Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Do you have a Golden Horse"

Horse listening posted this today:


“Do you have a Golden Horse? You can spot him from a mile away.

He is “golden” because of his heart of gold. This is the horse that takes care of you even more than you take care of him. You know you can rely on him to not spook, not get unnerved and let you enjoy what it was you set out to do. In fact, it seem that he  enjoys his job even more than you do! 

If you have a Golden Horse, you will soon realize how lucky you are. You will never want to part with him. Because as you learn and grow through his graciousness, you realize how much you are benefiting from him, and how much he is giving you. Every ride becomes a gift and every workout is easy because of his willing nature. You become the rider of your dreams because he lets you!

Although that calm generosity can be learned by good training, upkeep and handling, some horses are just “born that way.” So, for all the Golden Horses out there, here is a poem of gratitude.”


(by the Horse Listener)

The Golden Horse


Interested ears forward pricked,

patiently waiting through soft velvety nose-kisses,

the Golden Horse 

loves the grooming attention;

two hours of brushing, polishing and wiping

with nary a fuss but more like a sweet relaxation

reminiscent of a day at the spa.


Solidly standing for the mount,

quietly ambling the first strides

into 100% effort.

Team player to the point

Of two becoming one.


Reciprocal listening, flickering ears back and forth,

gives and takes and loose flowing backs,

seamless communication seemingly telepathic,

mindreading  aids and signals, snorts and strides,

bounces and swings -

there is no better synergy 

than when two combine.


Patiently waiting through your confusion,

Kindly caring through less-than-perfect risk-taking,

he is the ultimate teacher

in your quest to grow.


One of a kind.

OK… now granted… not every horse acts this way with his owner… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection. If you ride your horse, and care for your horse, there is a connection!

My Golden Horses.... when I was a child, I had Jennifer, my welsh cross pony for many years. 18 years ago, Starlet was one of my first foals I raised. 7 years ago, Finny was my 1st competition horse. Last year, Bonita bonded with me as I rode her. Now I have Allie who I feel a strong connection with.” 

This poem struck a nerve.

I've had a few "Heart" horses during different times of my life.... my youth, one of the first foals I raised, my first horse I rode a lot after the kids got done showing, now during my competition years. I think we need to share our heart with many horses... to get over "horse ache". I could only get over Finny after I knew I had to share my heart with another horse.... and Rushcreek Allie seems to be doing that with her quiet and gentle way with me...

 “Caring” yes, I care for my horse…. And I know my horse cares enough for me to take care of both of us when times get tough.   

Yes, my horse is a teacher…. I learn so much from all my horses…. As they teach me to share my heart.  My “heart” horses teach me how unselfish they are.  They give willingly.   

“He is “golden” because of his heart of gold. This is the horse that takes care of you even more than you take care of him.”   

Finny was my horse that had a heart of gold.  I wished I could say they he still has a heart of gold, but he has been gone for 4 years now.  He took care of me more than I took care of him, as he completed a CTR then went down with a fatal colic the minute I stepped off of him, with no prior notice.  I will always be sad/sorry/angry/anguish/angry with myself/hurt/sadden/ and every emotion you can think you could have when your horse/best riding partner/the one who knows you/ and the one who you know… dies.  It is a very sad time of your life. It took me 2 years to get over him, and another year to understand it, and another year to realize this happens to a lot of horses… BUT I will never understand why this tragic death had to happen to Finny.  He was a wonderful horse and would have gone on to teach a lot of kids how to ride.  I’ll always be sad about the way he had to die.  That makes me so sad.  And it always will.

But I came to the realization that I couldn’t keep the love of horses buried.  I needed to keep the love alive.  What horse could I love?  Do I love all the horses I have equally?  Would that take too much of my energy?  My heart?

“One of a Kind”

There are many horses that are one of a kind.  Do they all become our heart horse No.  But the ones that do… they are one of a kind.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

“It sure felt good to be on a horse”

“It sure felt good to be on a horse”. That was my first thought, and the comment I texted my hubby, when I rode last week.  It’s been a long winter for me, and this was just my 2nd ride of the year.  Compared to last year, I had many more rides in, with almost 100 miles recorded by now.  Not so this year, but the minute I rode off on Bonita, while ponying Allie, I couldn’t believe how great it felt!  I couldn’t believe I’ve waited so long to ride this winter/early spring.


Most winters, I’ve given the horses a rest Jan and Feb.  I start consistent riding from March on, as the days get warmer…. usually.  Last year, riding for the Horsetrailriders Distance Derby, I started riding in January and rode every day that I was home, and the weather cooperated.  This year, March is here, 1st day of spring came and went, we’ve had some near 70 degree days, and I still didn’t get extra days of riding in.  But I did take the time to just be with the horses during chore time, moving among them, petting or rubbing on some of them, standing quietly by the ones that just want the closeness.


