Researchers observed equine body language and facial expressions in a grooming study, comparing these visible responses to what’s under the surface – blood cortisol, oxytocin levels and heart rate. As a coach, I encourage riders to read their horses –to check in every couple of seconds with how their signals are reflected in their horse’s … Read moreReading horses (and people).
Anyone ever been thankful for a horse who had a braking safety feature installed? Reliable brakes- an accident averted. Or an equitation class won. I’ve been thankful for horses that know “whoa” before they steps on the reins, unseat a novice, or bump into another horse in the warm up ring. A nifty tool in … Read moreBrakes
Sharing some Life lessons Learned from Horses with this week with a group of camp staff and teens. I asked -What re you revolving around? What gives you identity, security, significance? I’ve lunged what seems like a million horses. Just when you think you’re the master lunger, one’ll throw you a curve ball. Leaving its … Read moreLungeing horse. Life lessons.
A medley of horse performance issues stem from the same source – lack of straightness. Anyone driving a truck a truck and trailer will tell you that in stopping or backing, you’d better have the rig straight! The same is true with horses. When a horse has his head, neck, shoulders and hips aligned with … Read moreOut of alignment
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!