Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Just a quick note here to let you know that we're now on Linked In.
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When the end of November rolls around, it just makes you feel warm and cozy. It truly is that time of year when we reflect on the last year, reveling in the good and learning from the bad, and giving thanks for both.
We have so much to be thankful for this year. Four beautiful healthy foals, four beautiful broodmares happy to rejoin their herd after a summer of close mothering, the remembering of our wonderful border collie Tess who passed away in August, new friends acquired, new places we've gone, and the view of next year is wonderful.
Thanks so much Everyone, for helping us make a great year.
Let's give thanks. Drop a line to let us know what you're thankful for this year.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Jeff Wilson, owner and trainer at Black Willow Morgans Training and Breeding Facility in Delhi, N.Y., received a call in May from Italian Glamour Magazine inquiring about his horses. They were planning to do a shoot somewhere in the region and they were looking for some horses to be a part. They were a little reluctant as to what kind of horses they would work with because they had very specific needs.
“They said they needed good-tempered but energetic horses, as they would be doing some intense shooting. The question really was about our ability to control even the smallest actions of the horses.” Jeff said. “The backdrop for the shoot needed to feature meadows, trees and be accessible for all the people and equipment. I invited them to come and see our location for themselves. They were so taken, not only with the horses but the whole property, and they decided to do the photo shoot at the farm as well.”
An eleven person crew, including world-renowned photographer Christian Anwander, arrived at the end of May and shot with Jeff for three days.
“The Italian Glamour shoot lasted two days,” said Jeff, “with each member of the team bringing their own expertise to the set. The beautiful seventeen year old New Zealand model trusted us around the horses and seemed to be very comfortable. Delivering 'the horse factor' in a unique way to this predominantly Austrian group was my challenge.”
“A large herd of horses running behind the model created a lot of energy and captivated everyone, as did a month old foal lying in the model’s lap. The most complicated undertaking was to complete a standing pose on a bareback horse with the model’s arms stretched out - and a large white sail in the air for lighting – and, oh … ask the horse not to flinch!” Jeff said with a laugh. “Sitting atop one of our Morgan studs bridleless completed the truly amazing results to this shoot.”
“Christian loved what I could do with the horses so much that he asked if he could stay a third day to specifically shoot our horses,” said Jeff. “Our friendship evolved into a wonderful opportunity for us to get some quality shots.”
Jeff Wilson, who served as the coordinator and director of the horses working with the model, said he was delighted to work with such a skillful and professional crew, including Art Director Tina Preschitz, and Fashion Editor Sabine Schreder. “You know, you are working right next to each other for three days, it's no wonder that by the end, you part ways as friends. They all have an open invitation to come back and visit anytime. ”
Some of the photos from Italian Glamour are on his website, www.blackwillowmorgans.com
Italian Glamour's October issue featured the pictures taken at Black Willow Morgans Training and Breeding Facility.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Some of you have been wondering when our next course will be, and it is planned for next spring. If anything changes, you guys will be the first to know!
Thanks so much!
Black Willow Morgans Staff
Monday, August 17, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
By Jeff Wilson
Our Summer Horsemanship Training Courses were filled with the most enjoyable people and horses, and we had a great time.
The first day is always the icebreaker; everyone is getting to know each other and getting into the training groove with their horses. But everyone was extremely motivated, and by the second day it seemed as if everyone had found their way through the learning process and was at ease with one another. That afternoon we found ourselves in the middle of our “on the trail” part of the clinic - in the woods eating lunch. Though the sandwiches had unfortunately gotten smooshed, it was still a great time spent together.
The third day was the crescendo; multiple teams of two were doing teamwork exercises and competitions, all designed to utilize what had been learned. It was an amazing and truly unique experience for our riders, and I believe all of their expectations of what the clinic would accomplish were met.
I had a great connection with everyone. The riders, regardless of their differing horse experiences and riding backgrounds, left empowered with a better understanding of how to speak horse, and most importantly, how to be more “one” with their horse.
