All posts by Carol Blake


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If you are interested in this product we could make a group order from Chesley Saddle Club.  Email me and let me know if you want one and I will place an order with Marcia.


Congratulations Paul & Terry on Receiving the Medal of Good Citizenship

CSC Sponsors for 2017

Bluewater Feed Company Ltd

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Herbs for Horses 8 out of 10 Horses are Stressed Out!

Calm and Collected Tube

Calm & Collected
A calming formulation based on the well researched properties of Magnesium, Thiamine, and some of the anxiolytic herbs.

Available as an 80 ml tube administered 30-60 minutes prior to stressful situations (shipping, gate training, etc) or as an ‘in-feed’ daily supplement for use as a training aid. Read more….



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 Wow what a day!!!

 Or should I say extended  weekend for weather. I hope you got out on horseback or walking somewhere today…. Hard to imagine it is February 22 at 16 degrees in Bruce County. I have just got in from an incredible day out with my girls Jess, Mizzy Goat & Dancer they loved it. We played in the Penetangore River which is past belly height; dog & goat had to swim to cross. Up and down the valley hills through the beautiful snow/mud trails. I think I pulled enough hair from Dancer to fill a pillowcase…hope it does not turn too cold again. Won’t be long now till we will be on the CSC Rides. cb
Who is in the featured picture?

Cody & his pony. 

Chesley Saddle Club meeting will be at JOAN & DOUG CLOAKEY’S FARM —–84561 Clegg Line RR #4  Brussels, Ontario.  N0G 1H0    Phone # 1-519-887-6617 Sunday February 19th ,  1:00 pm meeting , pot luck to follow.  In case of bad weather the following weekend February 26, 2017. Please bring a chair.

CSC Images
Stories of CSC  Story image for chesley saddle club from The Post - Ontario Jim Merriam


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Condolences to Pat and David McRae on the passing of Pat’s father.
Chesley Saddle Club MEETING WILL BE AT JOAN & DOUG CLOAKEY’S FARM —–84561 Clegg Line RR #4  Brussels, Ontario.  N0G 1H0    Phone # 1-519-887-6617 Sunday February 19th ,  1:00 pm meeting , pot luck to follow.  In case of bad weather the following weekend February 26, 2017. Please bring a chair.
Bluewater  Feed Ltd
Call Marcia at Bluewater Feed Ltd for info  226-668-6910.
Welcome to the Mane Event Expo London
NEW LOCATION! In 2017, The Mane Event will grow in new locations that include London, Ontario May 12-14 at the Western Fair District. Visit the Chesley Saddle Club Booth …………..See More

March 31, April 1-2, 2017

Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week 2017

will take place from Wednesday, January 4, 2017 to Tuesday, January 10, 2017.  The individual days are as follows:

Beef Day – Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dairy Day – Thursday, January 5, 2017

Goat Day – Friday, January 6, 2017

Sheep Day – Saturday, January 7, 2017

Horse Day – Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ecological Day  – Monday, January 9, 2017

Crops Day – Tuesday, January 10, 2017


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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Gladys at Holstein Parade

Kate Serre

Joanne, Betty & Laurie at Holstein Parade

Laurie & Joanne at Paisley & Hanover Parade

What are amino acids and why are they important?      Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and indicate the quality of the protein sources in a feed. Horses cannot synthesize all of the amino acids. Lysine, methionine and threonine are the first limiting amino acids. If they are deficient, the horse cannot make full use of the protein for hair coat, hoof growth and muscle development. All Purina horse feeds contain optimum levels of amino acids, for ideal muscle development and maintenance.

Tips for Managing Horses in Winter to Avoid Colic…..Colic can strike at any time and has many known–and some not-so-well-understood–risk factors. The fall and winter seasons themselves are known risk factors and there are several things you can do to decrease your horse’s likelihood of developing colic. As pastures dwindle in the fall and the horse must switch to a different diet, two major factors are at play. One is the fact there is a different diet.


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Happy 80th Birthday Helmut!!

