Bascule Farm LLC

Bascule Farm LLC Top Quality Boarding, Training, and Instruction for Eventing Dressage and Jumpers. Close to Wash, DC.

#teambascule and the #glittersquad had a great day out on the #derby course today!! Sydney and Raisin looked right at ho...

#teambascule and the #glittersquad had a great day out on the #derby course today!! Sydney and Raisin looked right at home around the BN course, consistent and accurate!! Maya and Ribbons had a super school around the N and T, looking very ready for Aiken! Katie and Al worked on straightness as they build a relationship together, a pair to watch out for!! Lilly and Fiona had a great go around the N, showing consistency and great balance in the canter!! Kendall and Scarlett win the most improved both with position and with ridability to the fences, ready to come out swinging this season!! Ella and #professorpassport had an excellent go around the BN, looking better every week!! So proud of all of my lovely students and their rockstar horses!!! #T-18days #aiken2k20 #watchoutworld #getitgirl #werkwerkwerk #killingit #winterbootcamp #nostirrupwinter #payingoff #strengthbuilding #alldisconopanic #rhythmandaccuracy #RRA #perpendiculartoyourfences #woot @ Loch Moy Farm

Tamarack Hill Farm

Tamarack Hill Farm

Anyone remember a book called "Why Johnny Can't Read?"

There are many educational theories about why Johnny and Sally can't do all sorts of things, and various riding skills and horsemanship concepts could be added to the long list.

Part of the cause, I think, is because barn rat-ism is declining. Kids who spend hours every week hanging around horses learn so much by sheer osmosis.

Then there are plenty of riding instructors who only teach physical tasks, but don't address training concepts, theories, thoughts and ideas about riding and horsemanship.

But here is what I have observed, from having watched for decades---

In any large group of students, there might be one who wants it badly enough to go the distance. In other words, in all educational matters, there will always be few A+ students.

It is almost as if the best ones will shine through no matter what the odds against, and those who are not enthralled will not get there no matter what they have for advantages.

Now, obviously, the best combination is the driven, talented student given top educational advantages. But I have found that sheer drive can overcome lots of obstacles against.

Those few will force advantages. They find a way.

Pippa Funnell

Pippa Funnell

One of the many sessions of The Windrush Equestrian Foundation Young Riders have had over the past 5 days. 4 of the 6 having a group lesson.
Champion Equestrian Wear
Equine-America Cortaflex

We’ve a barn full of the “no problems!”

We’ve a barn full of the “no problems!”

So true!

Volunteers always it makes you a hard body!  Just ask the staff!

Volunteers always it makes you a hard body! Just ask the staff!

When I think about how much sheer physical effort it takes to run a horse barn, and when I then hear riders complain about not being fit and strong enough, it tends to make me ask myself the obvious question---

Why don't you see if you can help out? It will accomplish two things---Help the barn owner, and help you become more athletic---

Maybe you already volunteered and were told "no thank you." If so, you tried. But if you haven't, maybe ask? Unless, of course, manual labor is beneath your dignity----

In which case, you have troubles enough!


We are looking for a resident student rider who want to learn to train (and some competing) young sport horses. Come out and stay for a couple days and see how much you will ride and learn! We can pick you up at the airport and you can stay in on the farm to interview. Come see why all of the candidates who interview say we offer the best program they've seen...because it's all about YOUR growth as a rider, trainer and horseman.

Minimum riding ability: Training Level Dressage or jumping 2'6". You will ride 3-4 quality horses a day. These are not "school horses", these are talented young horses with a wide range of training. Your horses will be at every level and you'll see the value of the training scale and learn to apply the next steps confidently and accurately. Immerse yourself in a program centered around your training goals. You are guaranteed 4 lessons a week. We go to shows and events regularly so you will get a chance to compete as your confidence grows! The program pays for these events/all coaching and trailering included on farm horses. If you enjoy young horses and "light bulb" moments, this is the spot for you!

Daily barn work, including mucking (as a team with 5-6 others, feeding, turnin/out etc in exchange for stipend, 4 lessons a week, riding 3-4 horses per day, housing, field board for your own horse (but you don't have to have one), trailering to local events/schoolings and possible commissions on sales if you bring along and sell a youngster. You're not a "groom", the only horses you groom are the ones YOU ride.

It's $2400/mo in value. Min age 18yrs with a high school diploma or equivalent and health insurance for the duration of your stay.

TO APPLY: Fill out application and send it by email to [email protected]


Poolesville MD: Bascule Farm: part time mornings 7-11am BARN HELP. Stall cleaning, bedding, hay, dump scrub refill water buckets, sweep/blow aisles. Horse experience preferred but not required. Possibly more hours if skilled at grooming. Reliable transportation (not on a bus route) and no issues lifting up to 30lbs. $12.50 hr. PM for more info or to set up a paid trial day.



We're not crazy.

Hours of training come down to three minutes in the ring. Months of preparation come down to eight minutes on course. Hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds come down to six minutes riding a page of movements.

What you see is three minutes in the ring, a six minute test or an eight minute run. You see that rider being judged on a matter of seconds, seconds that they have worked days, weeks, months, even years for.

