About Me

My photo
North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Thursday, August 29, 2013

One step in the right direction

Today's effort to more horse play, assessment, and progress meant a visit to the UPS Store in Potsdam, NY. I worked with a very nice woman whose name, I believe, is Janice.  I blew up the patterns maps and am having her laminate them.  I also am having the assessment checklists printed as one-page documents and laminated.  They are all going to be hung up in the arena with the horse's names on them. I plan to use dry erase markers when utilizing these tools. I also made an extra set as an example set for visitors to use as a guide when playing at our place with their horse. I realized that having these resources handy would be very useful and perhaps help me focus a bit.  I always preach about being creative but in thinking about it, have probably myself gotten into a rut much to the chagrin of the horses! 

Another project Janice and I discussed was creating vinyl banners to be hung in the arena.  My goal is to have Parellisms that I often recite in my head plastered around the arena.  Being very important to me and having had impact on my horsemanship, once again, bringing the tools right out in the open seems like a great idea.  When explaining them to Janice, I told her about, "Nose, neck, maybe feet."  She kept herself very composed without revealing any thought of me being a nut job...way to go! LOL Anyhow, she gave me homework.  I am to measure places for my banners, chose the sayings I want, and refer to the pricing chart. We will talk again, probably tomorrow, when I pick up the laminated documents.

Eventually, my entire library of horse-related educational materials will be in the barn's classroom/lounge but not quite yet.  The space will be technology-enabled and will require the walls and heating system to be in place (this is probably something that will occur next year). I need to wait to ensure that nothing gets damaged. I will be looking through materials to see if there is anything else that could be laminated and posted...not sure yet.

Well, that's it for now.  Off to the barn to complete my homework and hopefully play horsey.  Rick and I have been exhausted all week and motivation is fairly low to do much of anything (or for long periods anyway).  I cannot help to wonder if it is a long and much needed down time after having company at the house for over a month and working like crazy during that time.  Kind of like a major adrenaline release.

P.S. Dressage arena letters are also being laminated and placed in our facility despite our space not being quite the size of a small dressage arena.  These markers are good points of focus no matter the discipline! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Working on my Level 3 Parelli Auditions - Finally!

I am putting this out here to you all and the universe as a way to force the issue with myself. As of this morning, I have decided that I've let far too much time slip away with my auditions for a variety of typical reasons that I doubt I need to go into. Therefore, as a way to have a goal, as a way to be motivated, I am officially working on my Level 3 Parelli Auditions.

A few things come to mind when thinking about doing this.  I really dislike being on video. This is a total body image problem and I know that it is another thing in my life that I have to deal with (again). That said, watching the video will be like judging and I believe that I will be able to be objective. I also far preferred the old auditions where you did an entire level on one tape. Those felt more like I accomplished something I guess but, this is out of my control. I also plan to dress the part by dragging out my breeches and other horse-related attire.  I think dressing the part is part of the success piece.  If you recall the last post with the idea of fake it until you become it.  Well, becoming it is also dressing the part which should make me feel the part (kind of like how I noted in the last post that the arena felt like a proper space).  I know, totally mental! LOL  (I just hope my breeches still fit.) All well, here we [my horses and I] go! Feel free to check-in and keep me accountable!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Play time in the arena and some deep introspection....of course. :)

Okay, so I don't have a photo from last night but, I can tell you that I finally played with all three horses. in my indoor arena, finally, and it was great! Last night, I pulled into the parking lot in front of my barn and there was Rick, happy as a clam, smiling, and asking me to come in and play horsey.  I was exhausted from work but once I got there, I didn't want to leave.  Things are truly coming together, each day there is a new change. He had no intention of joining in but wanted me to finally enjoy the arena.  The footing can now be watered, oiled, and raked with ease, the kicker boards (most of them - not the ones behind the extra hay) are varnished, and as long as there is daylight, the space is usable.  I have not had the lights installed yet as I am waiting to hear back on a grant that I applied for that will help address the electrical aspect of the project. Anyhow, when I entered, the stalls had been cleaned, the arena was prepped, and to top it off, he had moved our professional sound system into the barn! This was a total surprise as he always used this in his workshop.  Rick is generous, kind, and so very thoughtful.

