October 18, 2017

CRK Training Times November 2014

CRK Training Times

Bits of News For Horse People

November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Important November Dates~

Nov. 2- Daylight Savings time ends. Remember to set your clocks back!

            October group lesson make-up day.

Nov. 11- Veterans Day- Lessons as usual

Nov. 27- Thanksgiving Day- No Lessons Nov. 28- Black Friday- Lesson as usual. Check out our Black Friday Specials!

Nov. 30- November group lesson make-up day.

Important December Dates~

Dec. 16- Hanukkah Begins

Dec. 21- First Day of Winter

Dec. 24- Christmas Eve- No Lessons

Dec. 25. Christmas- No Lessons

Dec. 28- December group lesson make-up day.

Dec. 31- New Year’s Eve- No Lessons

Important January Dates~

January 1 2015! New Year’s Day- No Lessons

No Lesson Dates~

            Lesson will be cancelled on the following days. Your account will be credited unless you would prefer to make up you lesson. If so, please contact the office to re-schedule. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday Nov. 28– Thanksgiving

Wednesday Dec. 24– Christmas Eve

Thursday Dec. 25. Christmas Day

Wednesday Dec. 31– New Year’s Eve

Thursday Jan. 1, 2015– New Year’s Day!!

___________________________________________

Holiday Season Lessons~

          As the busy holiday season comes upon us, please keep in mind CRK Training Stable Policy regarding lesson cancellations. We are happy to reschedule your lesson if given appropriate notice. Group lesson make-ups will be held on the last Sunday of the month or the first Sunday of the following month. Group make-up lessons are limited to one per month.

No Refunds, credits or discounts will be given for lessons cancelled by clients. Cancelled lessons must be rescheduled or you may take a vacation credit if available.

Cancelling & Rescheduling Lessons
In the event that a rider is unable to attend a scheduled lesson, notice must be given at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start time of the lesson in order to reschedule it. Cancellation messages may be left on the office answering machine, texted or emailed. You must contact us to reschedule your lesson. One reschedule is allowed per lesson. If you cancel your rescheduled lesson, you forfeit that lesson. No more than two replacement lesson days and times will be offered. If you decline both, you forfeit that lesson. You may reschedule only one lesson per month. The replacement lesson must be scheduled within 30 days of the cancelled lesson or the lesson will be forfeited. We will make every attempt to reschedule lessons, but do not guarantee that everyone’s schedule can be accommodated. Make-up lessons must be on a different day of the week and may be with a different instructor or horse.

No show-  No-shows will be charged as if the lesson was given. A No Show is considered to be: A rider who does not attend a scheduled lesson within 20 minutes of the start time, without proper cancellation notice being given. Riders who are more than 20 minutes late, without notice, may be denied a lesson and will not be given a make-up lesson.

Vacation Credit- Students who have been at CRK Stable for more than 4 months may take 4 weeks of vacation credit annually, based on the calendar year. During the month of your vacation your account will be credited for the number of lessons missed. Lesson spaces will be held for students during vacation breaks. Vacation credits will not be granted over the phone. All vacation requests must be made by email or in writing at least 30 days in advance of the vacation to allow for proper billing. Late vacation credit requests will be subject to a $20.00 re-billing fee.  

Time To Ride Open House Events~

          Our open house events went wonderfully! We introduced over 220 newcomers to our equestrian lifestyle. They enjoyed a class all about horses, a scavenger hunt, petting zoo and free riding lessons! We greatly exceeded the “100 in 100 days” goal set by the creators of the contest and we won 6th place nationwide in our division! We have yet to know what exactly we have won due to tax paperwork. The American horse council has promised that the prize boxes will be shipped very soon.

            Several riders used the discount coupon offered to begin their equestrian adventure. Many have now made the move up to group lessons and are making good progress there. Several more have moved up the skill list and while not changing to group lessons, they have accomplished many of the level one skills already. Congrats and welcome to- Sunny, Cynthia, Kim, Nevaeh, Emily, and Annabelle.

 Congratulations~

            Congratulations to our newly certified instructor, Athena Fosnight! Athena received her Certified Horsemanship Association Certification in English flat, English jumping and Western! Way To Go Athena!!!

 Weather or Not~

It’s that time of year again! Winter is soon to be upon us with all that it entails weather wise. Here is a reminder of how things work when the wind howls or the rain pours down. Even if you think you know our policy, please take a moment to read this again. Thank You!

 Please read this section carefully. Many clients have mis-understood this policy and been disappointed or downright angry when a lesson was not available to them.    If a previously cancelled lesson is the only lesson you have that month, call to re-schedule it. If you don’t pay for the entire new month prior to that month, your regular lesson time will not be held even if you have a make-up lesson.