With my mom passing away last Oct, and hubby having some health issues this winter and recovering from a recent surgery, life with horses not only got slowed down, but got put on hold.  Tiredness doesn’t always have to be physical.  I think mental strain/anguish/stress makes you so much more tired and drains what energy is left over from the day.  I didn’t have any problem sitting and doing nothing.  I guess it was my body’s way of telling me that I’m not ready to be as busy as I was last year.  I felt the need to take the time to rejuvenate.  I knew I not only had to build up my energy, but also my desire to want to do more with the horses.


A mid-winter vacation is always welcomed.  Sun and warmth does wonders for the mind and body.  So does spring sun and warmth!  I love to hear the birds singing.   I love to see green grass.  I’m ready to see the trees bud up and leaves start to come out.  I’ve had my winter rest.  I’m really ready for the tans and browns and grey tones of winter to change into the greens and yellows and reds and oranges and blues of spring grass and flowers.  I love flowers and taking photos of them, especially roses.  Maybe I’ll plant more perennials this year.  I’m starting to feel the growth of spring in my body and mind and soul.  I’m starting to see the true colors of spring again.


Spring is here.  Hubby and I just had our 33rd Anniversary.  We have 2 small grandsons that are spending the night tonight and next weekend, we’ll see our 2 young granddaughters.  Then I’ll be ready to start riding, and working young horses, and petting on yearlings, and watching the broodmares.  I’m starting to get excited about seeing this year’s foal crop come this summer!


Just writing this makes me want spring even more.  I’m ready to get back into the saddle.  Watch out… the ride is on. Hope you are able to get back on the trails too.  And as always, “Embrace the Journey!”

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year’s Trails

“As 2013 comes to an end, so does the old paths.  2014 will bring new paths, new choices, and a new way of life.  What will you chose for 2014?  Will you stay on the old path? Maybe with new direction? Or will you take a totally new path?  Will your priorities stay the same or change?  Will you focus on the same issues or decide to focus on something that is more important now, due to where you are in your life now?  I know I will.

As we ponder the New Year, we can let go of the old year.  It doesn’t matter what we didn’t accomplish, what we could have done, what we did but shouldn’t have.  But then, maybe these things do matter.  It’s all in the context of what you did or didn’t do, the meaning of your thoughts, and the reasoning behind what you did or didn’t do.  Yes, I’m sure I would undo some of the things that I did.  I would try now to do some things differently or with a different mindset.  But, regardless, it is what it is.  And we can take what we know now, learn from it, and move on.  Change for the better.  Maybe some areas of our life don’t need to change, and that is great also!

That was my point in my New Year’s Eve Blog about new paths and new choices.  I wasn’t so much asking the questions for myself, because I knew some of my answers.  I was asking them for you to ponder about also.  We all have choices and sometimes we follow different paths, for different reasons.  That’s ok to go off the original path and follow other paths/distractions/goals.  Our lives change constantly and we need to change our paths to best suit where we are at the moment.  I try to do that. I try to change when I need to, but sometimes I’m slower than I need to be.  Sometimes, I want to change faster than the situation needs.  Sometimes I change, but not in the way I should have changed. The point is, be open to change when the time comes.

So now, on New Year’s Day, we are on the 1st day of our 2014 path.  And now, we can ask ourselves the question, “what path do we want to take this year?”  Is our path based on a new personal goal, a change in last year’s goal, a life changing decision to try something totally different?  Or will we continue on our same goal with some different choices, and by following different paths, will that lead to the same goal?

I think I will revise the goals that always seem to be part of my yearly decisions.  Family needs to be prioritized.  We are trying to go to church as often as we can in off season, as sometimes horse competitions and rides takes us away from church.  During those times, I think of God in the beautiful surroundings around me as I ride. God’s country is beautiful!  Sunrises, sunsets, trees, hills, mountains, and in all the lovely scenery!

I am thinking of where I want to go with the horses this year. I will be breeding more Rushcreek bred endurance Arabians and I will have more foals this year.  I need to handle last year’s foals and start my coming 3 year old and a coming 5 year old.  I need to start 2, 3 year old QH’s as well as ride 2, 6 year olds.

I need to decide what my riding goals will be.  The last 2 years, I have pushed for miles on the Horsetrailriders Distance Derby, but this year, I don’t want to push for the miles.  Instead, I need to spend more quality time with the horses that I haven’t done so with this year.  I need to spend quality time with my riding horses also.  A plan may be riding one day, ponying the next day, then doing some arena and slow work the 3rd day.  I do need to keep 2 horses in competition mode though, and do some fast, longer miles.  Maybe I’ll work on interval training with longer, faster distances then slower work.