Saturday, November 26th Helmut was surprised when a group of friends threw a birthday party in his honour. Following the potluck dinner and after the gifts and cards were opened Sheila MacDonald and myself conducted an interview with the “man of the hour”. Here are some of our findings. Helmut didn’t start trail riding until 1973. Since that time he has owned eight horses. His most memorable, and one that he still owns, is a Tennessee Walker named Smokey. Helmut purchased Smokey in 2010 and after owning her for only ten days completed a 250 mile ride. (we don’t call him leather butt for nothing). An OTRA member since the mid 1980’s, an active member of the Ontario Trail Riders since 2000. Helmut joined the Board of Directors in 2002. He was on the Board for seven years. Helmut came back on the Board again in 2015 as President. When Helmut first started camping he had a slide in camper in the back of his pickup truck and a two horse bumper pull trailer. He upgraded to a one ton truck and a large goose neck trailer with all the comforts of home. He has put over 100,000 kilometers on his truck and trailer. One of his favourite places to ride and camp, Otter Creek, New York. He remembers fondly time spent there with Frank Bauman, Sheila MacDonald, Ron Keeler, Marvin Haliday, to name only a few. Helmut has rode and camped across Western Canada, from Illinois to Alabama, and all the way down the Eastern and Western Coasts. He was active in getting a camp in Mattawa started. Helmut says the trails were beautiful. He and Marvin Haliday bush whacked their way to their own beach. A very memorable ride for Helmut was the Shore to Shore, Michigan ride, from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. He proudly displays the small block of wood, trophy from the Michigan Trail Riders Association. OSCODA to Empire. The 10 day 250 mile/400 kilometer ride. He will tell you that he and Smokey bonded on this ride. Helmut has made many friends along the way. Carla and Ron Walker, from Michigan presented him 20161126_173219_resizedwith an “Iron Man” trophy, which he proudly displays, after the Shore to Shore ride. Carla and Ron drove from Michigan for Helmut’s 80th on Saturday. Helmut lost an U.S. election result related bet to the Walkers. He is now sporting a “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” cap and is out fifty bucks. Helmut also received a birthday card from Annie and Clay Smith from Texas. More friends Helmut has made trail riding.

The party was busy and it was hard to nail the birthday boy down. We will wait for some quiet time in the future and continue the interview. The number of people helping Helmut celebrate this milestone is a testimonial to the person that he is. Helmut, you an inspiration to all. Happy Trails.

Sheila MacDonald and Lana English




Grey Cup Weekend: posted a blast from the past in 2012 CSC Grey Cup Robbery
 If anyone would like to author horse related info that could help us keep our horses healthy please let me know. The winter month are a great time to read.

As winter approaches, horses may begin to drink less as the water gets cold and freezes. At this time, horses often transition from food with a high moisture content (pasturing) to a dryer diet (dry hay). These two things are at the root of a common winter problem: impaction colic. It is crucial that horses living
outside be given access to quality water at all times as they must consume at least 10 gallons per day. A bucket of half-frozen water or snow is next to useless as it does not fulfill the horse’s basic needs. Moreover,if a horse consumes very cold water, its body temperature will drop and it will have to expend a lot of energy
to warm up. The only way to prevent water from freezing in the winter is to invest in a heated water trough.This is the best way to prevent impaction colic and esophageal obstruction in horses… and to avoid potential veterinary fees, not to mention the emotional toll of losing a valued animal. Research shows that horses drink
more when water is kept at a temperature of about 18 to 20 degrees C (65 degrees F). Even stabled horses may begin to drink less because, even if the water in the trough does not freeze, it may be too cold for the horse to drink. Consider using individual buckets with concealed heating elements to keep water at the
desired temperature. Using hot water to add moisture to feed, especially if it contains fiber, is another great way to get your horse to drink more. Finally, it is important to carefully monitor your horse’s water intake and check its hydration levels regularly using the skin pinch test or by monitoring the texture of the manure. If your horse is still not drinking enough water, adding 1 to 2 ounces of salt (100% NaCl) per meal, in addition to a bloc of white salt, is a great way to increase its water intake.  Marcia Cunningham


October Rides

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October 15-16 John’s Lucknow Fall Ride–  Authored by June & Johnnie Cicero- This ride included everything that you would want in a trail ride: beautiful fall colours & autumn sunshine; dynamic, interesting and sometimes unknown trails; entertainment courtesy of The Strawberry Roan and The Little Black Speed Demon; a camera crew of 1 to catch us at our finest moment; and then a feast of chili, breads, salads & many desserts to end a glorious day! Thanks so much to John & Pat for hosting this successful event!  J&J

The painting that was won in the draw at the Aug. annual meeting is the featured picture for October Rides. The winner chose what they wanted done by either Margaret or Wayne.  The winners were June and John Cicero and they chose a watercolour painting done by Margaret Yeoman.  It is called High Range.  Congratulations to June and John!

