Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weanling and Yearling Herd

We have had a great summer here at the farm. We have been busy buying, selling, training, and showing. Here are some pictures that I took in the beginning of September of some of our yearlings and weanlings out of our studs. If you like what you see go to our website,, to learn more about our studs. If you are interested in purchasing one give us a call or email

Monday, September 29, 2008

Selecting The Right Bit For You And Your Horse

When walking into a tack store or opening up a catalog an overwelming feeling can take over when trying to select the correct bit for your horse. There are so many to choose from, and how do you know if they work? The wall in our office at the barn is covered with bits that we have bought that did not work.

After many years and bits later we found a custom bit maker out of New Mexico named Greg Dutton. Every bit is hand made out of sweet iron. He only has a handful of very qualified bit makers on his staff, and we have received nothing but quality and success with all of the bits that we have purchased from him.

Below are a few bits that we use every day her at the farm. We have many other Dutton bits that we use, but these bits are the most frequently used. They are very comfortable and mild bits that work best for most horses and riders. All of these bits have broken mouth pieces so they can be used two handed or one handed while riding. These bits all have similarties to them, so it makes it very easy to transition a horse from a snaffle bit to a more mature bit.

This first bit is very common and more than likely everyone has one. This is a snaffle bit and the beginning of most horses training. When purchasing a broken mouth bit like this one fold it in half and make sure that each side is the same length. Many bits sold today are made in China or Mexico and are not good quality, and do not fit a horse properly. If the mouth piece pinches or is uneven it can cause bad behavior problems with your horse. Your horse might only be acting up because he is in pain. Most bad habits start off with the first few rides, so that is why we choose this sweet iron snaffle bit with copper inlay for the first rides on an unbroke horse.

This bit would be the next transition up from the snaffle. It is the same mouth piece, but the tear drop shanks give a little more leverage.

This is the same variation to the previous bits, but with a different shank. This bit is not to be confused with a Tom Thumb bit. The mouth piece of a Tom Thumb bit breaks completly different from this bit. A Tom Thumb bit causes a horse to bob his head and sometimes rare. You will not see a Tom Thumb bit ever being used in our barn. This bit breaks properly and sits in a horses mouth very comfortably.

The following three bits are used in the same transitions as the last three, but these bits are three piece broken bits. We call them dog bone bits at our barn. The three piece bits are used more often the the traditional broken mouth pieces at the barn, more horses seem to like the feel of these bits in there mouth.

This is the next transition up. We call this the dog bone tear drop. It is the most popular used bit on our farm. We have four bridles with this bit. It works well for young horses as well as mature horses.

This three piece ported bit with the copper rings is for a mature horse that might need a little more leverage. It is still a mild bit that the horses pack well in their mouth. This bit will aid with the stops more than the dog bone with no port will. Some horses can stay in the dog bone tear drop, but some horses just respond better with the small port of this bit. This bit also has the straight shanks, but is available with the tear drop shanks.

We have been using and selling Dutton bits for several years now. We have not found anything that we like better. These bits that are shown here are bits that we like to keep in stock to sell customers. They usually sell very fast when we get a shipment in. So, if you are interested in purchasing one of these bits please let us know. Email us Or give us a call. We will answer any questions that you have about these bits and others that we have. The prices for these bits run in the $50 to $70 range.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


There have been several comments left about hobbles on the blog. Thank you very much for the comments left. It is very helpful to know what everyone wants to hear about. Sometimes it takes me a little time to get them written, but if you give me time I eventually get them done. Believe it or not things get pretty busy here on the farm.

Hobbles are a big part of our everyday training here on the farm. We use them to fix problems, but also to maintain horses that have already learned to hobble and stand patiently. Our horses are expected to stand patiently no matter what we are doing with them or what situation they are in. Hobbles are way to correct problems without using force. The horse is corrected for bad behavior without the handler having to physically correct the horse. The horse ultimately corrects its self. We feel that hobbles are the safest way to correct bad behavior, because once the hobbles are on the horse the handler can step back and let the horse figure things out on his own.

Here are a few examples of when we would use hobbles:

-When we get a new or young horse they will learn to be hobbled before we will ever get on them. How they react to the hobbles gives us a pretty good idea how they will react to many other training obstacles we go through.

-When a horse paws tied up or in the stall. I am sure everyone knows of a horse that "Paws to China" every time it is tied up. Or when a horse paws impatiently during feeding time. We would put hobbles on a horse that paws immediately.

-If a horse moves when being tacked. We will put hobbles on them in the cross ties.

-All of our riders carry a set of hobbles on their saddle at all times, because if they are ever in a situation were there is no place to tie their horse they just put on the hobbles.

-If a horse does not stand to mount. We mount and dismount the horse repetitively until it stands. Once the horse learns to stand and mount with the hobbles then we take the hobbles off and do the same thing to make sure that the horse understands to stand when mounted.

These are the type of hobbles that we use. We have used many different kinds and these are the easiest and safest to use, in our opinion. They are just the right width between the horses front feet and they have easy buckles to get on and off of the horses legs.

This horse in the following pictures has never had hobbles on. He is a horse that we just got in to train, and before we go any further with him he needs to learn to be hobbled. Hobbling teaches a horse to be patient and not to "freak out" when caught in a tight spot. We have had many times that we have been very glad that we have taught our horses to hobble. Check out the testimony from Martha on our testimonial page on our website and read about her experience with a horse that she bought from our farm. Her horse got caught in the fence and if he had not been taught to hobble they would not have been able to free him from the wire fence that had wrapped around his legs. He did not try to kick the wire off when he got caught, he just laid there patiently until they came and cut him free.

We put this horse in the round pen for the first hobbling lesson. We also start them in our large arena. The main concern for the first time is that they are in a safe secure place. We do not tie them the first time. Give them space to figure things out on there own. Put the hobbles on and go do something else in the barn.
Jordan has a hold of the lead rope to keep control of him until the hobbles are completely on.
Put the hobbles on the opposite leg first and then the leg closest to you. Then throw the rope over the horse's neck or take the halter off completely. Once you get the hobbles on do not take them off until the horse stands there patiently. Sometimes it can take several hours. So, when doing this for the first time make sure you have plenty of time and do not rush the process.

These next few pictures show about a three to four minute time spanned of the stages this horse went through before he figured out that he should stand.

In this picture the horse is figuring out how far he can lift his foot and even walk. There are some horses that learn how to walk with the hobbles on. Just very slow small steps.

This horse figured out what he was supposed to do with in a matter of minutes. He never once fell to his knees in the process. There are occasions were they will fall. If they do fall make sure that they get up, but do not take the hobbles off. They can get back up with the hobbles. If you take the hobbles off before the horse learns to stand then you will teach very bad habits and cause more problems then you are fixing.

Once the horse has learned to stand with hobbles loose in a round pen, or secure area, start to use them to aid with other training issues. Don't be afraid to try hobbles. They will change things for the better between horse and handler. When a horse knows its boundaries it will be a much happier horse. Also, as a handler you must realize that sometimes things get worse before they get better. If hobbles are used in the proper way they can be a very useful training aid. Let me know how things go with your hobbling, and if you have any further questions on the subject. Good Luck. If you would like to buy the kind of hobbles that we use let us know. We sell them for $35 shipping and handling included. You can email us at

Till next time, Tiffany