Today I answer two listener questions.
Question #1- “My question for you is how you can tell when your horse is ready to go on its first trail ride. What kind of skills do you like to have in the arena? And then what do you practice on the first trail? Right. How do you know when to call it quits and what are your goals on your first time going out?”
Question #2- “My question is about balancing training your horse, being a mom and also being pregnant. I’m on my second pregnancy now and I’m just going to get it extremely hard to work with my horse regularly. My last pregnancy, when I got too big to ride, I did groundwork but I feel like they got really bored. I’m just wondering if you have any more ideas or what you did to make it more interesting for them and what you did.”
[00:00:03] Podcasting from a little cabin on a hill. This is the Stacy Westfall podcast. Stacy’s goal is simple to teach you to understand why horses do what they do, as well as the action steps for creating clear, confident communication with your horses.
[00:00:22] Hi, I’m Stacy Westfall, and I’m here to teach you how to understand, enjoy and successfully train your own horses.
[00:00:31] And I have good news. The horses are shedding. Until I went to record this podcast, I had not paid attention to the groundhog prediction. But this year I think they line up, the groundhog says early spring.
[00:00:44] The horses are shedding. And I’m going to hold on to this idea that spring is on the way. It’s 34 degrees here. And the few inches of snow that we got last night is actually thudding off from the roof. So when I head out to the barn and a little bit, it’ll be the perfect day to let the horses run around because snow thudding off the roof, they really get a kick out of that. But tonight, it’s actually going to drop down to single digit numbers here. So like eight or nine degrees Fahrenheit overnight, which because I know I have so many people that listen out of the country that would be around negative 13 Celsius, which sounds even better if you really want to marvel at cold. So one of my favorite things to do in the winter is to let the horses run around like crazy things in the indoor arena.
[00:01:35] Because if I go out there and turn them out in groups of two or three in about 10, 15 minutes, they’ll be steaming like crazy. So by the time they’re done running around after about 15 or 20 minutes, they’ll be hotter than if I rode them. And I actually have to, like, catch them and put coolers on them and properly cool them down, because that’s how much fun they have when they get turned out in the indoor in the winter. And it’s definitely different than the summer, because in the summertime, when they’re outside in their paddocks, you’ll see them randomly take off and run around and and be silly. But in the winter, it’s funny because you can tell that they really appreciate the footing in the indoor. So my indoors about the size of a traditional dressage arena. So it’s about 70 feet wide and 200 feet long in the area that they’ll be running around in. And it’s fun to pull their blankets off and turn them out. And they all go out there and the first thing they want to do is roll in the sand and then they get up and they just run because outside right now, it’s either mud or ice or snow or on rare occasions like today, it’s all three at the same time. Mud underneath the snow with a little bit of ice on top. Not fun for the ponies to go out.
[00:02:53] They just kind of go out and and wander around. And it’s actually funny to watch them go investigate all the snow and break up ice and do stuff, but not the same as running around. So that’s what I have on my list of things to do. Let the horses run around, be crazy, and then plan a ton of time to cool them down. And there’s not a lot to report. It’s kind of a bit of a boring stage of horse training again. I decided to create some new patterns. Nothing super exciting. But this last few rides, I set up cones down the center of the indoor. There’s these invisible letters. If you follow dressage at all, there’s these invisible letters that show up in the middle of the arena. So I put cones on each one of those and and started riding 10 meter circles down the center of the arena, basically trying to do something to break up the boredom of being inside only. And I daydream a little bit about trail riding, but not really into it. With all this mud, ice, snow stuff. So the little patterns that I do kind of help me keep from being bored because it breaks my line of thinking, because I do notice for sure that if I’m a little bit bored and I’m just kind of going through the motions to go out there and train, then it transfers over to them. So I have to do something that keeps me a little bit more engaged than if I just go out and do the same thing.
