Trail obstacles and pandemic obstacles – dismantled and re-mantled.

THUMP . You look back and see your horse knocked down two elements in the trail walkover obstacle in your pre-class warmup. You’d carefully set and measured the distance for success only to have your horse dismantle it… again. It’s a picture of our walk through this pandemic. A yearlong series of one hurdle after another…

The ups and downs of Western Pleasure

In my travels teaching riding clinics, ‘“talking horse” with equestrians from various disciplines, the subject of western pleasure often comes up with the dressage and hunter/jumper riders I meet. NO discipline is without its fads and extremes. Dressage, show jumping, reiners and gaited horses have been called out for unethical practices and “unnatural” training techniques.

Horse sale scams

“Horse classified scams run rampant.” The sad truth is that in every corner of the horse world, sport or business, there are those finding new ways to bend a straight line crooked.

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?