Horses and the homing instinct. Longing for home.

Horses are designed to be drawn to the safe and predictable for their very survival. A place where meals and turnout come on schedule. Where he knows where he stands in the pasture hierarchy. A horse feels “at home” – safe, when the cues of his rider are clear and predictable.
Yep, horses have a homing instinct. So do we. A longing for belonging. A place of peace…

Horse show bling, brands and Black Friday.

When I began judging horse shows, I was struck by how little influence fashion trends had on my scorecard compared to performance and penalties.
After spending many years in the show ring, many hours attending to grooming details and many dollars on tack and turnout, I’m more inclined to ask “Is it a need or a want?” Will this influence the judges or impress only those outside the show ring?

A riding coach is a mentor.

Creative problem solving, humility, humour, life perspective (“this too shall pass”). Good coaches are mentors – teaching life lessons alongside riding without stirrups! Because its’ more than horse shows. Our students may take away a ribbon as they exit the ring. But if they don’t take away character learned from the pressure cooker of competition, we’ve failed as coaches.

Riding the rail: winning tips for horse show flat classes. Part 3

First impressions are lasting impressions in horse show flat classes. Enter the show ring with confidence – in show mode, not training mode. Though judges aren’t yet officially scoring, they’re forming opinions as they organize bookwork and check tack. Get in there promptly. Don’t dilly-dally and contribute to a delay. That’s irritating to a horse show judge – the judge you’re hoping to impress. As a bonus, making an early entrance into the show ring carves out extra warm up time while the judge is recording numbers…and waiting for the tardy entries.