[00:04:20] Sometimes it’s just little tweaks like saying, OK, today I’m going to see how many transitions I can do with the first horse I ride, which should be usually Willow. Who’s the more advanced one? And then how many transitions can I do with Gabby? How many transitions can I do with Presto? And they’re each a little bit different stage, but it’s a little bit something to kind of wake up my brain and give me a smaller thing to focus on. But this year, this time of year is also a time that I do a lot more groundwork. And that’s always been part of my my season because tomorrow when it’s negative 13 Celsius, I’m going to be dressed in so many layers that I basically won’t bend very well. And when I don’t bend very well, I just don’t like riding as well. So I will go out and most likely do ground work. And for a presto and Gabbie, it looks like lunging them. But there’s a lot of subtle things going on there. Again, for two reasons for I don’t want either one of us to get bored. I don’t want me to get bored or whichever horse I’m working. I don’t want either one of us bored. But this is also a great opportunity to start adding more layers onto something they already know. So that can be something as simple as as I’m lunging them, wandering my lunge circles up and down the arena and getting them to suddenly notice the differences in my body.
[00:05:45] Like when I step forward, when I step back, how that is telling to them of what’s about to come next as far as which direction we’re headed, which gives them the little clue that when Stacy steps back, I should step in closer to her.
[00:06:02] We’re gonna be moving this direction. And so it’s really building a bridge basically between lunging them like normal on a lunge line or lunging them like I’m working on liberty, where Willow would be doing more liberty work. So she’s to the point where I can work her off line and so she’ll be going around me and essentially lunging around me. But we’ll be working on our communication. And I remember years ago, I’ve done this for a lot of years. So years ago, if you watch some of the old videos that would be over on my YouTube channel, I think I have a playlist over there called Bridleless and you can see some of the different bridles, things that I did with Roxy in particular. But you’ll also see little bits of liberty stuff mixed in there, like her rearing on command or bowing on command. And those are just the fun things that would work on. And then there’s other things that I would work on with horses that I just didn’t videotape. So my stallion that I owned, that is Willow’s dad. I remember in a winter season like this, I remember taking him out in the indoor and putting out one of those like babies swimming pools, the little kiddy swimming pools and putting that out there and being like, OK, that’s 20 feet away from the wall. How can I stay at least 20 feet away from him and yet direct him to go into the swimming pool? So, again, it’s it’s liberty work.
[00:07:34] It’s engaging their mind. And I was dressed in, you know, full Carharts and totally freezing while actually I was warm then, but I was totally not flexible. So I wasn’t riding. But I think you can do a lot of good for your horses if you’ve got that creativity. And then sometimes also if you just kind of, you know, accept you’re going to be dressed for the weather. And in this case, it’s gonna be a lot of layers. So that’s kind of what’s going on in the barn. Me trying to stay creative in February and dreaming of spring, which is getting a little bit easier with the horse hair flying everywhere as I brush them.
[00:08:13] Today in the podcast. I want to answer some questions that have come in over on my Web site. And the first one that I want to play for you isn’t exactly a question, though. It’s a message that I received. And I heard it when it came in and was blown away by it and went back and listened again because it’s just so heartfelt. But I really wanted to make sure and confirm with the lady that sent it that it was OK to share. And she said yes. So I’m going to go ahead and play it for you, because I think it really speaks to the power of horses.
[00:08:50] Hi, Stacy. My name is Tricia and I just listen to your Christmas podcast while I’m out cleaning stalls.
[00:08:59] I’ll try not to be tearful, but my mom just died Monday night unexpectedly and they both live out still on the farm. And I live an hour away and my horses are my treasures. They bring me peace and tranquility. And I love my routine of. Feeding them twice a day cleaning stalls.
[00:09:28] They’re just my treasures and my constant in my life. I love him so much. So they are helping me through the grieving process of losing my first parent. So I want to thank you for your podcast.
[00:09:45] Perfect timing. The day after Christmas when my family’s been so busy and I’m here out in the barn cleaning stalls.
[00:09:54] So thank you for all you do.
[00:09:57] Thank you for sharing that, Tricia.
[00:09:59] I honestly don’t know what my life would look like if I didn’t have the horses and the barn to go to when I’m stressed or have troubles or, you know, back when I lost my dad. It’s been an amazing support system to have out there just the peace of listening to horses, to hay and the quietness of the barn.
[00:10:22] And yes, even cleaning stalls has been just an amazing place for me. And thank you for that reminder. This next question is very fitting with the horses shedding and thoughts of spring. So let’s take a listen.
