3 Reasons You Need to Play with Your Horse Today

Benefits From Investing In and Advancing Your Horsemanship Skills

Jennifer braced herself, trying to match the pressure of her grip on the rope to the resistance that her horse was putting on the other end of the rope.  “I have not seen this take longer than two days!”  Pat Parelli’s words rang in her ears.  “He obviously has not met my horse!” grumbled Jennifer under her breath, as she picked up her carrot stick to apply persuasion to help her horse yield to her request.

Playing with a horse, horse training, riding, horse development, horsemanship, all words that mean personal challenge and growth if one wants to do it well.  But why should you want to “do it well”?  What is in it for you?

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1. PLAYING WITH AND RIDING YOUR HORSE BENEFITS YOU.

Physically:

– you work your muscles, heart, lungs, as well as your mind and emotions

“Physical activity has been shown to help maintain a healthy body weight, maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, promote psychological well-being, and reduce the risk of certain diseases, including some cancers.

Exercise for the body has been proven to elongate one’s life span.  Playing with and riding a horse gives you the reason to move.  It is more fun than jogging, hiking, biking, or at least to some people.  Ground play works both the upper and lower body, as does riding if it is done correctly.  Riding utilizes the core muscles, strengthening the back, abdomen as well as arms and legs.  Total body workout anyone??

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Extra Mile Equestrian Centre ~ A Nice Place To Be

Exciting Plans and Developments At The Facility.

As many of you may already know, along with instructing and doing horse development, I also have the honour of managing Extra Mile Equestrian Centre.  This facility is located just outside the small rural town of Bobcaygeon, ON.

The equine centre is tucked away, just off a quiet country road. With a beautiful indoor arena, amply lit by natural light, an outdoor dressage ring, stadium jumping, a cross country course designed by Hugh Morsehead, as well as spacious stalls in well maintained barns, Extra Mile Equestrian Centre is truly “A nice place to be” as one visitor so eloquently put it.

Over the last seven months that I have been managing the facility some very exciting changes have taken place. I don’t have time to go into full detail but I want to give you a glimpse of recent events and future developments that have all of us here very excited! Continue reading

“Undemanding Time” The Act of Existing, Not Requesting

Understanding “Undemanding Time” and What It Means To Be, Not Do.

In our world of busy lives, it is all to evident that many things cannot get done.  Our “to do” lists seem to multiply as we sleep.  Demands on our time can leave us frazzled and feeling defeated….and then there is our horse.

The sad reality is that you need your horse more than he needs you.  Yes, he needs his feed, supplements, shelter, etc.  But as Winston Churchill said, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”

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In every relationship, shared time is needed to build a quality bond and connection between two individuals.  This is the same for horse and human.  But, he is fine for the most part being left to his own equine herd as you fill your days with your human busyness.

But who misses out the most?  You do.

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The Never Ending Search for Perfection…And How I’m Learning I’ll Never Find It

Looking For The Elusive “Perfect, One Size Fits All” Strategy and Overlooking the Excellent Ones…

To carry on with the theme of horse development, this is the second post regarding lessons that I’ve been learning as I have been developing Takoda (5yr old Hanoverian Mustang).   Today’s blog post is addressing a topic very near and dear to my heart, perfection and excellence.

Perfection is something that in every area of my life I expect and strive to attain.  Yet my humanness and life in general, continue to teach me that I’m so much less then perfect. (Friends, family, students, and anyone else who has spent any time around me, please stop laughing 🙂 ).

10469769_355095884691288_3672153276630703072_nPlaying with and riding horses has brought me a long way in overcoming my perfectionist ways. I’ve been humbled many times and have, generally speaking, come to terms with the fact that I will never achieve the level of perfection that I would like to find. You can’t be a perfectionist and live by the principles that embody good horsemanship.  I need to embrace the concept of excellence, not perfection.

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A 13 Year Old’s Perspective on Horse Ownership and Natural Horsemanship

This week KS Horsemanship interviewed Myles Standish, Keri-Lynn’s younger brother, to find out a 13 year old’s perspective on horse ownership and natural horsemanship.

Myles was 9 years old when he took over ownership of his horse Ruffian. For two years Myles played with and cared for his horse.  Myles passed his level one and level two “on line” Parelli auditions.

Myles chose to re-home Ruffian due to many factors, and is happy that Ruffian is thriving in his new home.

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Why She Quit Horsemanship and Why You Probably Won’t.

Knowing Your Goals, Your Personality and Your Options.

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WHY SHE QUIT:

1.  Not knowing or defining her goal well enough. 

Mary (not her real name) had a child hood dream of owning a horse. When in her forties the opportunity presented itself and she was able to buy her dream horse, she jumped at the chance.

But Mary never really took the time to know or define her dream well enough. It really remained just a girl hood fantasy. She did not count the cost, financially, emotionally, physically and even mentally.

Her fantasy of horse ownership lost its shine when the road blocks and learning challenges became more real, difficult and overwhelming.Her dream of trail riding proved more stressful and time consuming than the pleasure it delivered.

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Viewing Environmental Influences As Learning Opportunities

As I was finishing up my session with Takoda late one afternoon, I was mulling over the main topics of the conversation that I just had with this 4yr old Hanoverian Mustang that I am taking through my horse development program.

Despite his interesting combination of skeptic and curiosity there is a main thread that runs through each session–confidence, or I should say, the lack there of.   Takoda lacks confidence in himself, his human leader, his environment, and in learning situations. All these things make it a challenge to balance all aspects during a session. I will write more on that in a later post.
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In this post I would like to discuss, albeit just scraping the surface of the topic, some of the challenges and advantages of environmental influences and how they can benefit us as we develop ourselves and our horses.

At times it is all to easy to stay in the familiar places where we know we will be successful. It may be the arena, round corral, and the same trails. We like this because it is consistent, predictable and it gives us confidence as we develop as horsemen and horsewomen.
On the whole is good to be safe and have confidence.  But there comes a time when we need to change something in order to stretch both ourselves and our horses.  Move out of the comfort zone, and into the learning zone.

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Could You Benefit from Horse Development?

The Difference Between Horsemanship and Horse Development And Why You May Choose to Use A Horse Development Specialist.

My heart pounded in my ears. My eyes were fixed on the young girl riding the “bucking broncho”. Would she stay on, or would I have to pick her up out of the dirt, injured? My hands gripped the rail fence, my knuckles, white.

Fortunately, the moment passed. The “bucking broncho” returned to the calm little Halflinger now standing silent. And my daughter was safe. I heaved a sigh, not even aware that I had been holding my breath. 10482518_250201615180716_5105605421679335464_n Continue reading