All posts by Carol Blake

July Rides

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July 21-25 CSC 45th Anniversary Ride

July 1-3 2nd Wiarton Work Weekend: “Papa Clare’s Trail” The Making of a NEW Trail on the Peninsula Trails do not just appear….there is an art to creating them IMG_20160703_081420and on the peninsula even more patience because of all the rock and crevices.  Chesley Saddle Club has 45 years of incredible experienced people that have the skill and dedication to create great safe rides for us. In 2008 Clare Dendstedt (trail committee) from Dorking and Jimmy Rhodes from Elmira were two guys with two young horses who decided to ride alone and tackle a trail that had been haunting them for years; wanting to see where it would lead and what was just around the next corner. Each year after Clare would inch away at making a bit more trail by himself. In 2015 he was driven to complete it and brought his entire family to Work Weekend base camp for the day. The family dropped Joel and his Papa to work on the trail while they went into town.  While working Clare put his glasses on top of his hat contemplating a direction to pursue  he walked off forgetting about his glasses and now the trail has a pair of his glasses that sees all the riders that pass over them…3 hours later the patiently waiting family in the car see them finally return from the forest. Cowboy Bob joined Clare on a 5 Day Ride taking 8 riders into unknown territory. It was later described as walking on rock ridges like mountain goats; luckily not a horse was hurt and all had an experience they will never forget.  Now 2016, 8 years later on Work Weekend 2, Joel, Courtney & Papa Clare spent rainy day Friday trying to get the last piece figured out with yet another unsuccessful return. The club decided that Sat. we would all help get that last part of the loop finished. The completed trail is now aptly named “Papa Clare’s Trail”.

IMG_3012These companies are CSC 45th Anniversary Sponsors for 2016. Ionsons Saddlery, The Horse Habit, Herbs for Horses and Bluewater Feeds Ltd. Please acknowledge their contribution if you visit any of these establishments. Their funding is allowing the transportation of horses to the starting points each day for the Anniversary Ride this month from Chesley to Wiarton’s 5 Day.

Equine Dentistry

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What You Should Know About A PowerFloat

Equine Dentistry  IMG_0318

I had the pleasure of having Dr. Ben Mighton from the Walkerton-Hanover Veterinary Clinic come to the Blake Farm and share his knowledge while doing the PowerFloat procedure on Dancer.  This info will help you make better decisions in dental care for your horse. It is important to have a consultation to assess the state your horse’s mouth is in; as this can affect their nutrition and overall health if they can’t eat & digest properly. Some horses are lightly sedated and some not at all. Dancer managed the treatment well in fact I think she enjoyed it. I have included a link to Dental Problems site which has great explanations of dental terminology like hooks, ramps, wave mouth, traverse ridge ……….

This stainless steel style speculum for horses is a necessary piece of equipment for the practice of equine dentstry. This “easy to open design” speculum is suitable for a wide range of breed sizes.

Durable biothane straps are long lasting. The side arms are designed so that they do not close into the horse’s cheek (spreader effect). The ratchet mechanism is designed for easier opening.

- - click screen to close - - Dancer at 18 has managed over her years to have a balanced occlusal surface with a few rough edges. Ben allowed me to put my hand in her mouth and feel along the maxilla (upper) buccal surface of her teeth and slide along her cheek feeling for ulcerations created by sharp enamel points.

IMG_0319He then took his Dewalt 0-4000 rpm, plug-in electric motor with a built in clutch system designed to protect the guarded right angle grinding disc; powered by a variable speed, heavy-duty, DeWalt motor. The motor is adapted so that different shafts can be attached according to IMG_0320need. Both burrs can be used with the long rotary shaft.This attachment accepts the guarded chamfer burr which is used to float sharp enamel points off the upper and lower arcades.

The narrow cylindrical round nosed carbide burr allows easy access to the - - click screen to close - -rear molars. The cylindrical burr can also be placed in the short rotary shaft to be used to correct incisor teeth malocclusions. The flared diamond burr allows easy access to the sharp caudal edge of the last upper molar tooth. The Chamfer burr is used for precise angled floating of the sharp enamel points on the upper and lower arcades. The guarded abrasive disc (diamond or carbide) can be rotated into the up or down position for floating of IMG_0321the upper and lower dental arcades.


IMG_0325           Incisal Speculum


Dancer’s beautifully worn incisors due to her continuous grazing. Pretty content patient.



