Well this is pretty darn interesting when you look at how the body compensated!
Using compassion to work with horses and their people to create healthier movement and longevity.
Well this is pretty darn interesting when you look at how the body compensated!
Such a beautifully written post reminding us to appreciate everything ❤
Many riders don't enjoy the process of training or learning to ride dressage. Many problems come from riders demanding performance instead of appreciating effort. Learn how to enjoy learning and doing dressage by believing that it shouldn't work!
Cranial Sacral work has been a game changer for Gustavo.....look at that face! He has been able to release so much tension in his back end. If you're new here, he had a twisted sacrum, most likely for years, and it took me several chiropractic vets, and following my gut, to find someone that could adjust it. Unfortunately, this was during his growing years, and I think will always be a weak area for him. He did start having back end problems too after gelding, so a gelding scar is always in the back of my mind.
Emmy with Appaloosa Masoosa has been able to make big changes in him. She will be teaching a class here along side myself at the end of the month. There's still room to join! I will link the event in the comments!
The key to proper movement is a ton of work at the walk, and I mean a ton! But it has to be done mindfully, otherwise you're just practicing walking out of balance, which will lead to compounded imbalance in trot and canter. The horse must be educated to build a proper foundation of using both hind legs equally, and find proper spinal rotation. Otherwise, they will "cheat" and go back into their old limb dominance habits. It's like if you're right handed and I say that I want you to write the alphabet with your left hand, but if I'm not looking, you'll likely take a break and go back to using your dominant right hand.
Learn more in my online library for less than the cost of 2 lessons!
Gustavo enjoying a nice scratch on the push broom head mounted on the post 😁❤️🐎
Wow, we had a fantastic workshop with my friend and colleague, Karin, German Miles yesterday! It was a " Karin Miles - Neuro Rider " clinic addressing how our brains control our movement, and how we can improve, not only as riders, but in daily life. It was 10 full hours of brain and nervous system theory, cross coordinator exercises, and individual assessment and tailored exercises to go forward with. I have always struggled with posture, and in 2 minutes, I've gained better posture awareness that has continued today. Huge thanks to Karin for taking the time to travel here from AL, to all those who helped make it possible, brought goodies, and who filled the clinic in order to allow me to continue to bring fantastic clinicians to our area ♥️
Rocking the German Miles Karin Miles - Neuro Rider clinic!
Just back from another fantastic 2 day clinic. I didn't take any pictures during lessons, but we focused on spinal alignment, and clean gaits with new students, and then with the ones that have done lessons on past trips, we worked on refining rider position, and striving to use only seat and indirect rein cues, along with polishing some of the laterals for the purpose of creating better movement in the trot and canter. Here is a picture of me playing with the "big toddler" between teaching steps of haunches in, and then some cute babies and happy horses in turn out ❤️
I love playing with 🔥🔥🔥
Apparently I have a type 🤨🤪🔥🐎
Gustavo picture by Preis Photography
Crucero picture is an screenshot
Lack of dust suppression by Advanced Arena
I'm sure many of you heard about the 93 weanlings that were dumped at a kill pen recently. Luckily they all found homes. Sadly, there were a lot of aged horses that are still waiting. One was "a 20 year old mare, not even halter broke, probably doesn't have a lot of friends". Those are the ones I worry about. And here's the thing.... we can't save them all. In my opinion the only way we can get ahead of the people wanting to make the last couple dollars off a horse, is to educate the buyers, and vote with our dollars. Just saying "stop horse slaughter" doesn't solve any of the problems. There are always going to be crummy people, but if we educate more of the population maybe we can make a dent. How do we do this?
🔹When buying young horses do your research. If possible, go see where these horses are coming from. Ask for references, check with other professionals in the area. Pass on horses foals whose parents you wouldn't buy because of lameness or neglect.
🔹Ask where their aged mares go when they are no longer producing.
🔹Ask to see pictures of the mare's feet to see if they are keeping up on their hoof care. I have seen the puppy mills of the horse world, and they are just as bad as the dog world.
🔹Educate, educate, educate. When looking for an older horse, learn about hoof care, saddle fit, signs of pain. A well trained, well maintained horse will hold it's value no matter it's age, but one that has kissing spines from poor saddle fit, founder from poor feeding/housing practices, behavioral issues from abusive training will be an "unwanted" horse, adding to the slaughter pipeline.