I decided to play with Whiskey (RBI) first.  Music was playing but it was more of a Rick-style song (I cannot remember what it was).  Without even asking, he turned on the Dixie Chicks, smiled, and left. The rain outside was coming down in buckets which has a rather loud sound on the metal roof but, Whiskey did not seem to mind.  We played online all around the arena using some barrels and patterns, did a little trotting together, and lots of friendly game.  It was a great introduction to our new space. Fosse and Lola were calling a bit but could see us and Whiskey could have cared less about them.  He was having a fun time. I noticed at one point that he felt a little too pressured and I realized that it was indeed me, I was a bit rambunctious with joy.  So, I backed off a bit and we were fine.  It is so important to listen when your horse is telling you something.  Mine was telling me to chill. LOL

Fosse (LBE) was next and we had an absolute blast.  He is a high-energy horse and full of play drive.   We worked on figure eights, jumping barrels, and other patterns.  He responded perfectly and for him, my energy was returned to high! He wants to play and have fun.  The music and rain made it acoustically interesting and I have to say, I loved it. The night-time was moving in quickly and to allow for Lola time, I had to put him back in his stall.  He was reluctant to go as I believe he wanted more time with me.

Lola was last (but not least) and as you know we've been really struggling with each other and this play time was entered into without any expectation.  Well, maybe not entirely true, I expected her to be a jerk like the other recent encounters and that perhaps our time would be miserable and short.  I would be remiss if I didn't say that I have questioned our compatibility.  That said, I've also not truly set her up for success nor given her the time she needs and in my heart I know this.  The building project over the last two years has had an impact on horse time and so, we are back to square one. Our first step is learning to trust each other again because I think there is trepidation on both parties.

A horse friend (Petra Christensen) posted something the other day that at the time I blew off.  But, last night with Lola, it resonated so loudly with me that it was almost deafening. "Thought for a Sunday from the Doug Jordan clinic at the Parelli Ranch today: " Sometimes it's painful to look at ourselves. If you offer your horse the same deal over and over you can't expect a different result. It's you who has to change. Some people will say: I don't want to change. Those get another horse..."  I realized that I'd offered Lola the same deal and not allowed her to grow let alone improve or truly get to know me.  Life has gotten in the way which in the end is a good thing but, that I truly never gave her the chance she deserved to be my partner.  So, the answer, if you were wondering is, no, I am not getting another horse.  I have a great prospect in my hands (and frankly two other fun boys that have more potential too).  For me, it is time to get to work, no excuses, no more being stuck. :)

Regarding our play time, Lola and I worked hard on communicating with one another.  Body language has a huge impact on this and judgments can be made on these interactions...remember Pat Parelli's saying, "don't teach or make assumptions?"  Well, how we "talk" with our horses using our bodies truly does impact the engagement and experience. I realized that even more strongly last night.  I was reminded with Whiskey thankfully as this horse keeps me honest and in-check more than any others when I am getting unintentionally loud, pushy, and predatory-like.  Fosse reminded me that we can have fun, and Lola reminded me that we are still courting despite living together for quite a long time now....or perhaps we are re-courting?

I also realized that the music impacts my mood and interaction with the horse and I love the addition of it to our space.  I was reminded of how I've cried watching Parelli play time (in person or on the TV) because what I saw was a true , lovely, connection. These images made me want to play with my horses.  There are emotional impacts to the environment as well.  My new play environment felt good last night.  I felt like we had a safe, beautiful space to be together in.  This is a dream come true for me.

