• Endurance Riding – Ultimate Cross Training

    I started this year off by trying something new… an endurance ride! I love trail riding, and decided the idea of conditioning for a longer, faster-paced ride sounded fun. I liked the fitness component, and the crystal clear goal, right down to a distance to be completed on a certain date. This ride was an AERC sanctioned endurance ride called The Last Tango at 7IL Ranch in Cat Springs, Tx on New Years Day. We did the Intro ride, which was about 13 miles. For a few months leading up to the ride, I had been working longer rides into my riding schedule with Sofie, trying to get at least…

  • Sofiya and Boogie Rose

    Ottb vs Warmblood: Training Two Fillies

    Two fillies, both about to turn 4, are beginning dressage training. One came from the track, the other from the breeder’s field. Each horse requires a slightly different approach, and each one offers a few advantages over the other, as well as a few drawbacks. Here’s a side-by-side comparison. Filly #1: Boogie Rose, 15.2 hand bay OTTB This pretty girl is dainty and elegant. Light on her feet, with athleticism to spare. She’s a worker-bee and thrives on exercise and discipline. She likes routine, attention, and is at her best when her energy is channeled into work. She also has a tendency to channel that energy is less-favorable ways when…

  • How to Overcome Blaming Yourself or Your Horse to Improve Your Riding Today

    Riding is, by definition, an activity that involves a partnership between horse and rider.  Is it then the horse or the rider that deserves the credit for the good rides, and the blame for the bad ones? Examining your answer to that critical question can lead you towards consistently better rides. It can be nearly impossible to separate horse and rider and see what part we are contributing and what part the horse is contributing, and how the part we contribute affects the part the horse contributes, and vice versa. So most riders fall into one of two camps more due to their general nature or approach to life in general, than by…

  • bay horse trotting

    A Tool For Times Your Horse Makes You Nervous

    My sixteen year old student did something the other day that I just loved. It was an easy and very effective way of working through the type of resistance from her horse that often makes her nervous. It’s a tool everyone can use anytime they need it. They had taken a little walk break, and  she was supposed to be getting him back into a trot and onto a circle so we could work on her right lead canter transition, which can be a little sticky. Maybe there was already some hesitation in the back of her mind just knowing what was coming, I’m not sure. Or maybe he thought…

  • FitBit Heart Rate Data from a ride

    Proof the Horse Does NOT Do All the Work

    How many times have you been told horseback riding is not exercise, all you do is just sit there while the horse does all the work? Our sore legs and abs after a good lesson tell us otherwise, but it’s hard to help someone understand that without putting them on a horse. And I’ve never had a way to compare just how hard I worked when riding to other types of workouts, like running or biking.  Now with my Fitbit I can easily track just how hard I’m working while I’m riding, and track my rides over the course of a week or a month to look for consistency and…