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Category Archives: Inspiring

Inspiring

Will us (fans) ever see you doing another bridleless/bareback routine?

“Will us (fans) ever see you doing another bridleless/bareback routine??…. I remember seeing a video someone posted on youtube (you/Roxy/Maggie) … Templeton Thompson was singing your song…… but then Roxy died and then Vaquero and I guess Maggie is retired…. so I was wondering if you have given up on that dream… or have you even thought about at all?”-Lesia Lowe

I am a big believer that when the time is right, things will happen. My job is to be prepared. I don’t know if another bareback/bridleless routine will happen again or not. As you saw in the video with Roxy and Maggie (below) I was experimenting with this as a possibility. I wasn’t sure if I could ever get it to a show level…but Maggie never recovered from a suspensory injury that she sustained running in the pasture and we turned her into a broodmare. Did you realize that Maggie is Newt’s mom?

I work my horses and give them opportunities but they get to make choices too. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. I don’t lose sleep over it but I don’t sit on the couch thinking it will ‘just happen’ either. I work and then let the chips fall where they may…thats the mystery of life. I’m starting Newt’s two year old half sister right now (another Maggie baby) and I have plans to ride more of Roxy’s granddaughters.

I don’t know where life will lead…two years ago if you told me I would be living full time in a motor home I would have laughed at you…but I did leave the door open 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Inspiring, Members Question

 

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The mental habits we create in ourselves and our horses.

First we make our habits then our habits make usThe filly entered the arena on edge, expecting to blow off energy. It didn’t matter to her that she was saddled and bridled, blowing off energy during the first 10-15 minutes of a ride was normal. It was what she had done from the first ride. At this point it was part of the routine. It could be the first ride in a month or the 10th day of riding in a row and the filly still expected, or felt required to, blow off steam at the beginning of the ride.

Many times we accidentally create habits in our horses. We do it to ourselves too. This weekend ask yourself as you go through your day, “Is this what I am choosing to do, or is this a habit?”

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Inspiring, quote

 

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Perfect Imperfections: The story of the mini horse who could…and the girl who did it.

Aimee Schulz and Skip To My Lulu Get your tissues ready. Most of you know that I love mini horses but this story would be wonderful even if it wasn’t a mini.

This is the story of a girl, Aimee Schulz, and her one-eyed mini Lulu. Aimee found Lulu in a group of 45 other minis that had been rescued from an owner who had starved and abused them. Well written and in her own words Aimee tells of the transformation….oops, I’m not going to tell you the whole story!

If you want to read the full story (and you should) follow this link to http://www.horsecollaborative.com/perfect-imperfections/. I didn’t get permission to reprint the story here so trust me and follow this link.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Inspiring, Life

 

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After an accident with a horse how can I get over my fear? How can I make the process easier?

“Hi Stacy, I am in Australia and I have watched your videos and read some of your posts. I have also heard a lot about you from friends. I was wondering if you have any advice for a horse lover who is terrified of horses. When I was 12 I had an accident and fractured my skull and was in a coma. I was not permitted to get back on for a year. My mum was riding with me and broke her leg saving me. She was in hospital longer than me. We never rode for a long time, which is probably part of the problem. Mum rides sometimes now and is more confident than me. I have had some lessons but circumstances create big gaps between lessons. This means I start over all the time. I can’t remember the accident. I can now be near them it shake and feel sick when I lead them or ride them. How can I make this process easier?”-Kate A.

Overcoming fear is often like starting over again. Where would you start with a child and a horse?The first thing that popped into my mind was, “Start small, mini small.”

Then I read your question again and saw that even leading them causes you stress. I was reminded of how my boys, in a matter of days, dramatically increased in confidence after we got our mini’s. The interesting part was that the horses they had always handled were trained better than the minis…but the minis were small, less intimidating and made us laugh.

There are many ways that you could work through this. The biggest red-flag that I see in your question is that you have had circumstances that create big gaps between lessons. It isn’t ‘wrong’ but as you have already identified the lack of consistency will cause you to repeat more than if you were able to be consistent.