Wherever life leads me this year, wherever my horses take me this year, whatever happens in my family life, I know that I can turn to God for answers and to help me through any choices.  But one area in my life is constantly changing, and that is to be the best person and horse person that I can be.  My horses are my life, my soul and my being, and I will always do what I can to protect the horses in my care and to learn as much as I can  about thinking like horses.

“Embrace the Journey”!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Years Eve Dec 31, 2013

Stay Straight and Focus:

As I rode Allie today in the field, I thought “stay straight and focus” on where you are going whenever she would turn her head to look back at the barn.  She would turn her head left or right, depending on what she was seeing off to the side.  I thought, “come on, girl, go straight”.

Then I realized my life was just like this.  I would try to go straight and stay on the course that I, or God, had chosen for me.  Then something would catch my attention and I would start looking to the right or left.  Sometimes I would keep going straight, but like Allie today, I had a hard time thinking of going straight as my attention would be on what was either to the right or left of me.  Sometimes, I wouldn’t go straight and would actually veer off course and start going to the right or left.

What is it that draws our attention off of our initial or desired path and makes us look or go a different way?  When we think we have our path clearly in front of us, and we start making plans to follow it, and we do start to follow it, why can’t we follow it to the end?  Before we realize it, there are little turns to the right and maybe even bigger turns to the left.  Sometimes, there are delays and something we have to go backwards a few steps.

I start to think that I am meant to follow the new path.  Why, what is wrong with the old path?  If I start the new path, do I know where it is heading or what I am suppose to do? Probably not.  But if I was not suppose to follow this new path, then why was the choice in front of me?

I begin to think that the path that I was initially on isn’t the path that I want to be on any longer.  The new path is taking me into a different direction, one that I wouldn’t have thought of earlier but now looks like a good choice.  Just like Allie wanting to take another route around a brush pile or through a field, maybe when there is a turn in our path we need to think that the new path is a better path.

New paths bring different choices.  New paths make us choose between old ways and new ways.  New paths bring a difference to our lives. 

New Paths.  New Choices.  New Ways.   Sometimes, different choices aren’t what we would want.  Sometimes they are sad, sometimes hard, sometimes they are ones that we don’t want, but once the choice is made, and we let ourselves change, sometimes we see that the choice make us a better person.  New paths make a wonderful difference in our lives if we choose to follow them.  One thing is for sure, though, we can only change if we follow different paths.  Make a change, make a choice, and become what you are meant to become.

As 2013 comes to an end, so does the old paths.  2014 will bring new paths, new choices, and a new way of life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Once Again

Once again, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.  Life gets busy and when we start to add too many extra things to our schedule, then something has to go.  With liquidating the store, I finally added Facebook, and last July and August, I stayed busy adding inventory to a FB page.  Now that Christmas shopping is over, sales have slowed down.  I hope to find that extra time, that I used to have, to blog more.  And to read.

                Winter is my time to find that extra time.  Usually that starts about November, slows down in December and then I have lots of time in Jan and Feb.  I’m behind this year as my free time just started last week.  Now I need to establish a routine of staying on track with my time. 

                My other plans are to start reading and discussing more books on my Horses Are Our Lives chat, which I just started to do.  Join the chat and read and/or discuss the chapters with me or anyone else who joins in.  You don’t need to buy the books, as I hope that the review and discussion of the books will give you a good idea of what the book is about.

And I hope to find the time to take more photos.  We finally got a DSLR camera, and now to read the booklet to figure out how to use it!  Maybe I’ll try to take an online class or even some classes at the Community College.

Sometimes, I just need to set a schedule to get things done.  Are you like that?  Or are there days that you just say, “I need to do this, then this, then this before the day is over”?  I know, for me, if I have days like that, or even a week like that, then I need to get up in the morning and get started right away.  I’ll set a schedule that includes reading and typing up and posting a chapter of whatever book that I’m reading.  Then I need to work on my FB pages, continuing the Clothing Sales (as there isn’t tack left).  I need to promote my Messick Performance and Endurance Horses, and continue posting photos of the mares, their bloodlines, and the foals that will be coming early summer.

Somewhere in there, I need to take the time to start yoga again, and follow a DVD tape of both yoga and my horse exercises.  And continue a work out on the elliptical and weight machine.

I hope I can get this all done in one day!  Maybe I’ll need to treat myself like we condition horses.  Once I get in shape, all I’ll need to do is 2-3 times a week, and one long day.  That might make staying on track and keeping up with my schedule a little easier.  I just need to do everything every other day!   By doing that, I’ve cut my work load in half!


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