Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Equine Apprentice Internship

 Painted Bar Stables is proud to offer our apprentice internship program. This Program is fast paced and filled with educational opportunities only gained by working in the industry. 

A leader in the trail riding industry in the Finger Lakes Region, Painted Bar Stables is a 125 acre ranch and stable located on Seneca Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country. We maintain roughly 30 head of well trained and versatile trail and lesson horses along with mares, babies and our stallion.

Internships will be catered to the interest and future goals of each intern. Focuses could include: Equine Schooling and Training, Instruction and Lesson Planning, Tourism Industry and Client Care, Public Relations and Marketing, Breeding and Young Stock Handling, Veterinary Care, etc...

As an intern you will have the opportunity to work in the training, breeding and general management divisions of the farm. Every day duties will include feeding, checking horses, saddling and warming up horses for training, grooming, guiding trail rides, teaching novice lessons, helping to head Girl Scout and 4-H camp programs, and maintaining a clean professional working environment. 

Depending on the ride schedule and time of year, interns will be involved with trail rides, clinics, hunter paces, overnight guiding, horse sales prep, foal handling, routine medical care such as worming, vaccinations, farrier and dentist scheduling. If the opportunity aligns with breeding season, Interns will be able to foal out a mare and participate in the care of the mare and foal after parturition. They will also be able to assist with the breeding activities of our stallion such as live cover breeding on the farm as well as semen collection at Cornell University. Additionally, interns will see office and client management, record keeping and marketing practices as well as become familiar with required legal and insurance logistics associated with owning and operating a stable or ranch. And above all else, Interns will be able to further develop their own riding and training skills while riding available horses at the ranch.

Typical Seasonal Jobs

  • September - November
    Foliage and wine tourists, boost in our lesson program, organizing for winter
  • December - February
    Schooling and training of horses, incoming training clients, winter maintenance, winter trail rides as requested, lessons focused on bareback riding and technical riding .
  • March - May
    Reboot of our lesson program, usually a spring horse show, steady increase in trail riders, breeding of our stallion.
  • June - AugustSummer Camps, tourism trail rides, youth programs

Because Summer (July - August) is our busiest season as well as the highest demand for internships, we usually do specific interviewing for internships at that time in March. All other seasons have lower demand for internships because most students are at university. 

This is a full time commitment. We provide shared furnished housing on the farm in our intern apartment and a weekly allowance of $100. 


  • Individuals must be quick and proactive learners, energetic, optimistic, reliable and professional. 
  • Capable of interacting with clients and the public on a regular basis, extroverts preferred 
  • Must be 18 years or older. 
  • Must be able to lift an 80# bag of grain unassisted.
  • Must have a valid drivers license and we suggest having a vehicle of your own
  • Must have a cell phone with text and email capability.
  • Computer skills required

Preferred Skills and Abilities include: experience in tourism businesses, public speaking, marketing and public relations, driving manual transmission automobiles, operating tractors, advanced computer skills, and experience designing and implementing projects. 

Minimum Commitment: 4 Weeks 

Riders of all skill levels accepted as riding skills can be taught and improved; however, assigned duties with the horses will vary based on proficiency with horses. Preference is for accomplished riders as a main benefit of the internship is the opportunity for unlimited schooling. 

We do not allow personal horses to accompany interns as past experiences have proven them to be a distraction from the learning benefits of working with a multitude of different horses within our stables.

For More information about our program please contact me by email or visit our website, 

If you would like to apply, send a resume, references and a short video of you riding and/or pictures by email. You can also follow us on our Painted Bar Stables facebook page.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Membership Leases

Our membership leases are for intermediate to advanced level riders who are capable of riding our horses completely independently without instruction or support. To be at a membership level riders must be able to prove to us that they can ready a horse without assistance, ride with independence, and control a horse at the trot and canter without undue burden to the animal or safety risk. 

While similar to a typical lease in that riders get to ride a certain amount, our program differs in that each of our members is assigned a herd of horses instead of just one horse. This allows flexibility in terms of scheduling, as specific horses may also be required for lesson or trail programs. It also allows riders to develop multiple relationships with horses to work on various skill sets and to have spare horses available to them if one horse is lame or unfit to ride at any point. 

