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Martha’s Vineyard Shoot

Good Day!

Well, we survived the week here on Martha’s Vineyard and have six new episodes of Horse Master “in the can.” I’ll be excited to see the finished results once they are edited.

Our first episode was shot on the beach at sunrise on Tuesday. We had a youngish Clyde-Paint-Thoroughbred cross, trained as an eventing horse who had a tendency to spin and bolt when he encountered a scary object.

This is not a good quality in any horse, but especially not in a cross-country jumper who has to jump new and unseen obstacles on a regular basis. We took him to the beach–knowing he had never seen the surf–to teach him that spinning and bolting was not an option. The owner was still recovering from a broken collar bone—a result of a fall off the same horse—so I did all the riding for this episode. And it was certainly a wild ride! There were a couple moments when I thought I might be going for an unscheduled swim, but I managed to stay on and get the horse into the ocean. At one point there were waves breaking over his back—I was completely soaked! It was probably the most fun episode we did–and although the horse was very challenging in the end, he did really well.

Back at the farm, we had a young rider on a very cool horse that I sold her a year ago. He was trained and shown as a reiner, but she has been riding him English since she got him. The episode was about learning to ride Western and to cue him for the reining maneuvers he knows so well. It’s amazing that even though the horse has been doing dressage and jumping for more than a year, he immediately reverted back to a finished Western horse as if he’d been doing it every day.

Next we had a woman and her mule who were arguing over who was in charge. As it turned out, the mule was really quite sweet and compliant—the rider had just been letting him get away with a lot and condoning his bad behavior so in his mind, she was not in charge. It wasn’t hard to change his opinion once the rider knew what to do.


On the second day of the shoot, we ran into some delays when one of our young riders took a digger off her pony when a big bird flew up in his face suddenly. Only eight years old, this rider was tough and she managed to shake herself off and start over after a break. At a very young age, she’s learning to feel her diagonals so that she won’t have to look down. What a skill for a young rider!


We also had episodes on an older Arab who was downright dangerous when you tried to administer oral medications such as a de-wormer and a three month old Friesian filly who needed to learn some manners before she headed to the Keur (breed inspection).

I think all of the episodes came out really well and, as usual, we are all glad that it’s over! It’s three long hard days at a shoot—sun up to sun down, literally. We finished about 6:30 last night then cleaned up and headed to a friend’s house for our “wrap party.” It was very fun. This morning the island is totally socked in with fog and a light mist. We are so lucky this didn’t happen during one of our shoot days or we would have been forced indoors. Hopefully it will clear off because the husband of one of our cast members (the Friesian owner) offered to fly us over to Nantucket for lunch and that sounded like a lot of fun! Hopefully this fog will lift, along with the fog in my brain.

Until next time,


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