I will be doing another course in October, and I can't wait to see more people benefiting by what I love to do.
Until then, keep riding and stop by sometime!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Well, June was a whirlwind! But a great whirlwind.
It started out with the arrival of three new foals, and it's "the year of colts": "BW Alois", our Del View Catskill Valiant / BW Hallelujah cross, was the featured star in our Italian Glamour photo shoot; "BW Riordan", my daughter's foal out of her show mare BW ChynaDoll and sired by BW Augustine, was center stage in my lap for our Open House; "BW Christian", a BW Tamarac foal also out of Augustine, who's steady and gentle temperament mark him as a future sire, was one day old for our Blow the Barn Doors Off for Spring Open House. Since then, our good friend and supporter, Donna Hadley, was presented with a colt from her BW Morgan mare "Dolly"who foaled in early July. "Solomon" is doing well, and getting his legs underneath him, also out of Augustine. BW Augustine - now known as Ramm - is being trained and added to the equine team of Kenny Harlow and his Training with Trust program. How cool is that!
All of us were delighted at the support from the community for the Open House event. There was a great turnout for the day, everyone had a really good time, and I think folks learned a little something about horses, and what we do here, and maybe even left a little inspired. I couldn't have been more happy with how it turned out. But what was really neat was to see the gentle outpouring of the community afterward. Letters with pictures from the event were being dropped off, emails, and folks stopping by to say what a great time they had. I felt my connection with the community growing and strengthening.
Following the Open House was our annual Kenny Harlow Clinic. Our clinics with Mr. Harlow are a community outreach to truly help those people who really struggle with their horse and genuinely want help. Professional horsemanship means helping and guiding those in need by doing what we do. If horse training was merely just training horses for our own benefit, then I am not really accomplishing anything. As Kenny correctly said, “If we train a horse and cannot hand the reins over to the owner, then we haven't really done anything important or worthwhile.” So holding a clinic for the community to come and see and learn, is why we do what we do.
I'll write again soon. Who knows what August and September will hold? Maybe I've got a surprise up my sleeve...
Oh, and don't forget, my Black Willow Summer Camp Enrichment Program for Gifted Horses is August 6-8, so sign up soon!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The Skinny on Skin - Breakouts That Won’t Give You a Break
“Where are all these bumps coming from?” your riding partner asks you. “Just look at this rough patch on my horse’s coat, and these scabs on his pasterns and fetlocks?” After inspecting the horse’s coat with your fingers, you venture down his leg to examine the scabs before you pronounce your opinion, “Rain rot and scratches.” Upset with your analysis, you’re riding partner grumbles, “How can this be? I thought I took great care of my horse!”
It isn’t fun to get smacked with a diagnosis of dermatitis - the heartache of believing that your level of care for your horse is excellent - but those tell tale bumps, well, they don’t lie. What did you miss?
Well, first of all, you’re not alone. Many local horse owners complained last season about skin afflictions. It was during that time that I personally discovered the difference between rain rot, or rain scald, and dew poisoning, or leg scratches – the list of names goes on – and how much of a nuisance these skin problems can be.
I discovered that rain rot and dew poisoning, both bacterial skin diseases, can in fact become a plague all their own, regardless of how much good care and attention you might be giving. My learning curve came as a result of having to deal with rain rot and dew poisoning, interestingly, during the driest part of the summer. So what’s the deal? And, how can a horse be stabled indoors and still come down with dew poisoning? What is the deal?
As we approach mud season again, let’s resolve to be ready. I have two great articles to share with you that handle these subjects from start to finish, from minor concerns to severe ones. One big thing to remember when dealing with skin irritations is how contagious they are, so it is important to sterilize any equipment used on the infected horse, before using it on other horses. It is also advisable to use a completely different set of brushes and equipment for the affected horse. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands between horses.
Thanks for reading,