RIDING LESSONS ENGLISH AND WESTERN

BIRTHDAY PARTIES 

DAY CAMP

M&R Ranch

Performance Horses of Georgia

2016 Camp Information

2016 Camp Information

Full week or Half Sessions (8:30-12:30 or 1:00-4:30)                                                          

Dates:

The dates for Day Camp are now June 6, 2016 through June 10, 2016; June 20, 2016 through June 24, 2016; and July 11, 2016 through July 15, 2016.                        

The total cost is $275.00 early registration per camper per week by May 8th; late registration $300.00 or $50.00 per camper per session.  We require a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 to guarantee the reservation for the rider.  This price includes the following items:

  • Drop off of camper between 8:30 and 9:00am
  • Pick up of camper between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m.
  • Riding lessons – safety, fun and equitation skills practiced.
  • All about horses – shoeing, healthcare, grooming, anatomy, grooming.
  • Instruction on Stable care – feeding and barn upkeep.
  • Cool down and tack cleaning.
  • Fun activities, games on horseback – Poll bending, Simon Says, apple bobbing, water relay, and many more.
  • Swimming activities.
  • Horseshoe demonstration
  • Certificate of Achievement upon completion.
  • Helmets and horses with tack will be provided.
  • Half day sessions 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

2016 Show Circuit Schedule

2016 Show Circuit Schedule
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm 
Southern Classic
March 26, 2016 
 
Moss Creek Stables 
CHC (Coastal Hunter Circle) 
April 9, 2016 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm 
Southern Classic 
April 16, 2016 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Classic
May 14, 2016  
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm  
CHC May 21, 2016 
 
Evermore Farm
Under the Stars 
August 2017 (TBA) 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Classic
September 3, 2016 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm 
CHC September 17, 2016 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Clasic
October 15, 2016 
 
Moss Creek Stables 
CHC October 22, 2016 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Classic
November 12, 2016 
 
Evermore Farm
CHC Finals 
November 12, 2016 
 
Deep Sigh Horse Farm 
Southern Classic 
December 10, 2016

2015 Day Camp Programs

We are pleased to announce we are currently accepting applications for our upcoming Day Camp Programs, June 8, 2015 through June 12, 2015, June 22, 2015 through June 26, 2015, and July 13, 2015 through July 17, 2015. We have a very busy schedule with a lot of activities from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.which not only includes horseback riding lessons and games but arts and crafts, paint a pony, swimming, 17′ slide, and a 15 x 15″ bounce house.

The cost for the Day Camp Program is $300.00 per child per week but for a short period of time if you make your reservation with a deposit on or before May 13, 2015, the cost is $275.00 per child per week. Our Day Camp Programs are limited and they fill up quickly!

For more information, please email maria@gmail.com, leave a direct message on facebook or call us at 912-858-3849 and we will be happy to send you the camp reservation forms.

2015 Show Circuit Schedule

2015 Show Circuit Schedule

Deep Sigh Horse Farm 
Southern Classic
May 9, 2015

Location: TBA**
CHC
May 16, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
NBHA Barrel Racing Comp
May 23, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Classic
June 13, 2015

Evermore Farm*
CHC
August 15, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
CHC
September 12, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Classic
September 26, 2015

Location: TBA*
CHC
October 17, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Clasic
October TBA, 2015

Evermore Farm*
CHC Finals
November 7, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
Southern Classic
November TBA, 2015

Deep Sigh Horse Farm
NBHA
December 5, 2015

When You Should Punish Your Horse

Growing up as a teenager I always wanted to learn how to ride and be the best I could be whether riding in shows or riding for pleasure.  I had the opportunity to purchase some horses at a young age to try and fulfill that dream.  As with any young person, once you get the experience of horseback riding in your blood, it never goes away – – it’s always there.  And so through the years I had many instructors, some good and some bad, but it was always the instructors who were at their worst that I will never forget.  

If you’ve ever taken riding lessons, then you can relate to your horse when it comes to being corrected for something you did not do just right. Maybe the instructor got a little sarcastic. Maybe he or she raised things to the level of a scold. Maybe you messed up big time and got yelled at big time. Or maybe to prove his or her point about what you did wrong, the instructor got really stern and made you do whatever it was over and over and over to drill into your head.

Whatever happened, as the instructor got louder, pushier, or stricter you probably did not feel so good about what you were doing. Your first reaction was probably a knot in your stomach or you got nervous, afraid, grumpy, mad, or even resentful.  Even if you knew you earned the reprimand you got, going through it didn’t make you feel good about riding that day and worst of all, you probably didn’t learn anything except that going back into the arena with that instructor wasn’t something you were looking forward to.  That’s why are students are taught there are three times you punish a horse for doing something wrong–never, never and never.

The first goal in a riding lesson is to make the horse feel positive about himself and the whole experience he has when he’s with you. When everything is horse logical and no more than one step away from something he already knows, the horse learns to trust that nothing bad is going to happen when he’s around you. That trust leads to relaxation and relaxation and rhythm are the foundations for anything you are going to teach a horse.

When a pressure gets “louder” either physically or psychologically, the horse feels that is something he wants to escape from. Whenever he’s running away from a pressure, the horse is not learning. Whenever his current rhythm is abruptly interrupted, he is not learning. So if you jerk on a lead rope, make a sudden move around his head, yank on the reins, kick him in the side, smack him with a crop or gig him with a spur as “punishment” for something he did not do right, then the only thing the horse learned is that it’s not safe to be around you. His trust goes away. Any positive feelings about the training session get cancelled by that breach of trust.

