THD Equestrian

THD Equestrian is a small private Horse Training/Boarding Facility located in Litchfield Park, AZ. THD specializes in Traditional and Western Dressage.

Operating as usual

12/26/2021

The sky and the ground mirrored itself on this gorgeous Christmas evening at THD Equestrian! So grateful for all the blessings of this past year!

The sky and the ground mirrored itself on this gorgeous Christmas evening at THD Equestrian! So grateful for all the blessings of this past year!

12/22/2021

This right here…❤️❤️❤️
This is and will always be THD!!!

12/16/2021

Ponder this! If this doesn’t make you think about yourself and what you’ve done to them…

Sometimes I get overwhelmed
Thinking about the horses in need, in pain
Not just the sad, hungry rescues everyone feels sorry for
But the glistening horses at the show barns
The reliable lesson horses
Wrapped up in tension and discomfort like a cloak
Their steely stoicism protects them, they serve us every day until they no longer can

I sometimes think about the bony horses I saw as a kid in Colombia, tethered by a front foot to the strip of grass on the highway
I felt sorry for them
How could their owners let them get so thin? What kind of life was that?

Now I spend my time in upscale barns teaching people with means
And I wonder, how could someone with every resource possible ignore the screaming need of this horse?

The bony horse pulls carts through the streets for someone in poverty and no resources
He is his owners means for living

The shining American horse lives in isolation, overfed and emotionally undernourished
He is his owners toy
Ridden with a sharp kick to the ribs and a complaint about the horse being lazy

What kind of life is that?

At night I see pictures in my head of horses being yanked on, pulled on, prodded, nagged and ignored
It keeps me up
Anything I can do feels like a drop in an ocean
More like a tsunami

Sometimes I think horses need to be rescued from me
From my ignorance
From my unknowing
From trying but doing the wrong thing
In all my mistakes I have caused horses pain, discomfort, fear

I try to pay it forward
Begging forgiveness of the horses I didn’t help, the horses I harmed
With each new horse I meet
Releasing tight muscles
Showing them they can breathe

Sometimes, when I lay one to rest, in my tears
I ask them to tell the ones I love who’ve gone before
That I’m sorry

-Amy Skinner

11/19/2021

THD youth rider Brooke, having a great lesson on Willow. 1st time completely off the lunge line and handling everything all by herself! ❤️👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Photos from THD Equestrian's post 11/15/2021

Watching the sun disappear this Sunday evening at THD Equestrian.

11/05/2021

Today we pay homage to a lifetime horse, a warrior, a true and loyal ambassador of the Lusitano breed!

Oxidado is not longer between us, but his unique spirit will remain forever in our hearts! 🖤

Those who had the honor to see this horse in action with his lifetime partner Pedro Torres immediately realize how special this pair was! Their strong bond resulted in an electrifying chemistry - we could see it in the smallest details.

Some horses are born for greatness - Oxidado 'the legend' was one of them! You will always be remembered and inspire the generations to come!

And a special word to our friend Pedro Torres in the day he looses such a companion - you always highlighted the best Oxidado had to give! 🙏✨

📸 © Lusitano World / Ekaterina Druz Horse Photography

11/02/2021

Me and Mr. Sexy! Back to giving my buckskin beauty the attention he deserves…
#thdequestrian #teamthd #henridospinhais #buckskinlusitano #dressage #dressagehorse

Me and Mr. Sexy! Back to giving my buckskin beauty the attention he deserves…
#thdequestrian #teamthd #henridospinhais #buckskinlusitano #dressage #dressagehorse

10/31/2021

This nose…
I kiss this nose first thing in the morning and again last thing at night; every time I get the privilege to do it, the world feels right!
Davidoff’s update:
No ulcers, but unfortunately Dr. Liepman feels he has adhesions. Not the news I wanted to hear after all he’s been through. There is nothing that can be done about them and there are no answers to what may happen or what his future may be, he could live a long life with no complications from them or not??? I keep telling myself there are no guarantees for anything and to just love and enjoy every moment. I prayed that Davidoff would get better and he has, I’ve had 4 more months with him, I’m even riding him again!
BUT my heart is heavy and I’m struggling to not cry every time I look at him. Yesterday morning he intensely told me it was “pasture time” and my heart filled with joy but at the same time my eyes filled with tears! The pain I felt when I almost lost him was unbearable, and the thought of feeling that again is hard to turn off and to live life.

This nose…
I kiss this nose first thing in the morning and again last thing at night; every time I get the privilege to do it, the world feels right!
Davidoff’s update:
No ulcers, but unfortunately Dr. Liepman feels he has adhesions. Not the news I wanted to hear after all he’s been through. There is nothing that can be done about them and there are no answers to what may happen or what his future may be, he could live a long life with no complications from them or not??? I keep telling myself there are no guarantees for anything and to just love and enjoy every moment. I prayed that Davidoff would get better and he has, I’ve had 4 more months with him, I’m even riding him again!
BUT my heart is heavy and I’m struggling to not cry every time I look at him. Yesterday morning he intensely told me it was “pasture time” and my heart filled with joy but at the same time my eyes filled with tears! The pain I felt when I almost lost him was unbearable, and the thought of feeling that again is hard to turn off and to live life.