[00:10:39] Hi, Stacy. I love your podcast and I’m working on training a young horse of my own. She’s a 2 year old Handcock filly and is growing really slowly, so I’m taking it easy. I hope that she’ll be really good for a lot of stock horse competitions and especially trail riding, which I love to do. My question for you is how you can tell when your horse is ready to go on its first trail ride. What kind of skills do you like it to have in the arena? And then what do you practice on the first trail? Right. How do you know when to call it quits and what are your goals on your first time going out? Thanks.
[00:11:11] Thanks for your question and congratulations.
[00:11:14] All kinds of fun stuff ahead. So I broke this down into five different steps based off from the questions that you asked. And as far as young horses and trail riding, number one, stay flexible like any other horse, whether it’s aged or not, the horses are going to have good days and bad days. And while I’m doing my arena work, I get to know what those are. And so I’m picturing Presto in my head because I have the same goal this coming summer to trail ride him. And I know that he has good and bad days and I’m starting to be able to see a little bit of a pattern to that. For example, with the weather not being as good, if he doesn’t have ample time to kick up his heels, run around, play with the other horses and be generally annoying because he really likes to pick at the other horses. If that hasn’t happened for him, he’s more likely to be annoying and kind of pick at me and and and when I mean pick at me, it’s not like he’s physically nipping or biting. I can just feel more resistance in him. And that might be a sign that I’m gonna let him run around that day first. It’s amazing how quiet they are if I let them have one of those blow off steam moments and they run around and everything, you get on them and they just feel like, OK, I’m really quiet. So those would be the things those are the ups and downs and the things you want to notice now in the arena work so that you can pick a good day to go ride.
[00:12:37] One thing I won’t do, especially for like the first ride, but in those first few rides when I’m not quite as sure. One thing I won’t do is be like, Oh, I’m gonna take them riding on May 18th and this is back in February. I won’t pick a day because I’m going to definitely let that be developed because of the way that the horse is feeling on a particular day. And so you guys sure schedule that ahead of time, but you’d have to stay really honest with yourself about canceling it because you don’t want to force things to happen on a timeline with the horses, because a lot of times once, well, it’s actually going to go into a number two. So let’s just go there.
[00:13:13] So another question you asked how to tell when you’re ready. And my number two tip would be. Picture your worst case scenario and answer the question, could you handle it? So for me, it looks like this I’m going to take Presto and I’m going to ride him out on the state park behind my house, which means there’s about a five minute ride on the road which is paved and then we go into the woods where it’s it’s pretty level and nothing exciting there. But then most of the that I go on are going to eventually have this very steep drop off on the left.
[00:13:52] And I’m talking like very steep. Steeper than the man from Snowy River. Steep. You remember the movie and so very steep drop off. And then I eventually come to water crossings, a relatively steep hill home. And so I’ve got pavement, cars, steep drop off. So when I picture my worst case scenarios, I’m hoping that you can picture like where you might be going. You know, there’s other places I’ve trail ridden that don’t have as many of these obstacles. I could actually load up, haul over the state park. That would totally the state park entrance and that would avoid the pavement. So I could remove that. That would remove the cars and the pavement and then that would open up a different trail that didn’t have the steep drop off on the side. I could ride and then turn around and come back before I got to the steep drop off. So basically, how do I know when they’re ready, when I can picture the worst case scenario on the trail in question and I answer the question, could I handle it?
[00:14:49] And I think, yep, I have enough control to handle that. Another thing that you asked.
[00:14:55] Kind of what to practice in the arena. So number three. Some of the things to practice in the arena would be improving your steering, using really specific patterns. So for me, a lot of that is the four leaf clover pattern or I was telling you about some of my more creative patterns that I’ve been coming up with. But basically be real specific. I think sometimes, especially with young horses, we kind of go, oh, they’re young, you know, I’ll just kind of go around the arena to the left or go around the arena to the right. But here’s where that doesn’t work for you in the future. You need to really try to hone in.
[00:15:29] And you want to sharpen that ability to steer them specifically or do transitions of gait specifically. So I’m going to do walk, trot, Canter. I’m gonna do the four leaf clover pattern, walk, trot and Canter. I’m gonna practice transitions. And even though on a younger horse that’s probably transitions through the gate, meaning walk to trot, trot to Canter, Canter to trot, trot to walk instead of skipping gates. So like with an older horse I might be able to walk to Canter even though I can’t do those yet.
