Schooling Lila over Training Level Questions

 Posted by on 30 August 2014 at 10:00 am  Horses, Personal, Sports
Aug 302014
 

Here’s some video from late July — when Martha Deeds, Jill Garzarelli, and I schooled cross-country at the Colorado Horse Park. This was Lila’s first time over training-level fences. We had a few refusals (e.g. at the corner), but she was really great overall. Who would have predicted that my lazy, opinionated, on-the-forehand draft-cross would be such a capable eventer?!? She’s my girl!

Excellence Takes Time

 Posted by on 23 August 2014 at 10:00 am  Horses, Personal, Sports
Aug 232014
 

I like this:

About 10 years ago, I sat down with Phillip Dutton and asked him what I could do to be more competitive. The first thing he told me was to “never underestimate how long it took me to get mentally strong enough to be this good.” He didn’t say I needed better horses, more lessons or more money. None of those things hurt, but they will not take the place of mental strength. I think other sports focus more on this than eventing, but we need to realize how integral it is to our success.

Personally, I feel like I’m gaining experience in all the varieties of mistakes that I can make every time I compete. I figure that so long as I’m making new mistakes, all is well. Also, once I start competing Phantom, I’m going to have to make a whole new slew of mistakes, just because she’s so different from Lila.

So when I get impatient with myself, as I often do, I need to remind myself, “never underestimate how long it took me to get experienced enough to be this good.”

No Live Shows This Week

 Posted by on 13 August 2014 at 10:00 am  Announcements, Horses, Personal, Sports
Aug 132014
 

Tomorrow morning, I’ll head to Santa Fe for a weekend competition on my horse Lila. We won’t return until Sunday evening. As a result, I won’t broadcast any live radio shows this week… and I won’t do much more blogging for the rest of the week.

However, that doesn’t mean that I’ll leave you high and dry! I’ll post a brand-new podcast on Sunday. It’ll be the lecture entitled “Moral Conflicts and the Virtue of Justice” that I gave at ATLOSCon in 2012.

Here’s the abstract:

As we live our lives, some people will harm us by their moral wrongs and honest errors, and we may commit such wrongs and errors ourselves. Objective moral judgment is an essential part of the rational response to such events. Yet circumstances often call for more than judgment: sometimes, forgiveness and redemption come into play. In this lecture given to ATLOSCon in 2012, I explored the nature, function, and limits of forgiveness and redemption in relation to the virtue of justice. Then we applied that understanding to common examples of wrongs and errors.

So be sure to be on the lookout for that… and have a fabulous rest of the week!

Rider Error in Jumping Cross-Country

 Posted by on 9 August 2014 at 10:00 am  Horses, Sports
Aug 092014
 

This is a fun video showing some of the errors that riders can make when jumping cross-country, comparing that with correct riding.

I wish that they’d shown more variety in the errors, but mostly I think that this horse deserves a medal for putting up with such deliberate errors! Then again, Lila deserves a medal for putting up with my non-deliberate errors!

Via Digital Horse

Dixie Jumps Cross-Country

 Posted by on 26 July 2014 at 10:00 am  Horses, Sports
Jul 262014
 

Last week, Cyndi Meredith? and I took our horses over to Spring Gulch for some work on their cross-country course. (Lila needed work on ditches in a big way.) As a result, Dixie got her very first school over cross-country fences. Even though she’s only jumped a few times — and not since December — she was super-chill and took everything in stride. Here’s the video we took:

With just a few weeks of work, she’d be ready to compete at “beginner novice” level, I think!

Dixie is for sale, I should add. She’d make a fabulous horse for a younger rider who wants to do Pony Club, 4H, etc. She’s super-quiet and willing to do whatever you ask. If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with Cyndi.

Jul 052014
 

Here’s the video of the grand prix jumper whose bridle fell off in the middle of his course just yesterday in Paris. As you can see, the rider (Gregory Wathelet) to hold the bit with just the reins (with the bridle flapping below) and the horse (Conrad de Husmanaged) jumped the rest of his course perfectly. Amazing!

