Keep Riding

The Number 1 Tip for your riding improvement

In order for your horse to improve you have to ride it.
Your horse will not improve standing in his stall or our in the pasture!
I challenge you to go and ride your horse and send me an email and tell me how your ride was.
I’d love to hear from you!


Posted in Horse Show | Comments Off on Keep Riding

The Truth About Horse Keeping

English: Horse stalls showing a power and wate...

Keeping Your Horse At Home Can be REwarding Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you thought it may be really nice to keep your horses at home. In your own back yard? Well let me tell you, I have been doing this for a life time and most days it is great and wonder why everyone isn’t doing it. Some days however, I wonder what AM I Doing?

Time Commitment – Do you have the time. Some horse owners are able to keep their horses at home outside 24/7. Unfortuneately for me, in the extreme weather conditions, very hot in the summer and VERY cold in the winter months, I have a turn in/out regime which works well for me.

My horses are out during the day and in during the evening. In the hot summer months I reverse that and put the horses in during the day, out of the sun and bugs, and then out at night time when it is cooler.

In addition to the actual handling of the horses to turn out and bring them back in, there is time alloted to mucking stalls and keeping the stable tidy. I count on 20 – 30 minutes per horse to muck, sweep and general tidy of the stable. It varies depending on the time of year. During the winter months the time is on the longer side because I put out hay for the horses and they may be in their stalls for a longer period of time.

Besides the stable duties there are daily horse requirements as well. This includes grooming and general health care. Horses require general care. This means looking at them daily and brushing their coats and actually looking at them to see if they are ok.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Give Your Horse the “Once Over” every day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each day my horses get a “once over”. It is kind of like a “scratch and dent” review. I look over horses and:

  • Check for shoes (or lack there of!)
  • Check for scratches, cuts or scrapes
  • Check for runny eyes
  • Check for runny nose
  • Check for swelling and lumps on their legs and body.

This is not a one time deal. This is a daily check. When I put on their halters to put them out in the morning I check to make sure things are “normal” for that horse. Then in the evening, when I bring them in, I check again.

The key is to know what is normal for your horse.

If you think you can not commit to this time, do not bring your horses home.

Do you know what you are doing?  This is important if you would like to keep your horse at home.

If you are unsure about what to do with a horse then do not bring horses home to keep them at home.

Having the knowledge and understanding is important to your safety. If you have little or no experience with taking care of a horse then leave it until you have developed more experience or knowledge.

Do you have the finances? Horse care at home may be a bit less expensive than

These are Rocky Mountain Horses, which apparen...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

boarding your horse out but remember you have to have the $$$ and the time to get shavings, feed and hay from local suppliers. Some people think because it is cheaper it is a better alternative. Sometimes it isn’t. Work it out. Go to the feed store and hay supplier to confirm pricing on supplies before bringing your horse home.

If you don’t have the $$$ to commit to a life with horses then don’t bring your horse home.

Are you willing to sacrifice? This is a biggy. By sacrifice I mean having your life revolve around your horses’ lives. Horse owners and people who keep their horses at home recognize that if they go out they still have to come back and have an early morning taking care of the stalls and feeding their horses.

There is no sleeping in because you are tired!

If you like to sleep in and are not committed to making horses a priority, then board your horse somewhere else.

The Real Truth

The real truth is that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I grew up with horses in my back yard and I continue to have horses in my back yard and in my stable.

I can tell at a glance if there is something wrong or if something needs to be changed. If you keep your horses on your own you will grow and develop a sense with your horses. A sense that you may not get by keeping your horse at a boarding farm.

You will begin to develop a bond with your horses and they will become more than your friend but an actual confidente.

I know it sounds kinda like a load of quackery but because you are with them for more than the mandatory riding time, they will develop a bond with you.




Posted in Horses, Stable Management, Tips | 2 Comments

Building Partnerships With Your Horse

This is a continuation of our previous post – Are you a caring rider?

A Cossack training a horse

A Cossack training a horse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most people think horses and horse training is a new thing. They want the latest rope, stick, flag or bit (or bitless). I have news for you … This stuff has been around for years and years.

Most of the time trainers and coaches don’t make up new stuff, they just recycle a technique they learned from someone else. It may be repackaged, changed and updated but horsemanship is still horsemanship.

If we teach our horse with respect then we, more than likely, will get respect back from them. If we, as we learned from our previous post, be a leader who will provide a safe environment for our horse we will have a loyal and obedient horse and a great relationship as well.

Creating partnerships is Important

English: Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercisi...

Horse training has been around for years.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think of building a trusting relationship with your horse. Rewarding them for a “good try”. or even a step in the right direction. It is only their BEST GUESS that they are doing the right thing. If we get angry and forceful we shut down their ability to try and their ability to think about what they are being asked.

Even a small step in the right direction, if rewarded will lead to bigger and better things.


Horses are naturally curious animals and will investigate new surroundings. Their lives depend on it. Horses are social creatures and are ready to follow and give their loyalty to a worthy herd leader. If you show them you can be trusted and show the horse you will keep them safe you will have a willing partner.


Posted in Horse Show | Comments Off on Building Partnerships With Your Horse

Being a Caring Rider

Are you a caring rider?

Horse looking out of stable window. Picture wa...

The Horse is Always Right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The horse is always right

We have heard this statement many times, from some of the great riding masters. I’d like to add, the horse never lies. If he doesn’t like something he will let you know. It may be resistance in the way of tail swishing, teeth grinding or worse – bucking.

This has been proven to me over and over again. When I teach I often say, “Your horse is talking to you. What is he saying?”
S/He may be saying:

  • “I don’t know how to do that?” or “I don’t understand what you’re asking me.” Meaning they have not been trained how to do the movement.

 – OR  –

  • “I know how to do that, but I can’t because you are sitting wrong.”

    English: A Standardbred horse going nicely in ...

    Why does my horse <fill in the blank here>? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • “I know how to do that, but I can’t because I’m not strong enough.”

Day after day, lesson after lesson I see this. Riders punishing horses for not understanding what is being asked of them.

Riders ask me, why won’t my horse move away from my leg? I say because you haven’t trained him to move away from your leg. You’ve successfully trained him to IGNORE your leg.

My goal is to share my passion for horses, for training and to encourage riders to listen to their horses and understand the questions they have.

Equestrian Skill Builders, Laura Kelland-May, Thistle Ridge STables

Why would a horse want to willingly do that?

A better question may be is why would a horse want to do any of these things willingly?

The answer is what is his motivation to do them. What is the payoff? The “What’s In It For Me? Question.

This is more than “because I am the boss and I asked you to.”

This type of dominant, “I am the boss” dominant relationship with your horse will not result in a compatible relationship. It will be one a one sided affair and your horse will not feel safe and comfortable with you. At the first sign of trouble your horse will take off and leave you behind.

Think of building a trusting relationship with your horse.

A relationship built on mutual trust and understanding will from horse’s point of view will

The diving horse at Hanlan's Point

provide a safe secure environment in which the horse feels comfortable. This will lend itself to a learning relationship.

Horses are naturally curious animals and will investigate new surroundings. Their lives depend on it. Horses are social creatures and are ready to follow and give their loyalty to a worthy herd leader.

A leader who will take care of them and who keep them safe.

Any questions? I’d love to hear from you.



Posted in Horse Show | Comments Off on Being a Caring Rider