Willowview Hill Farm

Welcome to Catskill Horse.

Welcome to The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse. We hope you enjoy browsing our monthly online magazine. This .org digital magazine, began as a community resource serving the North East region of the USA, and has grown to reach a national and even international audience. The complete source for everything horse with a bevy of archived educational articles, tips and advice for multi-riding disciplines for horse owners everywhere that encompasses everything horse and rural lifestyle related.

Come join our Merry Band at the Catskill Horse. And don't forget to check in at our Facebook page.

What's New in This Issue

Budget-Friendly Ways to Start Carriage Driving

Haymaking and Hay Buying For Horses

Budget-Friendly Ways to Start Carriage Driving

Nikki Alvin-Smith

Editor's Welcome


So summer has finally arrived. Yay! Lots of bright sunny weather here in the North-East and green grass everywhere. Sadly some of our fellow citizens have suffered such extremes of weather and hardships as a result of the change in season, it is hard to fathom how others across the country are managing at all and our hearts go out to them.
As one of my all-time favorite heroines Emmeline Parkhurst, a founder of women’s suffragette movement once said (and it became the motto adopted by their organization), “Deeds not words.” So please do your bit to contribute to the rebuild effort for those in need because it truly is our actions versus words that make the biggest difference.
Meantime back home here in the Catskill Mountains, we are busy with haymaking. It has begun earlier in the year than ever before due to the warm weather and dry days. Hay making is always a time-consuming and earnest endeavor. For folks that don’t produce their own hay comes the challenge to find good quality hay. I remember how hard that was to accomplish.
Haymaking on our own farm was something we took on board 24 years ago to supply our own performance horses and breeding stock in order to feed an organic, high-quality product that we could trust to build our horses’ good health and microbiome. Something that is important for forage needs for all equines but even more so perhaps for the horse tasked to meet the demands of high-level equestrian sport and for young horses and their moms who are the future of the breeds.  In fact, our south facing tillable fields located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York, an area within the NYC Watershed and hence a protected environment, took us 7 years of searching to find. We can be patient apparently.
It is unquestionably an expensive enterprise to set up a hay production operation, but it has been well worth both the time and effort. Expense and efforts notwithstanding, including the emotional toil and legacies of farm accidents and injuries, I’m so glad we did it. And I continue to hope that folks that farm small bales of horse friendly hay will continue to do it. After talking with staff here at “The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse,” and ruminating on those efforts, the idea to write an article has resulted in this work formulated by the team. Give it a look. I’m sure you can relate!
On other news, the advent of eco-friendly farm development has crossed the pond and people continue to uphold an intent to do better by our planet and its resources. Inherent nature being what it is, at our farm we have worked toward regenerative farming practices that encourage wildlife and bio-diversity from 1998, while working the farm to produce a great quality product both in horse and hay terms while taking the reins for good stewardship of the land on which we are privileged to hold dear during our ownership.
Part of the popular trend toward a budget-worthy smart approach to farm development for horse folks is the notion of Barndominiums. The advent of the leading horse barn producer Horizon Structures L.L.C., investing their time and energies into offering ‘Barndos’ has resulted in a wonderful line up of different styles of modular Barndominiums that cross the cultural divide between horse folks and rural lifestyle lovers that just want to develop a viable business within the equine world spectrum. See what is going on here. It’s amazing actually – and something that has become a much more elevated build due to modern construction materials that are available.
And finally for our fellow horse carriage drivers and those that yearn to get behind the buckboard or hold those ultra-thick reins in their hands atop a finely appointed horse-drawn vehicle, let’s get started on a budget-friendly way to do that. It’s never too late to get begin in the driving discipline and it doesn’t have to be expensive and part of the hrose world for an elite few.

Don’t forget to check in at our news page for lots of horse lover information, see the winners of our monthly book contest and find new events to attend on our very popular events page.

With heartfelt gratitude to all our supporters, viewers and advertisers alike who have helped keep Catskill Horse growing this far. We look forward to many more years to come as we build this digital publication and continue to reach far and beyond New York.

If you write and would like to contribute; have news you would like to share about your organization or activities at your farm, please email

Please to visit our Facebook page and keep up on current news and come join the chat at the Catskill Equestrian Group too.

Happy Riding!

Nikki Alvin-Smith
Catskill Horse Magazine
Publisher: Horse in a Kilt Media Inc.