I wrote a blog titled, “After an accident I have lost my confidence, what do you suggest?” that discusses a similar topic from a slightly different angle; you are interested in getting confidence around any horse and she was interested in confidence around her specific horse. It is still worth reading as the answer is still what I would recommend to you.

Listen to this advice that was posted as a comment. She sums it up beautifully and offers great advice:

“Your confidence can be and – in my opinion – should be regained! It would be a tragedy if you allowed an adverse incident like this to set a pattern for you of avoiding anything that has scared or hurt you. I know what you’re going through, ’cause after the accident (my bicycle vs. pickup truck – bike loses, bigtime!) There’s nothing like lying in bed with the “tape” of the accident playing over and over in your head to scare the willies out of you….) I did three months in hospital and over a year in a rehab center! I was lucky; I had been a horse person since I was little and KNEW that when you fall off you get right back on before you get scared and lose something you love. Neither you nor I had that option, but I was riding a bike (nervously!) as soon as they put a knee joint in my cast; my horse (with stirrup removed on the cast side) as soon as I could swing my leg over his back.

If you are in an auto accident will you never ride in a car again? If you fall on your kitchen floor will you never enter that kitchen again? Or even never walk on a linoleum floor again?

Stacy is exactly right in saying that more groundwork and more exposure to strange happenings will lessen the chance of this occurring again with your horse – in whom you have a lot invested and I don’t mean money!) You might consider, also, a few sessions with a counselor to help you work on your fear, and a few lessons at the local riding academy on the horses they put the LITTLE kids on. You knew this kind of thing could happen before you started riding in the first place; horses are big, dumb prey animals with a very rapid flight response. You loved them anyway. You still do. Let your love – and your determination to be emotionally healthy! – rule your life.

With sympathy – and tough love, Annie G.”

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Inspiring, Life, Members Question, Thought provoking

 

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Where is your attention? written by Jesse Westfall

Recently, I was out riding with a lady whose horse had its head in the air and was looking off in the distance most of the time. The problem with a horse like that is they don’t see the ground that is right in front of them and they tend to stumble when the ground in front of them drops or they trip over logs, sticks and things like that.Live with hope that your life will be better because of what you learned. Jesse Westfall

This horse made me think about people and where their attention is. I’m the kind of person that likes to live in the moment and that has advantages and disadvantages. I don’t mind if my days are spontaneous and fun but sometimes the future sneaks up on me when I should see it coming. There are other people that live so far in the future that they don’t see what might be going on right in front of them just like that horse.

The person who is worst off would be one that spends most of his time looking back with fear or regret about something that happened. It’s important in life to look back and think about your past, just don’t live there. Make sure you try to learn from your mistakes and take your new found wisdom into the future and live with hope that your life will be better because of what you learned. Written by Jesse Westfall

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Inspiring, Jesse Westfall, Life, Sunday, Thought provoking

 

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Peace is a Journey, Not a Destination

I have talked quite a bit about traveling to see the country with our boys and because we are looking for the area of the country we would like to live in but there is another reason that runs with these. We also know that there are people out there that we would like to spend time with.

Westfall's visiting with Lew and Melody Sterrett

Westfall’s visiting with Lew and Melody Sterrett

We have spent the last three weeks at Ransom Wind Ranch in Chickasha, Oklahoma with Lew and Melody Sterrett. I first met Lew at Equine Affaire in 2004 when I walked into one of his ‘Sermon on the Mount’ demonstrations. Jesse remembers me calling home and telling him that there was a man he would really enjoy meeting.

Over the years our paths have crossed but spending a chunk of time together didn’t work out…until now.

Although we have enjoyed many things during our stay here from riding with our kids on a section of the Chisholm Trail to seeing the Festival of Light display by far the most valuable thing that the Sterrett’s have given us has been their time.

Melody’s dad, Dr. Dale, is 86 years old, still rides and took our boys out to work with him building fence on multiple days. Dr. Dale has done many things in his life including starting Miracle Mountain Ranch as well as being the former president of Practical Bible College…you can bet that the boys learned more than fence building during their time with him. And did I mention he still saddles up his own horse and heads out to ride?