[00:16:00] With Presto, I still will have an understanding of how smooth and quick and what normal is for steering. But that’s only going to happen if I’m fairly specific with the steering at home. So if I’m super general with the steering a home and I’m just happy to kind of go around the arena to the right or to the left and are not specific, then it’s going to change number four, which we’re about to go into. So another thing you asked, which was when to quit. You know, like first tried. One of the questions you you put in there was something about like when to quit. So I’m going to quit when I notice that I’ve got a decline in performance that feels threatening to me. So what I mean by that is so I’m picturing that I’m riding Presto around in the arena and I’m walking, trotting, loping, because any of those could happen on the trail. So a horse could spook and end up in a lope. So I want to know that I’ve loped. So that’s how my mind works. So I know I’ve handled that at home. So I’ve also developed what I was just talking about, which is I have an understanding of kind of what normal is for his transitions. Normal is for the steering wheel. Then when I go somewhere with a young horse that could be going on a trail ride, it could be loading up and going to a show.
[00:17:17] I expect to have a draw up like maybe a 10 percent loss, maybe more. And I expect a little bit of a loss. Very rarely do I have a horse. It has happened, but very rarely does a horse carry over 100 percent from home to a new location. So let’s just say that that I expect to have a 10 percent drop. Well, that matters how good the horse is being home, because if a 10 percent drop takes me below safety, this is a problem. But I also need to understand where I’m at. Enough that I can detect a 10 percent drop or a 20 percent drop or a 30 percent drop. Yes, this kind of stuff happens and you need to know what’s normal and you need to be aware of this stuff at home, because I have for sure been at trail rides where I’ve seen people. You know, you’re in a you’re in a group and this is a person that’s not in your group. So it’s just another group of trail riders. And you see somebody really struggling to mount up on a horse that’s spinning around in circles around them. The horses whinnying, you know, it’s just super worked up and amped up. And you’re thinking this this is either a substantial drop in control or this rider has accepted this level of out of control as some kind of normal.
[00:18:41] These are the things that I’m doing. So I’m going to quit before I experience such a drop that I’m actually threatened. So for me, that would look like I head out and I go down. I go however far down the trail that is or and we’ll get into that in a minute because I’m going to answer in the goals going out the first time. But let’s say I head out and I get to a certain point and I’m feeling kind of nervous. I detect that in my body. And I think what’s going on here? And I think, well, you know, his steering feels more wobbly, more than a 10 percent wobble in it. Before I left, I thought, you know, I if it’s a 10 percent or a 15 percent drop, I’m OK with that. But if it’s a 25 percent drop, I’m not OK with that. So maybe we meet this huge group of horses and I didn’t anticipate that. And maybe it’s just got him all worked up. And now instead of that 10 or 15 percent drop, now I’ve experienced a 30 percent drop. I am dis mounting. I am dismounting. The minute we go to a 16 percent drop. If I decided that ahead of time and you might not be as like analytical with the numbers as I am, but have something in your mind and don’t feel shame. Here’s the beauty of it.
[00:19:53] The beauty of this is if I’m dismounting at a fifteen or sixteen percent drop, that is way far away from actually getting hurt. And what I see people do is I see people do this. They go, I don’t want to dismount when the horse is doing something bad or wrong because I don’t want to reinforce that. Well, what happens is they wait until they’ve experience a 50 percent drop. Now the horse is throwing its head. They’re not sure they can even get it stopped. It’s rearing or threatening to rear tossing its head, running backwards. It’s real. It’s spinning around. Now, what they’ve done is now they’ve waited until they’re at like a 50 percent drop. And they’re in such a dramatic spot that that does feel a lot more. Kind of hard to cross over for some people to like get off, first of all, for me, if I’ve experienced that much of a drop, which I frankly don’t, because I’m off at 16 percent, I don’t experience that much of a drop. So I’m not accidently rewarding rearing. I mean, I’m acknowledging a slight drop and dismounting, which I could totally ride through any day of the week, 10 or 15 percent drop because I didn’t go so far. And so I think that people don’t realize that if they got off earlier, they wouldn’t end up in that self perpetuating thing of like, you know, the horse just bucked me off and I feel like I’m gonna reward it if I don’t get back on my.
