I Train Horses to Eat Carrots

It started out as a fun joke “I Train Horses to Eat Carrots”… What’s so hard about that, right? The idea behind allegedly teaching a horse to do something he already likes to do is far-reaching. And that’s what positive training does – it shifts your horse’s perspective so that he likes to do ALL the things you ask him to. Just like eating carrots. And it’s not that hard. Just use something your horse likes, to help him figure out what you want.

Dressage rider Ivetta Harte coined this cute phrase, and she’s written this short how-to article so that you, too, can train your horse to eat carrots! The horse in the picture with Ivetta is her own Zena. Ivetta trained A few years ago Zena was in an accident and fractured her neck. This serious injury required a lengthy stay at a vet hospital, and stall rest after that. Ivetta tells me that Zena recovered well, and that her portion of the proceeds from the sales of our “I Train Horses to Eat Carrots” garments will be put to good use – paying the hospital and vet bills!

Scroll down to read the article, and be sure to check out the “training tools” that HoofPrints offers: the perfect Horse Training Garments AND a super useful Treat Pouch – so you can keep your carrots close at hand. Enjoy! Continue reading I Train Horses to Eat Carrots

New book is an old favorite.

I am surprised this classic book is selling so well because I assumed everyone already has a beloved copy on their shelves. 
Black Beauty is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell.

According to Wikipedia, it was composed in the last years of her life, during which she remained in her house as an invalid. The novel became an immediate best-seller, with Sewell dying just five months after its publication, but having lived long enough to see her only novel become a success. With fifty million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time.

When one of the publishers I deal with announced this “new” reprint of the original, complete with Cecil Aldin‘s wonderful illustrations, I was delighted but didn’t seriously consider it for my HoofPrints customers, who all surely have a treasured copy already. What I did NOT consider was these same folks would be buying copies to gift to friends, and a careful replication of the original hard cover, cloth bound version, with embossed silver lettering makes the best gift EVER. The only thing missing is the wonderful old book smell.

Continue reading New book is an old favorite.

My stupidest horse training mistake

What I learned from this one set me on a whole new path with horses…

A while back, I revealed my stupidest dog training mistake, ever, involving our Jack Russell Terrier Lucy. That’s here.

This one’s a doozy; my Arabian mare Allarista was on the receiving end of a desensitizing effort gone very, very wrong. I bought her as a green-broke 3-year-old. I had started and ridden youngsters before, so it was no big deal (so I thought). However, a few years off to have a baby can change a lot about a woman manages dicey situations involving horses. Allie was (is) a good girl. She was started right by her breeder and has excellent ground manners. But she wasn’t too sure about her new owner (me) who didn’t seem to have her act together.

I quickly realized that I was in over my head, and set about getting some professional help. Continue reading My stupidest horse training mistake

The Loving-Kindness Meditation

I am halfway through an interactive online wellness course hosted by Deborah Maragopoulos FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner). As a member of a small pilot group for this new course, and am being introduced to a whole new world of information that I was previously unaware of. Ideas about hormones, exercise, diet, mindset, and more…

So, when Deborah touched on the Loving-Kindness Meditation (also called Metta Meditation) during this week’s class, I made a note and went off to consult the Oracle Google once the class was over. It was a productive search and I found more than enough information to help me learn more. Continue reading The Loving-Kindness Meditation

Feeling overwhelmed? How to be happy anyway.

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“I only clean up after my horse” artwork by Lesley Bruce, available on a T-shirt here

According to author Martha Beck, PhD, society these days has evolved in such a manner that folks think they’ve got to be prancing around gleefully (think: Swiffer commercial) in order to be truly happy. On the contrary, Martha says “True happiness is sustainable delight in the beautiful moments of everyday life.”

Martha’s article in Oprah Magazine How to Find the Kind of Joy that Lasts also says; Continue reading Feeling overwhelmed? How to be happy anyway.

A story about trust… and following your heart

Billy’s Story – Part 1

Originally published in the HoofPrints Newsletter – November, 2008

In the summer of 2008, I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience… After years without a vacation of any length, my parents graciously offered to bring my 15 year old son Jordan and myself on an adventure out West. (thanks, Mom & Dad) To ensure that I didn’t worry about things back home, my husband Rob elected to stay here and tend to the farm and all the animals.

Our 2 week odyssey was packed with many miles and lots of sights and experiences as we traversed South Dakota, Nebraska, and North Dakota. The South Dakota leg of the trip included a stay at the HoofPrints Lodge in Lead, SD and trail rides guided by Andy’s Trail Rides.

Continue reading A story about trust… and following your heart