Thornberry Stables near Green Bay WI provides boarding facilities, horse training and riding lessons for all ages.
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Thornberry Stables HORSE INFORMATION




Interesting Facts About Horses   ~ excerpt from 

  • A horse is a member of the "equus" family. This word comes from ancient Greece and means quickness.

  • More than 350 breeds of ponies and horses can be found.

  • A height of a horse can be measured with the hand, where each hand equals four inches.
  • If you want to know how old a horse is, all you need to do is to count its teeth.
  • An average horse�s head weighs 11.84 pounds.
  • 10 Pounds is the weight of a horse�s heart.
  • A horse is able to drink 10 gallons of water per day.
  • Horses use their facial expressions to communicate. Their moods can be gauged with the help of their nostrils, eyes and ears.
  • Horses spend more energy lying down.
  • The hoof of a horse is like a fingernail; it keeps on growing and needs to be clipped.
  • Any kind of mark, which appears on the forehead of a horse, is called a star, irrespective of whether it resembles one!
  • A horse is able to walk, trot, canter and gallop.
  • Horses usually live for around 20 to 25 years. Some of them can live up to 5 years more.
  • In most cases, the foal is born at night, away from danger and prying eyes.
  • After being born, it only takes a foal about 1-2 hours to stand up and walk.
  • Foals are fully grown by 3-4 years of age.
  • Horses eat short, juicy grass, and hay. Foo
  • "Old Billy," was the oldest recorded horse who lived to be 62 years.
  • Falebella of Argentina, is the smallest breed.
  • "Little Pumpkin," is the smallest pony in history, it stood 14 inches and weighed 20 lbs.
  • "Samson," was the tallest horse recorded.

    More Horse Facts:
    • A male horse is known as a stallion.
    • A female horse is known as a mare.
    • A baby horse is known as a foal.
    • A young female horse is known as a filly.
    • The father of a horse is known as a sire.
    • The mother of a horse is known as a dam.
    • A fully-grown small horse is known as a pony.
    • A farrier or blacksmith is the person who cares for a horse�s feet.

      Head Markings:
      • A narrow white mark, which runs down the face from the forehead, is called a Stripe.
      • A white mark, which covers one or both of the lips and proceeds up to the nostrils, is called a White muzzle.
      • A broad splash of white that covers most parts of the forehead between the eyes and carries down the nose to the muzzle is called a Blaze
  • ds like barley, maize, oats and bran are good for working horses.
  • Horses are either a mixture of colors or the same color all over. Horses are usually, black, brown, cream or gray in color.
  • A horse has two blind spots; one is located directly in front of them while the other is located directly behind.
  • A breed of horses called Akhal-Teke from Russia can go for days without water or food.
  • One of the few breeds of horses that live in North America are called Mustangs.

Article about Horse Riding ~ excerpt from

Horse Back Riding - Basics

It is thought that horse riding is just about saddling the horse and you riding it. Well there is much more to horse back riding. Before you ride a horse you should understand some basics about horse riding. Developing a bond with the animal will make your ride and for the horse an enjoyment.

Be confident while approaching your horse. They can sense if the rider is nervous which can affect their behavior. Always stay out of the way of the horse to avoid any accidents. Taking horse riding lessons will help you. Decide whether you would like to do English or western riding. Learn to mount, dismount and balance saddles.

Mostly horses are trained to walk depending on the pressure applied by the rider’s legs. While riding keep your legs still and use them only to signal to the horse. You may confuse the horse otherwise. To steer your horse use its reins. To make it turn right pull its reins to the right and for a left turn pull the reins to the left.  You may also need to put pressure with your legs to give direction to the horse. To stop the horse pull its reins back and say “Whoa”.*

Wear clothes that do not get entangled in anything. Do not wear purses, scarves, dangling earrings or necklaces or anything that can get caught in the saddle or the horse’s mane. Tuck in your shirt before mounting the horse to avoid it from flapping and getting caught. Wear proper riding footwear, an equestrian helmet and cotton /lycra breeches. Do not wear shorts as you might get scratched. If you are riding in winters then wear sweatshirts and hiking jackets. Wear gloves to protect your hands.

Horse Back Riding - Principles

There are some principles which you must understand and know before you ride your horse.  Do not blame the horse for whatever happens to you while you are riding it. If you fall off the horse it could be due to various reasons like it may have got scared. It is up to you to understand the stress signals of your horse.

Respect your horse and other riders as well. Give your horse adequate rest in between his training to ensure best performance. You must walk the horse the first and last fifteen minutes of a ride. Do not ride the horse for more than a walk on hard roads. Your horse might get laminitis if you trot him before he gets the circulation back in its feet by walking. 

If you happen to come across other riders while riding your horse it is better to walk past them instead of galloping** with them. There may be a shy horse or an inexperienced rider in the group. Galloping along might scare the horse which can lead to a bad fall for the rider. Horse riding is a fun sport. Understanding and respecting your horse will help you be a better rider. Following a few basic tips and principles of horse riding can make your riding experience a satisfying one.