[00:21:19] Oh, you missed a lot of you missed a lot of red flags. If that’s what happened, that or it’s something totally random and has nothing to do with whether or not you get right back on. Let’s just make up a nightmare example and be like you’re riding down the trail. Your horse steps in a thing of a nest of ground hornets get stung, takes off bucking. Well, this is not something that your horse is gonna be like, oh, gee, you know. You know, that’s not a typical line of thinking. Like the horse is literally just reacting to being stung. So I wouldn’t expect the horse to like logic that out, so I wouldn’t feel the need to get back on like that. And again, I’m dismounting way before any of that happens. So anyway, we’re not the hornet thing. That’s an unexpected dismounting way before any of the spiral happens all the way down to dangerous because of some unexpected thing like, you know, backpacker’s wearing these gigantic backpacks that the horses like, whoa, that person is a monster because that happens out back on my trails. But this also takes me down to number five. He said, you know, first time going out. What are some of your goals? Number one goal? Stay safe. Number two, goal.
[00:22:37] Make it a good experience and gather information. So depending on the stage of training that the horse is in, when I decide, I’d like to trail ride. Because when the weather gets good, I get pretty excited about getting out there. So depending on the stage of training, the horse is in. I have actually asked Jesse to pony me out on a trail and I have actually posted some riders that have come to clinics that were less secure about being out on the trail. And so to help build a bridge between riding in the arena and riding on the trail, specially because I have those big drop offs, I pony them. And even though I never had to take the slack out of the lead rope, it just was a safety line there. So I’ve had Jesse pony me out on the trails before. Even if it’s just near the bigger drops. And, you know, if you don’t have a pony horse, you can get creative. And so I had a pass clinic participant come here. She only had one horse. I was talking to her about this kind of stuff. She said she typically did trail riding out around big like a cornfield or a hay field. And so she got creative at home and sent me a picture a week later where she was ponying the horse for the four wheeler, getting out there, getting the exposure because I’ll take Presto has already been pony.
[00:23:56] Even though I haven’t ridden him on the trails, he’s been ponied on the trails. So these are all the little things that I could do. I have thought in the past that I could get creative in ground, drive horses out on the trail if I wanted to. I could go out and hand lead horses out on the trail. I did some pony not ponying. I did some ground driving with a mini and I was driving around driving the mini, not hooked up to a cart, up and down the trails. And I was thinking, it’s funny that I’ll do this with the Mini because I obviously can’t ride it, but I’m not quite as committed to my horses because I could actually be on their back because apparently I’m lazy enough to not want to walk. So I’m going to walk for the mini sake, but not for this. But this is where these ideas come from. If like I could go out there and lead or ground drive but super excited about riding Presto out there on the trails. That’s my main goal with him this summer, and I will feel no shame at all if I dismount and lead him. That might be dismounting and leading him because let’s say that the big group horses comes up. I will bend his head around. I will swing off. I will lead him if I’m in a questionable spot.
[00:25:09] And I feel like I would be more secure because the drop there and maybe I got all the way, maybe I got 30 minutes down the trail, which is about when I run into the drop offs. And, you know, I get 30 minutes down the trail and I was like at less than 10 percent loss. And then suddenly, I don’t know, deer jump out through and and he’s suddenly experienced more of a drop. I’ll dismount, I’ll lead him and maybe I’ll change my mind, you know, 50 feet, 100 feet, 400 feet. The more feet it is, the morale probably change my mind to get back on. That might have a limit to a breaking point of like, how far am I going to lead you before my confidence is growing to get back on you? It’s really kind of flexible. And that goes back to number one, just stay flexible. But I am for sure a better safe than sorry kind of a rider. I have no problem with this mounting. And if anybody wants to take pictures of me leading a horse down the trail and post it on whatever, I am totally fine… all day long. So those are some of my tips to consider and remind me later when it’s actually not going to be negative 13 Celsius. And I’ll give you an update on what I’m doing with Presto and where I’m at.
