Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saddles For Sale

"Sometimes it is more expensive to go second class in the long run."

We always like to keep a number of quality used saddles on hand for people to buy. It is so hard to find used saddles that are worth the investment, especially if you live around our area. Everywhere we go we always have our eyes out for any quality saddles. There is usually never a trip that we go on that we do not come home with a saddle. Most of the saddles that we come home with are custom made using saddles. We get cutters, ranch versatility saddles, ropers, and reiners. It is important that the saddles that we get are not only comfortable for us, but also for the horses. If you buy the right saddle it will not depreciate in value. Quality always sells.

We also have a standing order for custom saddles from a saddle maker out of Texas. Stanley saddles are the primary saddles that we order new. They are excellent quality and we have never got one in that we were not 100% satisfied with. If you are interested in ordering a new saddle let us know. If not we have some great used saddles to choose from. Here are three saddles that we have for sale. We also have more saddles that are not pictured, so if you don't see one here that suits you give us a call and we can let you know what we have. We also consider any trades.

This saddle is a custom made Cleburne cutter. It was Kathy's personal saddle for several years. It is in great shape and has been well oiled and maintained. This saddle has a 16 inch seat. $1,500

This saddle is a Dale Fredrick's roping saddle. It is has a wade tree and a wide horn. It is in great shape. This saddle has a 16 inch seat. $1,250

This saddle is a Billy Cook reiner. It was traded in for a cutting saddle that we had. It is slightly used, but in like new condition. This saddle has a 16 inch seat. $1,100 - This saddle is now sold.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Working Two Year Olds

"You must start at the beginning not the end."

We had a busy, but cold week at the farm. The cold was motivation to keep working or else freeze our fingers and toes off. This time of year we start all of our two year olds. By now they have learned to tie, lead, stand hobbled, and have been saddled at least three to four times, and have someone sit on there backs. We do all of that in the fall when the colts are late yearlings. Once they turn two, by the change of the new year, it is time to start tacking in the cross ties and learn the basic fundamentals; turn left and right, stop, back up, and maybe trot or canter depending on the colt's learning ability. It is amazing to work with so many different young horses in the same day and see how each one learns a little different from the other. Over the years we have adapted our techniques that we prefer to use to start the colts. My Dad uses the saying at the top of the page all the time. "You must start at the beginning not the end." That is so important to remember when working with horses of all ages. The rest of the horses life depends on the very first time you lay your hands on it. We want to make sure that the first time the horse does anything new it is a comfortable, secure situation.

Adam, Clarence, and Jordan walk towards top pasture to gather the two year olds and herd them to the barn. This is a normal routine for them now since they have already been rode a couple of times.

The trip down the hill was very slippery. There was a thin layer of ice. Thankfully they didn't feel like trotting to the barn today.

As long as there is an older horse to follow these young horses would go anywhere we wanted them to. As you will see in many of the pictures we use our broke horses all the time when we are working with the young stock. Horses will act like the other horses they are around, and they seem to catch on much quicker when they have a mature and confident horse to depend on.

Jordan on Beachy. He uses Beachy a lot when working with green horses.

The trip back to the barn. By now we are ready to get into the wind free sanctuary of the barn.

Just like in life this drive way has two options on which road to take. Right, is towards the busy state route road, and left is towards the warm barn. We always put a man guarding the hole towards the road. None of the horses have ever chosen the road to the right, thankfully.

These are all of our yearlings. They get to look forward to this next year. They have only been haltered and tied once, so they have a lot of work to be done to them by next year. There are twenty yearlings in this pasture.

We pony all of our colts before we get on them. That way they get used to seeing someone above them. This has made our life so much easier. The colts learn things so much faster this way. Jordan is shown here rewarding this colt for good behavior. When we pony we can teach the colts to back, lead, and move off of leg pressure by pushing our toe into their side. When we end up getting on the colt the only thing new he has to get used to is handling the extra weight on his back.

Here Jordan is shown saddling Smokey ponied to a broke horse. This is how we saddle a horse for the first time.

Getting on and off is something that is so simple, but very important. We want to make sure that good habits are started the first time. We get on and off several times to make sure that the horse will stand to be mounted. We will also get on and off of the right side for the first few rides.

Sometimes the colts need a little coaxing till they get the hang of things by following another horse.