As I played with Lola, I realized that our games are broken, my neutral was broken, and that her over-reactions before were due to me making an assumption that she and I were connected and that our games were fine, that she was just being stubborn.  Wow, it's not "you" [the horse], it's me! This was a huge revelation.  I was pushing the communication when we were speaking a totally different language.  Last night, my mind was thinking and reflecting, responding to my horse partner.  Her reaction to me was quite positive even on the broken games as they were getting fixed in mere moments (well almost).  We had quiet time and high energy time but neither reacted negatively towards one another.  It was fair and even play. I believe that we were both working at it, a little bit at a time, a second at a time, one decision at a time, one move, one ask, at a time.

I recently viewed this TED Talk by Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are. It certainly is worth a look and speaks to using body language in your life, which of course for us, includes our horses.  It talks about body language, our presence, effects on it all.  Very interesting. Our bodies change our minds and behaviors...."fake it 'til you become it tiny tweaks can lead to big changes."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Judging and Making Connections

I was very busy all day judging the St. Lawrence Valley Horseman's Association Horse Show. There was a day full of horsemanship, equitation, and showmanship classes in English and Western disciplines. There were hunter jumpers, a trail class, little kids games like egg and spoon, as well as timed gaming sports and more. The day was beautiful, exhibitors were dedicated, and I saw some excellent horsemanship. I also saw some things I'd love to change in the gaming sports (unnecessary roughness, harsh tack, and more concern over the sport than the horse--just my opinion of course.) I am making a nice solid connection to my horse community up here, finally. Virginia was great but I really enjoy this aspect of horsemanship. It is a fun was to connect with horses and people and allows me to help both. I don't just judge and pass out ribbons, I talk with my exhibitors and make it an opportunity for productive dialog. I look forward to future judging opportunities - leading by example, one instance at a time!

(P.S. A few days ago I was asked to judge another horse show (in late Sept.). This makes four so far this year.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wow, we have a lot of work to do (I mean play, lol...I think.)

I was able to spend about 90 minutes playing/training/riding/working with the horses tonight.  I was lying in bed awake most of last night thinking about many things including riding Whiskey (got all of 4.5 hours sleep).  I realized that I hadn't played with him at all in so long let along go for a ride.  We used to take rides in the National Forest, at home in the mountains, and in my outdoor arena.  This was years ago in Virginia.  Here in NY, for years, I truly believe a lot of my horsemanship activity got lost in the shuffle....relocating and starting over will do that to you and let me say that time flies before your know it. I feel sad and happy all at the same time.  We have a much nicer facility coming together but I missed so many things with my Virginia horse friends and have not made quite the same connection here.

I came home after a full day at work on so sleep, had to take my 15.5 year old dog Daisy to the vet before work and pick her up afterward (dental surgery), dinner with my in-laws, and then out to the barn.  My mother-in-law was kind enough to clean up and sent me on my way and we had leftovers (my husband's contribution). My father-in-law and I joked, as we do all of the time, saying, "where's the pie" knowing full well it was non-existent.

My first task was to lock up the golf cart, buildings, and the chickens.  I then cleaned stalls, filled water buckets (and did hay and supplements after play time). Then out to the paddock to play.  I put Whiskey on the 22 foot line and practiced patterns and impulsion with him, we were totally connected as if we had been playing every day! After about 5 minutes or so of this, I saddled him with the bareback pad, put on a natural hackamore, and mounted. I sat there for a bit practicing flexion and making sure we were still connected.  Whiskey is a RBI and can be very tricky. I was very careful to use phase 1 asks to get him to move forward.  At first, he was a bit resistant and tried to bite my leg (this is not new). I just used my reins to stop the behavior and continued the ask, waiting for a response.  First, I increase my energy, then a lift of the reins, then, a smooch, and lastly a squeeze. I try to get a response with the energy but sometimes have to use the other cues/phases. Anyhow, once we got going, we we able to ride around the playground.  I felt a little nervous for some strange reason, but kept at it and we fell back into the groove together. We have a lot of work to do but starting up together again, as partners, was really nice.  He is a gorgeous mover and lovely horse (when his emotional fitness is in tact). The other horses were hanging around with us by the way which made for an interesting herd dynamic.  He became more powerful with his human partner aboard!