IMG_0326Doc Mighton also mentioned that while a Gelding or Stallion is lightly sedated after the PowerFloat it is a good time to clean the Horse’s Sheath. He explained the dangers of not doing this…..check for and remove the bean-a ball of whitish goo that forms within a small pocket at the tip of your horse’s penis. If not removed, a bean can get as large as a walnut and obstruct urine flow, which can cause your horse discomfort and potential harm.

Thanks Dr. Ben Mighton for a GREAT experience!

June Rides

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IMG_0004June 17-19 1st Wiarton Work Weekend Authored by Marg  Drexler & Frances Vegh- It all started at trail #12 our first obstacle. The dreaded red chain and a no trespassing symbol.  Who knew Clare and his horse were color blind we went around the gate. After that things were going peachy…until the sand box. Joel and his horse decided it was a nice day to roll around in the sand. It really didn’t take us too long to catch the horse.  Marg & Fran singing in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”

Oh, Oh, a water hole. Suddenly we heard the melodic yells of splish splash Clare was trying to take a bath. That spot is now renamed Clare’s old swimin hole. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”

We were moseying along and found some interesting old side trails that need a lot of work…..note to Joel leave the skinny trails to skinny horses. It really didn’t take that long to catch his horse; again. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”

Marg and Clare swear we were never lost, just misplaced the trail. Finally we found old ribbons, added new ones and lo and behold, we have a trail. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”

We headed out to the main county road and finally Carol could see exactly where the trail comes in off the road. Saw that Chad (land owner) was home so Carol thought she would let him know that her group of anniversary riders were coming thru. Lucky her she got off and knocked on the door, she quickly retreated to her horse but was humming wait for it, “Gonna find my baby, gonna hold him tight, gonna get me some afternoon delight” and looking a little flushed. Door opens a crack and Chad’s head comes out, he was quick to give his permission for us to carry on. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”

We returned back to camp along a well marked trail with no further events to report!! Marg & Fran

Happy Birthday Ron & Joan! IMG_2992 IMG_2998

IMG-20160618-00026Sydney Bay on the Peninsula: This is just one of the great lookouts we have on the CSC Rides. Thanks to our 45th Anniversary Sponsors- Bluewater Feed Ltd, Herbs For Horses, Ionson’s Saddlery and The Horse Habit. If you visit any of the establishments make sure you say thanks on behalf of the CSC.



June 10-12 Helmut’s Ride in Vivian Forest Authored by John & June Cicero- Another successful CSC ride!  After some unscheduled trailer-backing training, we IMG-20160612-00012arrived at Helmut’s beautifully treed property. We spent an enjoyable evening by the fire, rekindling old friendships and meeting new people. Our quiet, sleep-filled night was disrupted by lightening, thunder and rain, but we woke to mostly blue skies and warm temperatures.

 IMG-20160611-00010After breakfast, we set off through the bright green forest to meet some local day riders at the North Tract parking lot where we split into 2 groups. Lana and I chose to ride with Crystal, a local with extensive knowledge and experience in the Vivian Forest. The other 11 rode along with Helmut. Crystal has and was willing to share her considerable knowledge of forest history, tradition (she actually decorates a tree in the forest every Christmas), as well as past, current and future trail and forest plans. Crystal guided us on a wonderfully relaxing 2½ hour ride through beautiful, dynamic forested trails, taking the time to tell us all she knew about what we were experiencing and seeing. We crossed paths with several riders enjoying the day and the trails. We rejoined our main group for lunch, parted ways with the local riders, and then continued on the fabulous forest trails, stopping at a pond before finally heading home.


160615_220219_COLLAGE-1Saturday evening’s potluck was well supplied, attended and enjoyed. And after a pleasantly exhausting day of riding, the majority of the 10 riders retired by 9pm. 

IMG-20160611-00003Sunday morning brought winds and cooler temperatures-excellent riding weather after the humidity of the previous day. We were once again joined by local riders and set out on new trails that were again beautiful and varied. Today we were met by more hikers and dog walkers, everyone happily enjoying the day and the trails. IMG-20160611-00002 And after a request for a new leader, Lucy and I took the lead. Thankfully we were skillfully guided through the trails by Helmut, just a few mounts behind-don’t quite know how he remembers the trails so well, especially from 10-20 feet back. Camp began to break up in early afternoon and we departed, leaving some behind to relax before setting out. Many thanks to Helmut for another great weekend of riding! J&J

Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Horse Camp June 4th Grand OpeningekhoThis spring our club was contacted and  we offered a monetary donation and also our expertise to help them with their trail system. We started working on the trails in April, very chilly time to be camping! We worked for two weekends and have gone back a number of times to continue the work. It’s been amazing watching the trail system come together and talking to the people who have come to enjoy a horse park.


