I’ve learned so much about horses by watching them. Coaching, training, judging -I make my living observing horses and riders. As a coach, I act as a mirror. My eyes circle from the rider’s signals to the horse’s response – speaking back what I see – choosing words as descriptively and simply as I can. I often ask riders to … Read moreA coach is a mirror
After a fall, the traditional prescription is to get back in the saddle. “Seven falls make a rider!”. Horse stops at a fence ? “Throw your heart over and your horse’ll go too!” As a young rider on a regular refuser, that adage didn’t inspire confidence in me! Despite approaching a fence with my jaw … Read moreFalling Off . My approach to rebuilding rider confidence. Part 2
I heard some riders joking that their barn policy is that anyone who falls off during a lesson buys their instructor a Coke. Cute, but does reveal and underlying assumption: Falling off is a necessary evil of learning to ride… but is it? Memories of my early days at the local riding school include eager … Read moreFalling Off . My approach to rebuilding rider confidence. Part 1
Mystical, humorous or deliberately elusive – the terms we use in the horse business can leave a rider scratching her head. I was a coach’s worst nightmare – “What do you mean by that?” I’d ask . I rarely got a meaningful answer. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Einstein. … Read moreConfusing horse training jargon.
“Mr Smith, I think for the sake of your daughter’s well-being, you should invest in a horse…” Reading an article about the effects smartphones and social media have on us, I‘d say the science is confirming that uneasiness many of us have our ever-present screens. Could it be we’re designed to thrive in real community … Read moreA case to be made for saddle time vs. screen time!
Volunteers – giving of themselves for the benefit of others. Working together toward a bigger story than their own. I had pleasure (and fun!) of working with staff and volunteers at two therapeutic riding facilities over the last two weekends. It’s SO easy to get lost in our own stories, isn’t it? Scrolling screens, and … Read moreVolunteers. Getting involved in a bigger story!
Family Day. Thinking of all the families who have been part of my barn family in many years of coaching riders! Teens riding, while mom and dad master leg bandaging and leg ups. Or one spouse in the saddle with the other driving the RV and videotaping the class. Horse shows can pull families together…and … Read moreHorse Show families
As 2018 ran out of racetrack, I reflected on what I love about being a freelance riding coach. 1. The barn aisle conversations about riding, family and life. 2. I love driving! A transition window to consider my lesson plan, the unique personality of the horse and rider and flip through my mental Rolodex of … Read moreReflections of a freelance riding coach
Here we are again, at the gate of a new year – it’s like entering the show ring, walking up the chute, through the in-gate… and into the unknown – do you feel the butterflies?? I love this quote when I get those butterflies mixed with anticipation as I wonder what the coming year will … Read moreAt the in-gate of a new year…
As the year runs out of racetrack, I reflect on what I love about being a freelance riding coach. The barn aisle conversations about riding, family and life. I love driving! A transition window to consider my lesson plan, the unique personality of the horse and rider and flip through my mental Rolodex of solutions … Read moreWhat I love about being a freelance riding coach.