Lola, this is my BIG issue and big horse, lol (she is like straddling a coffee table).  We had a brief, quiet online session and then I mounted her bareback, thinking all was okay.  I was incorrect but was able to luckily sense that we were going to have an issue,  I dismounted.  Back online, I realized that the "quiet" horse was a ruse. I started working with her again but used a phase one and then proceeded very quickly to phase 4 making her really move her feet...wow was she surprised  but, responsive.  It was a wake-up call and a leadership argument we needed to have.  Then, we ended up having another situation like the other night, she reared, pulled, and was truly trying to make me move my feet.  I stood my ground and was polite and in the correct position and continued to ask for what I wanted.  When we ended the session, she and I were connected.  She and I have serious leadership issues that were solved sometime ago but, the issue has started all over again due to my lack of working with her.  Part of me feels frustrated and tired but I love a challenge and am not giving up on her.  If I can deal with Whiskey, Lola should, in theory, be a piece of cake.  I just need to take the time it takes and it seems that these days, I am finally having the time again. My hope is to get the leadership issues dealt with on the ground again and then start riding her again. I think there is a partner in her, I just have to find her again!

On a personal note, I think that I need to work on myself too as I am part of the puzzle! Oh, how I miss my active Virginia play group...it is nice to have people to bounce ideas off of and people to push you (and people to push). :) 

My plan of action  is to get out the puzzle maps, redo horsenality profiles, and review the basics.  Particularly with Lola, I may look at the colt starting videos again to find clues and to treat her as if she is a newbie.  It may be a good way back into her heart and a way to truly rekindle our relationship and leadership dynamic.

Monday, August 12, 2013

No Direct-Line Thinking Please!

Just as your horse should expect you to rid yourself of the bad habit of direct-line thinking, you need to expect your horse to also be rid of this trait. Case in point is a horse trying to rush into a stall for dinner time. There is no need for the rushing and impolite behavior. Getting from point A to point B can be a journey not just an end result. You can reference many of Parelli's teachings that are part of this thought including but not limited the eight principles and the responsibilities of horses and humans.  (Look on my blog's main page to read these tenants.)
This evening, I had time to basically call the horses from the field to the barn) it just took a whistle.  Then, while they ate grass in the playground (which is adjacent to the barn), I worked on bedding the stalls, preparing dinner, and filling water buckets.  Rather than allowing the horses to run into their stalls (like usual), I thought I'd take the time to bring purpose to our time together despite it being very limited. To me, each interaction is a learning opportunity for both horse and human and to not take advantage of this would be such a shame.
Each horse was haltered, one at a time when it was their turn, in the order they came to the fence, Fosse, Whiskey, then Lola.  This worked very nicely as this is the order of their stalls (we were on the outside, Dutch door area of the barn). Anyhow, I have an area outside of the barn blocked from their access (since yesterday just using some electric fence tape). I used this area to ask each horse to think, engage, and not direct-line think (as in bolting into the stall). They knew at this point that there was food in the stalls.  They wanted in!
Anyhow, each horse was asked to walk through the faux gate calmly and wait while I reattached the end of the fence (squeeze game), back up (yo-yo game), turn 90 degrees putting their hindquarters towards the barn (porcupine game and squeeze game), go sideways between the barn and fence while I was in zone 1 (sideways game and squeeze game), stop in front of their stall (hind end facing the opening), then back in using pressure from the halter (porcupine game).  Then, each had to pause in this position, flex, drop their head, and have the halter removed (friendly and porcupine games).  They got a nice scratch afterwards (friendly game) prior to them turning, at liberty, to go to the front of the stall for the impending meal. The expectation was to do all of this with the lightest ask.
Fosse (LBE) was first and once he understood, despite his high energy level, complied with my every ask, moving backwards with more impulsion that I've seen in ages in that direction! Whiskey (RBI) was a little concerned as he felt pressured to do what I was asking.  That said, I was careful with my phases and time spent with him (he needs time to process the ask).  He never kicked out or went catatonic (his reaction to perceived mental pressure).  He performed the maneuvers well (sideways took a few tries because of anxiety taking over a bit).  Lola (LBI/LBE) was also successful.  That said, she and I need to continue to work on our relationship and her trust in me as leader.  When it came time to go sideways and then backwards, she kept trying to look behind her (the boys did not do this).  To me, it is a sign that she didn't trust my judgment in those directions and it was revealing. 
Putting principles to purpose, to me, doesn't always mean you have to be doing the more obvious horse activities which would typically be riding or performing in a discipline.  I believe that foundation pieces are shrouded in principles and need to be highlighted on a regular basis. If you listen and watch, these interactions will teach and show you something you may not have expected.
In closing, as always, no matter what you are doing with your horse, keep it creative, clear, and full of reason.  Make the time you have fun, no matter what and, the horse will be with you! :)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Feeling STUCK No More :)

