on March 18th. All OOF riders are strongly encouraged to watch, as Robyn is an excellent equitation coach and we could all use a little more of that in our riding repertoires.

Riding Exercise of the Quarter – Leg Yielding

Leg yielding is a lovely exercise to help supple your horse through his body and will help improve your horse’s sensitivity to being steered off your leg.

To be doing a proper leg yield, your horse should be crossing their legs as they move sideways at the same time as moving forward. They should not be leading with their shoulders or their haunches – you want them to be moving parallel to the outside track, not directly toward it!

To perform a leg yield:
Turn down the quarter line.
Ask for a slight inside bend with the inside rein.
Outside rein maintains the bend (ie you do not want your horse to over bend or just be bending their neck!) and controls speed.
Move your inside leg slightly back from the girth and ask the horse to move his haunches over towards the outside.
Keep your outside leg on the girth – this will help to keep the horse from falling out in his shoulder, as will maintaining contact with the outside rein.
Do a few steps at a time – if you find that your horse begins to fall out through his shoulder or lead with his haunches, correct it by riding straight for a few steps and then try asking again. When you have mastered a few steps, try it down the whole long side of the arena, and when you’ve got that mastered, try going from the centreline right to the track!

Arena Usage Dates

Dates to be aware of that the arena will be in use are as follows (but are not limited to)

Sunday March 4th: Rescheduled OCEA show

March 10th & 11th: Ron Chauvin Natural Horsemanship Clinic

Saturday March 17th: Morning OCEA interclub show; Noon in house schooling show (we will see you all there!)

Sunday March 18th: OCEA Brush Up Clinic

March Break Camp

There are limited spaces for new show riders (those who are new to the world of showing and will be competing at the OOF shows) at March Break camp. These riders should be able to walk / trot / canter / do small jumps, and be able to catch and handle their own ponies. Please sign up through the website ASAP if you are interested.

EASTER WEEKEND – Busy Busy Busy

Three days full of activities will be happening on Easter Weekend at OOF.

Good Friday : OOF Switch Ride Clinic and beginning of the annual Spring Clean Up: The Switch ride clinic is designed for Pentathlon and Pony Club riders who need to get used to riding multiple different horses; others are welcome to join if you’d like to! Cost is $60 for a day of riding a bunch of different horses!
Easter Saturday : Bulk of the annual Spring Clean Up will happen this day. Related tasks and details pending.
Easter Sunday : Annual Easter Egg Hunt on horseback in the morning! Kids and adults welcome!

Trillium Show Dates

The Trillium show season starts sooner than you’d think! Here’s the complete list of show dates so you know either when you’ll be showing or else where you need to go and when in order to cheer on Team OOF!

JD Leap Into Spring: April 7,8
JD Leap Into Spring: April 13,14,15
Hamilton Hunt: April 21,22
Hamilton Hunt: April 27,28,29
Fox Run Stables: May 11,12,13
Meadowlarke North: May 25,26,27
Waymark Farms: June 8,9,10
Twinholm: June 22,23,24
Camberwell Stables: July 6,7,8
Red Ribbon Stable: July 20,21,22
Parish Ridge Stables: July 27,28,29
Vanbrook Equestrian: August 10,11,12
Iron Horse: August 17,18,19
Trillium Championships: August 29-September 2

OOF Schooling Shows

OOF schooling show dates are as follows

May 21

June 3

July 2

August 6

September 3

If you have any interest in helping out as ring crew, we can always use more people! Katja Wulfers will be creating a google doc spreadsheet to organize ring crew and set up days for the shows, so let her know if you are interested in being added to the email list for the sign up sheets!

Spring Lesson Sign Up

don’t forget to sign up for the Spring lesson session! You may have been out while it was -20 but time to get back into it – there’s nothing better than outdoor riding, and we’ll be out there sooner than you think!