Horse show rules, pasture fence lines and living well between the limits.

The latest horse show rule books were delivered to my mailbox.
These are the rules. These are the ring dimensions. These are the tack restrictions.
With clear, well laid out rules-of-play, we’re free to push the limits of excellence, within the limits of the rules of the ring. With clear, well-laid-out fence lines, horses are free to buck, play and graze.
I guess a “you-do-you”, “follow your heart” view of the world doesn’t really work, regardless of how cool it sounds in a song lyric or Disney movie…

Responding to Pressure – horse and humans. Part 2

We’re always horse training – there’s no neutral. I encourage riders to be mindful of each moment – on the ground or in the saddle, catching those little resistances and using them as horse training yield-to-pressure opportunities …The payoff is my horse is less likely to say “no” when the pressure’s on. Fewer costly wrong leads, added strides, or seconds lost in speed events.
What about humans? 10 months of pandemic pressures have squeezed many of us emotionally, financially, relationally and physically. When I’m feeling squeezed by circumstances, what does it bring out in me?

The story of Christmas in a messy, horse trailer tack room.

If your horse trailer tack room door is jammed closed and bulging, you’re in good company. We never did get around to the annual pre-show cleaning… no horse shows…. It’s shaping up to be a grey Christmas – in the grey zone of a lock-down, things aren’t as they’re supposed to be. Our rituals and routines are as messed up as our trailer tack room…. Funny how the story of Christmas is about the birth of a child in the middle of a mess.