🔹Last but not least, if you have one of these "unwanted horses", do it a favor and put it down humanely at home. Don't send it down the road to someone who will "love it more", or "because it's too hard for you to make the decision". I see way too many horses suffering with loving owners that mean well. I can totally relate to how hard this is. I have had to make the quality of life decision on 4 of my senior horses in the last 4 years. Combined, I had those horses a total of 81 years, but I loved THEM more than I loved the idea of having them with me and suffering from things that I wasn't going to be able to cure. My vet says "there are worse things than dead" and I couldn't agree more.
Event lines aren't just caused by diet! The chestnut horse is my horse Crucero. His event lines were caused by his pneumonia hospitalization (6 days at U of I) and had about 8 months of growth when this picture was taken.
The dark horse belongs to a client whose horse had a catastrophic eye injury that led to his eye being surgically removed and two hospital stays. This is about 5-6 months of growth.
This is just one example of how stress affects the body!
I think the "Exploring the Equine Skeleton" class was a success! This was the first time teaching it in the new arena, with the added stations, and without Magic as my model 😢, but Brego did a fantastic job as our model, and he's hired going forward!
This class brought in so many new people with such diverse backgrounds and deep interest in learning all we can about the horse in order to do better by them. Turns out there are other people who like weirdos like me that want to play with geeky puzzles 🤣
My working student Cleo is retiring....actually she's leaving for college to become a vet! We've had a long run. I did my best to expose her to as much of the equine profession as possible. Dentists, body work, cranial sacral, farriery, wound care, classical riding, a lesson with my trainer when she was here from Germany, riding in test saddles, and letting her play with baby dragons. I hope it serves her well in her new endeavors!
She promised to come back and be my vet ;) Hurry up Cleo, the industry needs you!!!
He's not even started under saddle, but already modeling the Valencia from HIDALGO Sattel 😍.
I was thinking this was the color combo I wanted to go with for him, but now I'm not so sure 🤔
What do you think? Do you like the colors?
This saddle is in the US and available through Hug Your Horse : Hidalgo Leather Tree Consultant
I'm busy tomorrow so I set up today for Saturday's class. There's still time to join us! This will be hands on learning!
I test rode the Valencia Light from HIDALGO Sattel. The Valencia model was my first taste of the Hidalgo saddles, and my original one is very old. I love this new one just as much as my old broken in one. It gives you a close feel, and classical position. This one is available right now from Hug Your Horse : Hidalgo Leather Tree Consultant .
You may remember how I caused a bit of a ruckus exhuming my horse this spring 🤷♀️
Well Pugsy spent most of his time with me teaching people about horses and how to ride. Now is his chance to keep teaching on an even deeper level. Some of his bones, along with several other horses, and a couple soft tissue preserved legs, will be on display and available for hands on learning in the class this weekend. You'll have a chance to see what things like kissing spines, fused hocks, OCD lesions, navicular, osteoarthritis and more actually look like. This class is super helpful to give you a better understanding and communication with your other equine professionals such as vets, farriers, trainers, bodyworkers, saddle fitters, dentists, etc. You can reserve your spot with payment by messaging me. More information on the event can be found in the link below.
I have been amazed lately at how much Gustavo is maturing (finally 😉 ). This lift brought a new door into the arena to replace the one the electrician destroyed 🙄, and Gustavo was trying to walk over to see what he was doing! The universe gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want (we must always remember this). This horse has taught me patience, perserverance, and humbleness to a degree I can't even explain! From time off, through correct classical work to resolve soundness issues, melanoma surgery in a joint capsule, to ulcers, and the airs above the ground 🤣🐎🔥🔥🔥
I've debated on whether or not to post this, because I try to stay away from negativity, but I feel like I need to share my experience with Advanced Arena . I looked for options to give feedback on their website, Facebook, and Google, but there are no options to do that, and now I understand why.
I put brand new footing in my indoor arena, and many of you know how much I dislike dust. I had angular sand from an outside quarry trucked in because the local quarries didn't have sand that met the grade specs for premium footing. I contacted Advanced Arena about their product Swamp Fox, and they calculated how much product I would need based on the size of my arena and depth of footing. My footing was laser graded to 1/4 inch of exactness, so I was able to give Nicole, at Advanced Arena, the exact amount of sand that would need dust suppressant coverage. I was told 2 barrels would be enough for my first application, and I would need a 3rd applied in 6-8 months. Because shipping is nearly $500, I went ahead and bought both my first and second application, being told this was enough for my first year. I asked what kind of equipment I needed to have to move the barrels off the truck and she said they will put them exactly where I wanted, as they didn't want the customer to have to handle them at all (I wanted one at each end, and the third barrel outside the door for later application and she said this was no problem). The delivery guy only had a pallet jack and was very nice, but of course, could not move 3 barrels on a pallet through sand, or to the outside of the arena. Luckily we have a big enough tractor with forks that can handle a 1,200lb load.