[00:26:23] So thanks for the question. And our final question for the day is about pregnancy. Well, let’s take a listen.
[00:26:33] I Stacy I just wanted to say that I like your podcast a lot to listen to it regularly. My question is about balancing training your horses, being a mom and also being pregnant.
[00:26:54] I’m on my second pregnancy now and I’m just going to get it extremely hard to work with my horse regularly. With my last pregnancy, when I got too big to ride, I did ground work with my horses, but I feel like they got really bored. I’m just wondering if you have any more ideas or what you did to make it more interesting for them and what you did to balance it all… would love to hear your thoughts on that. Thank you, bye.
[00:27:31] Thanks for the question and for listening and congratulations. I actually loved being pregnant. It was a totally unique experience. All three times. So I don’t know. I know sometimes people don’t love it, but I really enjoyed it. For me, this is, though, where goal setting really helped save me mentally. So in one session, you can actually you can do this. This is what I did in one session. I can look at the fact that I’m pregnant and this is what I’m willing to do while I’m pregnant or not. Now, notice the phrasing there. I said sit down. And in one session, look at the fact I’m pregnant and this is what I’m willing to do. This is what I’m not willing to do. And the reason I like that phrasing even better than what I’m not able to do is you can find all kinds of women that break all kinds of barriers while they’re pregnant. But I wasn’t going to run a marathon. And there was a limit to the riding that I was gonna do, too. So it’s OK. And I find more power in it to just say, this is what I’m deciding. I will and I won’t do. So that was the first thing that I did. And then after I kind of recognized, you know, I’m pregnant and I do have these lines that I’ve decided to draw. Now, what fits into that? And so for me at the time, I gave a lot of for each riding lessons and I did a lot of groundwork.
[00:28:59] And nowadays I would say, you know, something that would fit in really well would be like trick training or liberty work and be even more specific than that, be like, OK, I’m going to do liberty work and trick training two or three days a week. And then the reason I think it’s important to do that is because you can then also admit to yourself during this session that maybe you wish it was more or maybe you wish you were riding or whatever you wish you were doing, just kind of bring it all out in this one session and then own the decision that what you’ve decided is that at a certain point, this is what you’re going to work on. And I think what you’ll find is that by getting a little bit more clear on it, I’m hoping it will help you find the excitement in it, because for sure, just lunging the horses, especially if you’re thinking, I wish I was doing something or exciting. That is where it gets a little bit tangled up. And I felt that for myself. And I just got creative. And I think I mentioned in a podcast that that was the first time I ever trained a horse to do yearling lunge line. And if you look back at my yearling lunge line, it would it was a lot more like the accuracy you see in some of the liberty stuff.
[00:30:20] It was really kind of cool because I just kept going. This horse will be the best transitions I’ve ever done. I want this horse to halt. I wanted to do a pivot 180 with a planted inside hind leg while I never move like. I just took it to a higher level, and then what this will let you do is it’ll let you admit what you wish you were doing and then choose what you are going to do. And then this is the power in it. I just draw a line in the sand and I say, this is what I decided. And then I won’t allow myself to look back. Now, five days from then, I’m gonna be tempted to look back. And when I look back and I start to be like, I wish I was… I’m gonna go. No, wait a minute. Five days ago or whatever that number is, I’ll allow myself to look back to that moment in time. That will become a defining line in the sand. I’ll go. I’m willing to look back to that day when I drew that line in the sand and I set that goal. And I know it sounds simple and it actually is simple, but it is not easy because your mind is gonna want to play some tricks on you. If your mind is like my mind was. So if you want to go one step further. If your mind just keeps running you back to that moment in time and you can just feel this wrestling match with your mind.
