Friday, June 24, 2011

Normandy Welcomes New Trainers

Dressage Trainer
Jennie Brauer

Jenny Brauer is a officially certified and licensed riding instructor from Sweden. She was educated for 2 years at Stromsholm, the Royal Swedish Riding Academy, and graded in dressage, show jumping and young horse training.  During her comprehensive education she was trained by Eric Lette, former FEI Comittee Chairman and O-Judge, as well as Olympic Team members Eva-Karin Oscarsson, Sylve Soderstrand, Ulla Hakanson, Per Fresk, and Jens Fredrickson.

Upon graduating from Stromsholm, Jenny worked as trainer for Eugen Schadler, Grand Prix rider and former Italian National Team coach.  She trained novice horses up to Grand Prix level at a Eugen's dressage facility in Rosenheim, Germany. 

In USA Jenny worked  as an assistant trainer for Ulf Wadeborn and Lars Holmberg. Their facility is in southern CA ,called Middle Ranch. Jenny worked for them for 2.5 years before moving to CO,and one of the highlights while there was winning the 6-year old Championship 2003.

Corinne Lettau

Corinne has spent over 18 years studying dressage with top professionals in the industry, including: 1994 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Michele Gibson, Judges Lois Yukins, trip Harding , Bill Solyntjes, Dolly Hannon and Janet Foy, Grand Prix trainers, top riders and competitors Alison Sader Larson and Kelly Underhill. Since receiving teaching certification in 1993, she has enjoyed teaching children and adults how to ride and care for horses, while continuing to ride and furthering her education in Dressage.

In 1999 –2000, Corinne landed a working student internship with Olympian Michelle Gibson. The following season, she was awarded tow talented FEI schoolmasters, Mendelssohn and Egeris, lodging board and full training with Michelle during the Winter Equestrian Festival in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Horse Blanketing 2011

Normandy Blanketing
Please be aware of the following that may affect you and your horse.

It’s never too early to talk about winter blanketing especially with the recent turn of the weather.

We anticipate beginning blanketing at any time an individual wishes but certainly by November 1st, so please advise us prior to that time if you wish this included service.

• Exterior doors are closed when outside weather is adverse or if the temperature has fallen/will fall below 35 degrees.

• Blankets are tagged by us for identification. We are storing them on the stall door when removed. To avoid confusion and overloading of the blanketing hooks, we ask that your horse be provided with no more than a cotton sheet and two blankets. We suggest a medium weight ( not to exceed 200 grams of fill) and a heavy weight ( more than 220 grams of fill) for those wishing a heavier blanketing .

For those purchasing new blankets please see your trainer for recommended brand and style. Normandy would like to see blue or green blanket colors when possible.

Each weight blanket will be labeled accordingly by Normandy, different color tags will represent the two different weight blankets. ALL blankets not in current use will be stored on the numbered hooks corresponding to stall numbers. If you do provide these two weights of blanket you may switch out one for one based on our exterior stable temperature. We take off one blanket and put back on one blanket, sheets stay on. We recommend that all horses (especially clipped horses) have a cotton sheet on at all times. The lighter weight blanket should be available for 40 degree + weather and the heavier with for 40 degree - weather.

Normandy Farms temperature guidelines are as follows:

• We turnout horse when the temperature reaches 40 degrees or when we feel it’s safe.

• Full coated horses are unblanketed at 50 degrees.

• Clipped horses are unblanketed at 60 degrees. Clipped horses may have a sheet on.
Please note that we shut the doors(if applicable) and blanket( if applicable) the horses at the conclusion of our work day….5pm or so…if one were to be riding or ride after that time, re-blanketing will be your responsibility.

A word about announcing your entrance through a closed door.

From the outside, you can look through the window and then please, please, please announce DOOR, wait for a response and then open the doors slowly. Visibility doors are at the West and East entrances. Always close the door behind you slowly. We have heaters for the washing areas at each end, and this will keep us all safe and comfortable for the winter.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Normandy Farms Dressage Champions 2009

Congratulations to our Dressage competitors for 2009!

Pat Roark recieved recieved Rocky Mountain Dressage Society AA Prix St George Championship Award for 2009. Also Pat recieved the RMDS Reserve Champion Horse of the Year for AA Prix St George.

Normandy Farms Dressage Trainer Lauren Smith recieved a 4th Place for RMDS Horse of the Year Grand Prix for 2009.