Smokey is off to a great start. He is showing a lot of promise. By the end of the ride he was trotting and cantering. At this stage if they want to go into a trot or canter we don't hold them back. We want them to be comfortable with with whatever we do with them.

Homer hanging out until his next shift.

Cowboy is another horse that we use to pony horses.

After all of the two year olds were ridden they were taken back to their pastures.

With the snow almost melted and temperatures warming they got to go back to their pasture with hay and feed waiting.

It was a good day and we made a lot of progress. We take it very seriously to make sure these colts make great horses for people to enjoy. They have a big future ahead of them.

Until next time, Tiffany

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Day at Windy Hill Farm

"It's not the barn,

it's the horse that's in it."

Welcome to our first official posting. We are so excited to to be able to take our website a step further and share so many exciting things on our new blog. We sat down a month ago and went over things that we wanted to achieve at the beginning of the new year. One of them was giving our website a face lift, which we have achieved. The second was to start a blog. This is pretty modern stuff for a bunch of farmers like us to figure out, but we are hoping to have the hang of it very soon. Our goal is to post a blog at least once a week. The horse business is not just about riding, so we are going to cover a broad spectrum of things that we feel will help everyone have the most success with their horse or horses.

We have a great crew here at Windy Hill Farm. We would like to introduce them to everyone and show you what a day at a Windy Hill Farm can involve.

The day starts at 6:30 with feeding. Then around 7:30 we start riding. We ride 40 to 60 head of horses a day. We usually have seven riders riding at a time.

This is Jordan tacking Jazz.

We were very excited to wake up to warm weather on Monday. We took several trips to the woods. We wanted to be outside as much as possible. This is Adam crossing the creek with Marv.

Even the dogs didn't miss a trip to the woods.

We have two Andrews that work on the farm and they both clean stalls. We refer to this Andrew as "Big Andrew" because he is older. Big Andrew rides on Monday and Wednesday and takes care of the cleaning the barn the rest of the week. He is pictured riding Dudley.

This is "Little Andrew" he cleans stalls on Monday and Wednesday. The days that "Big Andrew" rides. Little Andrew prefers to ride things with wheels. He lives on the neighboring farm so he is able to ride his bike to work.

Here is Adam cracking the bull whip on Sage. We don't have people lined up asking if we can crack a bull whip standing on the horses back, nor do any customers go home and try it, but it is our way of testing what a horse will tolerate. One of our mottos at Windy Hill Farm is " It is not about the obstacle, it is about the horse saying "yes" to everything you ask it to do." We want our horses to trust the rider and be confident horses.

We also teach every horse to hobble that comes to the farm. This is a subject that most people do
not know much about, but is very important. I am sure that it will be something that we will cover in
a future post, because it has sparked a lot of interest.

This is Willis. He started out cleaning stalls for us and now rides full time. He is shown here on a new horse that we just got in. He rides most of our new stock as well as green horses. When a new horse arrives at the farm we spend a lot of time with it the first day. We want to evaluate it thoroughly and decide which direction to take it

This is a shot from Jordan's point of view. Jordan, Tiffany, and Kathy are the main people that take pictures for the website. So, it can be hard to catch them on the other side of the camera.

Ted on the faithful 1020 John Deere. We have had this tractor for over 20 years and it has made many rounds in the hay fields and spreading manure.

This is Kathy on Hilltop. She usually keeps about five very special projects that she polishes. She loves to work with woman like herself that have a passion for horses. It is a treat to get a horse that she has worked with.

Clarence on one of the two year olds. At this stage in the training we make sure that we split arena work with some kind of outdoor activities. It is nice to be able to open and shut a gate off of the horse, especially on muddy days like this.

Well, I hope you enjoy this posting and got a little more incite on our farm. We would enjoy hearing from you. The great thing about a blog is that you can leave us a comment on what you think or just to say Hi.

Until next time, Tiffany

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome To Our New Blog

Hello Everyone,

We would like to welcome you to our new blog. We are new at this, so please be patient. We have recently updated our website to better serve our customers. We will be adding pictures and lots of other info, so please keep checking back. Also please bookmark our website , just in case you or someone you know is looking for a horse. We appreciate you taking the time to visit us on the web. We would also like to hear your comments on our new site.

Thanks Again From,
All of Us
at Windy Hill Farm

Ted, Kathy, Stacey, Brodie, Tiffany, and Jordan