[00:31:40] Yes, I’ve been there. Then if you want to take it one step further, let’s just say that you’re like, I don’t know. It’s been the say. It’s been three weeks. You’re like, my goodness, I’m wrestling myself with this one deadline. Thing is, this doesn’t feel like it’s working. Then I would say, okay, brain, bring it on, bring up everything I wish I was doing because I’ve drawn this line in the sand. And let’s just say my line is I’m not going to ride past this point. And now your brain is like, don’t you wish you were practicing your endurance riding or don’t you wish you were riding an eight hours a day and don’t you wish you were bridles riding. Write every single one of those down. Every thing that comes to your mind that your brain is offering you as a don’t you wish you were you’re missing out on life because you’re not practicing such and such. And it’s outside of what you drew your line, write it all down and then wait at least 24 hours and then sit down with it again and say, is it true? Six months after giving birth, will I actually be passionate about endurance riding or whatever random thing that you pull up that’s that you’re not allowing yourself to do right now while you’re pregnant? And honestly, answer the question, do you think you’re gonna be passionate about that six months after giving birth? Because if yes.
[00:32:56] …bring it on. Start planning for it now, because you know pretty accurately, what, six months after giving birth, what time that timeline will be. But you might catch your mind in a little trick, because sometimes minds want to do things like this. They like offer you the grass is always greener kind of a thing. This happens to me when I sit down to record a podcast. It’s the whole book that I keep referencing the the the War of Art. It’s the whole idea of Resistance. Resistance is what keeps giving all these ideas to you about like all these other things you could be doing aside from recording a podcast or aside from whatever. And when you draw a line in the sand and you say, I’m not allowing myself to do blah, blah, blah, then it’s almost like fertilizer to the idea that. That’s for sure. You’re missing out on something over there. But write it all down. Look at it. If it is something you’re gonna be excited about. Start planning it now. If it’s not something you can be like, oh, well, that’s a interesting, tricky little thing my brain did. They’re just telling me that, you know, I really wish I was skydiving this week, but I just can’t be because of that. If it weren’t for this, I would be doing that. And so just examine that and then remember that it is a season and consider going back and listening to Episode 50 again, which is the one where Ginny Telego joined me and we discussed the idea of finding work life balance and pretty quickly into that conversation.
[00:34:24] You’ll hear me go into a deep dive on my thought that things are seasons and I have chosen to structure my life like that so that I can not only admit that it seasons, but I prefer to view my life like that, because that is one of the things that I do with my own brain to keep me from getting bored. And I prefer to look at it like seasons and I pick that season and I go with it. And that does not mean that my brain doesn’t still offer up these different things, but I’m pretty good at drawing these lines in the sand and I’ll write them on my calendar or I’ll come up with, you know, a theme for the year and I’ll do different things like that. And they will fit into this and it’ll be like, mind, I’m going to write that down on that little piece of paper and we’re going to review that once I get past this season, because for this season, this is what I’ve decided. And it’s amazing. And you can sleep better at night when you can quiet your brain down with an answer like that. So that’s some of the stuff that I did.
[00:35:23] And thank you again for your question. Thanks to all of you for listening. And I’ll talk to you again in the next episode.
[00:35:31] If you’d like to leave your voicemail. Go over the website. There’s a big orange button. You could be hearing me answer your question. Thanks.
Thank you so much for your podcast! Your encouragement is priceless. I tend to be very hard on myself with what I think I “should” be doing with my horses. You have given me permission to truly enjoy my horse time, whatever that is for today. Sometimes it’s simply cleaning pens and feeding carrots, or brushing out manes & tails. I am learning to be ok with my choice for today. I also thank you for allowing the notion that it is okay to dismount and walk your horse at any time you feel that is the safest option. I trained and am riding my 6 year old foundation bred quarter horse whom I brought up slowly. He is amazing! However, because he is young and we don’t have many, many years out on the trail together yet, I experience fear sometimes. He has been very reactive to other riders out on the trail. I decided to be okay with dismounting and walking. The other day, he became slightly anxious while trail riding so I dismounted and we walked for awhile until I noticed him completely relax and then I got back on and rode. I want to share that the moment I dismounted and walked with him (and I stress with him, not so much leading him), he immediately changed. I could see his confidence increase when he realized I was with him, we are a team and I am his leader. Thanks again and keep up the podcasting!
Thank you for your feedback!
Your comment made me remember something else I could have mentioned. I dismount from time to time on horses when they are being good. It began as exercise for me…but I also noticed that it means something to them. Even when they are well trained…they still appreciate things.
I think they almost looked shocked the first time my husband and I dismounted and lead them up a steep hill. I swear they were shocked and amazed!