This is a great program for the independent skilled rider who is not in a position to own a horse as it allows a good amount of freedom. Members usually ride alone, however some do jump in our scheduled trail rides when available to the general public to pull up the rear so that they don't have to go out completely alone. We also always strongly suggest that members take lessons in conjunction with their membership in order to keep tabs on their skill sets and receive advice and support, as well as get help from us for any problem solving needed in specific relationships with their herd. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Benefits of Equine Interns over Stable Help

Many barn owners have commented on the many problems they have recruiting and keeping staff for barn support. Stories range from no-shows and excuses, sudden quitting, sloth and laziness, and ineptitude right on up to utter drama. While some of these complaints are decently dramatic, the truth is the whole is pretty par for course because of a number of reasons. 

1) This is a low pay profession. It's hard to be a horse person and feed yourself. 

2) But let's be honest this isn't rocket science. It's mostly waste management: feed in and poop out. But also because it isn't rocket science it tends to be uneducated individuals participating in these jobs. Not that education is necessary, but typically one who has invested in education is more of a personality type that understands commitments. 

3) Equestrian Romanticism: many people don't realize that people who run barns almost never ride for fun. They are honestly surprised it isn't super fun most of the time. 

4) Millennials are probably who you are working with. An amazing and motivated generation but they are are keen to make themselves move into a career by jumping from job to job on the ladder upwards. Furthermore, keep in mind that many are mostly motivated by "making an impact/difference" and "leaving their mark" and leave the second they feel a glass ceiling "squashing their creativity."

5) plain and simple burnout. 

I developed an internship program. This program recruits young professionals to work at my stables and to do more than just muck stalls. They not only completely run my chore shift but they all must have a personal project to leave their mark on the stables while also developing a portfolio for their future employment. In addition they are integrally involved in all of the "cool stuff" such as veterinary appointments, schooling sessions and field trips. 

In return they get to live at the stables for free and get $100 a week stipend. They also get complete access to all of my horses for riding, as long as they provide benefit not burden to the animals. 

The benefits of this program has been outstanding: 

A) Short Term Employees who are running a sprint and not a marathon. They are only here a short time so they don't burn out and usually work harder as a result. 

B) Constant stream of fresh ideas and fresh vigor. 

C) Multi-national perspective in our stables!!

D) Super affordable labor.

E) Higher caliber of individuals. Many of the cream of the crop can't commit to staying as a barn hand forever, but they sure are happy to dive in for 3-6 months before becoming Lawyers and Veterinarians and more!

F) Extreme benefit to the individual in terms of resume building: letters of recommendation, leadership experience, hands on training, opportunity to ride and work with many horses, and more. 

They work long hours because their personal projects must be on self-budgeted time in between chores. They are driven and committed to the stables and all of them tend to keep in touch years later as they go on to bigger and better places.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


If you treat people like they are intelligent, you give them the opportunity to actually be intelligent. 

If you treat them like they won't understand, even if they don't understand currently, you set a low standard for them to live up to. 

This applies to horses, too. 

Be patient and kind, but don't belittle intelligence.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Horse Stereotypes

Red colored horses do have more sensitive skin: Mister and Scotch for instance. It can lead to irritability but really they are just sensitive. 

I strongly prefer mares. With a gelding you're always guaranteed at least 80%. They are consistent. Mares will always give you 100%... 100% fail or 100% success. 

I personally would rather have a couple days in a dirt if I can have a day in the sun.

Mares do have more ups and downs but feminism has proved that hormones aren't a legit reason to exclude women from the workplace. 

Blue eyes are more light sensitive so in bright weather or snow it can be a problem. But the real superstition was blindness. Science has made us smarter to differentiate a blue pupil from a blue iris. 

The hated of white is connected to the believe that white legs make white feet and white feet are weak. It's one of many reasons that led most white marked horses to not being able To be registered. Even AQHA is registering horses with too much white now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Love and Respect

Everyone dreams of having a beautiful and loving relationship with thier horse. I recently saw a post by a very renowned horse trainer regarding "touching your horse's soul" and not basing the relationship on merely respect.  

I have seen many horse owners (in and out of my barn) attempt this and then at the end have a horse that they are affectionately bonded to and is overly anthropomorphisized but has utter disrespect for their owner and other humans (not vicious, just disrespectful). 