I played with Fosse and rode this evening and am so happy. A friend's post encouraged me to just do it. I found out my in-laws are staying until the end if the month, which is fine but, enough is enough. Between visitors and so much work, my horse time has been simply taken away. (You probably noticed this since I have not been posting much.) Well tonight I said , "The heck with everything, I am going to play with my horses." 

Fosse engaged first and he and I had a blast. He is also really good as a confidence booster. He is a LBE like me and it just works. I tacked up (after having to take a trip to the horse trailer to get his girth), we played on the ground, and then I rode him here and there at a walk. He has a serious heart condition and although he does all gaits when playing with the other horses or online, my vet told me years ago that when riding, walk, maybe trot but mostly, just walk. It took until age five for her to authorize any riding. We encountered the tractor and golf cart going down the driveway, it rained, we used obstacles for fun online and mounted games. Online we worked through the seven games, worked on transitions and patterns, he bucked, was a little naughty, but totally fun. We practiced mounted backing, side passing, going forward, and just standing still, enjoying each other's company. I am simply elated and feeling UNSTUCK. I have been part of an "unstuck" group and it has been really beneficial to help me rid myself of guilt for being so busy and enabling me to feel worthy again. (Did I tell you I live the life of constant guilt? LOL) It is a long story but suffice it to say, I must take my horse time back, period, and stop being a workaholic whether it be at the farm or University.  My horses balance my life and things have been unbalanced.  I am working to better their lives but sometimes that means forgetting to actually enjoy time together despite the long to-do list. I think that perfectionism sneaks in and sabotages my life.

Fosse was a horse that I got as my first horse after being out of horses for a few years because of a jumping accident. I was injured fairly badly (this is back 16 years ago now - ancient history) and my family asked me to leave my horse love/world and I did. I was afraid. I remember riding my friend's QH several years later and being terrified and all I was doing was sitting on him. Keep in mind that I used to ride race horses, endurance horses, English hunter/jumper trails, and would crawl on any horse, even the crazy ones, always, and RIDE! Fast forward a bit, I started riding again thanks to her and Malachi the kind and fun QH. 

I discovered Parelli on RFDTV (much earlier than when I was getting back into riding the QH) but was not doing anything horsey. I was just watching it on a Saturday afternoon. I had decided to find out more about "that guy on TV" should I ever get back into horses, changed the channel, and that was that. Okay, so, this is all a bit disjointed (typing fast with company still here). Anyhow, at some point, I finally told Rick I wanted a horse of my own again. He agreed if I looked back into "that Parelli guy" and if the horse was free. I have to say that what I saw seemed to be the missing link for me.  I have been involved with horses since I was a kid but something was missing, the true relationship and language. I probably should note that the horse I was injured on was not mine.