Authored by Carol Blake-John gave us a full day of spectacular vistas that captured all the fall colours. One img-20161015-00177of my favourites is this country road. This weekend was a surprise that it was so warm every day. Starting Friday afternoon an easy 20+ degrees as we all gathered on Pat & John’s deck after horses settled and camps set up. Gathering again for the beautiful fire after dinner to tell more stories….it is amazing how we have so much to share in 3 days!!!  Sat. started out cooler but sunny with John leading us out by 9 because he had so much to show us to make up for all his rained out rides. Returning around 4:30; ready for a cocktail which was then followed by a scrumptious chili dinner served in the barn, on picnic tables adorned with vases of fall flowers.  A good exhaustion by all; most retired back to trailers for an early night.  Sunday awoke to warm overcast and the decision to head home was made by most after coffee. Thanks John for all your trail work; loved my rides every time. Cheers Pat for all your energy and for just being you!!   “Till We Ride Again”

14741814_10153817221941671_1447585646_nAuthored by Pat MacRae- For me, the highlight of this weekends’ CSC ride, along with everything else that was wonderful, was the fact that our hosts Pat and John Pyatt provided me with electricity. I sleep in the dressing room of my trailer, which has been converted into a tiny living area with a bed. Friday night was very cold and would have been an extremely uncomfortable night for sleeping, but because of the hydro it wasn’t. With the aid of my electric heater, I felt that I had been put up in a five star hotel. I had a great nights sleep, ready to hit the trails Saturday morning at 9 am. Thanks Pat and John, I mean it!    Happy trails….       pm

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Authored by Liz Rowe- Perfect ending to an amazing season of riding with good friends. The long and winding trail that led us to more beauty. A wonderful ride with all our friends (accomplices in devilry)  involving stories from every walk of life. It couldn’t have been a better day with Mother Nature in full agreement this time favouring us with sunshine and glorious temps. Once again a beautiful bonfire and new cocktails to sample! John and Pat again hosted a beautiful weekend, you are both exceptional people. For everyone riding is freedom and hopefully soon we will be back at our favourite pastime. Liz

Authored by Jan Moulton- What a fantastic ride with the Chesley Saddle Club this weekend . John and Pat were exceptionally fantastic hosts. Riding a full day, 8 hr. Ride thru beautiful fall coloured bush with 18 other riders…can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend. Topped it off with a fantastic to see all the CSC members pull together for a delicious meal….And a huge “Kudos” to the yummy chili that John Pyatt made. Just finished off a great trail ride. I feel so lucky to have been a part of this Club and to ride with such great riders and true friends…our year has come to an end…but…lots to look forward to next year!……Jan 

14628142_10153817221841671_1439136167_n  14741763_10153817221951671_1942353027_nOrchard Camp

Authored by Jeff Dibble- Well here goes my parigraf, please edit it fer me Carol. 14650077_10210341742076924_8283447360330793946_nI’m a poor speller at best and if it ain’t appropriate let me know.
I would like to let everone know that missed John Pyatt’s ride you missed a GOOD one. We started with a great camp fire, Johns hard wood of coarse. Had some good entertainment with stories,lies and I think a dance of some sort!😳 The early departure on Saturday was one HR early, yes CSC left camp at 9:00! Randy Wright’s dream come true! John says we did just shy of 20 miles, my ass didn’t think it to be more than 50!What a perfict ride weather was nice trails just rite some hills, some wide manicured, some not(my style) and very little road! We did have a close call when Don R had to take off a sweat shirt cause of heat. This got some of the “girls at the back” a little worked up! i was more worried he’d blow some buttons and spook the horses! Saturday nites supper was real good too John and his lovely wife Pat had chilly fer us. Some members brought a salid,pies and a carrot cake to. Oh I’m thinkin the sand cougars had fresh buns! Also a big thank you to the land owners, with out them we’re riding in a circle on sand!

