While we maintain a very active facebook page we realize that not everyone uses social media, so here are some highlights from our barn activities.
February 28, 2017
So, yesterday was one for the record books with 3.6 inches of rain recorded locally during the one day storm. And because of our top ring tarp, we are one of the very few California barns that will be riding this week!
February 13, 2017
More facility upgrades. We just relaid new asphalt on all our old decaying alphalt and added new asphalt in a parking area, giving us double the amount of dirt free parking. We also added asphalt along the pathway between and around the adult cross-tie area, which really helps out when it rains.
July 27, 2016
Our new round pen just got an upgrade. Our two large rings have awesome shaded viewing areas where parents and friends can hang out watching lessons unfold. So ... we just had to add a viewing area to the round pen too! Two adirondack chairs in the shade - the only thing missing is a cool drink!
June 1, 2016
The latest in our facility upgrades is a new round pen. Round pens are the best place for beginners to learn how to ride. It allows beginners to focus on balance, posture, leg position and other critical elements before having to worry about steering their horse.
May 21, 2016
Our barn goes to a variety of shows from the most prestigous A shows to local county shows. For those riders just starting out, the best introduction to showing is the local one day county show we go to twice a year. Today, we had ten brand new show goers who had never shown before! While our trainers were getting frazzled keeping the newcomers organized (the kids and the parents!), everyone had a lot of fun.
May 20, 2016
Good riding rings need constant maintenance. Without proper care you can end up with rings that are dusty, have potholes, are too hard for performance jumping, too compacted or too deep, all resulting in lame horses. Keeping a ring in tip top shape, however, is very expensive in terms of materials, water, tractor time and personnel, so the vast majority of riding stables make do with sub optimal rings. One of the many things we are proud of at Willow Creek Stables is that we have the best footing money can buy and we work at keeping it in great shape.
With that in mind, we just finished the huge task of completely replacing the 4+ year old footing we had in our big ring and upgrading it to state of the art silica with ammendments. In the process we also repaired our hard pan base under the footing, and completed the project in just 12 days.
Riders tell me the new ring is like riding on a cloud!
February 11, 2016
A few of our riders took it upon themselves to chronicle the going-ons at the barn. Check it out at HF Spotlights
February 8, 2016
Uniquely to all of San Diego county, we have both a competitive hunter/jumper training program AND awesome trails AND a private trail ride program. Why is that such a big deal? Well, being able to go on a leisurely trail ride with your lesson horse is a great way to bond and for you both to unwind. And when friends or family come to visit, what better activity than to go on a private group trail ride? Unlike high volume commercial trail ride businesses, we run our trail ride business for the enjoyment of our lesson customers and nearby community. All guided trail rides are private, you don't get lumped in with other people, and are on trail safe quarter horses.
January 10, 2016
After our week long rain deluge last week, our top ring tarp gave us at least four extra days of riding. While the rest of the horse world was drying our their rings, we started riding the day after the rain stopped. Our top ring has a huge 215' x 120' tarp, same construction as used by pro baseball fields to keep their infields dry during a rain delay. We just roll it out the day before a big storm, and unroll it the day after. Most rings in the area took five days to dry out after last week's storm. Here's a video of us rolling out the tarp before a storm.
December 21, 2015
One of the wonderfully unique things about Haven Farms is how Lisa organizes parties and horse games for Easter and Christmas. We just had our annual Christmas party, and it was a real treat for everyone at the barn. The pony games were a blast. Even the kids that had had only a few lessons were able to participate. And the adults and teenagers too with the grueling dollar drop endurance challenge and bareback egg drop.
April 12, 2015
Continuing our facilities upgrades, we recently added a full deck rain/sun canopy for our top ring. And we just replaced the full width mirrors for the top ring as well.
March 15, 2015
We just added a four speaker music listening system for our bottom ring. Now anyone with a Wifi connected Apple Airplay compatible device (iPhone, iPad, etc.) can play music while they ride their horse. The system is amazingly even in sound level all throughout the ring, and isn't overly audible outside of it.
February 15, 2015
We recently replaced the top ring mirrors. Mirrors are very important to help you attain the correct riding posture and position. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. We often have a mental image of ourselves looking like a Grand Prix champion: oh yes, that's how I look! Mirrors tell a slightly different story, and help us attain that prize winning form.
August 15, 2014
We now have three barn kittens, soon to be barn cats. Like all barns, we have our share of rodents, and we're hoping these natural predators will keep the population in check. They also do double duty as lap warmers, and will happily walk all over your iPad or computer keyboard for you.
July 15, 2014
We just had a couple of great clinic days with invited guest trainer Kost Karazissis. These intensive clinics (about five hours over two days) really help riders at all levels. They help riders understand their horses' mind and body and how the rider can help the horse achieve what the rider is asking for. My daughter came up to me today and said she had a breakthrough experience with her equitation horse during the clinic - she felt so connected and in sync with her horse, all with a very light touch on the reigns.
June 15, 2014
We now have three brand new grazing pastures for our horses. While keeping and feeding horses in stalls is safe and efficient, it's nice to be able to let the horses reconnect with their roots and graze. Since the pastures have been put into place, we've found that the horses are calmer and happier.
May 31, 2014
One of our experienced youngsters showing how it's done at the 1.1m height (3'7") at the June Jamboree horse show.
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