Monthly Archives: January 2015

An Apple For The Teacher

Of course our horses teach us how to ride.  They teach us what it feels like to pick our bodies up off the ground, and start again (I think that’s called humility).  They teach us more than you can ever imagine.

They teach us the Fruits Of The Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control.

They teach us responsibility.  They teach us everything we have to learn about riding, and being a horseman/woman.  Actually, they teach us about how to be better human beings.  They are usually good listeners.  They share the joy of God’s creation.  There are no people more in touch with life, and the outdoors, than horse people.  Most horse people are very spiritual.  Why?  Because we are in touch with something greater than we are.

We are taught about a herd mentality.  We are taught about a survival instinct because of their prey status, and fight or flight instinct.  As we watch them gallop across a field we are taught to celebrate life everyday.  The only thing they worry about is where, and when the next meal is coming from, and if they are in a safe place.  Boy, with all the stress in our lives wouldn’t we be better off with that attitude.  Yes we have to make plans, but we don’t have to stress over them.

But here’s a news flash.  They are sent as teachers to teach us about ourselves.

Our dogs, being predators, are in tune to our energy and body language.  Our horses being prey animals, are looking at the same thing only more so.  Our animals are mirrors of us.  Think about what you don’t like about your horse, or other people for that matter.   What would you like to change if you could.  Now think about yourself.  Do you, perhaps, have the same problems or qualities.  Do they withhold the last inch of themselves?  Do you?  Do they stress and worry?  Do you?  Are they sometimes grouchy?  Are you?  Do they sometimes not want to be caught when you are late?  What kind of energy did you walk in with?  What are they trying to show you?

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you.  Job 12:7

Just take the time to seek and learn what they are trying to teach you.  About yourself.  You may be surprised at what they want to show you.  Honestly, you really may not like what you see, but take heart, you can make changes, and corrections.  After all, that’s what teachers are for.

It’s Only A Horse. Really?????

There are twenty-two horses who were poisoned here in Florida, and I know this has happened in other states before, and occurring now north of here.  The feed mill that supplied their grain was not careful enough and included an additive for cows that a horse cannot tolerate.  It has killed several and the others are dying slowly.

I saw a picture on Facebook of these young girls giving their dying horses a spa day.  I know that there are people out there that are saying, “Oh they’re only horses.”  Seriously.  I know I am preaching to the choir, because if people aren’t interested in horses, they are not viewing this post.  But they just don’t get it.  They don’t get what our horses mean to us.  They are way beyond a pet.

Truly, think about it, what does your horse mean to you?  He/she is your best friend.  Someone you can go to after a hard day, and they will make it all better.  They are your therapist, your comforter, a shoulder to cry on.

How many times when I was a teenage girl, did I just walk up to my horse, throw my arms around her neck, just cry, and tell her all my problems.  Problems about school, boy friends, girl friends, how the world wasn’t fair.  Horses don’t care if we have the “In” designer clothes, or if we are having problems with Acne.  Children and young adults are very cruel, but horses love us for who we are, pimples and all.

When parents would stand with me, while I was teaching their children, they would say that their child loved taking lesson, but it was so expensive.  I would look at them and run down the list of how cheap it really was.  Where would you prefer having your child, hanging around a street corner, or at a barn.  When we were kids, by the time we all left the barn, we were so dirty and tired, all we wanted to do was go home, go to bed, and get up the next day and do it again.  Children who are into horses don’t usually get in trouble with the law.  They are too busy and exhausted.  They are focused on the horse, not themselves.  They learn responsibility, and concern for another’s well-being.  They are spending time with those that feel the same way.

These horses that are dying have given unconditional love, and encouragement.  They have given someone the confidence to do things, they never thought they could do.  They have cared for their person, and shown them the time of their lives.

Oh they are so much more than just a horse, especially to a teenage girl.


I wrote this post in the beginning of December when this all first happened.  Since then the company has made good and is picking up all the expenses of the affected horses.  The company has also promised to pay for horses to replace the horses that are dying.  They have also said they will no longer produce horse feed.  They are making right for the wrong that was committed, even though it was not intentional.  The new horses will never replace, in the hearts of these kids, the horses that have passed, but it will help the families with the expense incurred.  At least they stepped up to the plate and did what they could.

