Monthly Archives: October 2016

I Still Can’t Get That Quote Out Of My Head

“The Only Horse You Can Trust, Is The One That Trusts You”

I had started a post on that quote when I first heard it, but I dumped it.  It became a very big teaching lesson on how to get a horse to trust you.  In trying to explain how I do it, I thought that this is a law suit waiting to happen, but I do want to talk about how important trust is.  I know I’ve spoken on this before, but it is so important I’m going to do it again.

Trust has to be a mutual thing.  It’s elusive with some horses.  Why should they trust you?  Have you given them reason to believe that you are trustworthy?  Oh sure you feed them, groom them, ride them, but seriously, why should they trust you?  Their natural instinct is fight or flight.  We all know that.  We probably experienced it several times. How do you override something that is hardwired into their brain.

It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes work and patience.

First you must be confident in yourself.  They will sense if you are truly confident or trying to fake it.  You can’t fool them.

Then you must show them that you will take care of them.  Once again if you are hesitant they will feel that.

You must keep their focus on you, and not the scary situation or object.

If you make a big deal about it, they will make a big deal about it.

Never rush things.  If you only have a short amount of time, either don’t start something or make it a short lesson and always reward progress.

Don’t ask for the world, just one step at a time.

If they falter go back to something that was successful and praise them.

Always quit on a positive note.

A lot of times we don’t know what happened in their previous life, but we can usually overcome whatever it was, if they believe that we will take care of them, and keep them safe.

The only thing we must remember is to make sure there is no underlying health issue involved.  If they have bad sight, it can create a problem.  With this said; I’ve seen blind horses, who in trusting their riders, do amazing things.

If that trust and bond is there, there is nothing the two of you can’t do.

If you believe in yourself, he will follow.

Famous And Not So Famous Quotes

I read a quote a couple of weeks ago.  It instantly grabbed me.  Sometimes they do, and sometimes I think “What are they thinking!!?.”  So I thought I’d list some of my favorites. Before I started this I decided I’d Google “Famous Quotes”.  Needless to say, I was amazed.  They had a quote by Abraham Lincoln about the Internet.  Seriously!!!!  So I’m back to using my own brain, what’s left of it.

There are some old quotes by famous people like Abraham Lincoln, “America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Winston Church Hill, “You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”   Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  General Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return.” but sometimes instead we quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be bock.”  Oh and one of my all time favorites is Scarlett O’Hara’s “After all tomorrow is another day.”  I tell myself that in the evening when I look at my list of things to do and find that I haven’t done most of them.  Mostly I quote the Bible. But horse quotes are really something I connect with.  I know I’ve posted some of my favorites in the past.  Here’s my new favorite.  “The only horse you can trust, is the one that trusts you.”  That is ever so true.  Think about it before you move on.

I’m going to give you a list of some I found.  There were a couple that really made me laugh, but I tried to keep this short and a little bit in the teaching sense.  Enjoy and ponder what they say.

Every time you ride, your either teaching or un-teaching your horse.  Gordon Wright  (I know I’ve written on this before.)

There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience.  John Lyons

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient horse walks in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you.

Horse – If God made anything more beautiful, He kept it for Himself.

A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care.  Pat Parelli

A good rider can hear his horse speak to him.  A great rider can hear his horse whisper. But a bad rider won’t hear his horse even if it screams at him.

The Breath of Paradise is that which blows between the ears of a horse.  Arabic Quotation

The hardest thing about learning to ride is the ground.

The Art of Riding is to keep the horse between you and the ground.

Be wary of the horse with a sense of humor.  Pam Brown

Don’t look at a horse like an animal, look as if the horse is a real person.  Because a horse can tell the difference.

If you have seen nothing but the beauty of their markings and limbs, their true beauty is hidden from you.

Love is……Paying a $500.00 vet bill for a horse worth $50.00

And in closing –

Bread may feed my body, but my horse feeds my soul. – Arabian Poet


The Sometimes Rider

I recently had a lesson that was a “Sometimes Rider.”  The mother had so much on her plate that she just couldn’t get the child here on a regular basis.  She would schedule a lesson and then cancel at the last moment, or she would be an hour late.  This plays havoc with you daily schedule, but I loved the child and just rolled with it.

So what do you do?  The child loved coming but was at a standstill with her riding because of the weeks between lessons.  It’s very frustrating to the instructor.  The child just loved being on a horse and really didn’t care if she progressed.  After taking lessons for 3 months, it was actually like she had just ridden three times.  Learning to post and control her horse was a major challenge.  She really hadn’t ridden more than six times in those three months.  She wasn’t one of those natural riders, she was the type that would struggle, but I’ve had them before, and they stuck to it, and became wonderful riders.

So what is an instructor to do?  You really have two choices.  You either go with it, or tell them to find another instructor.  In going with it you need to set rules, and stick with them, as best you can.  Or you can walk away and never know what could have been.

There is another type of “Sometimes Rider.”  Us, yes us.  I’m finding myself to be one of them.  Everyday I look at my horse and say, I’ll ride you tomorrow, I promise.  Zoey used to believe me, now she just goes back to eating and I can see that she doesn’t believe me at all.  My neighbor asked me yesterday if I get to ride much, and I had to be honest and say no.  I now spend more time taking care of the horses and the property and less time riding.  But actually that’s been the story between Zoey and me her whole life.  When she was young, I was breaking and training other people’s horses.  they were paying me and there was a time frame that it had to be done in, so they got first attention.  Zoey makes me pay now by being obnoxious.  She knows her stuff and knows what I want but she makes me work to get it.  It’s a game, and I don’t blame her.  I blame me.  She can be good as gold, or a total brat.

But once again I’ll tell her, we’re going to ride tomorrow, and truthfully, I do believe it.  That is until tomorrow comes and all hell breaks loose.  Why does everything else take preference in my life now?  Possibly because I allow it.  When we were hunting, they had to be fit.  Heat or no heat I was out there early in the morning getting her ready for the season and keeping her fit through out.

We cheat our horses by not being consistent.  It’s like going to the gym, working out, overdoing it, and paying for it for the next three days.  They can’t tell you the next day that they need Advil, although their bodies may show it, if you look.

The fall is here and the beautiful weather is either with you.  Don’t be a “Sometimes Rider.”

Now if I can just listen to my own advice.

We’ll ride tomorrow Zoey, I promise.

Last Call

I have a love hate relationship with my computer.  I guess most people do.  When they work they are the greatest thing in the world.  When they don’t……….

Didn’t have time to prepare what I would have liked to, but this is on my mind so I’ll go with it.

The beautiful fall days are here.  Some further along than others. Great riding weather after the long hot summer.  But are you ready for what comes next?  Are the blankets washed and repaired?  Are all your other winter preparations done or in the process, or even thought of.  We always say “Well I’ll get to that next week”, and that was three weeks ago.  I’m just as bad.  I only cleaned my blankets three weeks ago.  But down here it’s not that much of a rush.  No matter where you live you coast along thinking you have more time than you do and Bam!!! the temps drop and the snow arrives.  Winters have been unpredictable the last few years.  Sometimes you get to Christmas and wish it would be colder so you could get in the spirit and other times you have snow before Thanksgiving.  You just never know.

So take the time today to think of your pre-winter to do list and get a move on it.  Winter will be here before you know it.