Bookmark Farms Newsletter
September 2016
Dedicated to working with equestrians of all levels and sharing our love of horses through education and training for over 40 years.  
In This Issue
• Dates To Remember
• Month In Review
• Barn News & Reminders
Caught On Camera
• Trainer Tips from Joan
• Horse Spotlight
• Rider Spotlight
• Work At Bookmark Farms
Dates To Remember
Sept 11 - IEA Horse Show at Bookmark Farms 
Sept. 18 - Sunday FunDay Camp
Sept. 25 - The New Albany Classic - visit us in the Petting Zoo
Oct. 2, 9, &16 - Sunday FunDay Camp
Oct. 23 - Bookmark Farms Fall Fun Show & Halloween Party 
Nov. 6, 13 & 20 - Sunday FunDay Camp
Nov. 25 - Black Friday Camp
Dec. 4 & 11 - Sunday FunDay
Dec. 19-20 - Holiday Camp 
Dec. 21-23 - Holiday Camp
Dec. 26-27 - Holiday Camp 
Dec. 28-29 - Holiday Camp 
Dec. 30 - Holiday Camp                                                 
Month in Review

August was a hot month! with many days of over-90 degrees weather. We’re feeling the hints of a cool-off but still having some hot days for our barn staff and horses to contend with.

The last of our summer campers went home Aug. 19. We had a full house each week this summer, with lots of enthusiastic little equestrians learning, riding and having fun. A big thank you to all the kids who chose to spend a part of their summer with us at Bookmark Farms. And remember, our horses and ponies are always here and like to stay busy no matter what season it is, so check out our year-round camp program dates. Horses have great memories, so your child’s favorite camp pony just might be happy to see them again.

Jenn Hunkins and some of her students braved the August heat and showed:

  • At the Empress Valley N.E.S.T. Series show on Aug. 9, Kayla Murray and “Everett” (Buddy) were awarded Champion in their Limit Equitation class, 3rd in the OHJA Medal class, and received a 3rd, 4th and two 5ths in the Limit Hunters class. Sarah Krzeminski and “Whinnying Ways” won two 3rds and two 4th place ribbons in Walk/Trot Equitation, and June Hunkins on “Whinnying Ways” won two 3rds and a fourth place ribbon in their Walk/Trot Equitation class.
  • At the Showtime Back to Schooling Show at Willow Way on Aug. 27-28, Lexie Eagleson and “Magical Thinking” (Cody) received a 1st, 4th and 5th place ribbons in 3’ Jumpers, Jasmine Lee and “Everett” (Buddy) won a 4th, two 6ths, and a 7th in Limit Hunters, a 2nd in 2’ Warm Up, and a 5th and a 6th in Limit Equitation. Addie Gross and “Puppy Love” (Barclay) won a 5th, two 6ths and a 7th in their Walk/Trot Equitation class, and two 5ths and a 6th in Cross Rails Equitation. June Hunkins and “Whinnying Ways” received two 2nds in Warm Up class, and a 5th & 6th in Walk/Trot Equitation. Jenn Hunkins was awarded 2nd place in her 2’ Warm Up class on “Everett” (Buddy).

Congratulations to all riders for a great August show month!

Did you watch the Olympic Equestrian events? The United States equestrians earned three medals: The USA Show Jumping Team won Silver, The United States Equestrian Dressage Team won a Bronze, and Phillip Dutton and “Mighty Nice” won the Individual Bronze medal in Eventing.

If you loved watching the Equestrian Olympics in Rio, step on over to The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day on Sept. 25th to watch Olympic-level show jumping in person! Members of our current USA Team have ridden and won the New Albany Classic in past years. The event takes place at the Wexner Home in New Albany, and benefits The Center for Family Safety and Healing. Get out to see some top-level riders compete in this breath-taking jumping competition and have some fun at the family events too. AND don’t forget to visit the Bookmark Farms booth in the Petting Zoo where you will see our very own Henny doing his annual meeting and greeting of all the guests.

Our two summer lease horses, Patrick and Penny, went home to Lake Erie College this past month. We know their lease students (Anna Linnabary, Peyton Fillman and Taylor McGowan) miss them. These two horses have come back to Bookmark Farms for more than one summer so maybe we’ll see them again next year!

We’re hosting an IEA show at Bookmark Farms on Sept. 11. If you ride at the barn and would like to volunteer to help out, check with Jenn Hunkins to see where you can fit in. If you just want to see the show, feel free to set up a chair and watch some of the classes go. Some of your favorite lesson horses are in the show, and proceeds from the concessions and silent auction go to help our Middle and High School teams throughout the IEA season.

Our office kittens are getting big and are almost ready to venture out into the barn. They get plenty of play time from the kids in the Observation Room, cuddle time from the staff and parents and nap time when they need it. The life of a barn kitten! 

September is turning into a busy month…See you at the barn!

Barn News & Reminders
  • It is a good idea to review our FAQ and Payment Policy booklet as we head into Fall and Winter. The booklet delineates our holiday and weather cancellation policies. Copies are available in the office.

  • Set the date for the Fall Fun Show & Halloween Party (Oct. 23) on your calendar. Niels van Loo and Andrea Burton are organizing the show this year. Look for class entry forms in an email.

  • Next Sunday FunDay at the Barn is Sept.18. Don't forget to register!

  • We're on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us!

