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Hey Stacy, I was wondering, is 21 too old to teach some of the stuff in your videos?

“Hey Stacy, I was wondering, is 21 too old to teach some of the stuff in your videos? As I have a 21 year-old I’d love to do more work with. Thanks.” -Lydia S.

One of my refrigerator magnets.

One of my refrigerator magnets.

I was asked this question years ago by a young girl around the age of 13. She owned a  20+ year old horse. I told her that how much she accomplish would depend on her persistence and consistency and some on her horses willingness. She watched my demos at the expo and before it was over she bought my Bridleless riding DVD.

Several months later I received an email from her.  She sent me a link to a video where she was riding her horse bridleless! The horse was clearly a 4H type horse so her pattern looked more like a horsemanship pattern and her ‘rollbacks’ were simple pivots…but it was AWESOME! One young persistent girl and one older horse. I wish I still had that video link but all of this happened back in 2006 and the computer it was on died. I didn’t have anything backed up so it took all the info with it 😦

I can’t say exactly how far the stuff will take you…but I will tell you that it IS VERY POSSIBLE!

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Members Question, Training

 

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“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. cherokee proverb

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Life

 

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How much motivation does a horse need?

How much motivation does a horse need? foal ignored subtle cues

That depends on the horse.

I was sure Maggie was a bad mother. Maggie was gentle with Newt at first but by the time he was a month old Maggie was removing small clumps of hair with her ‘corrections’. By the time Newt was three months old he had scabs from her constant reminders to respect her space. I questioned Maggie’s motherly instincts…but after he was weaned the same treatment was continued by the other horses. If a dominant horse wanted to move Newt it often took repeated bites or kicks to move him. Newt wasn’t aggressive…he just didn’t seem to perceive pain at the same level as other horses. He would stand and take the kicks with a pleasant, slightly confused, look on his face. Motivating Newt was clearly going to be a challenge…as evidenced from birth. some horses ignore subtle cues

Just as each person, dog, cat and horse is unique in personality-they are also unique in their perception of pressure. Newt showed from birth that he was willing to handle more physical pressure than the average horse. Does that mean that his mother was mean? Or that she used as much pressure as was necessary? I think only Newt could accurately answer that question.

One horse may respond to the subtle squeeze of a riders leg, while another may choose to ignore it.

How do we know how much pressure is correct for each horse?

By asking each horse.

Because by learning to read their body language the horse will tell you whether a bit is too big or if he will happily ignore it, or if the hand was too quick, or if he needs the lesson repeated again because he isn’t clear.

A horse will tell you a lot if you know how to listen….or you could also ask their mother.

Mustang stallion displays his battle scars...scars he thought were worth fighting for.

Mustang stallion displays his battle scars…scars that, in his opinion,  were worth fighting for.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Thought provoking, Training

 

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How cold is too cold to ride a horse?

Jac is HOT

Steamy Jac taking a break before heading the other direction.

I went to an equine college and on really cold days we tried to make an argument that it was too cold to ride.

We were told by the learned scholars and the riding instructors: It will be too cold for you before it is too cold for your horse.

The two main issues people worry about in the cold are hurting the horses lungs and getting them sweaty.

The scholars informed us that horses have an incredibly long air passage; the air passes through the nostril to throat latch and then down the long neck, which allows the air to warm before reaching the lungs.

The riding instructors taught us to use coolers on the horses; a blanket type set up with moisture wicking properties i.e. wool or wicking synthetic, to both keep them warm and speed in drying them out to prevent chilling.

Coolers are amazing. In the photo the cooler isn’t dirty…the white dusty look is caused by the moisture rising up and sitting on top of the cooler instead of on him.

Jac wearing a cooler

Jac wearing a cooler; look at the steam rising through it and the moisture gathering on top instead of on Jac.

While googling for info I found a great article on Discoverhorses.com quoting Dr. Joyce Harman, “There is no temperature where it is too cold for a horse to be ridden or to go outside if they are adapted to it.”

Now as for me, I need to go thaw my toes…

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in Training

 

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