riding in the woods

Horse heaven

We are one of the very few remaining farms close to the city that has good pasture turnout for the horses as well as a nice covered riding arena. We feel that it is important for “a horse to be a horse.” We turn the horses out of the barns during the day for their mental and physical health. Because of this, our horses rarely suffer injuries or illnesses. The horses are turned out in small, stable groups, separating the mares and the geldings across the road. This gives the horses a chance to graze, interact and be horses in a stress-free environment. It is important for horse health that they walk around during the day. When they graze, they have their backs stretched and their weight on their toes, a natural position for them. When they are denied this, they often get sore backs, get “stocked up,” and are prone to hoof and leg soreness. Many clients and visitors have referred to Carousel Ranch as “horse heaven.”  The barns may be older, but the horses are very happy. We have many retirement-aged horses living here, and we are able to get them out and keep them moving to quite a ripe old age.

  Lily with chicken

Common-sense horsemanship. Our focus is “common-sense” horsemanship. Some call this Natural Horsemanship. We encourage activities that promote the understanding of and communication with our horses. We like to avoid using harsh techniques with our equines that cause more anxiety than understanding.  We offer occasional clinics to help you “read” how your horse is doing and know if your horse is understanding what you are asking of it, so you can better achieve your goals. If you keep asking in a more and more forceful way when the horse does not understand you, they can get a bit cranky, and your relationship and progress is stalled.

It is our belief that in order to have a good working relationship with your horse, you must become a more focused, fair, and open horse owner. Horses are very sensitive to their surroundings and pick up on their owner's moods. Horses very often reflect their owner’s personality. More progress with your horse can be made if you are able to leave your everyday problems at home. When you arrive, you should be centered, open, focused, and fair with the horse. This will be rewarded with cooperation and progress towards your goals. You should be aware and safe, but not fearful, as this can cause a negative reaction from the horse. Examine everything that you do from time to time. Sometimes we carry over some bad habits that we have picked up, that may be hindering our relationship with the horse.

Safety always. We are all about safety. We encourage you to maintain your equipment, ride with a helmet, and keep your horse healthy and content. When riding around the property and trails, ride with a buddy in case you need some help. 

— Katherine Batts