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)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

January 1, 2010

I look with an excited anticipation for what is before me in the New Year! We talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Have we ever thought about what that really means? I really haven’t dissected the word apart before. I used to just think about what changes I want to make, I try to set some goals, and I focus on what I can get done by the end of the year. I will still set some goals, but some other thoughts first.

According to the Webster’s New World dictionary, the words are all about making changes!

What is the meaning of resolutions? This is the act or result of resolving something, a thing determined upon, decision as to the future action, a resolute quality of mind, a formal statement of opinion or determination!

The meaning of resolute? Fixed and form in purpose, determined.

The meaning of resolve? To break into separate parts, analyze, to change, to reach as a decision, determine, to solve, to come to a decision!

And I am seeing a pattern. With the words determined and decision, and also the 2 words action and change, which I will perceive to be the same. You can’t change if you don’t act!

This year seems to be the year that my whole life is going through a resolution. My whole life is changing. Turning 50 last year, with hormone level changes, that is about as much change as you want your body to do! The warm nights, waking up 3, 4, 5 times a night, getting up to go to the bathroom - why not, I’m already awake. So you may see me in t-shirts in winter, but I don’t it as I keep the temperature turned way down. Summer was actually ok for me, as I slept with a ceiling fan on. That helped. This year I will resolve to change that, somehow staying cooler. Less clothes?

This year my life is changing in a different way. I have decided to close the tack store and continue with my Centered Riding journey. I want to do more training and more teaching. I want to teach little girls to ride, help teenagers to train and compete with their horses, and give adults a better understanding of their horse. I want to give myself time to compete in NATRC CTR’s, and time to ride condition my horse. I need the time to work with some of my younger horses, preparing them for sale.

I think I have fulfilled the requirements of the word, “resolution”. I have resolved something. I have made a determination. I have made the decision for a future action. And the above is my formal statement of my opinions, which I do not lack in opinions!

Resolutions is also about a resolute quality of mind? Hmmm, have to think about that one. What is really in my mind? Resolute is to be fixed and form in purpose and to be determined. My mind is determined to follow my dreams. My dream has always had something to do with horses. I was living my dream 4 years ago, training 8-10 horses a month in the spring, teaching riding lessons 4-5 evenings a week, coaching at shows, finishing up my son’s last year of showing QH, and I was getting burned out! That was the year I should have made a real resolution. Instead of searching for a determined action and purpose with horses, I went a different route in the horse industry. I started a tack store so I no longer had to deal with kids, with parents, no wintery days and rainy spring days, no snow nor muck, no afternoon rides on a sunny 70 degree spring or fall day. And then this year, I started not living my dream. I need to get back to horses.

Now to resolve what I want to do. I need to break down my resolution into parts, analyze them and make changes, solve problems along the way, and come to a decision. To resolve sounds a whole lot like setting goals!

I don’t need to break down the resolutions of selling the tack store and start training and lessons again. That is determined. Set in gold. And it feels right.

What I need to do is set some goals for myself, my riding, my business, and more importantly, for family functions.

Breaking goals down into small steps sets you up for success. No frustrations that you can’t see the end picture coming fast enough. Instead, this will be replaced with a sense of fulfillment and achievement, a happiness that appears in all faucets of your life, and a more relaxed you.

I would rather look at what I want to achieve and set some goals to achieve them. I’m a calendar person - everything needs to be written down. My calendar makes my life so much easily. Plan something and write it on the calendar. Put reminder’s at the top of the page. This year’s calendar has a note page beside the monthly calendar - NO reason not to see my reminders! My calendar also has weekly pages with appointment times, with each hour giving me 4 lines! Lots of space to write!

Can you tell I’m excited about having a calendar that helps me with my work, my schedules, and my goals!

I have my calendar out and ready for my pencil to start filling in the blanks. I have actually started, putting in the 2010 NATRC CTR schedule and the Centered Riding clinics in the area.

(1) My goal is to attend as many CTR’s as I can. I’ll look at competing in 7 rides for the year, as I competed in 6 last year. To reach that goal, I’ll start with riding and conditioning a horse, starting March 1. I better start looking for a horse. I’m still thinking gaited. A gaited horse for me for CTR’s and then that horse will be for Tom for the trail rides. I’ll work on one of my Quarter Horses for the trail rides.

(2) I will attend 2 Centered Riding Clinics and all I need to do is check the dates against my calendar, and sign up - done! I will take 2 Centered Riding individual lessons - 1 is already scheduled!

Now to work on developing my training, riding lessons, horsemanship clinics, and lessons with Centered Riding exercises. Start booking! Here is where the calendar comes in. Fill in the gaps!

(3) Give at least 2 in-house Centered Riding group lessons, where we learn the exercises off the horse.

(4) Book 4-6 group lessons, teaching Centered Riding exercises.

(5) Book 4-6 Horsemanship Clinics, teaching people to ride correctly, working on maneuvers, trail obstacles, collective loping, whatever is needed.

(6) Bring in 4 horses a month in training, April though July, and bring in 2 horses Sept-Nov. I better start promoting my services.

(7) Add more youth times and adult group times to my lesson schedule.