CAUTION!!  Message from Thornberry:
* This information is not sufficient to direct or stop a horse! We want to inform the public that it is necessary to take riding lessons first on how to properly apply commands to a horse. It is not as simple as pulling one way or the other on reins or saying "whoa". It is recommended to learn and develop skills on pressure and release with aids (reins, foot, verbal, etc) to be able to ride a horse correctly and safely. If aids are applied in the wrong fashion, you may get unwanted results and possibly be put in a dangerous situation.

** We suggest never to gallop a horse as it has great potential to cause extreme injury to you and your horse. The faster you go, the harder the fall! And if rough terrain comes up unexpectedly, it may cause stress to your horse's legs to the point of laminitis or severe injury.

Horse Training Tips & Techniques ~ excerpt from:

Horse training tips, much like general opinions, are something horsemen have no shortage of. So many different techniques and schools of thought exist that it can almost be maddening for those who wish to pick up sound advice for training their own horse. Which technique is correct? Which school of thought is the one I should follow? The answer is none!

While you can become proficient
with a particular training technique, you will really blossom if you remain receptive to a variety of techniques and incorporate those elements of the different schools that blend well with your own personal skills or preferences.

Although we do not advocate following horse training tips or techniques belonging exclusively to one school of thought, we do strongly believe in keeping your focus within one theme: natural horsemanship. If a particular technique goes against our philosophy of gentle horsemanship and creating a bond rather than an adversarial relationship, it will not be included here (at least not in a complimentary fashion).

The Horse-Handler Relationship: This is the first section in our horse training tips section for good reason� without a solid bond of respect and trust between you and your horse, your efforts are doomed to fail! The articles in this section will focus on the importance of a solid bond and the best way to obtain on into articles from website...

Message from Thornberry:
Click on the above link to get the articles.  They are wonderfully written and will take you to a higher level and more of the facts you really want to know about horses!

Horse Training Facts And Maxims ~ excerpt from:

By Andy Curry:
To the uninitiated horse owner, there are timely facts about horses they should know. In fact, when someone first gets a horse these timely facts should be studied and learned.

These timely facts come from the Jesse Beery horse training manual. Jesse Beery was a famous horse trainer from the 1800's. Interestingly, Beery's training methods are as powerful today as they were when Beery was alive.

Timely Fact #1:
Make your horse your friend, not your slave.

Timely Fact #2:
Almost every wrong act of the horse is caused by fear, excitement or mismanagement. 
One harsh word will increase the pulse of a nervous horse ten beats a minute. 
Hoses know nothing about balking until forced into it by bad management. 
Any balky horse can be started steady and true in a few minutes. 
I never found one that I could not teach to start his load in fifteen minutes and usually in three.

Timely Fact #3:
Intelligent horsemen have learned that kickers, biters and balkers are natural results of abuse, that not one horse in a hundred is vicious until made so by cruelty; that whipping a horse is as mean and senseless as whipping a baby, and that the most useful, obedient and long lived horses are those treated from birth with kindness and common sense.

Timely Fact #4:
The whip is the parent of stubborness, but gentleness wins obedience. 
There is no such thing as balkiness in a horse that is kindly treated, and that gets an occasional apple, potato or sugar from his master's hand.

Timely Fact #5:
When a hose is afraid or excited, quiet him by kind words and caress. 
An excited horse is practically crazy and to whip him is dangerous, foolish and cruel. 
I have known a single blow of the whip to balk a spirited horse. 
Whipping a balky horse is barbarous and only increases balkiness.

Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which can be seen at

Message from Thornberry:
Human activities with horses are slightly different today than back in the 1800s, but the general concepts are still the same. We agree with the wise words of Jesse Beery and have witnessed how horses react quite positively to respectful human behavior, methods and reinforcement. 

Ultimately, we are all responsible to act only in ways to benefit a horse's well being and development. When treated with respect, horses will freely open to companionship, learning and advancement. It is our belief that when you master how to build a genuine trusting relationship and apply it to a horse, you will have an experience like no other.

Boarding a Horse ~ excerpt from

Everyone and their horses are different and will want different things from their boarding stable. It is important to look around and learn about what you have to expect when choosing a stable. Before considering which one to select you should make a list of priorities. Finding the perfect boarding stable for a horse is similar to finding the perfect home for yourself. You want to get the best care for your budget, but you would also like convenience and a place that you are happy to be stuck with.

Any time you move you will likely face the challenge of finding a suitable home for your horse. If you like to ride often you will have to choose a stable that is both accessible and close. Depending on your needs you will either need to find an arena for schooling or a place with an array of trails or perhaps both. If you prefer cross country then you will need a large area for trails. While there can be a lot of fun activity at a big barn it can also become frustrating since you won�t get much quiet time with your own horse.