In the January /February copy of America’s Horse on the “Sage Remarks” page I noticed two remarks that caught my attention, one that speak to this article.  There is also a remark that mirrors comments I have made in previous posts.

Sometimes I feel like people look at me as if I’m crazy, with some of the things I come up with.  Then there are others that agree with me totally.  I do not know these people on this remarks page, and probably have never heard of them before, but we are sisters by heart in the horse.

The first one is Author Holly Davis, who in the introduction to “From Their Heart to Yours:  Inspirational horses and the people who love them:  she writes, “But it’s just a horse…”  “If I had a pound for each time I have heard this phrase, I would be a very rich woman.  Actually, the truth is that I am rich due to horses.  Not in the monetary sense that most people would think in terms of wealth. Rather, in terms of knowledge, love, compassion, life lessons and experiences that I have been gifted by numerous horses.”

And the next one is something I firmly believe.  This is written by Theresa “Tess” Andreozzi  of Spring Creek, Nevada, telling the Elko Daily News about her plans to show in ranch horse pleasure at the AQHA World Championship Show.  “Training horses is like doing math.  You can’t skip doing steps.”  This I totally agree with.  If you skip steps it will come back to bite you.

Now these two women know what it’s all about.  They are women after my own heart.


Hang in there y’all, winter will end.


What Really Sunk The Titanic?

There are always programs about the Titanic.  What a magnificent ship.  The money, the opulence.  A life style no longer in existence.  Even sitting on the bottom of the ocean, she is still a regal lady, a class act.

Oh of course we know that an Iceberg gouged out the side of her hull, but amazingly what really sunk her was “Ego.”  The ego of the men who built her into the ship that couldn’t be sunk.  Life boats, nah we don’t need them, she’s not going to sink.  Let’s run her full-out so we break a record getting to New York.  Icebergs, don’t worry about them, we have a strong hull, and water tight bulkheads (that never went to the ceiling, duh.)  Well how did that work out for you?  All those male egos went down with the ship, along with a bunch of innocent people who just wanted to start a new life.

What???, you say.  Surely you must be thinking that I’ve lost my mind, and what does this have to do with horses.  Everything.

I will admit that men have more of a problem with the “Old Male Ego” thing than woman, but not by much lately.  Yes all the wars are started by the “Male Ego.”  I want more land, more control, more power, more importance, more……  I want to rule the world.

Woman want bigger and better.  They have to out-do the neighbors.  But as opposed to war, we do lunch.

Bottom line is that it all comes back to ego.  So much involved with such a small word.

So how does this relate to our horses?  When they are the catalyst for acquiring our power, and helping to lift our ego up onto that pedestal.  When they become the means to the end, without any concern for them.

We are in a disposable society.  If it’s broke, throw it away and buy a new one.  We are not talking toasters here.  We are talking living breathing animals.  You can’t just throw them on the side, and not do the best you can for them.  You can’t just go out, and replace them with another model. Without knowing what is wrong, and fixing this one first.  Give it a chance at a healthy life, maybe in a different profession.  Just because you have a bunch of them, doesn’t mean that the one injured one doesn’t matter.

Where is the conscience, and the compassion of some people?  What has this world come to?

God gave us dominion over the animals, for care and protection.  Not abuse and neglect.

Do you know how many dogs and cats are sitting in shelters because they are unwanted?  Horses, especially young unbroken foals, that are unwanted?  Truthfully, I’m afraid to even mention the elderly that are sitting alone in nursing homes or hospitals, and the children that are sitting in orphanages, and on streets, that are unwanted.

This world is becoming a very scary place.  We should all be very afraid for the future, and of the egos of those in charge.

Be responsible, don’t breed, rescue; and call on the carpet those who don’t care for God’s creation.

Double check where your ego has been lately.  Are you really better than anyone else, or is that only in your mind.  And truly, what are the consequences of your actions?

What is the Titanic in your life?

How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Ride?

Well first of all, we never stop learning.

This is a question I’m asked often, yet it is a hard question to answer.

Everyone learns in their own time.  Some people are naturals, and some take a little longer.

My normal comment is “Well, it all depends.”  Well that’s an answer for you.  But when you think about it, it’s the only thing you can respond with.