Congradulations to our fine Dressage competitors.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Normandy Hunter Jumpers

The quality that we wish to project at Normandy, not only shows in our facility or the care and feeding of horses.
Since we arrived at Normandy, we wished to have only the most caring, considerate and ethical of patrons. Normandy amongst the best hunter jumper riders in the area, state, region and even the country now, but most importantly we have maintained only the most cultivated participants.
As many of you depart for show after grueling show this summer, remember how you turn out and participate (in or out of the show ring) is the greatest of all rewards and complements to your barn and your trainers.
In this sport there are many competitors. Normandy prepares not only some of the best riders, but by far the best competitors. Be proud of this. The quote at the front of this newsletter is not by accident:

“Sports do not build character. They reveal it”

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Passion is what makes any organization great

Passion is what makes any organization great…

We actually believe that Normandy Farms has been the passion for quite a few children and hopefully adults since it was established in 1902. We have believed since our time as caretakers of Normandy that we are not a boarding stable..not just another show barn.. we provide people with experiences with nature…we provide people with dreams.

Normandy has progressed through the 20th century and now into the 21st century. Normandy has seen the days of horse and buggy, housing the draft horses that pulled the wagons around Denver for Tivoli Brewery to a the nice little operation we found in 1995. In 1995 Normandy was a ramshackle collection of horse stalls and outdoor arena. Since that time we have seen nearly 100 acres to the North and East swallowed in homes. None the less, Normandy entered the 21st century with a bang, building our current stables and huge indoor arena. We also vastly improved programming and have a really magnificent group of trainers. We are now one of the last surviving full service stables serving Littleton and the Denver Metro area. This shocking distinction was clearly evident at the most recent show at neighboring Columbine. This once vibrant facility now houses perhaps 24 horses and has uncertain plans and an even more uncertain future. Normandy continues to believe in reinvention, which in our case is not changing what is, but creating what isn’t. Many stables have moved or sprung up 20-30 miles to the south, virtually abandoning the Denver – Littleton area and suburbs.

Other businesses have an emotional connection with customers…think of Apple, Harley Davidson, … each of these are not simply in the business of providing a product or service! My Converse All Stars make my feet feel good.. the way they did when I was 10! Apple believes they can change the world, and Harley has little to do with rational reasoning- price or performance- and everything to do with affection, intuition and desire. We are not a huge “brand” but there must be something that draws generations of riders to recognize, remember and continue to recommend Normandy. We would love to hear what you may think is at the core of Normandy, so that we may build upon this strength.

We are proud that Normandy has been a true testament to our creativity and adaptability. In order to continue our progress and relevance to future generations of equestrian enthusiasts we would like to solicit your help. In today’s fast changing and emotional economy, competition has evaporated yet Normandy continues in our nitch..Should you feel so compelled we would love reconnecting with you our past boarders. Most that boarded with us over the past 14 years have moved on to new adventures; in some cases many other stables, marriage and kids for many, however we are still astounded that boarders from our tenure as well as even earlier tenures still occasion the stable!

Please drop us a line, email us or even see reconnect with us on Facebook!
We would love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Normandy helps reduce carbon hoofprint

Question: How much could an average driver save by riding at
Point A in Littleton instead of Point B in Parker?

Answer: This average driver travels 11,423 miles per year. Spends $3044.00 in gas,
$2,724.61 wear and tear to car, travel time of 14,143.99 minutes (235.73 hours), $1379.02 lost productivity wages, and $728 for Starbucks. Total cost $7,875.63
Total difference based on fine print, your actual expenses will vary!

Fine Print:
· based on 4 weekly r/t Normandy Farms to Colorado Horse Park
· based on $4.00 per gallon, regular unleaded 5/31/08, at 15 mpg, Mapquest 27.46 miles o/w, 34 minutes o/w. Horse contact time 1 hour per trip. Federal minimum wage $5.85 per hour. 2008 IRS allowance 50.5 per mile. Starbucks one cup per trip at $3.50/cup source:Starbucks Littleton 5/31/08)
· transportation accounts for approx 33% of energy related emissions. Based on above mileage conservation international calculator 5 tons of CO2 annually offset. The average acre of rainforest sequesters 10 tons pf CO2 annually. Offset is $7.50 per year average driver.
· Calculation does not include ride time, cost of boarding, training, tack, showing, runs to the feed store or riding attire.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Hay at Normandy Farms

Hay at Normandy Farms
By Stan Penton

Ever since my Thacher High School equestrian days, I have continued to receive feedback and stress about hay, its quality and in the end; its price. While I am not a trained “farmer”, I have done a lot of study on this topic and devoted a lot of time and energy towards feed questions over the years. Ten years ago Normandy had veterinary and feed professionals in regularly to discuss feed, horses, body composition and more….. regularly. Our horses never suffered from the attention and infact did VERY well with a barn balanced feed program.