Jesse and I have benefited greatly from Lew and Melody giving us their time as both an example of a married couple as well as their coaching with our marriage. They have been married twenty years longer than we have and have a wealth of knowledge that they have willingly shared with us. It is interesting to me that it is often easier to search out help if we want to improve our horses…but we fail to do the same if we want to improve our marriage. Although we will be pulling out this week you can be that we WILL be stopping by again…and yes Lew, you can take that as a warning, lol.

Peace is a Journey Not a Destination

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Inspiring, Life

 

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Breaking habits, pursuing dreams, wasting time…

“Hello there. I am a 23 year old male living in England, currently trying to find my place in life. I squandered a few years of my life living on benefits and not aspiring to do anything. I got incredibly fat, I had no dreams, no goals and spent every last penny I had just for the sake of spending it.

In January of this year I started to try and improve my life and myself as a whole. I still struggle with confidence but I joined a gym, began walking and started trying to save my money with one end goal in mind…to work with horses in some capacity or another, quite likely as a riding instructor after training for it. I’ve never interacted with them but have always loved them from afar, I can’t afford my own and haven’t had any lessons yet as I’m still too heavy. I was 19 stone (266 lbs) in January and I’m now 14.11 (197 lbs) as of my last weigh in.

Things had been going tremendously well…but then a certain reality hit me, and that’s how hard it is to find vacancies in the industry even if you’re well qualified. I had it in my mind to do courses in the care of horses, riding etc in 2015 but now I’ve been hit with the realization of this. I can still get free tutiton for regular A Level courses at college until I’m over 25 (currently 24) so I would have other options should I pass them. My heart wants to train for a career with horses but my brain is telling me to get those A Levels I never got and if I still have the drive for it then persue the dream, without a student loan hanging over my head. (For the A Levels, not the equine courses)

I feel incredibly lost and I feel like the very aspiration that got me to start turning my life around is slipping away. What am I supposed to do? I want to have a stable future but I know I’ll regret not even trying to live my dream as I get older. What should I do? Persue my dream now or do it in my late 30′s aftet improving my education, having wasted so much time?

I fear going into a tailspin and this right back to where I started.”-Daniel A.

Daniel- The first paragraph shows someone who has thought hard about what they have chosen to do and were not scared to look directly at the issues. The second paragraph shows someone who is willing to work and make changes…and that is impressive. Not easy to do…but that’s why it is impressive. I will try to address some of the questions you had for me. Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait. Thomas Edison

I’m not sure how hard it is to find vacancies if you are well qualified. It is becoming ‘well qualified’ that is difficult and time consuming. You might dream of teaching but you will likely start by shoveling manure, paying for lessons and outworking everyone else around you. This phase could last for ten years or more while you work to become well qualified…the difficult part is remembering that every job you do is an opportunity. An opportunity to show someone how reliable, dedicated, driven, passionate, and hard working you are all while building your skill set. There are often opportunities all around us if we are able to see them.

My kids just showed me this quote by Thomas Edison, “Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait.” I think it applies to most areas of life. You are still young and have many opportunities ahead. Maybe you could begin to look at your prior choices as learning experiences, things you did that you will choose not to do again…which could mean that it wasn’t really wasted time. I’m sure you will encounter difficulties again, we all do, just keep learning and moving forward.

If it were me, I would try for both; aim for the A Level courses that have free tuition and find a way to begin getting experience with horses. If you can’t ride yet I bet someone would let you sit and watch lessons. But don’t stop there. Go watch horse shows, look up equine events you can travel to and take this time to see what areas inside the horse industry appeal to you. Shadow people in as many areas of the equine industry as you can. Spend a day with an Equine Massage Therapist or any other profession that interests you.

I recently wrote a blog listing many of the possible careers with horses, check it out, it may surprise you how much variety there is inside the industry. Who knows, maybe you can make those A Level classes AND the horses combine to become everything you are dreaming of.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Inspiring, Life, Members Question

 

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