But what you don't see is the rider sat up in the stable for night after night, wishing, praying and willing their horse to eat after colic surgery.

You don't see the rider sitting in a vet's reception, filling out yet another set of insurance claim forms, knowing that the claim will be rejected and what little savings had built up since the last vet bill would soon vanish.

You don't see the rider who works 14 hour days but always heads to the yard after work to lunge or ride and put their horse to bed for the night, despite the fact they haven't eaten all day.

You don't see the rider who invests every single penny they have into lessons and training because they couldn't afford a schoolmaster and had to settled for a half-cracked reject horse with a whole bunch of ''quirks''.

You don't see the rider who sits on the edge of their bed each night and worries they aren't doing enough, they aren't training enough, they aren't spending enough, that they aren't good enough.

You see seconds of a horse and rider, what you don't see are the parts that matter the most. The hard work, the blood, sweat, tears, the horses we lost, the horses we saved, the horses who saved us...

Friends, partners, long suffering husbands and family spend years watching us chasing goals and dreams only to find that, when we achieve them, we just raise the bar a little higher a start all over again because we don't give up, we always want just a little bit more.

You don't understand what we do, you don't have a passion that sets your soul on fire, you don't have huge dreams that are scary just to think about, you're the ones who call us crazy.

But looking at you, living a life without a passion, a life without dreams...well, from where we're stood, you're the crazy ones.

© cromwellandlucy ©

Photo credit: The Eventing Dentist taken by Dave Cameron Photography



Lilly Rodman, what we were just talking about yesterday!  Let’s work out a plan!

Lilly Rodman, what we were just talking about yesterday! Let’s work out a plan!

"What about those "gallop sets" we hear about? How do those fit into a fitness program?"

OK, this will take some digging back in my memory 40 years to so many of those interminable "Le Goff Lectures---"

First thing to respect, gallops come last. By the time your horse is ready to gallop, you will have walked the equivalent of three times across the Gobi Desert, and trotted from here to Siberia and back, done all the "LSM" (long, slow miles) that you can stand.

You have a pretty darn fit horse.

So now you walk out, 20-25 minutes to the place you will do your first gallop sets. Then, you do 3 five minute trot sets, with 2 minute breaks between each trot set, so you will start with 15 minutes of trotting. ALWAYS, you will do the 15 min trots first.

If you can do some of this trot work up off his back, without posting, you'll be working on your fitness, too.

Now canter 3 minutes at about 375-400 meters per minute. Then 2 minute walk break, then canter a second 3 minutes, same speeds. Walk home.

5 days later, repeat, but add a 3rd 2 minute canter set, same slow speed. 2 min walk break between each set. Use a stop watch. Learn how to read it while galloping.

5 days later, 3 times 3 min canter, same speeds.

5 days later, you can either add a bit more speed, and keep it at 9 minutes, or same speed, add a minute to one of the canter sets. And so on---.

This is how you will grow the stresses, by adding a minute per set, up to 3 times 4 minutes for training or even preliminary eventing, and/or by adding speed, up to 400-450 meters per minute, with stretches up to 500 meters per minute.

Some of the upper level horses may even get to a point where they may do 4 times six minute gallops, with stretches of higher speeds, very intense indeed. But that approaches, I think, upper limits, and Le Goff never had us do that, even before 18 mile long Burghley World Championships, with its 5 1/2 min steeplechase at 690 meters per minute.

Every day SCRUTINIZE his legs. Know them by touch, what is normal, what is not. Gradually increase the work, but back off immediately if you feel puffiness or tenderness.

This is just a very general guideline. If this is your first time using interval gallop training, try to do it under the guidance of someone who has plenty of experience.

I love Klaus Balkenhol, from way before he was a famous coach.  Back when he was working his way up.  His philosophy has...

I love Klaus Balkenhol, from way before he was a famous coach. Back when he was working his way up. His philosophy has never changed. Much to learn from this man!

Why trainers PUSH horses TOO FAST

Klaus Balkenhol explains, "Although breeders have created a better horse, the market has created a demand for a stronger, healthier, more powerful horse. It's easier to sell a horse that looks like a carefully developed eight-year-old, and not like a three- or four-year-old just beginning his career. If you force it, you can get a three-year-old to physically look like a developed eight-year-old. Too many colts remain stallions which, if approved, promise breeders higher prices as three-year-olds. Now 250 to 300 young stallions are presented each year, when only 40 or 50 will be approved.

Few breeders have the sense to geld the yearling stallions and leave them on the pasture to mature naturally. Instead, yearling stallions are brought into a stall, fed too much grain, and at three, look like six- or seven-year-olds. They have muscle mass, but not enough bone structure to support it. They look mature from the outside but aren't . . . and when started to work, degeneration sets in. Competitions also create pressure to push horses too fast as competitions are now scheduled throughout the year without any breaks."

Common Mistakes In Pushing Too Fast
Tightening the noseband: "A horse resists by sticking out his tongue. Tightening the noseband too much puts pressure on the nose and on the poll. If it is necessary to tighten the noseband very tightly, then something has gone very wrong in the basic training of the horse. The horse cannot be relaxed, the first step on the training scale," warns Klaus.