10/27/2021

So big D is continuing to give me heart palpitations, anxiety and really is determined to age me 25 years!
3 weeks ago he acted mildly colicy, so I took him back up to Chapparal to be looked at just in case. He was good for the 2 days he stayed to be monitored, so back home, back to light work and all good. BUT today he had another colicy episode. This time I went ahead and administer banamine but it didn’t help make him any more comfortable. He pawed a lot, laid down, got up and aggressively walked the perimeter of his stall, along with kicking at his belly. Needless to say, sent me into a complete panic. So back to Chapparal we went, fortunately all good when we got there but they want to scope him for ulcers to see if that maybe the culprit getting him uncomfortable. He has had a lot of medications even though was given gastroguard with it but you never know. He will spend the night and get scoped tomorrow, so hopefully no news now but maybe some answers after it’s done tomorrow. 🙏
I have decided that I need my name added to something at Chaparral! 😂 My vet bill for Davidoff this year could have bought me a nice new car! ☹️ oh well, I just love that horse more than anything! Please keep him in your prayers.

So big D is continuing to give me heart palpitations, anxiety and really is determined to age me 25 years!
3 weeks ago he acted mildly colicy, so I took him back up to Chapparal to be looked at just in case. He was good for the 2 days he stayed to be monitored, so back home, back to light work and all good. BUT today he had another colicy episode. This time I went ahead and administer banamine but it didn’t help make him any more comfortable. He pawed a lot, laid down, got up and aggressively walked the perimeter of his stall, along with kicking at his belly. Needless to say, sent me into a complete panic. So back to Chapparal we went, fortunately all good when we got there but they want to scope him for ulcers to see if that maybe the culprit getting him uncomfortable. He has had a lot of medications even though was given gastroguard with it but you never know. He will spend the night and get scoped tomorrow, so hopefully no news now but maybe some answers after it’s done tomorrow. 🙏
I have decided that I need my name added to something at Chaparral! 😂 My vet bill for Davidoff this year could have bought me a nice new car! ☹️ oh well, I just love that horse more than anything! Please keep him in your prayers.

Photos from THD Equestrian's post 10/24/2021

The view to my east and the view to my west. It sure is a peaceful evening at THD Equestrian. #equestrianliving #teamthd #dressagebarn #davidoffandhenri

10/23/2021

When you go to take your morning nap but notice your hay pillow is right next to you and it still has a little hay in it; score, breakfast in bed! Got to love Henri’s vibe this morning!!!
#henridospinhais #thdequestrian #buckskinlusitano #lazydays

When you go to take your morning nap but notice your hay pillow is right next to you and it still has a little hay in it; score, breakfast in bed! Got to love Henri’s vibe this morning!!!
#henridospinhais #thdequestrian #buckskinlusitano #lazydays

10/08/2021

This horse really is my entire world. I don’t eat, sleep, or breathe without nearly every thought being about him or my beautiful Henri! The thought of nearly losing him still is so devastating to me.
I’m so grateful he is on the road to a full recovery BUT…
I hate this never ending feeling of anxiety and fear. I miss the days of not worrying about: is he ok, did he drink enough water, how many poops did he have and how did they look, did he just paw, is he looking at his belly, is he laying down to rest after eating or is something wrong, is his respiration rate high, do I hear gut sounds, do I do routine care such as fall vaccines and worming, what if he has a reaction??? Is it ok for me to leave the property for more than 30 minutes? The endless worrying is crippling and I’m struggling to find my way back to some sense of normalcy. I try to tell myself I’m doing everything I possibly can, but I did that all before and yet it still happened to him.
I just love him and Henri so much, maybe I’m not normal, maybe your not supposed to love your animals like this, but I don’t know any other way, and if you know my horses you know it’s not possible.

This horse really is my entire world. I don’t eat, sleep, or breathe without nearly every thought being about him or my beautiful Henri! The thought of nearly losing him still is so devastating to me.
I’m so grateful he is on the road to a full recovery BUT…
I hate this never ending feeling of anxiety and fear. I miss the days of not worrying about: is he ok, did he drink enough water, how many poops did he have and how did they look, did he just paw, is he looking at his belly, is he laying down to rest after eating or is something wrong, is his respiration rate high, do I hear gut sounds, do I do routine care such as fall vaccines and worming, what if he has a reaction??? Is it ok for me to leave the property for more than 30 minutes? The endless worrying is crippling and I’m struggling to find my way back to some sense of normalcy. I try to tell myself I’m doing everything I possibly can, but I did that all before and yet it still happened to him.
I just love him and Henri so much, maybe I’m not normal, maybe your not supposed to love your animals like this, but I don’t know any other way, and if you know my horses you know it’s not possible.

10/03/2021

This is the truth!

Static Versus Clarity

You are driving along trying to listen to your radio, and your station is full of static.
You switch stations, and suddenly it’s clear as a bell---Such a relief.

So can a rider’s aids be full of static, and think how confusing that must be to the horse.

