11/29/2012

Hack out? A Ring? Short Stirrup?

One of my favorite horse stories ever is also a story one of my favorite stories about language.  I have loved foregin languages since I was a kid and at some point in my life I spoke both German and Dutch fluently.  I can also say some random (but not profane) words in Japanese, Finnish, Gujarati, French, Spanish, Norwegian and Russian.  Some people collect coins or stamps or baseball cards, I used to collect words in foregin languages.

Juliana is a friend of mine who I introduced to horses and was Precious long time leaser and companion.  Over the years Juliana has grown to be part of our horse family and she would participate with us at the Oregon State Fair.  Precious was retired from showing, but she would ride my mom's horses and one year she decided she wanted to show in Paso Fino Western Pleasure.

A little secret about Juliana:  English isn't her native language.  It is really impossible to tell, but occasionally you hear the slightest accent and a on occasion a word doesn't quite get used correctly.  But when English isn't your native language and you decide to get into horses, you have to learn an entirely NEW language.  Walk, trot, canter, saddle, stirrup, cinch, browband, bridle, bit, breeches are not every day english language words. 

So when Juliana was riding in her Western Pleasure class the annoucer asked her to 'lope' her horse.  I saw the panic from across the ring and I ran to the edge and yelled 'CANTER!'.  She asked Lucero to canter and off they went (the judge told the story later that it was more like a hand gallop, but I digress. . .).  We ride Paso Finos and canter isn't a gait we usually ride and lope is definately a word we never use.  And although they are different in speed and extension, they are really just the same footfall.

Now that I live in New Jersey (oh, have I mentioned that?), I am learning language differences here with horses.  Back in Oregon we ride in Arenas, here there is a lot of riding in Rings. There is a much stronger English riding influence and a lot of discussion about 'short stirrup' in regards to Hunter/Jumper.  And Hack out, I guess that's just a relaxing ride.

East coast or west coast, new or old, there is always something to learn about horses. And I really miss Juliana.

11/28/2012

Horses for Heros, Dreams for Friends

Several years ago I met an amazing horse woman named Elisia.  We boarded at the same facility, she had (still has) a 17.3 hand carrot colored horse named Soda.  Soda can do amazing things with his lips and is a beautiful moving dressage horse.

Elisia and I both moved away from Eugene, but stayed in touch. We see each other at least once or twice a year, a special effort on both of our parts and we can talk life and horses until we are blue in the face.

A couple of years ago, Elisia lost her job and and decided to finish her college degree.  It is a brave move for someone close to 30, and I was so proud of her.  During her time in school she started volunteering and became involved with Rainier Therapeutic Riding. They are an organization that basically uses horses to help our heros. 

They use Clint Anderson Horsemanship, you can view a video of when Clint visted them here. They have great information on their website on how they started their program and instructional materials for folks interested starting similiar programs soon.  All of the instructors are PATH certified and they lease the horses for the program rather than owning them outright. 

So why am I talking about RTR? Well, Elisia is another of my friends who pursued her dreams. This summer she graduated from college and became the executive director.  She has partnered her business sense, her horsemanship skills to live her dream. 

When someone tells you it isn't possible, ignore them and remember this gem: You must make a Choice to take a Chance or your life will never change.

11/27/2012

Traveling with Horses

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to 'live the dream' (and make a good living).  I've read books, asked for advice, pondered and pondered and pondered.

The common theme in every piece of advice I have had is 'pursue your passion'.  I've got a few friends who have made the plunge and are doing quite well; a friend who started a DJ business, another who started her own consulting business. 

So my mom has taken the plunge and started her own Bed, Breakfast and Barn. She loves being on the farm and feels like she is living her dream.  She enjoys hosting, horses, people and guess what?  She is starting to get guests with horses!  How exciting. You can see her info at Territorialbbb.com

She is also very close to wine country, so you can enjoy Horses and Wine and MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you don't have a horse, come stay anyway, she also offers farm stays that allow folks to really get a taste of life in the country.

She has two guest rooms, two RV hookup sites (water/electric), stalls. 

She is about 15 minutes from the Oregon Horse Center, 30 minutes from University of Oregon, 45 minutes from Oregon State University.

Come and Stay!