I found an ad in the paper for a horse with a health condition, $1. I visited him, talked to the owner, and bought him. Rick picked him up for me with a friend who had a trailer. Fosse had never been on a trailer but loaded just fine, it was a stock trailer, he rode loose and backwards for three hours to our home in the mountains.  He was a yearling and a handful. Everyone thought he would be horrible, dangerous, etc. Long story shortened for the sake of this post, he and I bonded and I started playing with him using PNH and when I was told to proceed by the vet, I started riding him. He only knows how to be with humans in a natural horsemanship manner. He has always been treated with respect and I never discouraged his spirit. I simply adore him. He is a spitfire of fun but a lovely partner and in my opinion, a trustworthy horse. I wish he didn't have the heart condition but, for a horse with a grade-5 heart murmur, the vets are all amazed at his physical condition. They said he could live a long life or drop dead at any minute and I would never know. I didn't care because had I not taken him, he was going to be euthanized by the owner because he was bred to be an endurance horse. To me, this is the best rescue ever.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Up Your Competitive Edge with High Performance Equestrian Clothing

Guest Post by Eva Fernandez in association with MUSTO.

Your Competitive Edge with High Performance Equestrian Clothing

The 2012 Olympics demonstrated that sport and fashion can blend perfectly, with many of our nation’s female athletes hailed as inspiring, stylish role models for women across the UK. This roster of female sporting icons includes high-profile equestrienne and Olympic Silver medallist Zara Phillips, herself no stranger to bringing style to the livery yard. Zara proves that there’s no reason why you too can’t enjoy fashion-forward yet practical equestrian clothing, a task made especially easy by the fact that she has her own line of technically-enhanced equestrian wear with leading sports clothing brand MUSTO: the ZP176 range. 

Technically-Enhanced, Fashion-Conscious Threads

Polo shirts are a livery wear essential, their light cotton fabrics allowing skin to breathe and providing ease of movement for riders. Brightly-hued panel designs add a touch of colour to dreary mornings trudging through a mud-ridden yard, in addition to putting a modern twist on classic equestrian clothing. Yet, polo shirts aren’t the only option open to equestrians – sleeveless performance tops lend sporty ensembles a smarter look, with a clean-cut, white-collared design displaying a proud sense of style. Practicality isn’t left behind as fast-drying technology means that such tops can give you a competitive edge in events, keeping you cool even during the most stressful situations.

What’s more, there’s no reason to reach for unflattering baggy outerwear and old fleeces on chilly days outdoors. New innovations in equestrian clothing means that high quality fleeces feature high-wicking fabric to repel moisture from the skin, making it easier than ever for riders to enjoy their sport in comfort. Impeccably-tailored women’s sportswear is just one way in which you can introduce a little more glamour to the yard, and high performance fleeces are no exception, with dark, fitted designs completing an all-around flattering look.

Comfort is one of the top factors to consider when riding, with the slightest amount of unease potentially leading to poor competition performance. A groom’s jacket is no exception, with stretchable material allowing for easy movement whilst quick-drying technology ensures that you are kept cool and composed under pressure. Or, reach for jackets in dark hues with reflective detailing for safe visibility during long evenings down the stables. Groom’s gilets provide a fashionable sleeveless alternative to the jacket, with light material and a slim-cut design leaving you in control of both your horse and your sense of fashion.

The Zara Phillips collection is one of the best lines of equestrian clothing gaining popularity among female sporting enthusiasts. Discover her personally-designed range of performance enhancing equestrian fashion, and explore other attractive options available from a slew of savvy retailers.

Monday, August 05, 2013

How inviting is your trailer?

How inviting is your horse trailer? How are your loading skills? Do you think, "nose, neck, maybe feet?" What games are you playing with your horse and the trailer and in how many different ways? Remember, you can play ALL the games in thousands of ways and using your horse trailer is no exception.  Can you load from the back, from the side, from several yards away?  If possible, find many trailers to practice with....have a trailer loading play date! Post here and share your ideas and experiences! Be sure to be creative! (And remember, don't wait until the day of the show or until you are late to an event!  Practice sooner rather than later!)