If you prefer to have your horse out at pasture you will likely want to select a boarding facility with a large and safe pasture that has some form of protection against the elements. Ask the stable if they can handle any special needs for your horse such as scheduled medicines or supplements. The horse may be in a good pasture boarding situation which doesn�t require the need for vitamin supplements twice a day. 

The feed and forage the stable offers is another important consideration. A maintenance ration may work for a pleasure horse, but you will need more if you have a performance horse. Find out what the owner will give to a horse on a specialty diet and how much extra it will cost you.

Talk to the owner about the health schedules. The whole barn should be on a similar de-worming schedule otherwise it could be a waste of money. Find out which vaccinations are required to board the horse and if the horse needs to have a negative Coggins test since this should be a very important requirement for the stable.

It is also a good idea to make sure your choice of farrier, veterinarian and trainer can use the facility you are considering. Problems can result if for some reason the owner doesn�t want your chosen farrier or trainer at their facility.

After you have found your top five facilities try to find a place for your horses at these areas. When it comes to making your decision you should always remember that there is no perfect boarding facility. You will need to choose which features you can�t do without and which features you can get rid of to make room for others. The first on your list is usually going to be your horse�s health and safety.

Finding Horse Trainers ~ excerpt from: 

Finding a Horse Trainer for Your Horse and Riding Specialty

Professional horse trainers combine expertise in education, horsemanship, horse behavior and language and specific skills like reining, cutting or jumping, to help teach horses and horse owners how things are done in the equestrian world. They have an understanding of equine development that's part information, part experience and part intuition; the best trainers seem nearly magical in the way they communicate with horses.

Whether you're contemplating riding lessons or thinking of training to compete in shows, working with a good trainer can advance your technique and understanding far beyond what mere practice could. But there are good trainers and bad ones. A good trainer can take a "bad" horse and make it "good" through behavior modification and a persistent, respectful working relationship.

Tips for Choosing and Finding a Good Horse Trainer

How do you find a good trainer? Look first for qualifications. Has the trainer been through a well-known course resulting in certification from the training facility? Has the trainer worked in the area where you need help? You wouldn't ask a dressage specialist to work with your five year old child and a new pony: you'd probably want to find someone who specializes in ponies and children. 

Ask for references, or get referrals from your farrier or your trusted vet. And, as in any case where you will be working with someone professionally, it's important that you like and trust that person. If you don't "click" with a trainer, you may want to keep looking. If the trainer handles your horse in ways that make you nervous, consider trying someone else.


Natural Horsemanship (NH), sometimes referred to as "Horse Whispering," really has nothing to do with literal whispering, though it's probably still a good representation of what NH is all about, because "whispering" connotes a "softness" approach, and that indeed is what NH is all about. But, it's also more than that.   Natural Horsemanship also involves the following:

  • Communicating with the horse using body language, sometimes referred to as "Equus," a language all horses are born already knowing and that they use with each other. A mother horse reinforces this language with the foal from the moment it is born, and so does the rest of the herd. This language involves (for humans):
    1. How to use your eyes.
    2. How to place your body and parts of your body.
    3. Your tone of voice or lack of voice.
    4. How to use pressure and release of pressure to reap a desired response.
    5. What to use as tools to enhance effective communication.
    6. How to listen to what the horse is saying in body language.
  • The art of working, training and riding with horses in a manner which works with the horse's behavior, instincts and personality, not against it, and in an easy and kind manner.
  • Using gentle guidance rather than force or mechanical devices.
  • Using pressure and release (of that pressure) to guide the horse to learn, and understanding that the horse learns from the release of that pressure, not the pressure itself.
  • A refined sense of timing of the release of pressure along with a sense of "feel."
  • Understanding that this training approach requires of the human:
    1. Time a "taking off your watch" mindset. Horses have no real concept of "time" as we humans do. It's important to resist our human tendency to "get things done NOW, all at once" and instead, follow a horse's natural, individual learning curve.
    2. Patience each horse is an individual, therefore, each learns at a different rate of speed, and each has unique issues to get past, so patience always, in order to flow with a horse's natural learning curve rhythm!
    3. Compassion to help nurture the horse through any fears they may have or that get flushed out as you go along.
    4. A sense of playfulness working or training a horse is more about "playing with" a horse positively, but in a productive manner.
    5. A sense of humor which helps one remain maintaining the previous requirements.

    The above emotions are the ONLY emotions that should enter the training arena with you!

  • A deep understanding of Prey Animal Psychology.
  • Cultivating the inner of the horse first and understand that the outer will later follow.
  • Helping the horse to trust us and to do what we want out of friendliness, not fear, and having them trust us without reservation as our ultimate goal.
  • Being dependable to the horse, not dominating (there is a difference).
  • Giving the horse time to think about what you are asking them to do, allowing them time to try to figure it out, helping them, instead of forcing, to get there, which helps them to learn to think rationally as opposed to react irrationally.
  • Being quiet and consistent with the horse.
  • Doing what is right for the horse at all times, in all situations, sticking up for them when needed (with vets, with farriers, with other riders of them, with anyone).


Heineke Body Score pdf
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