Thanks John and Pat fer all your hard work. It takes lots of work and determination to pull off a ride like that!

14492468_10157461522315654_1205918417301887177_nI know the last one don’t pertain to the subject but just a proud dad I gess!

Two of Jeff’s loves Virginia and the Widow Maker….


We had the pleasure to enjoy the hospitably of Pat & John on the weekend of Oct.14-16.The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. The ride on Saturday was also very enjoyable, riding thru the hills and forests, the area around Lucknow is a trail riders paradise. Sunday was a total washout with rain starting early in the morning. Everybody left for home. Well we had a good weekend nothing to good for a cowboy/girl.

Wilf & Doreen img-20161015-00179




September Rides

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September 17-18 Herman’s Ride Authored by cb- Friday was a beautiful img_20160916_1441038afternoon to set up camp on the Wainwright Property. One by one rigs arrived and settled in literally…more on that story later. John offered a ride around 3:30 for anyone that felt like saddling up. We rode for a few hours and got a feel for the great trails we were going to enjoy this weekend. Herman was img-20160917-00161even prepared for the rain that was predicted to arrive Sat. Our evening fire was incredible with the Harvest Moon beaming above us.img_20160916_2203411

img-20160917-00157Woke up to a warm overcast morning with predictions of a long day of rain coming to fruition. As we waited for a clearing Herman agreed to give us a tour of his family goat farm. An estimated 700 goats was a sight to see and hear; from Brutus the Ram to the tiniest of kids each wanting attention.

Sat. after our unique sunset ride we had the pleasure of meeting John & Pat from South Africa now retired Professors from U of W; Andrew  a AJW Fine Furniture fabricator & Owen (Andrew’s son) Wainwright the landowners of our home base for the weekend.  They were sharing with us that they purchased the property 50 years ago and through a Ministry program planted 50,000 trees. The Wainwright’s have trimmed trails all through their 14322436_10153752104081671_7799451919266478411_nproperty making it a relaxing, soft footed ride for our horses.  Sincere appreciation to the Wainwright Family and their generosity  in sharing their environmental treasure with us.

Day riders started to arrive by 9-9:30 on Sunday morning.  Welcoming new riders Joyce,  Roxanne, Casey & Rachel. John & Herman lead us through manicured trails, around fields with gorgeous panoramic views, through babbling streams…you could not be disappointed on this ride it had everything. I must remind myself not to get complacent with the beauty I see on all these rides.

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Of course all great weekends must come to an end and getting everyone out of this location was done with the assistance of Andrew and his tractor…as I mentioned a few rigs settled into the clay and needed a tug to get pointed in the right direction.

A huge thanks again to the Wainwright’s and  to our trail leaders Herman and John for another superb time. Maybe the next ride at John’s could be a “DRY” Ride!!!!!!!



September 10-11  Authored by Jeff Pollard- Ralph’s Ride was graciously hosted by Ralph Campbell of Westfield Rd near Blyth. Saturday’s ride did not get going until 1:00 pm due to inclement weather but that is not to say the morning was uneventful. Somehow, Bob’s horse got loose and for some unknown reason, decided to take off running and was last seen going over the hill with a smile on its face. An exhaustive search of the surrounding country finally turned up the fugitive several miles away.  The ride got underway after lunch with 10 riders and went through beautiful country and well groomed trails.
A delicious pot luck supper was had on Saturday evening. It was apparent that all contributors brought their best dishes. No one went away hungry. This writer especially liked the desert table.
Ralph provided a large wagon load of firewood and decreed that it all had to be burnt before the end of the weekend. A large bonfire was had both Friday and Saturday night and despite best efforts by several people loading the fire, there was a little bit left on the wagon Sunday afternoon.
Sunday’s weather was gorgeous. Sunny and low 20s. 16 riders participated in aproximately 5 hours on the trails. Again Bob provided the entertainment when his horse came across some ground bees. It’s clear to see why his nickname is Cowboy as he went well over 8 seconds. Fortunately both horse and rider escaped without injury and the ride carried on.
Thanks to Ralph Campbell for a very well run and successful ride. Jeff Pollard