It depends on:

  • How quickly you pick things up?
  •  What type of learning process do you need.  For example – Do you learn by watching, reading, hands on, having things explained to you, and sometimes it’s a combination.
  • How coordinated are you.  (Sometimes I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.  Hand to eye contact isn’t happening for me either.)
  • What discipline are you interested in?  Walking around and sitting on a horse, being able to stop, start, and turn your horse while following others, or do you want something more?
  • If you want to compete in a specific event, well that will take more time.

I had a student come to me, several years ago, at the beginning of her senior year in High School.  She explained to me, that for her senior project she wanted to become an Open Jumper.  She had to have video’s weekly of her progress, and be done by March.  She’d never been on a horse before.  Of course my eyes bulged, my jaw dropped, but I never discourage anyone from trying.  Was that a realistic goal, no way, but I’m always up for a challenge.  She worked really hard riding once a week, and by march she was going over foot and a half jumps safely.  She was happy with that, and I was thrilled.  She ended up with a fabulous grade.  She’s in her last year of college and has come back and ridden, but she’s moved on to Sky Diving.

So when someone asks me how long, I ask them what they are looking to accomplish?  Then I’ll tell them that it depends on how often, and how hard they work at it.  But this does come with a side comment, it all depends on your natural ability.  Some people are naturals, but most people struggle.  I, myself, struggled, but it didn’t stop me from learning and accomplishing everything I had hoped for.  It doesn’t stop you from becoming great at your goals, it just takes a little longer to get there.  Most people really have to work at it, very few are born to it.

You must always remember that you can accomplish your goal.  Unlike golf, the more you practice, the faster you will learn, and the better you will be.  Every one I know who has studied riding becomes proficient at it.  I watch people like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and just shake my head.  These are people who practice eight hours a day, seven days a week, and still mess up.  If we rode eight hours a day, seven days a week, we’d be very good.  Yes, we are working with an animal who may have their own agenda, but until you’ve worked with a stupid little white ball, you haven’t tried anything.  I’ll take learning to ride, any day over learning how to play golf.  My golf instructor, God Bless Him, has more patience than anyone I know.  Remember me, can’t walk and chew gum?  Yup, I’m taking up golf, kind of.  There are so many variables, and my aging body just doesn’t have the flexibility that it needs, but as with riding, I’m not giving up.

So if someone asks you how long it will take to learn how to ride, just smile and nod, throw the ball back in their court and say, that will all depend on you.

So Another Year Begins

Well I’ve looked over the posts that I have lined up to present to you, and none of them fit my mood or this day.

Some of them are very intense, I don’t feel intense.

It’s a New Year, and a new start.  We can make resolutions that we won’t keep.  We can start projects that we won’t finish.  But we can try.

We can try to make more time for our horses, and for ourselves.  We can make more time to spend with the people who mean the most to us.

I’ve intended to go see my friend who was in a hospital and rehab center, but I’ve been sick myself.  (I hate when people share their germs, and I refuse to do it.)  She fell off her horse a million times when we were hunting, but a step-ladder did her in.  Now today I found out that she passed away.  In a way I’m glad for her, because she was paralyzed and would never be able to enjoy the life she was used to living.  But in another way I’m sad, because she was planning on getting involved with handicapped riding.  She was not going to let this accident slow her down, and she was going to make this accident benefit others.

At this point I need to share a funny story about Pat, she was quite a character.  We were having our hunt tea after a hunt one evening.  They are usually a breakfast or dinner but we always refer to them as a tea.  Some people would put their horses in their trailers and some would leave them tied to the side of their trailers while they ate.  Well Pat had hers tied to the passenger side of the trailer so she could keep an eye on her.  When she left she walked up on the driver’s side, got in, and started driving slowly down the dirt road.  Elly, her horse, started walking at first along with the trailer.  We all started yelling and running after the trailer.  Then Elly started trotting to keep up.  We started running faster and yelling louder.  Pat finally stopped to see what all the fuss was about and we all laughed at the situation.  I don’t think Elly was that amused, but it is a nice memory of Pat and all the fun we had.  She wasn’t the only one who ever did this, but it was the funniest.

So even if you are a little hung over today, remember that life is way to short to put things off.  Enjoy your horse, your friends, and your family every chance you get.  Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone.

I know Pat is in heaven totally happy with all her friends, and the animals that went on before her.  I can hear the hunt horn blowing “Gone Away”, but we’re still here, let’s make the most of 2015.