It has been nearly a month between my first post and now. I was not ready to launch the site when it was Nash’s time to leave us; but, as my mother is wont to say, “Needs must when the Devil drives!” When I lost my Ben, companion of 28 years and the horse I grew up with, a wise counselor suggested that I write about him to work through my grief. I have found that to be therapeutic ever since! So, ready or not, the site was launched in service of Nash’s memory.
Since that day, I have been working to expand the core material to the site. You will now find not only my profile, but some descriptions of our current herd and the significant horses who have passed. You will also find pages that describe my overall philosophy in the training of horses … well, really, not much different from good solid teaching principles. Those can be all too lacking in the world of horse training. The start of a reading list, a diary of notable events in my work with Noble, and links to favorite websites round out the material found in the top menu.
My purpose in this site and the blog attached to it is to combine all of my loves in one place – horses, teaching, writing, and (on some level) art. I have been in love with horses for my entire living memory. They have been a significant part of my life for nearly fifty years. I have ridden, raised, trained, shown, and loved a broad range of them – from a wild Mustang to one who was too tame and labeled dangerous. From old range horses to highly gifted warmbloods. From cool Draft crosses to hot Thoroughbreds. I have learned from each, and been blessed to be befriended by all.
I did not train in a fancy barn or under a particular school/method. There were many years when I was lucky that my single mother could afford any lessons at all. But I have always been a careful observer (just ask my mother about the day I was nearly two hours late because I’d stopped to watch a bird build a nest) and an avid consumer of knowledge. So I made my way, learning mainly from the horses themselves – unbound by any particular doctrine that might blur my vision of the animals I loved so much. I became the ‘fixer’ – someone people came to with horse ‘problems’.
As an adult I was lucky to get connected to amazing trainers in both the hunter/jumper and Dressage worlds. I was further fortunate that both barns taught in a Classical manner (a post on what that means to come later) – with the lessons from each often mirroring the other. I have since explored, experimented, and enhanced my own understanding. I have read many amazing books – and some not so amazing but still worth reading. As time goes on I will be posting rundowns of some of those works, for those who would like to expand their own libraries and aren’t sure what might be worth investing in.
Although anyone is certainly welcome to follow this blog, my target audience is not those who wish to win in competition. My focus now, as when I was teaching professionally, is on those people who just want to do better. Do better with their horses. Do better for their horses. Have a better relationship with the horse they have. And those who just want to expand their knowledge about riding and horses. Along the way I will share techniques – but mostly I want you to think. All the technique in the world will not help if you cannot truly see and understand your horse.
Anyway, thank your for reading. I hope you will, at least for a time, join me on this journey!