September 3-4 Cowboy Bob’s Ride Ayton  WOW!! what a weekend in every  possible way. Absolutely perfect weather, incredible trails…this cool picture was taken by John Pyatt of my girl coming down the sand slide. Soooo Fun!!!  Huge THANKS to our host & trail leaders Bob Butler & Murray Grein.  cb

IMG-20160902-00136Look for the COWBOY at his gate: Johnnie Cicero is Authoring  his version of Cowboy Bob’s Ride-  Saturday morning 10′ o clock saw 29 riders head out for day of riding under blue skies. We traversed trails through the bush and across open fields enjoying the day and scenery with temperatures that were just right.  After lunch we back tracked short ways IMG-20160904-00149heading off on other trails, riding across a couple creeks, stopping to let the horse have a drink as needed. After crossing one creek we lost the trail which required us to ride through the creek for short distance to find the trail.. After a full day of riding we  returned to camp in the late afternoon  tired and happy. Potluck supper was served with plenty of food for everyone followed by a bonfire which was enjoyed by all.

IMG-20160904-00141Sunday morning 32 riders rode out to ride on Bob’s farm. We rode in the bush on trails and on trails up hills, down hills, some steep, over, under and around trees until a branch knocked Bob’s hat and glasses off his head. Luckily Clare joined Bob and his grandson and found the glasses. Awesome job Clare! Bob showed us a hill  that was steep and sandy….A few people took up Bob’s challenge to ride down the hill.  We continued our ride  and returned to camp in mid afternoon. Another great riding weekend. All the best Johnnie


Chesley Saddle Club 45th Anniversary Ride 2016

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Journey of CSC 45th Anniversary Ride 2016

Thurs. July 21/16 –Set up day at TBC (Trask Base Camp)

“the 45” picturesIMG-20160721-00063

Everyone in and settled by 6:00pm. Trailer to trailer, electric fence & highlined. Horses are happy & fed! Orientation meeting at 8:00 with 17 present and 4 to join us in the morning at Ionson’s in Chesley. Registration and Sponsor’s product handed out, an explanation of how the loading of TRigs with each participant getting a loading #.  Housekeeping information shared to respect our host property, questions answered and a celebratory shot of St~ Germain to end the night. Quiet camp by 11:00pm.


DAY 1-Fri July22/16 Chesley to Tara Up early 5:30am to feed & groom to be ready for the first 3 TR arriving at 7:00am.  Beautiful morning a bit overcast with comfortable summer breeze. High today 30 degrees.TR’s loaded with pails, banners and first aid bucket. The wagon was loaded with water barrel and delivered yesterday ready to be harnessed to team today. Loaded and on the road before 7:30. Jan’IMG-20160722-00065s team of mules had another plan so they needed a little assistance. Last load arrived at Ionson’s by IMG-20160722-000758:45 and we were en route  by 9:00am led by Ross Trask’s beautiful team of Clydes. There were many people who came out of their homes to wave or cars that stopped to take a picture.

IMG-20160722-00072Les & Larry Bluhm, original CSC members joined us with their perfectly paired team of Percherons.  Our wonderful TR driver Keith Hodgins drove ahead and found a great shady spot for lunch.  Fed, watered and a change out for Burt to his buggy we were off again on our final leg of the day our destination Tara. IMG-20160723-00082

IMG-20160722-00073   IMG-20160722-00079

IMG-20160723-00081DAY 2  Sat July 23/16 Tara to Sauble Another early sunny morning to get organized expecting temp in the low 30 degrees to ride in. We lost 2 horses this morning John Pyatt and Ruthie Uyl. Everyone knows the routine so loading is a breeze. On our way to Sauble by 9:15am with a wonderful welcome from downtown Tara. At Allenford we went on the rail trail but Burt found that his wheels might not take the stone so Bev cut away from group with Burt, Maria, Jan & Ava taking Fieldside Rd to Allenford Rd. We carried on and ironically we all came together at the sametime for IMG_2386lunch at Steven Feige’s gorgeous shady property. Check out the OS Sun Times Mon. July 25/16 front page for great interviews with riders and a couple of great group pictures. The last part of our trek was by Sauble Speedway and Golf & Country to TBC and our 2 great TR drivers Ross & Mike got us there safely. R&R absolutely appreciated tonight by all with stories to share. (Incredible pictures posted by Jesse Stone  & riders on CSC facebook site.)IMG-20160723-00084