First, what ARE aids? They are communications from the rider to the horse, but instead of using vocal cords, the rider uses her various body parts, hands, arms, seat, legs, balance, to create specific pressures and releases to “talk” with the horse.

The rider uses one set of pressures and releases to ask for a right lead canter, and a different set to request a left lead canter, and that is just one of hundreds of possible examples.

If the rider COULD ask in human language, she would say, “OK, Blaze, pick up the right lead canter.”

She would not say “OK, STATIC---right---STATIC—ter.” Because the horse wouldn’t understand---

So now take a rider with an unsteady seat and unsteady hands. The rider is jolting about, her hands are flinging here and there, and what kind of clear and precise aids can she communicate to the horse?

So, riders, if you want to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with your horse, using aids which are free from static, do what all the best riding instructors tell us that we must do, which is to acquire a seat that moves with, meshes seamlessly with, the moving body of the horse, so that we CAN give clear as a bell aids.

No seat, no stability. No stability, no clarity of aids. No clarity of aids, no correct responses from the horse.

So do what they tell us we MUST do in order to become good riders----Get an independent seat.

It comes right back to this oh so simple saying---
“GOOD RIDERS DON’T BOUNCE.”

I know, I know, it’s a pain in the you know what to keep hearing this same old message, but there’s a reason that the best ones keep saying it---Because it is the simple truth.

09/26/2021

Times are a-changing... And so is how you learn dressage.

Another way is possible. A way of approaching dressage work, which honors the rider’s individual vision and choice of expression.

A way of training horses which honors the horse’s mind, body, and spirit equally.

A way of learning to ride which empowers the rider with the tools to understand the why, the what, and the how.

A way of learning which allows you, the student to be in charge of your own learning and the hands-on training of your own horse. A way that empowers YOU as the one who “holds the reins” (figuratively and literally!!)

A way which is: student-friendly, horse-friendly, and learning-friendly.

A heart-centered, compassionate method based on straight-forward biomechanics of horse and rider.

Our approach is easy to understand; it breaks everything down into little lessons which build upon each other in a systematic, cohesive system. You can start with our system or you can integrate it into what you have already learned.

Our approach is based on science and nature, so it will only be incompatible with approaches which do not honor biomechanics or the horse’s spirit.

You can apply what you learn here to whatever it is you do with your horse, even if it is not even dressage. We have students across all riding disciplines who are able to successfully apply our methods and approach to bring out the best in their horse in the easiest, most compassionate way possible.

Our approach is kind and compassionate. Our approach teaches you to see problems from the horse’s point of view, and it teaches you how to resolve any problem in the kindest, most horse-friendly way.

Our approach respects YOU as the one in charge of your learning and your horse’s training. You are the one in control.

Art Credit: Maria Mähler - Malerei Grafik, Illustration

09/22/2021

This week I started back into training with my Legendary Davidoff DC! I’ve never done in hand work before, only basic horsemanship ground work and all I can say is holy cow, I’m hooked! This was my 3rd day giving it a go, Davidoff took to it like a dream. He feels strong and eager to get back to work. We both will be getting into some great shape but I definitely need to get some new running shoes!
Watching this makes me so emotional… I’m so grateful to still have him and to be able to continue our journey together. I feel like the sky is the limit…
#davidoffdc
#teamdavidoff
#colicsurgerysurvivor
#lusitanopower

Photos from THD Equestrian's post 09/19/2021

Davidoff is 3 months post-op colic surgery with near fatal complications. He is continuing to heal, he still has some minor “purpura” wounds from being so septic but all in all he looks pretty good and if you didn’t know his story, looking at him you would never think anything happened to him!
Unless you look at his feet… 😬
All 4 feet have a distinct deep ring, indicating some sort of metabolic change. Now I know what/why he has them but a lot of owners never pay attention to this. Deep rings in your horses feet are not normal, it is a clear indication something has happened metabolically, it can stem from a number of things, change in feed, medication, illness, etc.
It is going to take a good 9-12 months for those to grow out, and hopefully his body continues to heal and get stronger. I will be so happy when I no longer see these battle wounds. ❤️🦄

09/17/2021

Davidoff and Henri stretching their legs!

09/05/2021

😢☹️
Who else knows this feeling of 🤮 when you see that your pony has been rubbing (because of the massive gnat/mosquito infestation this year) and has braids?
I don’t know why I want to cry, the long mane thing is more work than it’s worth! I only have it down for pictures, which is hardly ever. This may be my sign to cut them off for dressage length manes, which I have done in the past but it made everyone at my barn cry! 😂
Long mane or dressage mane???????????

😢☹️
Who else knows this feeling of 🤮 when you see that your pony has been rubbing (because of the massive gnat/mosquito infestation this year) and has braids?
I don’t know why I want to cry, the long mane thing is more work than it’s worth! I only have it down for pictures, which is hardly ever. This may be my sign to cut them off for dressage length manes, which I have done in the past but it made everyone at my barn cry! 😂
Long mane or dressage mane???????????

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Litchfield Park, AZ
85340
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