Monday, July 24, 2006

Same ole same ole… spice things up a bit!

Memphis Horses cont....

I’ve never understood how people or horses can stand doing the same ole repetitive riding routine day in and day out. Doesn’t riding around and around in the same ole ring get boring? I admit, I too used to be guilty of this, but that’s before I realized that there is a wide world of riding opportunities and challenges out there to enjoy and take advantage of with horses in Memphis and everywhere!

I guess for some, it’s easy to fall into the comfort zone rut of ring riding, but a well-rounded horse and rider, should be able to handle a variety of riding environments. I’ve seen fantastic “show hunters” perform on the buckle in a ring, yet outside of their “training bubble” fall to pieces when presented with the challenge of working in a wide open field alone or with others. I’ve witnessed great hackers, crumble when presented the challenge of true collection and hind quarter engagement in a dressage ring. Have you ever caught yourself asking the following?

Uh oh, what’s gonna happen when that tractor passes, or that dog runs past us, or that cow in the field next door walks by, or the donkey or miniature from the barn across the way walks past, or heaven forbid…. a horse or pony carriage passes by???

Okay, what this all really translates to is that some of us riders like to take the easy way out.We like to stick with what we are comfortable doing and not risk “rocking the boat” or more specifically “hitting the dirt!” What we are guilty of doing is creating dumb horses... dumb horses and dumber riders! We don’t challenge our minds or our horses minds because we stick to the same ole easy routine…We don’t ask our horses to think!

Clinton Anderson refers to the horse as having two minds:

  1. Mind #1=The everyday ho hum routine mindless mind. (what is familiar)
  2. Mind #2=The Oh crap what is that? It’s time to run! (The Flight/Prey instict)

The flight instinct is the predominant natural horse instinct. So the trick to a good well-rounded horse is to get them to overcome this flight instinct and use their “thinking mind.” Using the thinking side of the brain is not a natural response, but it’s something a horse can develop and enhance. Horse’s develop this side of their brain by being challenged with new stimuli and tasks. Why not take your hunter out on trail rides… and laugh at those weenies who snub their noses at trail riding as being “not real work” They are usually the one's most in need of a good trail ride; bock bock BOOOOCKKK! Tell em’ your eating chicken for dinner and enjoy yourself!

Why not jump on bareback, throw on a saddle of a different discipline, take your horse for a walk, walk through a trail in the woods, walk out in an open field, stand at the end of a pond, walk in a pond, go for a swim in the pond (take off that martingale), ride in a different arena, trailer to a new place to ride…. The possibilities are endless! The more types of environments you expose yourself and your horse to, the better trained you and your horse really are and more importantly, the more fun you both will have!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's Hot...Be careful not to overdo it!

Memphis Horses....

Ugh, this hot Memphis weather is torture for both horse and rider. It's really important to be very aware of how you and your horse are doing during this weather. Make sure not to overdo it! It's really easy to get busy riding in this heat and not realize how hot you and your horse really are until you stop.

Take it easy on yourself and your horse by taking frequent walking breaks, drink lots of liquid, make sure your horse has access to salt or electrolytes, and PLENTY of fresh water, and try to avoid riding during the heat of the day with the sun directly overhead. Mornings and evenings are much more bearable!

Click here and here to read some articles with advice about keeping it cool!


Saturday, July 15, 2006

About Memphis Horses

About Memphis Horses
Welcome to my blog about my favorite interest and past-time- horses. A little background info. I've grown up in the Memphis area and been involved in primarily the hunter/jumper discipline. Although, I'm currently "expanding" my horizons to the areas of Dressage and Driving-- great fun!

Memphis is a great area for horse enthusiasts! There are numerous boarding and lesson facilities, of many disciplines. Although maybe I should clarify that there are many places to ride and compete near Memphis in outlining suburbs... Germantown, Collierville, Cordova, Eads, and of course good ole' North Mississippi! I'm familiar with the hunter/jumper sector, but there seems to be growing Dressage, Combined Training, Pony Club, Hunt, and Driving interests in the area, which is great. I think the more variety, the better having more opportunities for horse-crazy people like me expand and improve all around horsmanship skills is great!

Having lived in both East, and Middle Tennessee, along with Northwest Florida, I find West Tennessee and North Mississippi to offer a broader range of opportunities in terms of horse disciplines, places to ride, boarding facilities, and events for everyday people. There are numerous hunter/jumper schooling and rated shows to choose from and superb horse show facilities like the Germantown Charity Horse Show Grounds, the Tunica, MS horse show arena, and the Shelby Show Place Arena.

There has always been a big horse community in this area, and the interest is still here and growing! I'd personally like to see more local events outside of just hunter/jumper realm develop. Dressage, Eventing, Driving.... you name it. I think the demand is here, but it would be interesting to find out if others agree?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Welcome to Memphis Horses- Memphis Horse Information

Let's talk about horses in the Memphis, TN area! More to come!