FlyAway Stables

FlyAway Stables Home of the FlexAble Rider Method founded by Pam Woolley, FlyAway Stables is a multi-disciplinary equine facility located in Middleburg, VA.
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We offer lessons, training and boarding with a special focus on the needs and interests of adult riders. We offer boarding, training and lessons for all ages, but we have a soft spot for the adult novice, the returning rider and regular folks who just want to enjoy their horses. We are the home of the FlexAble Rider Method and "MR ED" Program (Mature Rider Education and Development) - a six week introductory program for adults who want to learn how to ride. We also offer the "Back in the Tack Pack" program for returning riders and an Introduction to Foxhunting program. Our teaching and training philosophy is based on the belief that the process of learning should be enjoyable for horse and rider. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between horse and rider and understanding the effect each one has on the other. In the end, students gain a wealth of tools to better their skills, improve their horsemanship and make riding safe, fun and a never ending learning opportunity. Boarding - $415-$1300 per month. Lessons - 30 hour group - $35, 50 minute group - $65, 50 minute private - $90.

Operating as usual

Murdoch Method LLC
02/22/2020

Murdoch Method LLC

Pushing the heel forward to get your heels down moves the base of support forward putting you on your horses forehand and decreases your base of support. Red line is line of gravity from hip. Orange lines form base of support triangle, which has decreased in size and moved forward in braced heel photo. #murdochmethod #riderposition #equitation #heelsdown #horsemanship #effortlessrider #horseriding #eventrider #dressagerider #horsebackriding

01/27/2020
Horses Inside Out

Horses Inside Out

Trot is a superb gait for assessing straightness, symmetry and soundness. This is because trot is such a symmetrical gait. Here are some observational points to watch:-

Firstly does your horse land with the diagonal pair exactly together? (It's easiest to assess this in slow motion.) This is a good indication of balance. When a horse lands with one hoof in the digaonal pair landing a moment before the other this is called diagonal dissociation.

If the forelimb lands first this indicates the horse is more 'on the forehand'. This is often seen in young, weak, poorly trained horses or those with poor conformation.

If a horse lands hindlimb first this indicates the horse is pushing and carrying more from behind. This is more often seen in well trained and more advanced horses and those with a naturally uphill conformation.

Easy spring, suspension and absorption of landing forces. How much does the horse naturally go up and down? Of course the type of trot asked for will alter this. But generally horses that are happy to push up into the moment of suspension know they are comfortable within their musculoskeletal system to absorb the landing forces. Horses with joint pain or discomfort will often guard on impact and will try to reduce vertical displacement.

And finally observing symmetry. Does the horse move and react through his musculoskeletal system the same on each diagonal? The third horse in the video illustrates a great view for highlighting symmetry.

If you would like to learn more about this topic you would be interested in our courses 'Assessing Posture and Movement' and would find the books 'How Your Horse Moves' and 'Posture and Performance' particularly interesting reads.

#toptip #equinebiomechanics #equineanatomy #horseandrider

Journey Horse
01/17/2020

Journey Horse

A Really Good Way to Clean Wounds (Really)
01/11/2020
A Really Good Way to Clean Wounds (Really)

A Really Good Way to Clean Wounds (Really)

Somehow, some way, it seems like the common variety garden hose has become something of an indispensable weapon in the war against horse wounds. A good, firm jet of water run vigorously over the cut on your horse’s leg, or rinsing out a deep wound on his body, most assuredly makes you feel like Co...

Tamarack Hill Farm
01/11/2020

Tamarack Hill Farm

A visual about "hands of silk."

We see some few riders, like William Steinkraus and Yelena Petushkova here, who have such soft, elastic contacts with the mouths of their horses that we use terms like "hands of silk. "

How to begin to acquire such skills? One way is to remember the Morris quotation, that soft or hard hands are less a product of physical skills, and more a product of the emotional makeup of the rider.

And here is a visual that Sally Swift used----

You are standing on a bridge with a swiftly moving stream moving away below you---

In each hand, you hold a length of light rope, each attached to a chunk of wood, floating in, and being carried away, by the flowing water.

As you gently draw your elbows back, the two pieces of driftwood come toward you. As you soften your arms, they are gently pulled away from you----Back toward you, as the horse lifts its head in the walk or canter, away from you in the forward and down motion of its head and neck, while you, the rider, maintains an exact contact. At the trot, of course, since there is no appreciable up and down motion, you maintain a gentle pull.

Sally said that we should ride with arms and hands as gentle as flowing water.

My Virtual Eventing Coach
01/08/2020

My Virtual Eventing Coach

Tamarack Hill Farm
09/24/2019

Tamarack Hill Farm

If I had to pick (and this is a guess) the ONE thing that stops many riders from becoming pretty decent riders, even good riders, it would be this---

They underestimate what a damn slow process it is. They work at it for some months, and get discouraged, and quit trying.

Or they work on it for some years, and get discouraged, and quit trying.

They read stories of some of those kids who get all the advantages, top instruction, wonderful horses, all that stuff, and who are "famous by 21."

And, since they are not, they get discouraged, and stop trying.