Remember you have to show the horse what you want him to do before you can ask him to do it. You reward any tiny move in the right direction. You don’t punish wrong moves, you just ignore them. You simply go back to showing him what you want. Go back to something he already knows and can be successful at. Then ask again. If you get what you wanted, stroke him or scratch him and let him know how pleasant the whole thing was. If you don’t get it, just stay calm, stay positive and start showing him again.

Once you can ask the horse to do something and get it consistently, now you can tell him to do it by just beginning the feel of a full corridor of aids. Only when the horse reaches this stage can you enforce your asking.

Here is where it gets a little tricky. You have to enforce what you’ve asked in a way that the horse does not feel as punishment. Enforcement means re-enforcing something the horse already knows, re-minding or re-focusing his attention. That’s a different attitude than correcting the horse because he’s gone wrong.

When any one part of a corridor of aids gets too loud, it destroys the feel of the full corridor. A corridor of individual aids gives the horse a message about how you want him to shape the next stride just like a sentence made up of individual words tells your buddy what you want him to do.  If you start a sentence then wind up yelling just one word, that one loud word drowns out the meaning of all the rest.

Enforcement means emphasizing one of your aids just enough to remind the horse of the shape you’re asking for without raising his excitement level to the point where you drown out all the rest of the corridor. Maybe you’ve asked the horse to work in a straight line in a particular rhythm as he approaches a jump. You have him in a corridor of aids that includes your seat bones, your hands, and your legs but as he gets closer to the jump you feel him starting to belly out to the right. You could put just a little more pressure on that right seat bone to ask to him correct his bend or you could squeeze just a little more with the right leg to remind him that he’s in a corridor that’s straight.

If your enforcement focuses the horse’s attention on a single aid or pressure within the whole corridor of pressures that’s creating the feel of the shape you want him to take so that he forgets about all the rest, your aid–your rein, your seat bone, your leg, your crop–was too “loud.” Punishment does not remind the horse of the shape you’re asking for. It slaps him to attention to that one aid and makes him forget all about the rest of the things shaping the corridor. Worst of all, it changes his thinking about whether or not going back into the arena with you is something he’s going to look forward to the next time.

Training is a matter of making the horse feel positive and comfortable when he takes the shapes you direct at every stride. When he doesn’t, there are three times you punish him for that – NEVER, NEVER, AND NEVER!

And so when a horse does not get the shape right or misses it for a stride or two at this ranch, there are three times he’ll get punished – NEVER, NEVER, AND NEVER.   And the three times instructors are allowed to yell at a student are NEVER, NEVER, AND NEVER.  What is good for horses is good for people, too!

Foal Imprinting

Foal imprinting is a technique used by humans and horses to introduce a new foal to his environment. For the mare, she is establishing herself as his mother and securing his safety by showing him she is his primary caregiver.  Foal imprinting also allows you the ability to create your own unique bond with him.  The advantage of imprinting allows you to familiarize your foal with a wide variety of experiences which would be difficult to present at a later time when he has become more active.

Immediately after birth the mare will blow into her foal’s nostrils which will familiarize her baby with her scent.  Next she will nicker to him in a particular tone so the foal will be able to recognize her sound. Foal imprinting continues as the mom nuzzles him all over his body, while continuing a soft, low nicker.  As this process continues, the foal will attempt to stand and nurse.  It is important to allow these steps to be completed before interrupting their bonding process. 

If you are present at the birth, or upon your arrival, the same foal imprinting techniques may be used by you to make your introduction.  The first rule is to approach your mare and get permission to interact with her baby.  Even the gentlest of mares might be protective at this time, especially if she is a maiden mare (first birth).  Once you are comfortable that your mare feels secure with your presence, you may begin the imprinting of your foal.

Begin by giving your foal your scent.  Gently breathe into his nostrils and allow him to breathe into yours.  This simple technique will create an instant bond and he will recognize you for the rest of his life, regardless of how much time passes between meetings.

If you would like to give your foal a special sound that he will identify you with, this would be the time.  Many have used human forms of nickering or trilling or some hum that your foal will associate with you.

Next you begin with a soft, slow and gentle rubbing of the foal from head to tail.  Begin with the head, face, ears, mouth, and proceed down the neck and to the rest of the body.  Be sure to include his genitals and legs.

The last step is introducing a halter to the foal. Begin by rubbing the halter gently all over the foal’s body.  It is best to put it on as gently and quickly as possible so your foal does not feel constricted.  Once the halter is in place, it can be left on 15 to 30 minutes.  Of note, it is important that your foal should never be left alone while wearing the halter.

All steps should be repeated a few times daily. Within a few days, when your foal is secure on his feet, you can begin picking them up and patting the bottoms.  Never make abrupt or sharp movements, but rather make all imprinting a pleasant experience.

The goal of foal imprinting is to introduce as many experiences as possible in a safe, easy and enjoyable way.  If foal imprinting is successfully accomplished, your foal will be willing to accept new things with interest rather than suspicion.  This is the beginning of your relationship with your new foal and you want to feel safe, secure and enthusiastic about whatever requests you ask of him.