Caught on Camera
Dr. Pouch and her mobile vet office
A check-up for Whinny
Who takes care of our horses' feet and shoes? These three farriers!
Woody, Sonny and Pete
Trainer Tips by Joan Promen
Your Manners Matter to Your Horse
Part Two: Mounting

As a follow up to last month's newsletter, this month's Trainer Tip discusses how to mount your horse or pony with manners.  

As always, you want to put yourself in your horse or pony's (horse)shoes, and consider what it might feel like to have a rider mount improperly. If done with no concern for your feelings or if done incorrectly, you might feel the rider take the reins up too fast and bump or pull on your mouth.  Then you would get poked in the ribs or shoulder as the rider puts their foot in the stirrup. Then, as the rider puts more weight in the stirrup, you would feel a sideways pull on your withers and skin. As the rider inconsiderately sits down (i.e. fast and heavy) you would feel pain on your withers and back.  

It's no wonder horses and ponies fidget or walk off as riders mount!

Remember that riding is a physical sport and requires strength, flexibility and technique. To mount properly, you have to work on attaining those three things. At the end of this article, I explain an exercise that will make you stronger at mounting.

So, let's go over the proper, mannerly way to mount. First, as explained in last month's newsletter, slow down your body language. Gather your reins slowly so you gently touch the horse or pony's mouth. Make sure the reins are even. The excess of your reins, called the “bight” of the reins should be hanging off the left side of the horse.  

Step onto your mounting block or stool and say "whoa" to your horse. Once on top of the mounting block, lean into the horse with an arch in your back. (A rounded back does not enable you to mount properly.)  Turn your knee and toe so that they are parallel to the horse or pointing to the front of the horse and put the ball of the your foot firmly in the stirrup iron.  Recheck your back, and push off of your right leg and up with a spring to transfer as much weight as you can onto your hands that are on the pommel or lightly on the withers to brace and hold yourself over the top of the horse.  Make sure your right leg is straight (not bent) as you lift it over the horse, and while using the weight that is balanced between your left foot and your hands on the saddle, lean forward, put weight into your right iron and slowly and softly sit down on the horse's back.  

If you are strong enough, you may lower yourself down gently before putting your right foot in the iron.  

Why do we take the time to practice these details? 

When you take up a sport like horseback riding which involves an animal, you owe it to the animal to do the right thing for them, such as mounting gently and politely.

Also, in the equestrian world, doing things that are technically correct is an admired trait. Other riders and horse caretakers will notice your techniques. How you handle and conduct yourself around horses and ponies is important and you want to represent yourself as a well-trained and caring equestrian for all to see.

Next newsletter I'll discuss adjusting your girth and irons from the saddle, as well as proper dismounting.

A Mounting Exercise
A good exercise to strengthen your legs and improve your balance is to hold on to the back of a chair, arch your back, lift your right leg straight out to your side and do squats with your left leg. This movement mimics the movement of mounting a horse. While this exercise does not work the muscles that helps you to quietly sit down in the saddle, it does help with the spring and balance needed for the first half of getting up so as to not pull on the withers and back.

Did you know...?
  • Horses have about 205 bones in their body
  • Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land and can see nearly 360 degrees
  • Horses gallop at about 27 mph
  • New-born horses can run shortly after birth because they need to be able to run with the herd for safety.                                   
Horse Spot light

Breed: Welsh Pony
Age: 17
Height: 12.2 Hands
Show Name: Bravo Victor!
Nickname: VictorPony
Best Horse Friend: Billy Bob
Special Skills: Being cute, great with advanced and beginner small children. Loves to jump, enjoys horse shows, loves baths
Background: Born in Canada, Victor was former Bookmark Farms student Avery Hinson's first pony. When Avery outgrew Victor, Joan bought him from the Hinson family and he's been a Bookmark Farms favorite ever since. That was 10 years ago and he has taught many, many small riders their walk, trot, canter and jumping skills!

Avery Hinson showing Victor in 2007
Victor and Addie G.
Rider Spot light
  Rae Ann Cassanos & Louie

Age of first riding lesson 4
Hometown:  Reynoldsburg, OH
Profession: Freshman at University of Findlay - Double major in
English Equestrian Studies & Business
Family/Pets: Mom Laura, Dad Pete, sister Danielle (16), brother John (14), two dogs, a cat, a fish, and a snake
Recent Equestrian Accomplishment: Showtime July 2016 Show: Rode in 3'3" Low Children's Jumpers, achieved first clear round at 3'3" and took 2nd place
Riding at Bookmark Farms since: Fall 2011
Favorite Bookmark Farms Lesson Horse: Mr. Jingles
Favorite thing about Bookmark Farms: Being a member of the IEA Team
Jenn Hunkins
Current equestrian goal: Making the IHSA Equestrian Team at University of Findlay 

Work At Bookmark Farms
Job Postings 8/1/16

Do you have experience working with horses and like working with kids? 

We are looking for a variety of help including year-round camp counselors, lessons assistants/tackers and general barn help. Our year-round camp counselors will help with Sunday FunDay, Pony Parties, Barn Tours and Scout Troops and must be available to work on the weekends   Contact Jennifer Garrett at with your info!

Bookmark Farms is an equal opportunity employer hiring animal lovers with energy and a commitment to the very best care of our customers, animals and barn community.
  • In our August Issue, we incorrectly stated Louie's show name. His show name is Formal Attire
We'd love to hear what you think abut our  newsletter. Please send us an email with suggestions, questions, photos or even essays about your lessons or your lesson horse.