Now to move on to some leisurely trail riding. Time to enjoy the scenery. I missed some group 3,4, 5 day rides in 2009 and only made 1 ride this fall, and even then, not for the whole time. I want to work on doing another group ride to a new place that I haven’t ridden before. I want to ride more of the Wednesday night adult rides.

(8) I will schedule 4 long weekend rides - 1 each in the spring and summer, and 2 in the fall, Two will be in the books as soon as the dates are set - the annual HT’s ride in June and the Fall Turkey Creek ride. Another ride is being organized by a friend to western NE - just a few girls! In the books as soon as the date is set for that one, also. Only need 1 more for the books.

(9) Now to think about a place where I haven’t ridden before and sounds like fun. I’ve missed the Big Canyon ride, for one - may need to start working on something!

(10) Wed night rides. My goal is to ride in 50% of them, as in previous years, I’ve only made 2-4 of the rides. I better set a lower goal then I would have liked to do, but I want to set myself up for success. If I’m able to ride at more of them, then I’ll gain the extra trail time with a horse that needs to get used to trail riding.

(11) I would like to go on at least 4 weekend rides with Tom, for 1 night or 2 nights. Just us, maybe a few other riders, just for some relaxation time, spending a few hours on the horses a day, then having time to sit at the fire, cook out, read, relax. Hear the theme of this one - RELAX!

Some other thoughts that have been in the back of my mind. Competing at some Trail Challenges. Riding in a limited distance endurance ride, which my friend tried talking into competing in one this past fall, but I felt like I had enough on my plate with the CTR rides.

(12) This year, with starting a new horse, I will take some lessons on the Trail Challenge course. Let’s start with 4 lessons, then decide if the trail challenge is for me.

(13) Limited Distance Endurance Ride. I’m ready for one if the CTR horse that I compete with is ready for one. I’ll see about scheduling one into my schedule.

(14) Spend as much time as possible with my grandbabies!

Well, I think I’m done. I’ve broke the areas down into parts. I’ve reached some decisions and I am determined. I have my future actions laying out in front of me. I have a purpose. Slow down, smell the roses (which I finally had a few roses bloom this year and the fragrance was unbelievable), and sit and watch the sunsets!

My life has gone back to horses. My journey is taking me full circle. I’ve come home. I’m happy and relaxed. I know I have made some right decisions for me!

Live your dream. You can make it happen. Be happy with your horse or find small ways to spend with your horse that leaves you happy!

Happy New Year to all of you. Come along on the rides with me! I’ll look forward to seeing you!


small farm girl said...

You were talking about getting a gaited horse. I've had one for 15 years. I grew up with quarter horses. But, when I got married his family owned gaited horses. So, I got one too. I will GIVE my gaited horse for a quarter horse ANY day. Sorry, I just don't like their attitudes compared to quarter horses. My horse is not mean, she isn't hard to ride, she just isn't a quarter horse. They aren't as laid back and you have to ride with a tight rein all the time. Sorry, you may like them, I hope it's what you want. I've tried for 15 years and just can't do it. But, if you are still interested. There are 20,000 of them running free in the state of Ky. Take your pick. lol.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

hey, sfg, I've only ridden gaited a few times. I will go with a Foxtrotter, maybe gaited Morgan. I am QH, true and true, that is why I'll continue trail riding on one of my QH's, but horses need to move out for the CTR's and meet their P&R's. Sometimes gaited do that easier, sometimes not, but they sure can cover the ground easier. Nothing will beat the extended long trot or deep lope of a good moving QH! I hear you there!

Lori Skoog said...

You have some VERY BEAUTIFUL horses! I'm not a gaited horse person either. The ride may feel smooth and cover a lot of ground, but they look like frantic humming birds. No offense to the horses tho, they are just fine. I know that people who are into that love it.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

Lori, thanks! I have breed QH pleasure horses for years, but the last 5 years, I have decreased the breeding with the way that the market is. My youngest gelding is coming 2, and I think I'll be breeding again this year. Now that I have time to spend with the horses.

If I go gaited, it will be only because they can cover the ground faster! I am a true and true QH person!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! You do have so many goals and resolutions. Will you find time to breath and just BE? I bet you are one of those Type A personalities that always have to have something to do so they feel productive, useful and have a purpose. Good for you if you do. You are the type of person that makes the world go 'round.

I've always thought I'd want a gaited horse because of my back and hip problems. Figured they'd make a smoother ride for me, but I don't their energy level would suit mine and would probably make me uptight and more nervous.
But they are great for CTR, and so are Arabians, but of course they don't tend to be gaited. haha!

Much success with all of your goals and may your wishes and dreams come true in 2010!


Horses Are Our Lives said...

Lisa, yes, I like to get things done. But now I'm getting old enough that I don't do things ALL the time. lol I'm probably type A because if I need to get something done, then I try to get it done now.

I have slowed down, but my friends will probably say I haven't. I've been an empty nester for almost 4 years, and during that time, sat inside, working at promoting my tack store. Now, I've rested and I'm ready to get back to horses, hence ALL of the goals. But I'm excited and I just listed out everything. Most people would only have listed out 1/2 that stuff. Some of my goals would happen, even if I didn't list them, because that is all I would need to do to promote my business.

I do take time to relax, I always have, but most people really don't see me when I do. Now they will!


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