My horse went the other way …

In this video, I talk through my helmet cam video from the 2021 Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, FL), including an interesting moment as we approached a jump.

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Teaching a thoroughbred to jump

This week, I talk about how to introduce a young thoroughbred to jumping, using my experience with a new horse Ricky (aka I Reckon So) as an example.

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Creating a show schedule for my horses

Start with your goals for your horses and work backwards, remembering that, although winning is nice, the early part of your season is about training and conditioning. The schedule you make at the start of the year is important as a plan A, but plan to be flexible and have back up plans in place…because horses. Always remember that your number one goal is not to win (although that’s nice), but to succeed, and to succeed means always doing what’s right for your horse.

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What’s New in 2021?

Looking forward to the year ahead including announcements about a new vlogging project, new perks for my patrons, new merch and more!

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My Co-Dependent Relationship with Horses: Looking Back, and Looking Ahead

What a lot of people don’t know about equestrians is that we can struggle with depression, especially during the winter months.

Let’s be honest. To have a career in horses means you have to be a little crazy. We sign up to have our hearts broken. We work incredibly hard to make little to no money (we are happy if we break even) only to have our dreams crushed by the tiniest of errors or just bad luck. As eventers, we train for decades for just 11 minutes of amazing bliss.

Yep. We’re crazy.

There are people who say that we do it for money. Umm…Nope. No money. But for love? Yes.

Sometimes when I step into the start box or a pen with a wild mustang, I ask myself “Why am I doing this?” Then I remember. I can’t live without it.

Horses make my heart smile.

Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the negativity of a year. It’s easy to feel the downs and the struggles. Everyone deals with these feelings a little different.

It’s exciting to strive to make a team, to be on the top, and to be a better horseman. But then there is the feeling of being so far and distant from those goals they can swallow you whole.

When I have these feelings, I try to focus on the positives. And I’ve had some amazing positives this year. Even the hardships can be seen in a positive light. When I face hardships I like to appreciate them as education for the lessons they taught me. As Karen O’Connor loves to remind me,

“Experience is what you get right after you needed it.”

A quote that I found in high school that has always helped me with perspective and positivity is by Corita Kent:

“Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed.”

For me this is about appreciating all the little things you’ve accomplished because they all play a part in building to the big things!

I’ve had so many amazing moments and I finally feel like I’m getting closer!

What I’m most thankful for are amazing relationships with people that have become like my family. I’m thankful for my horses. And I’m thankful for all of you, who follow my journeys and my horses, it really means so much!

I’m sooo excited for 2020! Happy New Year!

Why schooling shows are good for training young horses

There are three main reasons that I think schooling shows are valuable for off the track thoroughbreds, and why I include them as an important part of my training process in preparation for Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeovers.Continue reading “Why schooling shows are good for training young horses”

Building trust and working on transitions

Feeling a little under the weather this week, but wanted to get a video out before heading to the Rocking Horse Stables Winter II Horse Trials, which is a great event, but in a location where cell service is a major challenge.

This week, I continued to make great progress doing bareback and bridleless work with Sharpie.  It’s very important to begin every session with some stretching.  Not only is it a good warm up before engaging in physical activity, but its a good for building mutual trust and forming a strong bond with your horse.

This was only Sharpie’s 4th bridleless ride, so I want it to be really relaxing as we continue to build our relationship, at the same time as we focus on learning basic cues and transitions.

Slate and Sharpie go to School

This week I took my two off the track thoroughbreds, Slate and Sharpie (owned by Michelle Chisholm), to the Georgia International Horse Park for a schooling show hosted by Brookwood Sport Horses. These shows are great for introducing young horses to an atmosphere and gaining experience in the ring.

Slate raced 42 times under the Jockey Club name of Run Slado run. This outing was encouraging because he is getting more confident and handled the experience like a champ. He surprised me with how far he had come since we first started working on his confidence on cross country back in November.

Every day I am more and more impressed with Sharpie, a classy war horse who raced 61 times under the name of Sharp Johnny. He took the experience in stride and performed well. He reminds me a little bit of Johnny. While he is a sensitive horse, he tries really hard.

I’m excited about the future with these young horses, and having a lot of fun being a part of their journey.