They think, for any number of reasons, that it will never happen, not for them.

And the NANOSECOND that someone stops trying is the moment that the self fulfilling prophecy comes true.

So, like so much in all sorts of situations, it's about choice----

Always let someone else ride in front.  🤣
09/20/2019

Always let someone else ride in front. 🤣

There’s nothing worse than watching someone sawing on the horses mouth to get them to back up.  Wendy shares the step by...
07/09/2019
Murdoch Method LLC

There’s nothing worse than watching someone sawing on the horses mouth to get them to back up. Wendy shares the step by step lesson to backing up smoothly and easily.

Here's a #MurdochMinute to help you out!

Many horses stiffen or hollow their back, which makes it difficult to rein back correctly. Other horses are confused and don’t understand what is being asked because the rider conflicts the aids by squeezing with the buttocks while pulling on the reins. When backing up it is important that you are clear and do not impede the horse from doing what you ask.

Read more at www.murdochmethod.com, and be sure to keep an eye out for more Monday Murdoch Minutes !

So true...
07/07/2019

So true...

Over many years, far too many of the horses that I had were not what you would call fundamentally calm. Some were mildly anxious, others were in between, and some were "hot."

Here are 5 that we have now, and every one of them is pretty laid back, and I have a pretty good idea why they are, compared to some I had in the past.

I have written quite a lot about this topic in my new book, "Know Better To Do Better, " but basically it has to do with figuring out what worries horses, and figuring out how not to bring those things into their lives.

Probably the main thing to try to avoid is discomfort.

Discomfort, which can easily turn into pain, can be caused by lots of things, and we can divide it into physical discomfort and emotional discomfort, although in many cases, both kinds are present.

Poor saddle fit, tight cavesons, rough hands, ulcers, sharp bits, poor rider body control, fatigue, any of these few examples, can cause enough pain to make the horse react.

If the horse is drilled, if he is pushed too hard to perform some task, if he lacks enough fitness to withstand the effort, if the horse doesn't understand what the rider is trying to get him to do, and the rider keeps cranking anyway, these are all potential causes of tension and anxiety.

Once I began to grasp how easily I had been crossing the line between training and grinding, and began to learn how to be a lot more careful about what I asked, and how I was asking it, all my horses started to become far less reactive.

Now, if I had learned that 20-30-40-50 years earlier, I would have had better times with many more horses, so if I could offer advice, it would be something along these lines---

Your horse's actions will be a reflexion of how well he feels, and how well you train him, and if things are not so great, maybe start to be Sherlock Holmes. WHY is this happening? Because the horse is absolutely not "being bad."

You need to figure out the real reasons, and fix or change them.

It is both very simple, yet very hard to do, but it is worth it.

Happy Independence Day!
07/04/2019

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Wednesday!  Hope you’re getting a long weekend to enjoy with your 4-legged friends.
07/03/2019

Happy Wednesday! Hope you’re getting a long weekend to enjoy with your 4-legged friends.

Horse people will ace this exam!
07/01/2019

Horse people will ace this exam!

TheHorse.com
06/22/2019
TheHorse.com

TheHorse.com

Is the ointment you’re using on that cut helping or hurting? Remember these tips when treating horse wounds.

Katahdin Trail Saddlery Tack Shop, LLC
05/31/2019

Katahdin Trail Saddlery Tack Shop, LLC

I’d rather work with 10 lbs of brain than 1000 lbs of muscle.
04/26/2019

I’d rather work with 10 lbs of brain than 1000 lbs of muscle.

Strategies to avoid "getting into it" with a horse---

So let's say we are having a schooling session, flat work, jumping, heck, even trail riding, and there are certain objectives that we have in mind.

There are any number of reasons, on any given day, this day included, that the horse may not be the bright, shining star that we are wishing for.

He may be getting tired. He may be apprehensive. He may fail to understand what it is we are asking. He may feel a little under the weather. His saddle may not fit well. He may have ulcers. It doesn't really matter too much what is going on, not right now, because what happens next is the issue of the moment.

Here's what it is so easy to do, and anyone who says they have never gone there is either St Francis of Assisi reincarnated, or is probably lying to themselves.

As the horse responds negatively to any of the reasons I have mentioned, or to something other that I failed to include, we think, "This isn't what I want." And, if we are not totally tuned in, it is so easy to ramp up the pressure to get the desired response.

Which pressure causes the horse even more
fatigue/discomfort/anxiety/lack of understanding, and now we approach that slippery slope where it can easily snowball badly.

Now, theoretically and ideally, we would not have reached the edge where things start to get dicey, but, let's face it, how many of us are a Reiner Klimke or a Klaus Balkenhol?

But we can do the next best thing, which is to recognize that we are on the verge of making it all implode, and back off, try something different, maybe get some slightly OK response, and quit while we are ahead, loosen the reins, relax the pressure, go for a nice stroll, and live to readdress this another day.

Or not. I have done it both ways, amp up or back off, and backing off, generally speaking, has been the better way forward.