Example- Your lessons for January are on Tuesdays at 3:30. Tuesday, January 20th was rained out therefore; the lesson was cancelled. You now have a one lesson credit of $56.00 toward February’s lessons and the statement will reflect this difference. If you choose not to continue taking lessons in February, you must schedule a make-up lesson for the missed lesson. If you arrive at the stable on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd at 3:30 expecting to ride, the lesson time will not be available and may have been given to another student. You must schedule a make-up lesson on a different day. We do not offer refunds for missed lessons. You must make them up.
           Credits for weather cancelled lessons must be used within 30 days. Accounts with credits not used will be deleted after that time, so please plan accordingly. See the lesson policy for more details on make-up lessons.

 INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

Do not assume lessons will be cancelled without calling. You will be charged for “No-shows”

No Refunds! Credit for future lessons will be given in the event of weather cancellations or you may re-schedule your lesson. If you cancel a lesson without proper notice due to the possibility of bad weather, you will be charged for the lesson. CRK Training Stable will not contact you if lessons are cancelled due to bad weather. You must call and check the answering machine at (714) 693-4886 for a lesson cancellation. If no cancellation message is on the machine, lessons will run as scheduled. We reserve the right to substitute un-mounted lessons should weather or arena conditions prevent riding. Un-mounted group lessons will be one hour only. Messages will not be available until after 8:00 A.M., so please call after that time. Please do not call or text the cell phone without checking the answering machine first.

Rain- If it has rained within the past 4 days, please call for a message regarding lessons. If it looks like rain, but has not rained yet, plan to attend your lesson.
Wind- During “Santa Ana” wind conditions, lessons may be cancelled. Please call for a message regarding lessons. Keep in mind that wind conditions change rapidly, so call often.
Heat- Lesson will run as usual during hot days so bring a water bottle, wear your sunscreen and bring a hat to wear while grooming.

Quotable Quotes~

       “The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.”
– Billie Jean King

         

          “The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”
– Julia Alvarez

 

That’s all folks!

Happy Summer Solstice!

            Summer solstice. The longest day of the year. June 20th. However you put it, this a very important day in the life of your horse. Or at least your horse’s winter coat. Winter coat you say? Whatever are you talking about? It’s just the beginning of summer! The days are getting hotter. Horse don’t need a winter coat now. It’s nice to have them all in a short, sleek summer coat. They don’t sweat as easily. They look all pretty and shiny. It’s so easy to groom and bathe them. Why in the world would you be thinking about a winter coat now? Winter is months away!

            Summer Solstice, that’s why! Once summer solstice has passed, the days start getting shorter. The number of hours of daylight will get fewer and fewer right up until the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. What does this have to do with a horses winter coat? Everything!

            When the days begin to get shorter, mother nature signals our equine friends that winter is coming. It’s time to prepare. Mares will begin to lose their heat cycles and summer coats will begin to shed out. Once the short coat is loose, the longer winter coat will begin to grow in. This process usually takes a few months, but by the end of August they will be shedding in earnest. You might not notice because the hair is so short it’s easily missed. Not like the winter coat that covers the ground, clogs up drains and gives the birds lots of material for lining their nests. No, this short summer coat is just enough to mess up a brush or curry. But it’s happening all the same.

            So, what should you do, if anything? Well this depends on what you want in the way of a winter coat on your horse. If you don’t care about a heavy coat, do nothing and let nature take its course. By the end of September you should have a cute, fuzzy pasture buddy. However, if you want to thwart mother nature, now is the time to take action.

            As I stated above, the number of hours of daylight is what triggers the response to grow a new coat. Shorter days=shed & grow winter coat. Longer days=shed & grow summer coat. I know it’s not nice, but you can fool mother nature by putting your horse under lights.

 Here’s what you will need-

  1.  A two- bulb 4 ft. florescent light fixture for each 12 X 12 ft space. Indoors or covered works best.
  2. 2- Daylight light bulbs for each fixture. Must be daylight bulbs. Regular ones won’t work as well.
  3. A timer that can be set to turn the lights on and off.     

        How to begin-  

           Install the light fixture(s) in the stall. Be sure to take the horse out first! Add the light bulbs and plug in the timer. Make sure any cords, pull chains, etc. are out of reach of any and all critters.

            Set the timer so the lights are on equal to the summer solstice. Here is Southern California that’s about 14.5 hours. Check the sunrise/sunset times and set your timer accordingly. You can either have them come on at night before dark or early in the morning before the sun comes up. I have mine come on in the morning, because I never take the horses out at 4 am, but I often ride at 6 pm. The horse must be under natural or artificial lights equivalent to the longest day of the year. If you take the horse away from the lights for even a few days, they will start to shed out and grow a new coat.

            Make sure you reset the timer every few weeks. As the days get shorter you will need to have the lights come on earlier or stay on later. If you don’t keep up with it, the effects will end and you will have a fuzzy friend.

            Once winter has set in, be sure to blanket your horse with a good blanket and hood if necessary. You have taken away all their ability to keep themselves warm, so you must do it for them. If you can’t be available to put blankets on or take them off anytime during the day or night, best not to start them under lights in the first place. You can fool mother nature, but you have to be willing to take her place or your horse will suffer.

