6/29/2007

How to Work with someone you admire

Several years ago I read an article by a woman named Lynn Gallup in Paso Fino Horse World. I decided at that time that I wanted to meet her. I know that she and I had some similar views and philosophies about Paso Finos (and horses in general).

I tried to arrange her to judge a show out here, but timing never worked out. We corresponded 1-2x a year and this year I asked her if she would be interested in being a clinician out west. Lynn has never been to the Northwest so I will be her tour guide and she will help us learn about Paso Finos!

How did I do it? It wasn't easy. First, I had to find a facility. My friend Christabeth rented me her BEAUTIFUL brand new facility and she has been an awesome host-and it hasn't even started. By the way, if you need someone to start your youngster, Christabeth is a great choice.

Some extra costs involved were renting a porta-potty + insurance (an add on policy to Christa's). Add in the travel costs for Lynn and then you can start to figure out what to charge. We are hosting as many folks as possible in Eugene and hoping to have great fun with my fellow Paso owners. We are going to provide breakfast/lunch and Christa is hosting a BBQ on Sat Night.

To make it the best event EVER-we are having a demo on Friday. The festivites begin July 19th and I just can't wait!

So if you want to work with someone you admire, just ask and believe and everything else will fall into place!

6/13/2007

5 Reasons to ride bareback

My lessons with Julie have got me working on my bareback riding. Here are my 5 reasons why you should ride bareback.

1. It takes less time. Bareback means you don't have to put on a saddle, so you can save at least 5 minutes not messing with that bulky thing!

2. It is great for toning your legs. No matter how much and how often you ride, a good bareback session will leave you with what my mom calls 'horse crotch'. I sure feel it the next day, but it is excellent for those inner thighs!

3. It greatly improves balance. Do you feel like you are bracing in your stirrups, grabbing with the reins? Try riding bareback to really figure out where your flaws are.

4. You will learn how your horse moves. You will be amazed to feel the muscles your horse uses. I learned with Precious that I needed to move her saddle back!

5. Can you say body position? I find that without my saddle, I end up more with a chair seat, so it makes me conscious of how my saddle assists me with my body position.

If you decide to ride bareback, here are some helpful hints.

1. Have someone lead your horse to get you started.
2. Practice riding with a rope halter and saddle first (or bosol, something other than a bit) so you don't have to ride with a bit.
3. Use a mounting blog and swing all over your horse before swinging your leg over, sometimes they will be OK with a saddle, but not bareback. Do your due diligence first!
4. Work on soft bending and flexing, this will keep the pace slow and really assist you with balance. Keep the hind end moving.
5. Hold onto the mane to help hold you up so it is easier to swing off if something goes wrong.

Go forth and ride bareback! Thanks to Julie Fisher who pushed me to get more comfortable bareback and gave me some of the above tips.

6/05/2007

Still Learning. . .

I've been lackluster about posting lately, but I promise, there is a lot going on. First, I have some new responsibilites at work so I am very focused on making that successful. Did I mention my company is being purchased by Yahoo!?

Second, we are trying to sell our house. Well, not trying, the For Sale sign went in the lawn yesterday, but it has been a ton of work (and looks great by the way). So if you know anyone who wants a 1420 sq ft home in Eugene OR with a shop, garage, family room on an 8700 sq fott lot and is move in ready, let me know!

Third, we are looking for property. Yep, we are trying to find a home for us and the horses. We found one yesterday that looks good and an offer should go out today. Let's hope they accept.

Fourth, I'm riding Zapa again. I have been taking lessons and it has been going fairly well, but not as good as I would like. I did come off last week (face plant into the round pen-lots of emotional brusing), but I'm done with bareback and had a great ride on him the next day (with a saddle that has a horn).

Fifth, I'm working Santana and Tesoro almost every day. Santana goes home at the end of August, so I want to accomplish a few things with him before he does that. I may show Tesoro (although not too motivated to do that), so want to be ready for it.

Sixth, Marshall is getting SO BIG. You can see pictures of all of his litter mates here. Click on Tanner and Phoebe puppies. Jumping is still the biggest problem, so we continue to work on it, but not as much as we should. But he needs to go to the park everyday or he just acts like a crazy puppy, so that fills in the day.

Did I mention we got the garden in AND I went to NY for a week?

Life is busy and believe it or not, blogging comes last.