Specializing too early: "Drilling every day in the indoor arena is too intense for the young horse. It's very important, especially in the first two years of training, not to specialize the young horse. Training should include a variety of activities, including trail riding, which is good for the mind as well as building strength with hill work. It should include jumping, either free or low jumps under saddle, including small natural obstacles on the trail, and cavaletti. A variety of work will allow the horse to stay mentally fresh and to enjoy his work. Only when the horse is happy can dressage become art."

Not checking tack frequently: "Saddle and tack need to be checked constantly for proper fit and adjusted as the horse's body changes with growth, and as his fitness improves with the training. If the noseband gets too low, for example, and the skin between the noseband and the bit is rubbed and becomes sore, this causes the horse discomfort and loss of relaxation. Regularly check for sharp edges and bit problems in the horse's mouth and teeth."

Working too long: "The goal of our training is to build the horse's mind and his muscles. Suppleness and relaxation require adequate muscle strength. strengthening requires both contraction and relaxation. Blood flow and oxygenation occur when the muscle relaxes. If the muscle is kept in a constant state of contraction, it loses power and strength, and actually becomes smaller. Frequent rest periods, especially for a young horse at a free walk on a long rein, are necessary. The rest periods are not for a rider's fatigue, but to allow the horse to stretch and relax his muscles. The rest breaks will give you a completely new horse. This is the systematic gymnasticizing of the horse."

Riding when the horseman is tense: "Horses are particularly sensitive to the rider's mood. A rider shouldn't ride if she is under undue stress or doesn't have the time to ride. If the rider has a bad day, give the horse a rest day or go for a relaxing trail ride; don't work in the arena. The horse mirrors the rider's mood."

Not praising the horse enough: "The horse must perform from joy, not subservience. Praising a horse frequently with voice, a gentle pat, or relaxing the reins is very important to keep the horse interested and willing. If the horse offers piaffe, for instance, because he's excited, praise him for it. You shouldn't stop the lesson at that point nor make a big deal out of it. If you don't want piaffe, quietly urge him forward into trot, but you should NEVER punish him for offering the piaffe. - Klaus Blakenhol

A lovely day for #xcschooling at #lochmoyfarm for #teambascule and the #glittersquad!! Kate and her new horse Al had an ...

A lovely day for #xcschooling at #lochmoyfarm for #teambascule and the #glittersquad!! Kate and her new horse Al had an absolutely lovely go round, showing a lot of smarts and potential for the future!! Isabel and Rascal had a super round, working on accuracy with the canter over some bigger fences! Kendall and Scarlett showed how much they’ve grown with their best and most consistent school yet!! Genevieve and her #atgeventinggraduate Atlas had a phenomenal and relaxed school around the N course, looking better than ever!! #professorpassport initiated another blossoming eventer with Ella today, having a super easy and confident first cross country school!! Ainsley and Bascule’s Risque had a wonderful school, working on keeping the hind end pushing to an uphill balance for a more educated effort over the fences! #trainerandy took her own #fourfieldsmarcella for a very steady and ridable spin around the prelim! Can’t wait for the next season for all of these ladies and unicorns, it’s going to be a great one!! #newbabyhorse #sobrave #hindend #pushinguphill #alwayswiththecanter #canterquality #ridetherhythm #uphillcanter #noscopenohope #gothops #cloudatlas #allthatglitterseventing #getitgirl #werkwerkwerk #unicorns #wedontsweatwesparkle #werideunicorns #alldisconopanic #rotwingbaby #chestnutmare #marepower @ Loch Moy Farm

Three course walks...our goal for 2020!  No getting lost, missing a line, underprepared cross country runs!  #goals #ini...

Three course walks...our goal for 2020! No getting lost, missing a line, underprepared cross country runs! #goals #inittowinit, #prepared #doingyourbest #horsedeservesit #werkwerkwerk #noexcuse #putinthetime #reaptherewards

In eventing, riders have the chance to walk the cross country course as many times as they want, before actually riding it.

There are various strategies. One that is fairly common is to do three course walks.

The first is to just walk the entire course for getting a general sense of it, not obsessing too much about specific lines or approaches.

The second walk, often done with a coach, is the careful, analytical walk. Various lines and distances are analyzed when there are tricky approaches. What might work for one horse might not fit the stride or scope of another, so you must create a plan for your horse. You may look for landmarks, a tree, a rock, to plan the angle of how you want to get there---This is the walk where you get input from others, if you trust others to be of help.

The third walk, often early in the morning of the actual day, you will do alone, or with perhaps one other. Now you try not to get distracted by conversation, because you are mentally "riding" the whole course in your head.

No matter how prepared you may be, when you are actually coming at a gallop, things fly at you quickly---You can almost never be TOO prepared.


20800 Whites Ferry Rd
Poolesville, MD

Opening Hours

Monday 07:00 - 21:30
Tuesday 07:00 - 21:30
Wednesday 07:00 - 21:30
Thursday 07:00 - 21:30
Friday 07:00 - 21:30
Saturday 07:00 - 21:30
Sunday 07:00 - 21:30


(301) 972-8943


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