We offer consulting services for new owners or those returning to the joy of horse ownership later in life. Enjoyment and safety are easy to lose sight of when frustrations, expense, fear and injuries show up - often stemming from an inappropriate fit of horse and human. Learn how to keep enjoyment, safety and learning uppermost in your horse time. Working on your relationship with your horse on the ground or under saddle can take place at Galleywinter Farm or at your stable.
Our consulting services focus on the development and management of horses and horse facilities to optimize health, wellbeing and safety. We can help you purchase a horse that fits your needs and goals; discuss layout of a new farm or manage an existing property, optimizing pasture management and horse feeding practices, as well as addressing safety concerns.
Assistance with horse purchasing may involve supporting a new owner to envision their future with horses, and their particular needs in a horse or horses, then traveling to a seller's farm to assess prospective horses - evaluating conformation, soundness and training. Characteristics of both human and horse such as disposition and prior life experience/training, conformation and athletic ability, health and soundness, are all key elements in hopefully building a safe, lasting and satisfying partnership.
"Buying a horse is a huge decision! Gail helped me.... read more
We concern ourselves with the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the horse - as we do on the human side of things. Equine management on small acreage present health challenges remarkably similar to those humans are facing today: inadequate physical activity; problems of confinement and crowding; too much food with high sugar content; metabolic disorders; exposure to ticks and tick-borne infection: air, noise and light pollution - and ubiquitous stress.
We try to provide what the horse needs in as similar a manner to what nature intended as possible. Indeed a challenge! This includes: time in a herd - socialization by other horses; slow feeding of forage; grazing in awareness of sugar production in the forage; natural hoof care; a veterinary-supervised program of deworming and immunization; and body therapies as indicated (massage, energy work, chiropractic). Additionally we feel strongly that good relationships with humans have the potential to take horses to an even greater level of well-being and development. This requires a thoughtful approach to partnering with them and integrating the best of various training methods.
Keeping horses in as natural a state as possible is conducive to physical health and mental well-being. How do we human stewards balance busy schedules with consistent riding? What resources do we utilize when we have health problems with our horse? How does climate change affect our horses and pastures? Owners benefit from support in sorting out these important factors.
To manage a horse farm well takes a lot of consideration - planning pastures for horse-keeping, considerations of forage, fencing, and composting. Where will hay be stored and fed? Is it necessary to build a stable or run-in shed? Where are water sources? Is the forage adequate or do fields need restoration? How many horses can the land support? These are just a few of the many questions that people have when planning to keep horses at their farm.
Safety in the barn, on the farm and on horseback can usually be maximized with an assessment of existing structures, equipment and tack. With the horses, safety may be evaluated on the ground and in the saddle. Is the tack used in good repair? Is the bridle appropriate for the purpose being used? Is the saddle properly fitted and placed for maximum comfort of the horse and safety of the rider? Is the mounting and dismounting process getting the proper attention to safety? When in the saddle is the rider properly balanced and centered? There is much to consider - we enjoy examining, comparing and optimizing all these factors.