Despite our best efforts, a number of boarders consistently wanted to do there own thing, and that is where the balanced program ended. At that time we had two types of feed pellet, a complete and a senior. Now, the mice grow fat and our new barn cats grow just as fat on mice amongst the 1000’s of pounds of a variety of feeds stored in trash cans. We have thought to discontinue our complete pellet due to lack of interest.

It is time to get back to basics a bit, and you as horse owners play a huge part in this process. We believe your horse should be fed what it takes to keep them in good condition for the amount of work they do. As professionals we have decided to have purely grass hay or purely alfalfa as our forage, and a complete 14% pellet to finish. There are a fair percentage of our borders that do not have a sense of the simplicity of a horse. There are OWNERS are out of control, feeding a wide range of supplements and schemes, and noting upwards of twelve flakes of hay per day on feed charts. We urge you to become well informed. I have never personally believed in a lot of supplements and it shows. There is a stark difference in quantity of supplements and additives on the West side versus the East side of our stable. Our three barn cats concentrate on the West side for obvious reason! I have thought to address this subject many times when low and behold I received a note from a boarder that “…we should have better hay…”; so here I go.


Normandy Farms is obviously a small suburban agricultural operation; we do not have the land nor the resources (i.e. buy 80 acres someplace else) at present to grow the grass hay and alfalfa our boarded animals consume. We have estimated that we would require a minimum of 80 acres farmed to supply just our annual needs. So as most operations we have sought out quality partnerships for this need. It is often better to partner with an expert than to do it yourself.

When we first arrived at Normandy Farms some 14 years ago, hay was brought to the property catch as catch can; purchased by a seemingly endless stream of hay growers with a few bales in the back of the pickup. Over the years we have received hay primarily from Colorado but also Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas. These loads arrived in pick-up trucks, small trailers, box vans, small flat beds, retrievers, and semi with unloaders. In the olden days we stored about a month supply in the hay loft of our old barn. We were naturally concerned with 22 tons of hay and the storage danger it involved, so over the last twelve years or so we have stored only a month to six week supply on property, tarped outside. In really “bad” times we purchased “rebaled” hay, and in “good times” sometimes found a “deal” and loaded up on as many as 3000 bales; a 5-6 month supply tarped on pallets outside. With such large quantities, what may have been a deal may end up in the dumpster as old hay in our climate spoils, bleaches out, or molds. From 1999-2005 we had our huge truck and flatbed, and received our hay from the same farm, with ease and no supply problems.

With the beginning of our most recent drought cycle, we lost this supplier. This is a long story, but we were sad that this relationship ended, as they abruptly could not fulfill our year round needs. Since that time we have received loads small or large from all over, always seeking a consistent supplier for the long term. Almost every load we received has been from a separate individual, supplier, field or state. Much has been of dubious quality and in the process; the hay price has increased 92% to as much as $250 per ton. This price may or may not reflect heavy transportation costs. In short we have been screwed, jerked and abused for about the last three years. We have been part of COD deals straight out of The Sopranos. We have turned loads away and have gone to the feed store for days on end paying retail rather than be at the mercy of unscrupulous dealers and middle men. In short we have not had consistency or hay quality testing.

This past season things appeared to be looking up. We have had enough water, and we began received several loads during this past fall of mountain hay from the North Park, Colorado area. This hay was fine stemmed, of good appearance and barn stored. Randie even conducted hay testing on this hay as we believed we had found a reliable consistent supplier. The hay tested in the 8% CP range, nothing stellar, but something consistent. Alas, for three months we could not get a trucker to deliver from this ranch. They were good guys, bringing small trailers every few weeks, but we have too large a need to be forced to “look” and beg for every bale; will it arrive or not?

That is until we were approached by our long lost farm that supplied us for 1998-2005.

That’s enough history, lets move on the quality.

Hay Quality

Hay Protein
Crude protein is an important measure of quality. Crude protein is composed of amino acids, nitrogen, and nonprotein nitrogen. Amino acids contain nitrogen and are necessary for the synthesis of body protein in meat, wool and milk. This generally accepted measure of hay quality does not indicate how efficiently the protein will be digested or utilized. Digestible (available) protein is a more realistic measure of forage protein value. In fact, crude protein values for heat- stressed or fermented hay are not always a reliable indicator of available protein. The marketability of heat-stressed hay is impacted more by excessive levels of mold and reduced values of TDN or digestible dry matter (DDM). Current hay sample indicates a 10.4% crude protein, which is a good hay percentage.

Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) contains the total fiber content or cell wall fraction of forage. Chemical components of NDF include cellulose, hemicellulose, legnin and dea-damaged proteins. In general as NDF decreases, potential forage intake (per unit time) increases. NDF is the best overall indicator of feed intake because of a relationship to both digestibility and density of forage. Current hay sample indicates a 64.2%- this is in the prime 4 range.

Acid detergent fiber (ADF) is considered a good indicator of digestibility and contains the same chemical components as NDF except for hemicellulose. Potential digestibility of a forage increases as ADF decreases. Current hay sample indicates a 38.2% this is in the prime 1 range.

Total digestible nutrients (TDN) and net energy (NE) are measures of a feed’s energy value. NE is a more comprehensive measure of energy than TDN. Current hay sample indicates a 59.79 TDN and .61 Mcal/lb NE.

Relative Feed Value ( RFV) is an index that combines potential intake and digestibility into a rapid method to determine feed value. Current hay sample indicates an 86 RFV this is in the prime 4 range.

Calcium and phosphorus content is often important. The National Research Council suggests that dietary Ca:P ratios between 1:1 and 7:1 results in normal performance provided phosphorus consumption meets livestock requirements. Sometimes high levels of calcium must be offset with consumption of adequate phosphorus levels. Current hay sample indicates Calcium is .26 and Phosphorus is .25, a 1:1 ratio.

Forage quality characteristics and standards
In 1998, the USDA Hay Market News Task Force improved uniformity of hay pricing information by adopting a modified version of the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) standards as follows.

Legume or legume- grass hay mix
Standard RFV ADF%

Supreme >180 <27
Premium 150-180 27-30
Good 125-150 30-32
Fair 100-125 32-35
Normandy alfalfa quality is in the supreme range. As we say it is “like dynamite” high protein hay.

Grass hay
Standard CP%

Premium >13
Good 9-13
Fair 5-9
Low <5

As we said earlier last year some of the mountain grass we received looked pretty good, and had only a fair CP%. There are a variety of nuances, hay quality can be too high, too low and sometimes hay is prime for either CP or RFV, but not both. In each case these values also vary by cutting location and cutting itself (1st – 3rd). Grass hay frequently ranges from 6- 13 percent CP again dependent on species, stage of maturity at harvest and nitrogen fertility. Current grass hay sample indicates a 10.2% CP.

Baled hay can be visually inspected to determine maturity at harvest, but an analysis for ADF and NDF is more conclusive evidence of forage quality. In visual inspection the stage of maturity, leaf capture and retention, rain damage, hay color, heat stress damage, mold, texture and weeds are all indicators of quality. As an example, although hay color is a strong clue to environmental conditions during harvest, it is not a reliable measure of either nutrient content or potential hay intake by livestock. Bright green hay usually indicates a rapid cure, no precipitation and minimal exposure to sunlight. Sometimes bright green, well cured, mature hay is lower in feed value than a less mature, slightly weathered or fermented hay. In short great quality hay weathered and browned excessively by precipitation is significantly diminished. Generally, horse hay buyers are more concerned with hay condition and color than with nutrient content.

Normandy Farms (Stan) tries to be concerned with hay condition and color and nutrient content. This has been an almost impossible and all consuming task. We have found that it is best to broadly focus as even horses themselves can be fickle finding one bale/load more palatable than the next. We strive for a good- premium range of grass hay.

Annual testing of our current hay provides us with useful information. This information is positive, indicating that we have met our goal of good- premium range of grass hay. We again have a supplier that has undergone a tremendous irrigation effort, is close at hand; with near 1000 acres in hay producing 85,000 bales per season. Furthermore the hay is always barn stored and can supply our continued annual needs. Overall this can be a happy relationship; we hope can carry on for many years. Perhaps the most important factor is that we have a relationship and history, we personally know the Dad, the Mom, the Son and we have visited the farm many many times. That said, we can always get a few bad bales, a weed, a stick or cow poop and we are constantly on the look out. The big supply picture is much improved, we do not know what price will be paid and ultimately borne by you the owner due to the reduced cropland for hay and the huge transportation cost increases.

We hope that each of you have made it through this information, and will use it to its best benefit. Our goal is the betterment of your horse and its actual nutritional needs, with little waste. We are looking for a vast clean up of the West storage area by way of reduction and elimination. We will be conducting several feed sessions with vet and our feed manufacturer over the next several months. We hope you will participate and be best informed. We also hope to plan a unique familiarization trip and picnic to Longmont for a tour and explanation of haying prior to the 1st cutting in July.

Source: Hay Quality and Marketing in the Rocky Mountain
Front Range and High Plains
University of Wyoming- College of Agriculture
B-1088, Alan M. Gray January 2001