The Elusive Pursuit of Straightness

In the classical riding schools, riders begin their education on the lunge line astride well-trained school masters to develop correct and effective positions.  In the U.S. however, this is rarely the case.  Most riders are trying their very best to make progress with challenging horses, limited financial resources,  limited time and limited access to instructors with school masters. This can feel endlessly frustrating.  I have prepared four articles to help and encourage you. Continue reading

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Giving Honor To Whom Honor Is Due

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The weather may be dreary, but my spirit is brightened when I reflect on our client’s victories in 2014.   All three of Kroniek’s offspring, bred while on lease to Lazy J Sporthorses, had a fruitful year in the show ring.  Faberge Blue by Contango (owned by Lara Mitchelson ) debuted and won at training level under Michael Bragdell with scores to 78.4%.  Full brothers Grafiet Gabriel and Hancock by Rousseau, earned 8th and 10th place respectively in the Dressage at Devon breed show making their owner Cindy Mattern very happy! Continue reading

Monitoring Your Horse’s Vital Signs and Administering Medications Safely

equine-vet-examining-horse

I assembled this collection of veterinarian produced videos, to help you gain confidence monitoring your horse’s vital signs and administer injectable and oral medications safely.  By gaining these skills you will be better prepared to evaluate your horse in an emergency and convey key information to your veterinarian.  As always, be sure to consult with your vet before commencing any treatment. Continue reading

God Will Preserve Your Dreams During A Season Of Caregiving

My hope today, is to encourage those in a long season of caregiving.  Your riding goals may seem a distant memory, but they are not forgotten by God.  He greatly honors your commitment to care for your loved one.  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”  Matthew 25:40.   In such a season myself, the Lord is teaching me to rely upon His provision rather than exhausting myself overthinking every challenge.   Continue reading

Hope For Your Challenges

“My horse would be further along with another rider” is a sentiment I hear all too often from clients and friends.  This thought tends to coexist with the belief that their horse would have a better life with a better rider.  This grieves me because the truth is, horses don’t care if they’re at training level or FEI so long as their needs are being met and they’re stewarded with love and respect.  Through the Lord’s divine providence, He brought you and your horse together to learn, grow and enjoy each other richly.  Continue reading

Tristan Tucker Clinic

Tristan Tucker, Indoor Brabant, March 2014

Tristan Tucker, Indoor Brabant, March 2014

I have been using elements of John Lyons style groundwork for years, but have had difficulty transferring that work to the saddle in a way that is compatible with the dressage training scale.  Last weekend I had the good fortune to attend a clinic with Grand Prix dressage trainer, Tristan Tucker, based in the Netherlands.  His “conditioned response system” was developed out of an eclectic background as a games, eventing and jump rider and working alongside his mom in a racing barn before relocating to Europe.  His program progressively raises a horse’s tolerance for pressure, improves their proprioception, enhances suppleness and improves their fore and hind limb range of motion.  Tristan worked with each horse/rider combination 1 hour per day which began with mobility work then transitioned to de-spooking exercises where standing still was the correct response and finished with fore and hind limb range of motion exercises.  I found his communication style to be especially effective and was impressed how much he accomplished in a short time frame. Continue reading

Train your eye to better identify lameness in your horse

I came across this well done, five part video series, that helps us better identify lameness in our horses.  This first video discusses how lameness is diagnosed and the next four videos are actual case studies.  Each video is 1.5 to 4.5 minutes in length and was prepared by Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.  Enjoy! Continue reading