            Using lights this way will also keep your mare coming into heat year-round. This is great if you want to breed early in the year, but maybe not so great if she gets really mareish when in heat.  Also, if your horse is in a pipe corral or other type of stall where the light will spill over into the next stall, that horse will be affected as well.  If the neighbor doesn’t want their horse under lights, it’s best to move it elsewhere.

            If you need your horse to have a short, shiny coat year round- you can! Just remember it’s still lots of work, the work just changed. If you have any questions about blankets see my previous blog about blankets. Have a great winter! 

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

            Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted. For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to www.crktrainingstable.com

Blow Hard

            As winter begins its usual course here in Southern California I am always asked how weather affects the horses. The cold days will cause our horses to kick up their heels some, but our winters are mild, no snow or freezing temperatures. Rain can be a problem, causing muddy stalls and wet arenas. Rain will cause us to cancel our riding plans for a few days but usually nothing more than that. Our stalls are all fully covered, so the horses don’t get wet. Our arena was carefully engineered so it drains well. It also has excellent footing that doesn’t get muddy. We are usually back to our normal riding schedule within 24 hours after the rain stops so not much of a problem there.  However; we do get some wind…
            Now when I say wind, I’m not talking about a little breeze here or there. We get winds that are so strong they have a name. The Santa Ana or Santana Winds. These winds are famous. They have caused wildfires so widespread they can be seen from space. They have many references in song, movies and television. The National Weather Service defines Santa Ana winds as:

“Strong down slope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 mph, are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions.”

            These winds can and do affect the horses in a very negative way. It is the policy of CRK Training Stable to cancel all riding lessons during Santa Ana Wind conditions. While everyone understands why lessons are cancelled during the rain, wind is another matter. I often have clients show up for lessons while the wind howls around us. They just don’t understand what the wind does to the horses. Perhaps this will help you understand why the wind affects the horses in such a negative way.
            In the wild, horses are flight prey animals. Simply stated that means they run away so they don’t get eaten. Horses don’t hunt other animals, they get hunted. In order to survive they run or flee. Horses will only fight when they have no other choice. Flight or running away is always their first choice for survival. Horses depend on their senses to tell them when to run. Let’s start with vision or eyesight first. In the wild, if a horse sees a bush or tree moving, a predator might be hiding inside it preparing to pounce. Or let’s say some brown object is moving quickly toward a horse. In the wild, it’s probably some animal that wants to catch and eat the horse. In both cases the horse runs away to save its life. Now, you take your kind, gentle trail horse “Scooter” out on a windy day. What does Scooter see? Bushes and trees moving all the time. Brown tumble weeds are running at him. Or (horror of horrors!) plastic grocery bags.  Does Scooter understand that it’s only the wind causing these things? NO! Scooter sees a threat and runs away. If you’ve got a great seat and are lucky, you get to go along. If not, well… Scooter is long gone and you’re walking home with hopefully only a bruised pride.
            Now we all know that horses have more than one sense, just like we do. So how about hearing? Horses depend very heavily on their hearing to access danger. Horses listen for threatening sounds. Their ears can swivel around to pinpoint where a sound is coming from. Often the first clue a rider gets that a horse’s attention has drifted is from the ears. I teach my students to watch horse’s ears as the first sign of what the horse is thinking about.
          Horses spend their whole lives learning sounds just like we do. At my barn, they all know the sound of the feed tractor being started. Or the sound of carrots being poured into a bucket. Some of my boarded horses can even identify the sound of their owner’s car pulling into the parking lot. These sounds are good and not scary. During Santa Ana Winds, the horses can’t pinpoint the source or type of the sounds caused by the wind. It’s all around them. If the horse can’t identify the sound as friendly then Noise = Danger.  The scary sounds are all around them so the horse no longer knows which way to run.  Remember when they can’t run away, they fight. A horse that feels surrounded by danger may fight. They will fight you, the hose, the dog, a chicken, your child, or anything they deem to be a threat. Also during strong winds, Scooter might not be able to hear your verbal cues.  You can cluck, kiss and say whoa to your heart’s content and that sound may never get into those lovely, expressive ears. It’s carried away by the wind. My students can’t hear my instructions either. It is really difficult to teach when you have to keep stopping the lesson to give instructions and corrections. If I can get them to stop at all.
            What can you do for your horse when the winds start to howl? Put on a fly mask to keep blowing debris out of their eyes. Check the water buckets often and remove leaves and other refuse you may find. Keep an eye out for anything blown into the stall that your horse might eat. Horses have been poisoned by plants that were blown into the stall and ingested. Check him over carefully for cuts, especially on the lower legs. Horses may run and spin in their stalls causing them to cut themselves with their own hooves or the stall walls. If possible, move him inside. Just make sure it is safe to move him at all.  
Remember- When the wind comes around, stay on the ground. When Santa Ana’s are here, put away your gear. If the winds attack, put your tack back.  Stay safe. It is never worth getting hurt for a ride. Keep that in mind the next time the winds kick up.
Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also a registered AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but all rights to this article are restricted.