Three thoughts:

(1) That’s a well-trained horse who loves to jump!

(2) That’s a damn fine rider to keep his cool over those last few fences.

(3) The stupid ear cover probably allowed the bridle to slip over the ears. I’ve always hated those useless bits of decoration. Now, I hereby request that someone shoot me if I ever compete my horse in such silliness.

Goats Riding Horses

 Posted by on 24 June 2014 at 2:00 pm  Animals, Funny, Horses
Jun 242014
 

No really, this is a compilation video of goats riding horses!

Suddenly, I want a goat!

Friesian Horses

 Posted by on 14 June 2014 at 10:00 am  Horses, Sports
Jun 142014
 

Someday, I will own a Friesian. I saw one competing in the dressage show at the Colorado Horse Park recently … and wow, they are spectacular.

Jun 092014
 

Liam Neeson narrated this excellent video in defense of NYC’s horse carriages. (Alas, embedding is disabled.) These people love and care for their horses: the horses live good lives, and they’re treated well.

I’m disappointed — but not surprised — that real estate interests seem to be the driving force here, in alliance with “animal rights” activists. It’s pure Bootleggers and Baptists:

Bootleggers and Baptists is a catch-phrase invented by regulatory economist Bruce Yandle for the observation that regulations are supported by both groups that want the ostensible purpose of the regulation and groups that profit from undermining that purpose.

For much of the 20th century, Baptists and other evangelical Christians were prominent in political activism for Sunday closing laws restricting the sale of alcohol. Bootleggers sold alcohol illegally, and got more business if legal sales were restricted. “Such a coalition makes it easier for politicians to favor both groups. … [T]he Baptists lower the costs of favor-seeking for the bootleggers, because politicians can pose as being motivated purely by the public interest even while they promote the interests of well-funded businesses. … [Baptists] take the moral high ground, while the bootleggers persuade the politicians quietly, behind closed doors.”

The original 1983 article is well worth reading: Bootleggers and Baptists-The Education of a Regulatory Economist.

As the article in Foxhunting Life observed:

If we love foxhunting and are willing to defend our sport against those who would take it away from us, we cannot stand mute and allow our relationships with the horse and the other animals we love be separated from our lives piece by piece (carriage horse, racehorse, hunt horse, trail horse), specie by specie (horse, hound, dog, cat), and location by location (city, town, farm). We’re all connected.

The least we can do is communicate with our fellow citizens about these well-funded campaigns masquerading as animal welfare. The animal rights activists are few in number but have an inordinately loud voice. We who actually live, play, and work with animals are also relatively few in number, and we need to ratchet up the volume of our collective voice. The great majority of citizens have no preconceived opinions of who’s right and who’s wrong. They can only form their opinions based upon what they read and what they hear.

By the way, if you want to quickly judge whether a horse is cared for well, look at its feet: if they’re neatly trimmed (and shod), then the horse is probably in good hands. If they’re a mess, then the horse is probably neglected and maybe abused too.

The Arrival of My New Horse Phantom

 Posted by on 2 June 2014 at 9:30 pm  Animals, Horses, Personal
Jun 022014
 

Phantom arrived this evening! She’s here, and she’s mine, mine, mine!!!

I’d gotten everything ready in advance, so when she got off the trailer, I just took her up to the barn, walked her around the area, and then let her loose. She trotted and cantered a bit — not due to any great anxiety or excitement, but just to stretch her legs after two long days in the trailer coming from Atlanta. After a bit, she got in a good roll and then settled down to eat hay.

For now, Phantom is staying in the dry lot which surrounds the barn. Lila is in the neighboring ring, so they’ve said hello a few times. (Elsie departed to a new home yesterday evening, so Lila has been lonely for the past 24 hours!) Tomorrow, I’ll turn Lila and Phantom out to pasture together. (Right now, that pasture is occupied by the lovely quarter horse mare of the guy who trailered Phantom out to Colorado. He’s spending the night in his live-in trailer before heading out tomorrow.)

I’m just amazed by how smoothly everything has gone with this purchase of Phantom. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that it was meant to be!

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