Kids and Horses: Where does it all start?

I run the classic “kid” barn.  On any day after school, it’s hard to count how many kids are hanging out working with horses and just being kids.  Phones come out and snap a quick pic but devices are not occupying their time.  When I walk back to the barn in between lessons I often take a quick assessment of …

My Girls Can Raise Their Hands

The other day I noticed a news splash about a ten year old girl’s efforts to encourage Girl Scouts to raise their hands. The article really caught my attention. As I read about how this young girl is empowering girls to be confident like their boy peers, I thought about how our hard-working barn environment is shaping our girls.  Much like the Girl …

I’m a Little Uncomfortable, Again

I’m never afraid to incite a little “agree to disagree” in my barn. The topic of equipment choices (bits, curb straps, etc.) has come up and my old school, follow the rules mentality is kicking in. So I did some research to settle my ruffling feathers. Trends in the horse world are common.  Bit styles come and go.  The art of …

Sixty Days To Sixty

The idea of turning 60 hit me hard a few months ago.  I was trying to figure out how a person begins to plan the next, and maybe last, 20 years of life.  In the past, my next 20 years was going to be full of monumental life moments; my first born would turn 40, it would mark 20 years of living …

Stepping up to the 2 foot jumps can be a big deal

My little cross railers are becoming big beginners and I’m so proud of them!  In my barn, my newest riders are always “chomping at the bit” to finally jump the real jumps.  Going from cross rails to 2 feet is a really big deal for everyone. It’s a true right of passage for riders, both young and old, to move on …

Life Skills and Horsemanship

Having my grandchildren involved in my horse business is amazing.  Everyday I go to work I look forward to the time I spend with my students.  And now my students include my most precious little people, my grandkids! The other day I caught myself daydreaming about how great this is and how great the future is looking for my family …

Horse Training and the Next Generation

Every trainer I’ve ever worked with started our relationship with the comment, “You must get inside of your horse’s brain, not his body.”  Throughout my life I’ve said, training is not always pretty; be assertive without being angry; if you think you are being abusive stop and recognize you have missed a step somewhere.  As an instructor who works with many …

TRAINING TIP TUESDAY, YOUR HANDS ARE A CRITICAL CONNECTION.

As we learn to ride a horse, there are so many critical pieces to the perfect outcome.  How your horse performs often depends on something as precise as, are your fingers closed? are your thumbs up?  do I hold my hand as if I am holding a baby bird?  The thought about a baby bird works really well for my …