When push comes to shove a human is a human, a dog is a dog and a horse is a horse. If I treat a dog like a horse and then a horse like a human it is bound to be just as disrespectful to the animal as if I treat a human like a dog. We all have unique needs as species. 

A relationship with a horse is more like a marriage than a teenage romance. Young romance is merely puppy love - they touch each other's souls as first loves but they have no respect for the person or the bigger picture. A marriage is 30% adoration, love and soul searching, 60% respect and the ability to accomplish goals together and 10% the inability to live without the other. 

Love can grow out of respect but respect cannot grow out of love. 

... and when it comes to horses, the absence of respect (whether horse or human) is incredibly dangerous.

Be careful just how idealistic you are because the best of dreams can easily become nightmares.

Friday, October 16, 2015

SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Blanket

New blankets arrived!!! We purchased 10 of the SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Blankets to put them through their paces and try out this 10 year unlimited warrantee. 

Keep in mind I turnout in a herd of 30 complete with yearlings and two year olds! So this will be a FINE test of the durability of these blankets. In the past blankets have only lasted one season before they needed major repairs, two if we were really lucky. I've spent a lot of time sewing blankets back together and a lot of money purchasing new ones. 

Since these blankets only come in one color, we had to forego our usual tradition of each size having an assigned color. And as we don't want to jeopardize the warrantee we can't sew patches either... So we took scraps from our cannibalized blankets and tied them to the blankets. 

Pink/Purple = 72"
Navy/Grey = 75"
Maroon/Red = 78"
Blaze Orange = 81"

#smartpak @smartpak @smartpakstore #ultimateturnout #smartpakultimateturnout #horseblanket #horseblanketresearch #horseblanketproblems #horseblankets

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jumping Distances (by Denny Emerson)

Taken from his Facebook posts:

"Walking Distances"

Stadium course designers don't just plunk fences down at random distances from one another unless they are many strides apart.

They use the assumption that a cantering/galloping horse has a 12 foot stride, and that the horse takes off six feet in front of a fence and lands six feet after the fence. (This may or may not be totally true, but it's generally what they assume and therefore use.)

This means a ONE stride in and out is 24 feet. Six feet in for the landing, 12 feet for the stride, and six feet before the following fence for the takeoff. 6+12+6=24.

For a two stride in and out (and up), simply add 12 feet for the additional stride/s, because the 6 foot landing and 6 foot takeoff remain the same.

So, here's an easy "formula"
Canter bounce=12 feet
1 stride=24 feet
2 stride=36 feet
3 stride =48 feet
4 stride=60 feet
5 stride=72 feet
6 stride=84 feet

And so on, although after many strides, most riders start to "ride off their eye", and jump them as separate fences.

Take a tape measure and mark some of those distances, maybe on your barn floor with bits of duct tape, say in 12 foot increments. Every time you walk down the barn aisle, walk the distances, 1-2-3-one, 1-2,3,two, 1-2-3-three, 1-2-3-four, and so on. Pretty soon YOU will "own" a three foot stride so that you can walk accurate distances, plus, you will know what those distances "mean" in terms of the strides the horse is expected to make between jumps.

"Gymnastic Line Distances"

Be careful!!---These are NOT THE SAME as "normal" distances. They are SHORTER.

Because gymnastic lines are normally taken from the trot, rather than the canter, and because they are often used to balance and shorten a horse's stride, they tend to be 2 to 3 feet shorter than the 12-24-36-48 you just learned.

A gymnastic bounce might be 9-10 feet. A one stride might be 18-19 feet, a two stride might be 30-33 feet, and so on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What you learn being an instructor

This past weekend one of our more advanced students subbed in for one of our instructors when we could not find another replacement instructor. 

This is a student who we have been encouraging for quite some time to teach, adult beginners in particular. She has always avoided the topic, so we were all pleasantly surprised when she volunteered to teach the 8 lessons with 21 students of all ages in a sort of marathon immersion teaching course. 

