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)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Centered Riding Instructor’s Course, Level 1, Part 1

June 10-12, 2009
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Driving from Cheyenne to Laramie, and then on to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I felt like I was driving through the Old West. The scenery was beautiful. Snow capped mountains. Aspens starting to leaf. Wooden structures. Old time scenery. Old West came to life! And did I say mountains? And drop offs, with no guard rails?

I couldn’t believe the climb out of Laramie to the south. I have been in flat Nebraska too long, and have forgotten what the mountains seem like. The truck was pulling hard, and it has a BIG engine. I took the overdrive off and we got up the FIRST incline! To find that we were at the Continental Divide and was going over Rabbit Ears Pass. Rabbit Ears Pass? What did that mean? It meant 7 miles up and 7 miles down of twist and turns!!!! Just let me say that when I got to the barn, I needed about a gallon of water, since I was so dry! or a stiff drink, since I was so strained!

The views were breathtaking! Sorry no pics, as my hands were glued to the steering wheel, and my eyes were glued, most of the time, to the middle of the road! I tried really hard not to look over the edge of the mountain! I have a few pics, but when I finally pulled over on the way home to take pics, it had started to rain, but I’ll post some of those. When I go back in August, hopefully my husband will be with me so he can drive and I can shoot pictures of those mountains!

I finally made it to the stable, after a few missed roads, AND people who were so rude that they passed me to the inside as I was trying to turn! And drivers who wouldn’t let me back up to turn around! Oh, I was so glad to get to that barn!

The temps were a lot colder than what I had expected. I had packed for summer, and it was still winter here! Finny had a stall, and he was even closed in most of the day and definitely at nights! I wore winter jackets. And to think that the previous weekend I was in such heat and mugginess that I needed extra water! I froze the first day! Even when we were inside the heated meeting/lunch room. It was a good thing I still had heavy sleeping bags in my trailer. When the heat went off for the night (since I was heating with propane, I didn‘t leave the heater turned on all night), the sleeping bags went on the bed! Each night, I put one more layer on the bed, and I slept in one more layer!

I was the only person bringing a horse that needed to stay over. So the first evening was pretty quiet. After the 4 hour drive from my daughter’s place to the barn, I turned Finny into the arena. And what an arena it was! Large, at least 70 or 80 x 150-180. Mirrors down the one side, ½ ways up the wall, (the bottom half was plywood, at an angle to keep horses away from the sides of the wall!), and mirrors on each end as you come down the rail, so the rider can see themselves. Finny was fascinated with the horse that looked like him and walked or stood beside him on that rail. During turnout, I think Finny stood beside the mirrors all the time! LOL.

What a barn. Immaculate! Beautiful wooden stalls, wood everyone, beautiful tack/lounge area. I wondered if I should have taken off my boots when I went into the bathroom! Great outside turnout pens. And a very gracious hostess! Thank you so much for opening up your barn to us!

After putting a bag of bedding in Finny’s stall, I hung 2 buckets of water and a bucket with his salt block in it. I gave him a generous amount of hay. I brought him out of the arena and put him into his new home for the next 3 days! He loved it!

The Instructor’s Clinic was wonderful! Peggy Brown is so knowledgeable! I look forward to learning more from her. I will post, in separate posts, what we did each day of the 1st half of the Level 1 Instructors Course. I have already started teaching some lessons, using some of the principles that I have learned, and I will post about those too!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Please post your comments or, if you prefer, send me an email to But feel free to post on the blog. I’m sure others may have the same questions or thoughts as you!

Tell me what you would like to learn or what you have learned by using the Centered Riding Techniques. Share what you are doing with your horse and what else has helped you to develop your riding and your partnership.

I am so excited to start this “journey” and continue on! If you are interested in a chat group to talk about Centered Riding, training techniques and questions, discussion on what has worked for you or what you would like to try to see if something different works, please let me know through the email above! I am thinking about starting a group to share our knowledge, so let me know if you are interested! Otherwise, post your thoughts as a new blog comes up!

I look forward to hearing from you. Maybe one of these days, we’ll get out on a trail together! Come along on this ride with me!

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