I hope this finds you and your horses in a good place and ready for the short and much cooler days. A red bow on your horses will bring in the holidays in fine fashion.
A couple weeks ago I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with great old friends. We toasted to GRATITUDE and I find it an appropriate subject especially this time of your.
Not so long ago I was in a third world country where the natives have so little. Roads are filled with potholes. The cost of living exorbitant. Opportunity almost non-existent. Yet, for the most part, people are happy. They have so little, but have so much. That was a strong lesson for me and my compatriots.
Just think about it for a few moments. Isn’t just owning a horse quite an extravagance? If you have quality pasture and good living conditions, your horses have it better than so many. Then consider having the free time to indulge in your passion. How about your equipment, actual riding opportunities, and horsey friends to share your dreams? Your team of professionals- vets, farriers, trainers? It goes on and on and I’m quite certain by now you’re on board. Truth be known, we are the most fortunate people on the planet. Revel in it and take notice.
And don’t forget to acknowledge gratitude to our horse. They try so hard to understand and work with us. Sometimes we’re so caught up in the ride or lesson or jump that we forget to let that horse know how we appreciate them. They get it, trust me. Genuine acknowledgement is easily conveyed and once absorbed, the horse will try even harder.
So often when I’m in the zone with my own horse or someone else’s I find myself unconsciously reassuring with my fingertips feathering the neck just above the withers, reins in hand. I’m letting the horse know I’m there, appreciative, and having a ball- saying- this is special. And they get it, trust me!
Winter can be a wonderful time for healthy horses. With proper feeding and living conditions, horses can glow in the winter. Years ago my horse Lakota Breeze spent winters with dude string horses in the Madison Valley of Montana. These horses ate snow for moisture and pawed through the snow and ice to access the alfalfa/grass, thereby getting cardio and fabulous feed. These horses glowed of health and well being and required no supplements.
The older horses needed some help and that was dually noted and addressed. In many instances dental care was the answer and suddenly some of these horses just blossomed. Sometimes it’s a simple change of diet.
· In extreme cold some horses don’t drink properly as the water is literally ice cold. So tank heaters are a great option and encourage drinking. A dollop of molasses in a bucket of water is a good enticement as well.
· If you’re not riding horses during the winter have the shoes removed. The horses’ hooves will benefit from being barefoot and contact with the ground and their feet won’t ball up with snow and ice nearly as much as with shoes.
· Horses need salt and minerals in the winter as well. Free choice loose salt/minerals is best.
· Worming after a couple hard frosts at the onset of winter is ideal to augment your year round schedule. A discussion with your vet on performing a fecal sample analysis to get a baseline on your horse’s intestinal condition may also be of long term benefit.
· Horses can handle wind, cold, or moisture, but not all at the same time. If you live in such conditions, shelter is important. When it is cold horses need to eat hay to stay warm. Unlimited grass hay is optimum but always ensure it is of the good quality.
PROBLEM SOLVING WITH OUR TEAM OF ACCREDITED INSTRUCTORS
Over the last fifteen years I’ve assembled a team of accredited instructors worldwide. We help people with their horses one on one as well as via email or phone. With the plethora of interesting email questions constantly coming my way, I often defer to my team and encourage them to respond to the client as we continue to learn from each other. With so much talent and experience within the group, it is truly amazing how thorough and enlightening these responses can be.
We invite your challenges and questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGHLIGHTING THREE OF OUR TEAM
Introducing three of our distinguished Accredited Instructors. Missy is moving mountains in Oregon and her work and philosophy the subject of several noted magazines. Jim Rea’s general horse knowledge. . . off the charts. And Marry’s career and book, “Know You, Know Your Horse” have far exceeded expectations. It is really all about empowerment as these three stellar human beings empower other horse people who in turn do the same as both horses and humans benefit- truly a win-win scenario.
Humane Horse Trainer – Training the Whole Horse
The Softer Side of Horse Training
“I developed Training the Whole Horse® on the foundation of DO NO HARM. My methods and techniques demonstrate that horses do not need bits, spurs or devices for control, but are truly willing partners when given the opportunity while receiving loving herd leadership they genetically require”.
The Colorado Natural Horsemanship Center
“The objective of owning a recreational horse is to have fun without either you or the horse getting hurt. Anytime a horse and human get together. . . someone gets trained.”
From the Ground up Horsemanship
“Horsemanship begins with observation.
Understanding the personality is the only way to truly bond.
Learning how to present yourself to your horse in a clear but non confrontational manner is the goal to a wonderful partnership.”
From the Whole Gang at Dances With Horses-
Wishing You and Yours the Finest of Holidays!
Remember- The Long Way is the Short Way AND
Your Success is our Success,
PRODUCTS WE BELIEVE IN
I don’t endorse every product that comes my way. I only recognize the products that make a real difference to the horse and rider. I use and recommend the following quality products:
Supracor and Equipedic pads. Save 15% ordering from Dances With Horses- (DWH)
Leather Therapy restores, reinvigorates, and actually strengthens leather products
Synergist Saddles are custom designed for horse/rider, are lightweight, and designed by endurance riders to offer optimum comfort for all parties. Mention DWH when ordering
Forco is a pre-biotic supplement that improves the bio-flora in your horse’s systems so they get the most from their feed and maintain their weight. Hard keepers benefit dramatically
Arborwear clothing, originally designed for tree climbing/pruning professionals, doubles as superb riding attire with ample room and comfort for older horsemen
Those of you considering breeding horses this spring, take note of Bob Claymier’s “Complete Guide to Horse Breeding, Foaling and Foal Training”. This 3 DVD 4 hour set is likely the most comprehensive guide available and takes one through selecting the right mares and stallions all the way along to weaning the foal produced on the other end. Additional information can be found at – www.desert-rose-arabians.com.
Schreiner’s Herbal Solution- A highly effective topical application endorsed by vets worldwide that speeds up healing dramatically
Thrive Horse Feeds- for the very best in nutrition especially for hard keepers
Each quarterly newsletter I will be highlighting a specific DVD in my audio/visual library. This quarter, the winner is-
WORKING WITH THE YOUNG ONES
Actual footage of foals, weanling, yearlings, and a spoiled two year old leopard Appaloosa give horse trainers and novices alike a starting place with all younger horses. Using my Gentle Solutions approach, amazing results are achieved in minutes as these horses progress before your very eyes. From making that first and lasting impression to the basics of pressure and release then leading, I clearly explain and demonstrate the how’s and why’s of guiding the young ones. Foot handling in preparation for trimming and shoeing, ear and mouth handling, and desensitizing prepare these young impressionable creatures for their certain future. This one hour work is invaluable to the success of both the horse and the handler
With twenty-four accredited instructors worldwide teaching a remarkable safety system our program is truly making a difference. Our Accredited Instructors help riders achieve heightened levels of confidence and safety while establishing a safe place to regroup as necessary. We invite you to look into our Accreditation Program.
Link to the Western Horseman Series
Join Frank Bell’s Gentle Solutions Group on Facebook
RAY HUNT QUOTES-
“THIS ISN’T ABOUT MAKING THE HORSE LEARN, IT’S ABOUT ALLOWING THEM TO LEARN. . . DON’T PRESENT THINGS THAT ARE TOO HARD TO LEARN, DON’T BE ARROGANT. . . I CAN RIDE AS FAST AS ANY HORSE CAN RUN”