To see photo’s and news commentaries you can go to and The Sun Times newspaper. The grand opening was June 4th with approximately 11 kms of trails open. The club will continue opening more trails and of course enjoy beautiful riding and 13312782_1177662458932504_1714710585775490842_ncomradery with fellow members. See you on the trails.

Liz Rowe

May Rides

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MAY 28 Lucknow John’s Spontaneous Ride

Authored by John Pyatt  After my IMG_20160528_115448May 14 weekend ride was cut short by rotten weather I rescheduled it for the May 28 weekend. Clearly the weather gods are after me as I had to cancel that one due to the possibility of severe thunderstorms. However, because Saturday looked to be good for the most part I held an impromptu ride. Four of us decided to give it a shot and it was a glorious day for a ride.

We covered about thirteen miles through bush, fields and a tiny bit of road. The mosquitoes were thick in a few spots but the healthy breeze kept them mostly at bay. I suspect that for the next couple of weeks the skitters will be a bit of a pain. Hopefully the deer flies won’t be to bad.

IMG_20160528_113518After about 4 1/2 hours of riding we ended the day with a very pleasant cold beverage. Thanks Carol, Don and Merlene for coming along.

MAY 28-29 LUCKNOW JOHN’s RE-RIDE CANCELLED Changed to Spontaneous Ride-John would like the CSC members know that his ride has become a Spontaneous Ride due to the changing weather pattern over the weekend. A 9am departure time Sat & Sun but advised to call before you drive over. John Pyatt 519-955-1286

MAY 20-22 Vivian Forest Ride  Authored by Marilu Murphy & Brenda Douglas-Jump in the truck, horses are loaded, we are looking forward to a fun filled weekend with fellow horse people. Four hours should have been sufficient but it took us another hour making it five hours before we finally drove up Helmut’s short driveway and onto his property.  Ron was standing and talking to Helmut ahead of us.  8They quickly cut their conversation short to assist in parking Brenda’s rig in a perfect spot to allow us to set up a portable corral for Misty and Sage.  Two horses that loaded well, travelled five hours like troopers are tired and beyond feeling the freedom of the soft dirt beneath their hooves and more hay in there bellies. They unload perfectly and rest happy within the confines of their corral.  Their owners, are finally sitting back enjoying a cold beverage, caching their breath.

The socializing has begun. We gather at Brad and Ruth’s rig to chat and catch up with last year’s news, beverages in hand while munching on tidbits and snacks.  This is the life!  A green tree canopy envelops us with an oak leaf carpet below our feet.

10After our bellies were full, a long but enjoyable day came to an end while we relaxed at the campfire sharing more stories.

Saturday morning at ten am sharp, the group of twelve led by our host and trail master Helmut stepped out along the road that cuts through 5the property. The soft trail winds down a fairly steep hill behind his home and leads down to a large pond where the horses can grab a quick drink before heading out.  The shallow depths at the edge of the pond was not good enough for Misty and a few others as they had to creep out into the deeper waters to take their drink.

The trails start in the Vivian Forest just beyond the pond. A gentle incline takes us up into tree lined soft sand trails that meander through the forest.  We ride along edges of highways, behind private homes and property, across the Forest’s parking lot and through another small body of water.  Three more horses catch up with our group, having missed the ten am start. 7 Fifteen horses in all follow Helmut and his Tennessee Walker, Smokey at a reasonably good clip, taking breaks as needed for slower horses to catch up.  Trilliums and other spring flowers lining the trails are at their peak, the canopy a bright yellow green that is seen only at this time of year.  The softly packed sandy trails are not difficult or challenging with steep hills but are more relaxing and rolling.  Areas that are harder surfaced are still not going to bother a good healthy bare foot.  Some of the trails are single file while others widen out.  We meet horseback riders that do not belong to our group, and walkers with their dogs.  Everyone is kind and respectful.  The weather is warm up here not far from Newmarket, a real treat for our “volatile late spring” in this more north eastern area.

After four and a half hours, I look forward to getting back. My knees are starting to ache a bit, as this is my longest ride this year so far.  I was satisfied; Misty the Morgan was more relaxed as was Sage, Brenda’s five-year-old Quarter Horse mare.  A finish at the pond was enjoyed, as they stood buried up to the top of their elbows in the cool water splashing and dipping their noses.

