As we near the end of the year, it’s good to reflect back on how the past year has gone. What have you improved? Which goals did you meet? What do you wish you had spent more time working on? And so on…
I thought it would be good to share my open-ended goals with the world. I left my personal goals out this time since I have a weird superstition about sharing them. These goals are what I strive for in my daily work.
My Goals for My Students:
1) To teach you how to communicate properly and fairly with different horses.
2) To teach you about body awareness and how your actions affect others.
3) To teach you patience, hard work, humor, and persistence are key ingredients to success.
4) To teach you how to become a trainer.
5) To teach fundamentals of horsemanship.
6) TO HAVE FUN!
I understand that maybe about less than 1% of the people I teach will go on to become trainers. 20% may keep horses in their lives in some way for a multitude of years. 10% may take the plunge and become horse owners. Regardless of the role horses may play in your life, I teach all my students in the same way. As you get more advanced, the lessons get harder, but I put the same amount of energy into a beginner lesson as into an advanced one. I want every student of mine to be able to handle a horse comfortably and learn how to communicate in a way that the horse is comfortable and the rider is confident. I want my students to become trainers so that they can improve their horses with every ride (because I can’t ride all the horses all the time!).
My Goals for Horses:
1) To have a clear understanding of their job and our expectations of them.
2) To willingly and happily do their job.
3) To find the appropriate occupation for each horse and see that they succeed to the best of their abilities.
4) To keep them as sound and as happy as possible through preventative maintenance and veterinary care.
5) TO BE HAPPY!
I love the horses that I get to work with every day. They really become friends with likes, dislikes, preferences, and personalities. They’re wonderful because we love them and they’re wonderful because they get to excel at a job that is best suited to them. I challenge them to work better and do better, but I try never to push a horse into a job he or she hates (for either mental or physical reasons). We try to change up the routine as much as possible but their mental and physical health are incredibly important. We treat each horse as an individual and love them all as such.
As with many things in life, the more you know, the more you don’t know. This is very much true for horses and riding. The better rider you become, the harder the lessons, the more difficult and talented the horses. It’s a great undertaking for those who thrive on challenge and change. There’s never a dull moment around a barn!
Photograph (c) Sara Roxanne Photography