Can You Help Spread The Love?
The Merry Band at the Catskill Horse have been catching up with Dominique – the therapy horse. Sandy Smith and her wonderful companion Dominique have been out and about cheering up folks in need of a smile.

Can You Help Spread The Love?
“Here is Dominique in his Super Dom costume. He looked adorable and is Super the way he changes a room from winter into summer with sunshine, flowers, and smiles. Dom spent a good deal of time at the Wilmington, DE Ronald McDonald House on Halloween. He was Super Dom and his dad just sent this photo. The joy they shared with their little son, told it all. This is why Dominique’s Smiles exist, and why we simply must get into hospitals and other Ronald McDonald Houses. Everyone reading this, please know Dominique needs your help. If you know a hospital doctor or board member with some clout, get after them to allow Dominique to visit!” explains Sandy Smith.
If you can help, please step up. You can follow Dominique’s adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

Horse in a Kilt Media Offers Marketing Help For Horse Businesses
Episode 100 features our own Horse in a Kilt Media Inc. Nikki Alvin-Smith, offering a world of advice on marketing techniques and savvy brand building in this podcast where she appeared as a guest of Horse Radio Network alumni Helena Harris. Take a listen!

Learn More About Horse Hay

Have you ever wondered where your hay comes from? In this episode, we learn about what it takes to produce the most important component of a horse’s diet. Plus, we learn about things like how to spot a good bale when you see one, how to measure moisture content, prevent spontaneous combustion, and more. Hay farmer, Nikki Alvin-Smith from Willowview Hill Farm Dressage, brings a ton of really interesting information.


Check Out Horse Radio Network Alumni Helena Harris Podcast Stall and Stable

Listen in for advice "Keeping a Grand Prix Dressage Horse".


Catskill Horse T-Shirts & Notebooks Now Available

Catskill Horse T-Shirt Mugs




Catskill Horse is pleased to announce that we now have T-Shirts, mugs and notebooks with our own arty design available for purchase to help spread the word.


Buy any one of our products - choose from our 100% cotton T's or buy a mug or notebook.

Catskill Horse Notebook

T-Shirts are available in Womens Fitted S/M/L/Xl and Unisex S/M/L/XL/2XL for only $20 plus $6.50 S/H. If you are located in NY please add 8% sales tax.


Mugs: $12.95 plus $6.50 S/H. Please add 8% sales tax if you are located in NY.


These fun notebooks are available for $11.95 plus S/H fee of $2.00. Please also add 8% sales tax if located in NYS.

Checks should be payable to Horse in a Kilt Media Inc., and mailed to P.O. Box 404, Stamford, NY 12167. Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery.

Vaccine Risks?

Here is some advice on what to look out for as your horse is administered vaccines this season. There have been reports of some serious adverse reactions this year, so be vigilant and ask your vet for their advice and specifically what adverse vaccine reports they have received through their channels.

It’s important to be able to distinguish between minor side effects and those reactions that warrant a call to your veterinarian.
Normal Responses
After intramuscular vaccination, it’s fairly common for horses to experience mild, temporary side effects for a few hours such as:
• Local muscle soreness or swelling
• Fatigue
• Fever
• Loss of appetite
• Lack of energy or alertness 
However, if the signs listed above last for more than 24 hours, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible to inform them of what is going on with the horse. This will allow your veterinarian to provide you with treatment advice and care instructions.
Causes for Possible Concern
Sometimes more serious side effects, and in some cases, life-threatening events, can occur, including:
• Hives
• Difficulty breathing
• Collapse
• Colic
• Swelling at the injection site several days post vaccination.
These more serious side effects are rare, but do require immediate consultation, and, in some cases, medical intervention.
Working with your veterinarian is the best way to ensure your horse is being evaluated based upon its particular needs. Many veterinarians follow the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ recommended guidelines for core vaccinations.  Veterinarians can also be helpful in determining the need for other risk-based vaccinations based on an assessment of your geographic threats and travel plans. They are also familiar with the proper handling and administering of vaccines, which is important because those handled improperly can actually become ineffective or may increase the risk of side effects.

CH note: This advice comes from a leading vaccine manufacturer and is provided in excerpts.

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While Catskill Horse has a staff of professional contributing writers/reporters/photographers, Catskill Horse is always interested in receiving submissions of articles and photos for publication from new writers. We can provide a photo or authorship credit for those works accepted. Please do not submit via mail - we prefer email submission. Send your ideas/articles/wrap up features/photos to us at marked attention Editorial. If accepted you will be notified via email.

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