Her debrief commentary was too good not to share:


What I learned this weekend:
1. Teaching kids and adults is very different. I am not good at teaching little kids. They make me nervous with their mouth breathing, whining and saying they can do things they can't do. 
2. It was exhausting. Erika, Angela, Elizabeth and Fiona do not stop moving from the time the first client arrives to the time the last client leaves. NOT counting all the barn chores and office work they do before, inbetween and after. 
3. I learned a lot about the horses from watching beginners ride them.
4. I was better at describing things then I thought I would be! People’s ponies did what they asked them even when introducing a couple new (to the rider) concepts.
5. Turns out after years of being a student, I have an encyclopedia of analogies in my head. Who knew?
6. It was very rewarding to see a smile on a student’s face when they did something they didn’t think would work.
7. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard as the three times I had to get on one of the horses to see if there was actually something wrong or if it was 90% rider error. Thank you Scotch, Kasper and Captain for not making me look like a jerk.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Negativity Towards Horses

The best horse in the world is the horse between our legs. 

I have noticed an immense amount negativity in the equine community from riders towards their horses. Riders should never blame horses but instead remark on the failure to communicate - a two way channel. None of us would ever blame our peers, our co-workers, our teammates in sports, our spouses and boyfriends the way I hear people casually blaming horses. 

Horses do not fail. Humans fail horses. 

Failure from a horse is almost always the riders fault for not setting the horse up for success. With chunked goals and good communication any horse is a winner. But with selfish expectations or badly timed cues, lack of finesse or brazenness a frustrated horse can become a scapegoat. Horses need to tell when riders are doing it wrong, their honesty is a teaching tool. 

When it is not the rider's fault it is still human error for not preparing the horse previously through schooling and conditioning causing the horse stress and frustration. Through less blame and more focus on physical and mental development (even within one session) a horse will relax and be a better teammate. 

We need to take ownership of our horses that we ride on. Syntax, sentence structure and spin can make or break a horse's reputation forever.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Showing and Competency

The desire of a rider to show or not show does not make them more or less committed. 

Just because someone wants to show off does not make them a better rider. Just because someone has a deadline for a skill does not make them a better learner. Just because a rider has more money or time does not make them a better horseman. 

Riding is about heart and many people's goals do not align with the industry and the prescribed pathway. This is something I hope Painted Bar Stables will always represents in the equine community.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Multiplicity of Right Answers

This is how I see it and how I explain multiplicity of right answers coming from multiple trainers:

Everyone has to have many tools in their tool box. Many tools do the same thing, for instance a socket set and a wrench loosen bolts. Both will get the job done but sometimes you need one or the other, depending on the situation. That's why you always want to make sure all your tools are ready and honed for the job. 

Not all horses and not all scenarios are the same. A good rider matches their tools with the day, the horse, the scenario and every aspect of context. 

Every trainer is right, depending on the context that only the rider will know.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

May Day Celebration: Open House & Tack Sale

May Day Celebration @ Painted Bar Stables: Tack Swap and Open House
Public event to celebrate the coming warm season! This is a great opportunity to come out, have some fun and bring the whole family!

Date: Friday May 1
Time: 4:30pm start to sunset
Where: Painted Bar Stables, 4093 Lake Street Burdett NY

Things to Do: 
- Pony Rides
- Live Music
- Fun Family Games and Events with prizes (Stick horse barrel racing and jumping races, piggy back races, hay bale toss, cow poop bingo, etc...)
- Meet our staff and sign up for lessons, volunteering and events!
- Moonlight Trail Ride in evening (must register ahead of time)

Tack Swap and Sale: 
English & Western Tack, riding gear, stable supplies and more!!!

Individuals may drop off their tack at Painted Bar Stables any time on April 30th to be entered in the tack sale. All items will be organized by our staff and volunteers and arranged into a logical tack store. Items must be labeled with the seller's name, price, phone and phone number reasonably priced to sell. Sellers must provide us with a sale sheet listing all of their items with which we can mark off what sells. Painted Bar Stables will keep a 15% commission on any items sold.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Get your Child Riding!!

Your kid loves horses and wants to ride, how can we help you?

1) Lessons! This is the best way to get the hands on time and the close eye of an instructor so your child really move forward with their passion.

2) Volunteering: last year we had a program where kids could come and help us run the barn one evening a week for free! We plan on doing this again this year.  Learning to care for horses gives more hands on time and builds character and good horsemanship.

3) Youth Adventure Program: Our intensive immersion summer camp! More information online.

4) Hidden Valley 4-H and Comstock Girl Scouts Camp: both of these camps contract us for the horse portion of their programming.

