Hey everyone! Today’s post is a special one because TODAY I am sharing with you an interview that I did with my trainer, Gary. Gary has taught me lessons and has been my mentor for about a year and a half and I have learned SO much! I would like to tell you a bit about Gary… Gary is co-owner with his wife Marion of Millar Venture Arabians,, so most of the horses at his farm are Arabians. Gary also started the Arabian Horse Reading Literacy Project which basically aims to teach kids to learn and love to read through the use of horses. I have had the chance to volunteer at his programs and it has been incredible to see the impact the horses have had on the kids. I have also learned through watching the kids it is pretty much impossible not to smile around horses. 🙂 Gary continues to teach me so much; therefore, I wanted to share some of his wisdom with my readers. Without further adieu, let’s get into the interview. Enjoy!
Remember your good days… I think that is something that we all should live by in our daily lives, especially when it relates to horses. Remember the day that you finally achieved your goal with your horse… remember the day that your horse made you laugh (I am sure there are plenty) … and remember the day your horse finally understood after an hour of making him understand… remember the day you faced a challenge, and most of all, remember all of the happy and joyful memories you are making with your horse.
As I have been growing in my experience with horses I have come to understand the importance and differences of taking lessons versus not taking lessons. I have realized that both are equally important when developing riding skills. I have taken many lessons while I have been riding horses and I have learned a lot, not only from the trainers, but also from their horses. But, I have also realized that developing a balance between taking lessons and working one on one with your horse, is also very important. I feel the rewarding moments with your horse don’t only come when you take lessons with a trainer, but also when you spend quality time with your horse alone. So, what are the benefits of taking lessons? But also, what are the benefits of not taking lessons?
As riders, communication is key to developing a strong and trustworthy relationship with your horse. Communication is the connection between two or more people or animals. Horses have two main ways of communicating with their riders: vocal sounds and body language. Horses use communication to tell us how they are feeling. They communicate to us if they are angry, annoyed, happy, or even relaxed. The amazing thing about horses is that they are professionals at communicating. When they were young, they had to communicate to their mothers to tell them they were hungry, horses that live in the wild communicate with the herd to notify other horses of danger or prey, horses have the ability to communicate in small and even large ways and they can communicate by moving their ears or even by responding in flight.
A couple of days ago, I had a lesson with my trainer and let me tell you it was hard! I mean, it was definitely a rewarding lesson, but it was hard! Thanks Gary:-) I felt like putting my lesson into a blog post, because I learned something VERY important. I believe that once every horse rider accomplishes this, they will become an even better rider! So this is what I learned the night of my lesson…
Yet another Throwback Thursday makes me realize how many fantastic experiences I have been blessed with over the years. I mean, when blessed with so many people that have shaped me as a rider is something I can feel proud of today. For example, the barn I am at now has influenced me in ways I never thought were possible. I have improved and progressed in ways I never thought I could. But most of all it changed my view on finding the RIGHT barn. The barn that will support you every step of the way. It changed my view to ask myself: What even is the RIGHT barn? That leads me to the story I am about to tell you all today. The story of when I found my RIGHT barn.
Learn how to live in the now… what do you think that means? Well, it probably has about a hundred different definitions, but today I am only going to focus on one of those definitions… “living in the now” as it relates to horses. Isn’t that why we are all here? To “live in the now” with our horses?
Horses each have their own “horsenalities” as I have learned from previous experiences. Maybe some like to add in that extra buck when you are cueing them into the canter, or maybe their whole focus in life is on what you have in the food bucket, or they are the sweetest horse on the entire earth and all they want to do is spend time with you. As you know, not all horses are the same. They are all so different in their own unique and maybe quirky ways. But no matter what their “horsenality”, horses always live life to the fullest.
I remember it clearly. I was at my friend’s horseback riding birthday party when I was about 7. The first time I got on the horse, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life riding horses. I always had the dream of becoming an olympic champion in the event of jumping. I could just imagine myself joining the Canadian jumping team, riding a super tall horse and jumping over the rails, flawlessly. Horses became my day and my night… horses became my life. I’ve made many memories that I have treasured and know that there are still more to come. Throughout my riding journey, I have learned many important things about being an equestrian and as I continue to learn my goal is to share all that I learn with other riders as well. Whether you are just starting to learn how to ride or you have ridden for years, today I am giving you some advice on horseback riding. I hope that you find my advice helpful in your riding journey and maybe you can even take this advice and pass it forward to a friend or someone close. Enjoy reading!
Have you ever fallen off a horse before? How about three times in one hour?!
Two years ago when I was in a jumping lesson with a previous trainer, I fell off my horse three times in one hour. Let me tell you, by the third time, my confidence was completely gone and it took a while for it to come back.
In life, when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we can develop a lack of confidence and self-worth. We can feel like the whole world is on our shoulders and nothing will ever get better or resolve itself. When we fail or make mistakes, our whole mindset can revolve around those mistakes or regrets and then that makes us feel powerless. Feeling powerless can make us feel vulnerable or useless.