Back at camp, we were able to use Helmut’s spray hose to rinse off sweaty areas under the saddle. Horses are happy to go back into their portable stalls to munch on hay and rest while we gathered together to enjoy a cold beverage at one another’s rigs.

A potluck supper sitting properly at patio tables up on Helmut’s large deck over looking his pool later on in the day followed by a campfire was just the best experience to end a wonderful day.

On Sunday, after a breakfast of muffins from Timmy’s provided by Sandy and coffee that was made by our host, we were on our way again. Ten am sharp, heading in a more northerly direction, twelve horses left to enjoy the trails once more in the Vivian Forest.  Another five hour ride of sweet bliss through the beautiful trails once more.   We end our ride at the pond for another dip and drink while walkers and other guests of the Vivian Forest take the opportunity of a Kodak moment snapping photos of riders and their horses playing in the pond.

Riders congregate at Brenda’s rig after their horses are comfortable in the portable stalls and on high lines. We discuss previous rides; next year’s rides and say our goodbyes to those who are leaving to make a long trek home.

We have decided that we will leave on Sunday rather than stay the holiday Monday. Heading out later on and the day before, we will avoid the busy traffic on the 401.

Tired but satisfied, we load our horses and easily leave our camp site, saying goodbye to our friends only to meet up again at another ride.

Vivian Forest and the kindness of our gracious host Helmut gave us a wonderful experience. Thank you Helmut, we appreciate all that you do for our horses and us.    Marilu Murphy and Brenda Douglas.

MAY 20-23 Dufferin/Mansfield Ride Authored by Jan Moulton-I would like to say what an amazing weekend we had at the Dufferin Forest ride with the Chesley Saddle Club on the May 24th weekend. What a great bunch of people to ride with….however…we had a couple of hiccups getting there. After a week of preparation in getting ready for our vacation with our horses…Leslie & I headed out and needless to say… the midway point my diesel truck blew a head gasket. ..after hours of sitting in a “gracious” Amish barn yard waiting for the tow truck to take my truck back to our diesel mechanic in Burgessville, we had a grateful rescue from the ever gracious Cathy Dibble who brought us a truck to haul our trailer home. Finally getting home at midnight, we decided we were not going to miss this Mansfield virgin trip and proceeded to get up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning with the intentions to make it to Dufferin for our 10:00 a.m. ride. Well….needless to say….we pulled into the campsite with a very warm welcome from all our friends at CSC…and managed to get our horses off the trailer and tacked up ready to ride by……..Oh Yes…10:00 and off we went!!

Our good friend Jeff Dibble offered us some fried chicken on our lunch break and it brought us back to life. ..after not eating for 32 hrs…my horse didn’t recover so well after the Sat. ride and thanks to Carol Blake who rescued my horse with some electrolytes. ..we survived!!. All of our friends at the CSC were so generous as to share their horse’s water with us; our water still on my truck which was towed for repair.

Well. .we are still travelling and camping with Mr Jeff Dibble’s truck and are touring the Saugeen Bluff trails that our CSC members have worked on at the Saugeen Conservation Horse Camp. I and my best travelling companion and friend Leslie Ball are truly blessed and thankful for all the help and overwhelming support of our CSC members who truly care about their fellow riders and care for our horses. I’d like to say a big “THANK YOU” to all of you. Ride on and be safe!! Jan Moulton

MAY 28-29 LUCKNOW JOHN’s RE-RIDEThe Lucknow Ride of May 14 was cancelled due to the inclement weather so we will give it another shot on the May 28 weekend. Refer to the May 14 ride for driving instructions and give John a call if you are interested in coming to this ride. John Pyatt 519-955-1286

MAY 14 Lucknow John’s Ride


John & Pat were the hosts for the 1st scheduled CSC Ride held in Lucknow, ON. They have a beautiful rolling hill property that kitty-corners the South Kinloss Tract and CSC members are getting the opportunity to ride it once again. I believe this forest was once a CSC ride hosted by the Cowan Family years ago. We are fortunate to now have members that live on the edge of this forest and are willing to host us in to ride it again.

Friday we were running around in T-shirts enjoying the warmth and sun while getting nipped by the pesky little black fly. John helped us get our rigs set and high lines attached to the remaining trees in his orchard. He shared with us that they were hit by a tornado last August; the Sunday night of the Wiarton’s 5 Day …………as devastating as that must have been for them it is still a beautiful orchard, when it is DRY, a little different this morning, WET.