As always, see more at

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Places in the Finger Lakes that we Recommend

Low Key Eats: 
FLX Weinery
Berta's Cafe
Glen Mountain Bakery
Two Goats Brewing

Easy Lunch and Dinner Favorites:
Asia Cuisine
Vietnam Restaurant
Ale House
Taste of Thai
Viva Taqueria 

Locavore Foods:
Nickle's Pit BBQ
Stonecat Cafe
Roosterfish Brewing 
Moosewood Cafe 

A Bit Fancier: 
Taughannock Farms Inn
DaƱos Heuringer 
Captain Bill's Seneca Lake Cruises

Brewery and Winery Hang Outs: 
Two Goats Brewing
Ithaca Beer Company
Roosterfish Brewing
Barnstormer Winery
Hector Wine Company
Hazlett Vineyard Oasis

Pubs and Lounges:
Corks & More
The Westy
The Chapter House

Liberty Balloon Company
Finger Lakes Skydivers
Seneca Sailing Adventures
Schooner Excursions

Treman State Park
Buttermilk State Park

Watkins Glen State Park
Treman State Park
Buttermilk State Park
Finger Lakes National Forest
Taughannock State Park
Sugar Hill State Forest
Hammond Hill State Forest

Mountain Biking:
Shindagin Hollow State Forest
Connecticut Hill State Forest
Danby State Forest

Ithaca Farmer's Market
Reisinger's Apple Country
Lively Run Dairy
Silver Queen Farm
Kestrel Perch Berries
Windmill Amish Farm and Craft Market
Farm Sanctuary*

Hands On Activities:
Corning Museum of Glass
Ithaca Science Center
Dynamic Ceramics

Theater and Music: 
Hanger Theater
Kitchen Theater
Cayuga Chamber Orchestra
Dan Smalls Presents
Cornell Summer Concert Series

Greater Ithaca Art Trail

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Good Business, A Poor Business

A fellow horseman and rising star just posted: "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."

And a business that does nothing but good and makes no money is a poor business, literally. 

Trust me, that's what I tend to do to myself!! I have used my horses to change people's lives, sometimes dramatically. Depressed adults, lost teenagers, autistic individuals, etc... I've made a huge impact. But all of this I did often taking a loss. 

I have finally learned that I should ask for enough money so that I don't have to struggle. Life shouldn't be this hard and I shouldn't have to worry about the viability of my business financially because I gave others a significant discount, many of which could probably afford more than they actually realize. The realization is that the "good" business, the over generous business won't last long. The stress limits my ability to do what I do best: share horses with those who need them most. 

There's a balance.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Golden Hoof Farm

As always, play and work combine! I was able to hook up for a private tour with Alice of the Golden Hoof, a slow food farm in Boulder, CO ( 

This farm specializes in streamline efficiency and green living and farming practices - both of which we are hoping to design and implement at Painted Bar Stables in the next couple years. There are so many streamlining concepts that could potentially help to reduce waste at Painted Bar, but moreover a streamline trajectory thinking culture that I hope to improve at our stables. 

I was impressed at how nothing goes to waste on this 27 acre farm: seeds are sprouted for a more efficient and less wasteful feed system, animals are mostly free range, manure is used for either compost for gardening or compost heating systems to heat the greenhouses and sprouting room, and it all cycles back! 

Furthermore, they recently instituted an internship program similar to the one we have at Painted Bar Stables and work with the WWOOFer program to share knowledge in a labor barter environment. It was inspirational to hear what has worked for them. 

Whenever I am able to travel to farms around the world to knowledge share it is always an amazing experience.

Equine Liability

An article in the January copy of Equus Magazine hits on some very important issues regarding equine liability: "The Case of the 'Vicious' Horse."

What is our responsibility and liability as horse owners and what is an individual's own personal liability? Where is the line between 'failure to inform' and 'failure to think' regarding interactions with our horses and the public?

In NYS we have no equine liability laws. This means that in this state, horses and their behavior is completely the responsibility of the owners and stable employees. It also means that signage is not enough...

In the article, the author writes a key bit: "interaction requires an awareness on my part that someone who doesn't know horses might not possess. And that is the point I think we all do need go take seriously: so many people in the world today do not understand horses of how to approach them safely. Consider how many times in your horse's life he could encounter a stranger without your supervision..."