Happy New Year!
For those in the north country our riding may now have come to an end or changed to reflect weather patterns. For those in the south and other parts of the world this may be the optimal part of the year. In any case I hope this finds you and your steeds well, thriving, learning, and growing.
A few key points about winter:
• Your horses need access to good clean water. Tanks heaters will help avoid colic and dehydration. Secure the electric cord so nimbly horses don’t find trouble
• Removing shoes in the winter is a good idea and highly recommended by most professionals as the natural contact for a few months does nothing but good for horses’ feet. Does your horse even need shoes?
• Horses need free access to salt and minerals year around
• Worming after two hard frosts is the current recommendation. Fecal samples can help determine which wormer regime will be most effective
• Dentistry is even more important coming into winter, especially for older horses. Locate a qualified vet or dentist as your horse’s longevity largely depends on sound dental care
• Horses can handle cold and wet but not at the same time, so a shelter is ideal. To stay warm horses need to eat hay. Free choice grass hay should be available to nibble 24/7
• A good winter project is cleaning and going over your tack in front of the fire place. You and your horses will be happy come spring
Warm-up in the winter is of utmost importance as horses can be quite frisky in the cold. Saddling up and climbing right on is not recommended. My safety system is the focus of my Discover the Horse You Never Knew DVD and Gentle Solutions Book. This logical sequence of exercises puts you in charge and that leadership follows into the saddle as the horse’s energy is used constructively and brains and feet connect. Feel what the horse is telling you on the ground and in the saddle. Are you on the same page? Is your horse well? Are you in a good place to ride and what is your plan? The more time we spend THINKING ahead of riding, the greater our accomplishments.
I had the great fortune of attending one of Ray Hunt’s last clinics in Driggs, Idaho. I asked him to sign several books. He simply wrote- THINK. . . Ray Hunt.
VIDEO OF MONTH CLUB
Our video of the month club is a logical introduction to Frank’s Gentle Solutions approach. Beginning with the award winning DVD- Discover the Horse You Never Knew, Frank’s 7 Step Safety System is the logical first step and establishes a solid foundation for the remaining DVD/Book library that arrives conveniently each month for a full year. Absorb and apply the information of each instalment during the month at your own speed. By year’s end you won’t believe your relationship with your horses!
WHITE STALLION NOVEMBER CLINIC
Jim Rea and I recently completed our bi-annual November clinic at White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, AZ. With students from Australia and England, the Commonwealth countries had us outnumbered! A smaller group than in the past, we had ample time to address each student’s specific challenges and goals. There is always a common denominator or prevailing theme at these clinics and the word- Presence jumped into my mind about mid-week.
Horses read us like a book. They know if we know. And they know if we don’t. Strong confident riders have a strong confident presence, on the ground and in the saddle. The other word that applies is Proactive. Reactive is late. Proactive is ahead, leading, guiding. . . just what every horse prefers. By the end of the week our gang, Team Diesel had become noticeably stronger leaders with a more pronounced and stronger presence.
Jim Rea had brought his 8 yr. mustang gelding named Cowboy down from
Colorado. A striking bay gelding standing about 15-1, Cowboy had been pushed too hard in one of the Mustang Makeover competitions. Humans meant nothing but hard work so he avoided them. Our Accredited Instructor Carol Bachman decided to work with Cowboy for the first two days of the clinic. Her patience and empathy paid huge dividends when Jim later took over. Seeing both Carol and Jim riding a now happy relaxed horse made the week extra special for me. On Saturday mornings we ride into the lovely Sonoran Desert for breakfast. Riding simply in a rope halter/lead, Jim rode rear guard on a relaxed Cowboy who appeared to have done this his whole life as Jim jabbered away on the phone. Oh what a feeling!
There does not exist a more well-run family dude ranch. White Stallion Ranch is truly a class act!
Don’t you deserve a week of pure indulgence delving into your passion?
Jim and I will be conducting our next week-long clinic at White Stallion March 11-16 (Mother & Daughter) & 18-25 2012.
“I brought more back from Jim & Frank’s March clinic than I even realized. It was a life-changing experience in so many ways.” Paula Howe- New Mexico
Remember- The Long Way is the Short Way AND Your Success is our Success,
Happy Holidays and All the Best in the New Year
From the whole gang at Dances With Horses,