13770278_283570535338135_4934943500167787642_nSOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA

IMG-20160724-00089DAY 3 Sun July 24/16 Sauble to Red Bay Alarm ringing by 5:30 again and up to yet another beautiful overcast morning. No trailering this morning so on trail shortly after 8:00am. Ross & Bev led us through their stunning property along the Sauble River which leads to their house in Sauble. Unfortunately John Uyl’s horse came up too lame to continue. Fortunately our great hosts hooked up another truck and trailer so John could take his horse back to TBC. Amazing how things always worked out on this journey….We were on our way again through some great trails to Sauble Falls; traversing on sand, gravel and pavement. We had IMG-20160724-00086IMG-20160724-00087  IMG-20160724-00088

arranged for our TR driver Mike to meet us for lunch in IMG-20160724-00092Oliphant to pick up 3 horses and return them to TBC. Ross and his team led us out the last leg of the journey to Pat & Doug Locke’s farm on Red Bay Rd. This is a picture of us riding between Sky Lake and Mud Lake along Red Bay Rd. 3 TR’s arrive by 2:30pm and we are all home at TBC by 3:30 to pack up for the move to 5 Day Base Camp.






I arrived at 5 Day around 7:00pm setup camp for the last day of our journey.  Exhausted physically & mentally I fell fast asleep as the rain hit my trailer.




13769334_283438095351379_773637492076991753_nDAY 4 Mon July 25/16 5 Day to Red Bay and Return Got to sleep in till 7:00am this morning; feel great! There is a heavy fog hanging as we prepare for Red Bay. At 9:00 four riders head out through #12 trail to Red Bay Rd. Due to the rainy night and the high humidity the flies loved our horses & mules.

13654326_283471982014657_7560939437152684385_nOnce back out in the open the breeze was fantastic and strong enough to push the flies off us. At 12:00 noon we arrived at Locke’s farm for lunch our turn around point. Made great time as we trotted out a couple of times just to break up the ride and the road was perfect for it.  Ross met us for lunch and offered to take our water barrel and cooler back to Base Camp. On our return we were greeted by Burt in his buggy with his grandson, Marilu & Brenda all heading for Berford Lake.

13770357_283549945340194_3385586666226403639_nPat , Mary Lou, Don & Liz were coming back from 2 Canoe and followed us into 5 Day base camp around 3:15pm.

13620096_283565212005334_8975071566577402860_nCSC 45th Anniversary Riders arrive for the 5 Day Ride!!!

A huge THANKS to our Sponsors Ionson’s Saddlery, Herbs for Horses, Bluewater Feeds Ltd & The Horse Habit.


Chesley Saddle Club 45th Anniversary Ride is a four-day ride from Chesley to the 5-Day Ride in Wiarton.We will be setting up the Trask Base Camp (TBC) in Sauble Beach at Ross Trask’s farm Thurs. July 21/16 till Sun. July 24/16. Camp then moves to 5 Day at the completion of Sunday ride. The horses will be transported in a transportation rig/stock trailer (TR) to starting points each day and picked up if needed. If you decide to do all or any one of the four days a commitment deadline by CSC’s May/June rides must be made so you get a Rider Package, 45th Anniversary Ride logo for CSC jacket and TR(s) can be booked.

You must be a member of CSC and have OEF card to participate. Map/terrain/mileage in Rider Package.


Rider Responsibilities
Proper footwear & conditioning of rider & horse
Personal accommodations, food/water
Feed & care of horse(s)
Pack lunch & water in saddlebag daily
Fly sheet/sun protection & fly spray
$20.00 TR space reservation
Pack tack in TR daily
Be on time each day

Day 1 Fri. July22/16 Chesley to Tara 4hrs 4min = 12.6miles
Day 2 Sat. July23/16 Tara to Sauble 4hrs 2min = 12.4 miles
Day 3 Sun. July 24/16 Sauble to Red Bay 4hrs 56 min = 15.3miles
Day 4 Mon. July 25/16 5 Day to Red Bay & return 5hrs 30min = 17.2miles

Please contact Carol Blake if interested. | 519-396-5170 | 519-386-5028 text


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!