Saturday’s are jumping days!

Saturday’s are busy and fun at Apple Treat Stables! The riders come early to set up the arena according to Alisha’s specifications. The older girls start chores by putting the horses outside for the day, bringing in the tractor and trailer and start cleaning stalls. The first, of four groups of riders, groom and tack up their horses. On Saturdays parents and younger siblings often stay and watch, chatting together. Curt usually brings in donuts to go with morning coffee.

Before riders may jump they must go through warm up exercises which may include no stirrup work, posting no stirrups. or trotting in two point. In nice weather jumps could be set up in the outdoor ring or out in the hay field. When the riders and horses are warmed up Alisha puts them through the lesson of the day. Apple Treat is a busy place on Saturdays!

What exactly is Dressage?

Dressage is the French word for “”training” but it is also an equestian sport with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics.

In dressage training the rider must learn to sit balanced in the saddle and use their aids; seat, weight, legs and hands to direct their horse. The horse develops elastic gaits and strength to perform the movements. Classical dressage has a training scale which is a pyramid with Rhythm on the bottom followed by Relaxation, Connection, Impulsion, Straightness and Collection at the peak.

In a dressage show the horse and rider perform a series on movements to illustrate how flexible, responsive, and balanced you are as a horse and rider team.

Dressage was developed to train horses for war. Horses can do all of the movements in the pasture but when we add equipment and rider on their back it changes their natural way of going. To help us to understand this concept, think about if we get down on our hands and knees and a child gets on our back for a “horsey ride”. We drop our back, as does the horse when we sit on their back. But to actually walk forward on our hands and knees we have to round our back to carry the child. This is the basic concept we have to explain to our horses, round your back to carry us. It is more difficult to do this initially but they will remain working, sound and moving fluidly for a longer time if they learn to go this way.

When we ride “dressage” we are training both ourselves and our horses.

Who this blog is written for……

Who might be interested in this blog: of course people who are interested in horses! More importantly, people who want to learn about horses! At Apple Treat Stables we are all “students of the horse.” Learning is a life long adventure and nobody will ever know everything there is to know about horses.

The subject of horses is very large and diverse. There are over 350 breeds of horses and ponies in the world, most have their own registry and followers. The U. S. Equstrian recognizes 18 disciplines. Each sport requires different skills from horse and rider and all of them have different levels of competition.

Our riders will go to a few shows each season. We will offer a combination schooling show/clinic here at the barn. We will offer two horse camps for younger riders and Alisha usually has a “boot camp” for her students before a show. Developing excellent horse people is our main goal at Apple Treat Stables. I consider our barn more of a training barn as opposed to a ” show barn.”

Our trainer, Alisha, competes in Three Day Eventing. Three Day Eventing consists of 3 events; dressage, cross country, and show jumping. I will write a future blog about Three Day Eventing.

I participated in distance riding for several year, primarily Competitive Trail Rides and some Limited Distance Rides. I will write a future blog on Distance Riding but to ride distance safely you have to really know your horse. Distance riding is to horses what running marathons is to people. I learned a lot about taking care of your horse, conditioning both yourself as well as your horse for the rides, feeding, electrolytes, traveling and camping with your horse. Alisha has participated in a few Distance Rides as well.


In my first post I gave you an overview of our barn and in this post I will begin to introduce you to our community of people.

Alisha is our head trainer teaching and working with both horses and riders. She owns six horses at Apple Treat Stables. Ginny is her Chestnut Thoroughbred mare that she will be showing at the Intermediate level competing in Three Day Eventing. Lacey is her Bay Warmblood/Thoroughbred mare she is training in Dressage. Geronimo is her large grey Thoroughbred gelding in training for Three Day Eventing. Guiness is her older Thoroughbred gelding she uses in lessons teaching jumping. Faith is a young Chestnut (yes, you guessed it) Thoroughbred mare just starting her training. Last but not least, Licorice is her little 12 hand rescue pony in training to teach children to ride. Pop quiz; What is Alisha’s favorite breed of horse?

Curt is the barn owner and all around handy man; repairing fences, picking up loads of hay ,mowing grass and plowing snow…… oh, and hauling away manure!

Pat is the barn owner/manager who teaches beginner riders basic handling skills and how to walk, trot and canter before she sends riders on to learn from Alisha.

In future posts we will introduce you to both horses and riders.


Apple Treat Stables is a very important place to many people. We are a community where horse owners and horse lovers can come together and enjoy their passion!

This blog is about our day to day adventures: the fun we have with our horses, training and showing our horses, taking care of our horses as well as relaxing with them.

Here at Apple Treat Stables we have a variety of horse breeds to match their “people”; Thoroughbreds, Quarter horses, Arabians, Saddlebreds, Morgans, Paints, and ponies. We even have a Spotted Draft Horse in our herd!

There are several ways people come to join our community. People first think about Apple Treat Stables as a place to learn to ride and experience horses. Taking lessons on a reliable school horse teaches riders basic skills and builds confidence around these 1000 pound animals! Before jumping into buying a horse we offer riders the opportunity to lease one of our lesson horses. Leasing a horse allows the rider to experience a one on one relationship with “their” horse while continuing to take lessons and learn. After leasing a horse, riders may decide they are ready to buy their own horse. Owning your own horse is a big commitment of both time and money. People who already own a horse can board their horse at our facility. Apple Treat Stables takes care of the daily care of everyone’s horse but owners are responsible for grooming, riding, training, and the health care of their horse. Horse owners can choose to participate in a variety of activities that we offer here at the barn such as lessons, horse shows, clinics, parties, horse camps, tack cleaning parties, trail rides and impromptu get together’s.