If you/I/we/they happen to be a driven perfectionist type, especially with some competition on the radar screen, this calmer response may be hard to sell to yourself. Nobody told us, did they though, that becoming a good trainer was easy?

Fox Chase Farm, Middleburg, VA
04/24/2019

Fox Chase Farm, Middleburg, VA

Tamarack Hill Farm
04/12/2019

Tamarack Hill Farm

To ride, or the heck with it?

So let's say that you have maybe an hour and a half free that you can spend either riding or not riding your horse.

You will have a degree of hassle if you decide to ride, You have to go catch him, if he lives out, Then you have to groom him, at least the back where the saddle sits. Then you have to get into some sort of riding gear. You have to collect the saddle, girth, pad, bridle, and tack him up.

Now you can go take him for a one hour active walk. Then, when you get back to the barn, you have to reverse all the things you did previously.

Was it worth it? What good did it do?

Well, it made you function, got you to have some exercise. And, if you ever wonder about the benefits to your horse of a one hour active walk, try this---

Go walk for an hour, you, personally, and try to at least push a little bit, not just amble.

See if you don't feel as though you have done yourself some good.When you have walked your horse, you gave that same thing to him.

My father, who had a streak of that annoying Puritan ethic, had a saying that "lethargy breeds lethargy." It is true, I think, because the less I do, the less I feel like doing, and sometimes I have to just think (I won't say it) and go catch my blasted horse---

Afterwards, almost always, I am glad I did.

Evidence-Based Horsemanship
04/08/2019

Evidence-Based Horsemanship

Here it is, folks! The horse’s control center.

Yup!
04/06/2019

Yup!

Middleburg, VA.  2 stalls available at FlyAway Stables.  Ring with jumps.  Fabulous ride out.  Room for trailers.  Heate...
04/04/2019

Middleburg, VA. 2 stalls available at FlyAway Stables. Ring with jumps. Fabulous ride out. Room for trailers. Heated tack room. Heated and air conditioned lounge. Wash rack with h/c water. Lots of turn out. Perfect for fox hunters and pleasure riders. Geared towards adults. We are not a competition barn. No drama. Nice quiet facility to enjoy your horse. Owner lives on premises. Lessons available. Full care $750. Call 703-622-4230 or email to [email protected] to schedule a tour.

04/03/2019
Flyawayessentials

Considering a new opportunity. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Are you interested in buying organic (NOP/USDA certified) essential oils at 30-50% less than the prices of the large MLM's?

Middleburg, VA.  2 stalls available at FlyAway Stables.  Ring with jumps.  Fabulous ride out.  Room for trailers.  Heate...
03/11/2019

Middleburg, VA. 2 stalls available at FlyAway Stables. Ring with jumps. Fabulous ride out. Room for trailers. Heated tack room. Heated and air conditioned lounge. Wash rack with h/c water. Lots of turn out. Perfect for fox hunters and pleasure riders. Geared towards adults. We are not a competition barn. No drama. Nice quiet facility to enjoy your horse. Owner lives on premises. Lessons available. Full care $750. Call 703-632-4230 or email to [email protected] to schedule a tour.

My Virtual Eventing Coach
03/10/2019

My Virtual Eventing Coach

Middleburg, VA.  2 stalls available at FlyAway Stables.  Ring with jumps.  Fabulous ride out.  Room for trailers.  Heate...
03/10/2019

Middleburg, VA. 2 stalls available at FlyAway Stables. Ring with jumps. Fabulous ride out. Room for trailers. Heated tack room. Heated and air conditioned lounge. Wash rack with h/c water. Lots of turn out. Perfect for fox hunters and pleasure riders. Geared towards adults. We are not a competition barn. No drama. Nice quiet facility to enjoy your horse. Owner lives on premises. Lessons available. Full care $750. Call 703-632-4230 or email to [email protected] to schedule a tour.

READ THIS!!!!!  And then read it again.  And then print it out and take it to the barn.  Good saddle fit doesn't only be...
03/06/2019
Hands-on Saddle Fitting | Harmany Equine Clinic

READ THIS!!!!! And then read it again. And then print it out and take it to the barn. Good saddle fit doesn't only benefit the horse, but a good fitting saddle will help the rider too.

Hands-on Saddle Fitting - Veterinarians are often called to examine horses with a variety of subtle lamensses and performance problems. As part of a complete examination, the

Food for thought...
03/04/2019
Hoof Dressings: What Studies Show – The Horse

Food for thought...

Hoof dressings aren't always what they're cracked up to be--at least not in the opinions of some experts. Ilka P. Wagner, DVM, owner of Equine Veterinary Services (Texas), and Susan Kempson, BSc, PhD, senior lecturer in Preclinical Veterinary

TheHorse.com
03/03/2019
TheHorse.com

TheHorse.com

Is the ointment you’re using on that cut helping or hurting? Remember these tips when treating horse wounds.

Address

37548 Quanbeck Lane
Middleburg, VA
20117

Opening Hours

Tuesday 08:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 20:00
Thursday 08:00 - 20:00
Friday 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday 08:00 - 20:00
Sunday 08:00 - 20:00

Telephone

(703) 622-4230

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