I applied my first 2 barrels as directed, and still had to water the arena for our first cliinic. I told Nicole this, and she suggested I go ahead and apply my 3rd barrel now (instead of in 6-8 months). I did that and STILL have dust. She told me some arenas need more. This is brand new sand! This is not powdery, brokend down footing! She wanted me to buy more and I asked if she would at least comp my shipping since I have used my first and second application and still am not even where I should be to start with. She did offer $100 off if I order before September. When I told her how unhappy and disappointed I am with the product, she did not reply. I've spent $3,500 and it's not like I can return the product.
If you've read this far, maybe you can do me a favor, and comment below on whether you think this is sufficient dust control, or if you think this is good customer service, or if you would be happy with this outcome if this were your $3,500. I have 8 more events coming up between now and the first week in November, so I now need to find another company to fix the mess Advanced Arena has left me with.
Thanks for reading and listening to my little rant. I just feel like when companies don't allow reviews, there needs to be somewhere to leave feedback and for them to be accountable. A little customer service would have gone a long way.
You know that elusive head set that everyone is after????
Pssst, it has nothing to do with the head and neck of the horse, so stop putting stuff on it and pulling ;)
My goal as a "trainer" is to educate owners. This thereby creates horses that are healthier, more comfortable, and happier. This then makes their owners become happier because they are dealing with less resistance and undesired behaviors. All of which makes my job, and that of other equine professionals, much easier!
Texas horse laughs at your Illinois excessive heat advisory at 4:00 in the afternoon when it's 100 degrees out 🤣🐴🔥☀️🤦♀️
I once heard my trainer, Carolin Moldenhauer, say to someone, "We have to be the trainer that THIS horse needs in THIS particular moment.", and I thought it was brilliant.
Would you treat a timid 3 year old girl the same way you would treat a rowdy 9 year old boy? Or the same way you'd treat a young adult or a senior citizen? Then why would you think you should treat/approach each horse the same way, and they should respond willingly just because "that's the way YOU do it?"
A good trainer, and by trainer, I mean anyone who works with a horse, will work smarter rather than harder, and without ego.
Carolin will be here again (from Germany), Sept 23&24. Audit spots still available, I will link the event in the comments.
You can also learn more about my training concepts in my online video library at www.shadetreestables.com/classes
I'll be catching up on messages next week. For now, a little family time ♥️
Playing with half steps again. We could use more sit and and for the hind legs to be a bit quicker, and of course I'm always looking for more length in his neck, but he was soft as butter! You can see my left hand with open fingers and the line just laying across it. Then at the end of our session I let him loose to roll and run around a bit and he was back with me right away 😍
There was sooooo much demand for this painting class, and so much fun had last night, that I have decided to offer private group sessions! This would be for 8, up to 10 friends that would want to send in a picture (horse, dog, cat, etc.) to have me draw it up on a canvas and provide the materials to paint it. You are welcome to bring your own food and drinks. I have a couple Friday evenings left this year, and Sunday afternoons. Let me know if your group would be interested!
Just a few pictures from the many lessons this week at the central Illinois clinic. I don't pick a theme, but it always seems like a common thread arises. This time the focus was on creating willing forward energy with a relaxed mental state, and incorporating the lateral movements to create more quality in self carriage and to give more lightness to the shoulders in order to become more maneuverable.
Most weekends of 2023 are now full, but I do still have availability during the week, the very end of 2023, and 2024. Or you can join the online video library at www.shadetreestables.com/classes for less than the cost of 2 lessons!
I think the first sip and paint was a success!
Because this was in such high demand and went so well, I will offer private painting parties for groups of 8, up to 10 friends. Message me to set one up!
North bound for two days of teaching!
Attention members of my online library!!! A new video was just released in the "Liberty" section. The new video is "Identifying Displacecment Behaviors". It's there at no additional cost, and more videos will continue to roll in.
If you're not a member, and want to get in before the price goes up, you can join by going to www.shadetreestables.com/classes
All sorts of exciting events coming up here at Shade Tree Stables!
7/15 Sip and Paint Equestrian Style! FULL! filled, can be added to the waitlist.
8/5 Exploring the Equine Skeleton (the bones class) spots still available!
8/12 Karin Miles - Neuro Rider (this event is full, you can be the first on the waitlist)
8/26 Equine Craniosacral, and The Energetic Component (double feature) Still spots available!
9/9 Equine Kinesiology Taping and Training Your Eye for Proper Movement (double feature) Still spots available!