Saturday, August 03, 2013

New - New York State Helmet Legislation Bill S2007-2013

Bill S2007-2013 Requires that persons less than eighteen years of age wear a helmet when riding a horse; imposes a $250 fine for any violation. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ S. 2007 A. 1890 2013-2014 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 9, 2013

 IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transporta- tion

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE, SWEENEY, RAIA, MONTESANO, LOSQUADRO, FINCH -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BOYLAND, BRENNAN, GOTTFRIED, MARKEY, McKEVITT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Transportation

AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the general business law, in relation to requiring that persons less than eighteen years of age wear a helmet when riding a horse


1 Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 1265 of the vehicle and
2 traffic law, as added by chapter 455 of the laws of 1999, are amended to
3 read as follows:
4 1. No person less than [fourteen] EIGHTEEN years of age shall ride a
5 horse unless such person is wearing a helmet meeting or exceeding ASTM
6 F1163 (Safety Equipment Institute certified) Equestrian Standard. For
7 purposes of this section, "certified" shall mean that the helmet's
8 manufacturer agrees to the rules and provisions of a system that
9 includes independent testing and quality control audits, and that each
10 helmet manufactured by such manufacturer is permanently marked with the
11 certifying body's registered mark or logo before such helmet is sold or
12 offered for sale. For the purposes of this section, wearing a helmet
13 means having a helmet fastened securely upon the head using the manufac-
14 turer's fitting guidelines for the particular model used.
15 2. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall pay a
16 civil fine not to exceed TWO HUNDRED fifty dollars. A police officer
17 shall only issue a summons for a violation of this section by a person

EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03504-01-3 S. 2007 2 A. 1890

1 less than [fourteen] EIGHTEEN years of age to the parent or guardian of
2 such person if the violation by such person occurs in the presence of
3 such person's parent or guardian and where such parent or guardian is
4 eighteen years of age or more. Such summons shall only be issued to such
5 parent or guardian, and shall not be issued to the person less than
6 [fourteen] EIGHTEEN years of age.
7 S 2. Subdivisions 2 and 4 of section 396-dd of the general business
8 law, as added by chapter 455 of the laws of 1999, are amended to read as
9 follows:
10 2. Every horse provider shall provide protective helmets to beginning
11 riders and to riders less than [fourteen] EIGHTEEN years of age at no
12 cost beyond the rental fee; offer all riders the use of such protective
13 helmets regardless of their age or experience; and provide appropriate
14 helmet safety information to all riders.
15 4. A knowing violation of this section shall be subject to a civil
16 penalty not to exceed TWO HUNDRED fifty dollars for each such violation.
17 S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

Name One Thing...Catch me if you can!

Name one thing you really love about your horses and your relationship with them. One thing for me that comes to mind is that no matter what they are doing and no matter where they are, when the horses (all of them) hear or see me, they come running to me, at a full gallop, and this is without me engaging at all. It is so nice to be loved...and is the Catching Game at its finest because they are catching me! Are you familiar with the Catching Game? DO you know the seven games? Do you need to bribe your horse to be with you? Check out Parelli's website and learn how to catch a horse!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Horse Show Judging!

I had fantastic day judging the 4-H English Show on July 31st and the Open Mini Horse Show on August 1st at the St. Lawrence County Fair this year. I have judged fun shows before but am not a certified judge (although I think I would like to be.) Prior preparation for me is to review the association's rule book and have it with me on show day along with a class list, patterns, and any other documentation I need to support the event.  I not only judge but take the time to make comments and suggestions to the competitors.  I reminded them all that the event was to be fun, educational, and to be sure to keep the idea of principles before goals in the forefront of their minds. I saw a lot of excellent sportsmanship, horsemanship, and relationships. I had two minor parent issues of interference but they were easily handled. Overall I had extraordinarily positive feedback from trainers, coaches, show personnel, exhibitors, and parents (including several thank yous and hugs.) I am very proud to have been part of these events and look forward to getting to know more horse people in the region. These kids truly understand what I said about principles before goals and keeping their horses dignity in tact. Very nice. I also saw a lot of areas that I believe I can help them improve upon......my clinic wheels are turning...stay tuned! (I have another show to judge on August 24th for the St. Lawrence Valley Horseman's Association.  I am really looking forward to it.)