You build it and they will come; a fire beckoned us Friday night to leave our trailers and congregate around it to share stories and reconnect after a long winter. There is nothing like being out camping with my horse again. So good to share laughs, dinner and drinks with like-minded people.

There is something to be said about the sound of warm raindrops all night as you sleep  in your trailer but when spring temperatures drop, winds get stronger and horses start shivering it is time for riders to be responsible in getting horses warmed up and eating.

At 9:30am CSC meeting was called and John & Pat graciously opened their house to all of us. After the meeting coffee & Birthday cake was served to celebrate Pat, John & Jeff’s special days.


The club decided to call the ride and get horses home. John got his tractor out to pull a few rigs back on to the road to head home. Sincere appreciation to our hosts Pat & John for a memorable CSC Ride.

“April Eye”

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20160322_192605“April EYE”

Waibel is a 12 yr old Stallion when I bought him from Keith and Gladys Hodgins at TwinView Farms three yrs ago. I had him Gelded and broke in the first few months, and he was on his way to becoming a Awesome Trail Horse. I call him my Haffy Bull- Dozer. Wherever I point him he goes. I have had my challenges with him because he has the energy of a 3 yr old.  That being said he just did The Cracker Trail Ride in Florida 115 miles across the State starting in Bradenton East Coast and ending in Fort Pierce West Coast. Waibel and I also did some Great riding in Tennessee in the Great Smokey Mountains on the way home. Waibel’s first ever big engagement was two yrs ago at the Chesley Saddle Club Ride in Wiarton.  Because of Waibel I have made life long friends like Gladys and Keith and also my Trainer Cathy Peard of Cedar Valley Ont. Horses do that to people you share many miles in the saddle and hours around the campfire.  Kate Serre
Waibel’s eye was view by 76 people on fb and 55 viewed the video. Making him CSC April Eye. He truly is a beauty with that incredible mane.


Horse Nutrition

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Have you ever wondered if you are feeding your horse the right amounts of nutrition………..

Has Your Horse Got IR Symptoms???

Marc-André Blouin: Equine Nutrition Consultant was a guest speaker for 50th Annual Grey Bruce Farmer’s Week & Trade Show. Bluewater Feed Company Ltd invited him to speak at Horse Day. If you were ever wondering about hay to grass transition this is a very interesting read. He shared an amazing amount of information  on feeding the Cushings/Insulin Resistant (IR) horse. I have included Marc-Presentation  to view.  The Horse has a good article as well on Spring Grass Safety.


Countdown to 1st CSC Ride

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Parking space limited so RSVP and get your spot reserved. 2016_CSCmemberapp

Chesley-Flyer-HIRES to promote 5 Day Ride 2016


Who’s Horse ???

Don’t forget to click Contest and play. I will post your horse’s eye(s).

New game started April 1/16.


Chesley Saddle Club Anniversary

TWO SPOTS for the CSC Anniversary Ride 2016 have just opened up. There is always the chance of a lame horse or someone taking ill; so there is a cancellation list. If you would like to add your name please let me know. Thanks to all who have confirmed to be on the CSC 45th Anniversary Ride 2016.

If you are someone that would like to be involved but do not want to ride we need Transportation Rig Drivers. If this might interest you please contact me for a Driver Package.

CSC’s 45th Anniversary Promotions

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Happy 45th Anniversary CSC
Let’s make 2016 the 45th Anniversary year to remember!!!

Items listed are the promotional products available:


CSC Anniversary Wine/Cider $15.00/bottle (Hoity Toity product)

DCP_6452CSC Toques $20.00


CSC Jacket (with logo & name on sleeve) $100.94

Chesley Saddle Club Anniversary

Anniversary Logo $12.00

Name on Sleeve $2.50

Oct 17 Ride: CSC & Hoity Toity Cellars Wine/Cider Tasting Horse Ride

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12096106_1045337818829959_396131294813079149_n12088391_1045337495496658_7436419356235324096_nOur ride is through the Walkerton River Valley arriving at Hoity Toity Cellars between 1-1:30. The vineyard is going to organize tie-up and water for horses. They will also have a place for us to eat our saddlebag lunch as we taste/purchase their products. Please confirm with Carol Blake to let Hoity Toity Cellars know how many will be coming. Interested riders can contact me for parking details on Oct. 17th @ 10:00am.

Wine Cider Tasting Ride.doc