9/23 PIB Workshop with Carolin Moldenhauer Participant spots are filled, you can be added to the waitlist, auditor spots still available!
10/7 Understanding Saddle Fit and How To Be A Nice Load To Carry (double feature) Still spots available!
10/14 Collaboration Class with Schaeffer Bodyworks, LLC about bodywork and my class "Bending and Collection" Event details coming soon.
11/4 Ida Hammer will be teaching her "Exploring the Equine Hoof" along with adding in some of the "Hoof Wear Patterns" class. Mark your calendar, when this event opens up, spots will be first come first serve based on payment, and you don't want to miss out!
On the events that already have event pages made, you can click it for more information and reach out to me to secure your spot with payment. I think the more information we can put out there, the better things will be for us and our horses. That is why I'm teaming up with other professionals to make my new barn a learning facility. Thank you for all your support!
Edit: There have been several people reach out that are not local, and I hear you, so I'm hoping to have some full day events coming up in 2024!
When I travel, I'm a celebrity, but at home I'm just me 🤣
If it’s too easy to attain, it’s too hard to value.
It’s a crazy phenomenon that I know I have in common with my instructor and clinician peers-
If an instructor flies from across the country, people will drive six hours to learn. They’ll get a house sitter, they’ll miss work, they’ll wake up at the butt crack of Dawn and hang on every word. They’ll pay for a hotel and a clinic fee and be happy to do it
But that same instructors phone is filled with texts from local students canceling because it’s too hot, too cold, they forgot they had a dinner, they have a bone in their leg…right around the corner is simply too easy to take for granted.
The hundred mile rule is a thing: if you’re from a hundred miles away or more, you’re instantly more exciting.
Crucero is checking out our guest accommodations. I'm now offering custom "intensives" where you can bring up to 3 horses for tailor made sessions. Trailer hook up is available right next to the horses so both you and your horses can learn in comfort.
I took the baby for a little exploring today. He was a big brave boy, interested in going new places, but still slightly concerned at the same time. Look at his eyes and how the top lid makes a point like the top of a triangle. This is an important signal that we often miss. In order to learn new things, we all have to step out of the comfort zone because there is no growth in the comfort zone. The problem only occurs when we don't notice this small bit of stress and then keep pushing for more....For example if I had him also carrying a saddle (which is still new), or had asked for trot or gone too far from home, I could have pushed him over threshold. Getting a feel for where this tipping point is with each horse is the fine art of training. But don't get me wrong, I've tripped over that threshold plenty of times honing my skills 🤣
Guess who's 3 today????? Guess who's also not in futurities, or being ridden (hint: same guy). Yes there are studies that show bone adapts to the forces put upon it, but you know what...those studies are done on the cannon bone, and your horse has a whole lot of other bones and tissues. Horses live 30+ years, no need to be in a hurry and burn them up by age 5. If you're using joint injections by age 4, 5, 6, you're flat out doing it wrong 🎤⬇️
If you're interested in learning more about creating a confident and healthy horse, please consider supporting my small business and looking into my online library.
Twenty years ago I "acquired" a foundered horse. Her owners weren't taking care of her, so she came home with me and never left. Today I let her go. After fighting a bone infection for the last year, her quality of life turned dramatically yesterday. She spent today on a cocktail of drugs to keep her comfortable, and grazed in the yard all afternoon (something she was never allowed to do). Magic was the smartest, calmest horse I've ever had the pleasure to work with. She toted my then non riding boyfriend around the farm, I was on her when he later proposed, she carried me safely through my pregnancy and trucked my toddler around ba****ck. She taught so many riders in those 20 years and I couldn't have asked for a better girl, she was a once in a lifetime horse. I can't believe how much I'm going to miss her. She has taught me so much, and I made many mistakes along the way, but when I warn you about your horse's weight, or I see changes in your horse's feet, please listen. You can't unfounder them. I didn't founder her, but I lived with the repercussions of foundered feet. If she can leave a legacy, let it be that. Learn about diet and listen those that know. For the last year we fought a hard battle that deep down I knew I probably wouldn't win. While I'm not ready today, I will be having a deeper look at her feet, because if we couldn't win, we will at least learn. Rest easy my sweet girl. Give the boys my love ❤🐎
We often think that because horses are so big, that we need to be loud or heavy with our cues. Here is a short video where I invite Crucero to curl around me and yield his shoulders away. The initial cue is my intention and opening my Right shoulder. I then point the whip toward the shoulder, and as soon as he "thinks" in the right direction, I lower it momentarily and then go back to support it again with pointing my finger since he loses his balance a bit towards the inside of the circle again.
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