Much like Black Beauty gave you an insight on the life of a 18th century horse, this post gives you an insight in the world of a 21st century sport horse. Due to my 34+ years of experience both in the Dutch and American equestrian world as an rider, owner and instructor, while importing, selling and showing Dutch Warmblood sport horses, my experiences visiting hundreds of breeding, training and showing barns, both in the US, in Germany and in the Netherlands, my experiences as a student riding with grand prix level riders and judges, I have first hand international, cross disciplinary knowledge of how horses are treated and regarded world wide, both at home and at the show grounds. I have attempted to use my insights to provide a minimally anthropomorphized point of view from the horse's perspective with science backing up my statements.
NOTE: Not all sport horses are treated like this. Not all horses see it this way. Not all riders do what is mentioned below. However, these practices are still prevalent on the horse-human interface. There is little transparency and show management is notorious for looking the other way when abuse is suspected. The audience is largely unaware these things occur in the equestrian world, especially those who attend without prior horse experience. I wrote this initially on my private facebook page to answer a friend's question of 'What does it mean to be a sport horse', and thought there might be a benefit to posting this in a public space as well. It is meant to provide people an opportunity to have an educated opinion regarding attendance and participation of top level equestrian competitions, to expand awareness of issues in horse well fare, and to push progressive motion toward increased well-fare for all horses.
*** This blog post was published in the August 2018 edition of Natural Awakenings**
We live in a culture driven by hunger for success. When talking about success, we typically talk about making billions of dollars, authoring multiple bestsellers, or rising to fame. But if we ask people who actually do those things, about the definition of ‘success’, their interpretation of the word has little to do with the very achievements that made them famous. Instead their sentiments surprisingly mimic those of one of man’s oldest allies; the horse.
Horses know a thing or 5 about problem solving. The powerful beasts survived thousands of years by relying on their instincts to keep them safe. These 5 lessons left a mark because of their pragmatic and no-nonsense application.
Communication is a two-way street, with a sender and a receiver. But if one relies on verbal language and the other on non-verbal language, challenges are bound to arise, making horses unruly and leaving riders frustrated. Read on to discover how to exchange the "whip' for WHIP and solve pervasive behavioral problems in your horse.
Whether you like it or not, your actions and words are constantly judged by your own mind. Often these voices are quite harsh and hurtful and can leave you feeling drained. Learn how to transform self-judgment by installing some easy habits and restore self-trust.
Resistance, disinclination, hesitancy, reluctance. Four words describing a tingling sensation associated with feeling you are not ready to move forward with something, even if you think you should. It doesn’t feel like a downright ‘NO!’, but more like a hunch, a disinclination to do something, a lack of enthusiasm. And the frustating thing? Is not always clear why you feel that way. Sounds familiar? Read on.
Getting Unstuck. It sounds so easy. But it's a lot harder than it seems. Harder than it should be. Here are seven easy, thought provoking questions to jump-start your quest for a more fulfilling life.
‘Just move on.’ they say. ‘Take that leap. Go for it.’
‘Cut your losses. What are you waiting for. You can do it, just believe in yourself.’
‘Life is short. The time is now. You’ve got this.’.
‘Alright’, you say, ‘OK, maybe you are right’.
But then. Choice paralysis. That first step. The actual leap.
Today, 16 years ago, in a small village in the East of The Netherlands, my father died. Death arrived as a relief, a respite after years of suffering. Death arrived and was as poetic as stupidly simple. Death arrived, took place and left. A father was no more, while my life was just beginning.
*** This blog post was published in the August 2017 edition of Natural Awakenings**
Dark clouds roll in from the West. Treetops sway while wind gusts get stronger. Birds seek shelter and people move indoors with dogs in close pursuit. It’s 5 pm in Piedmont, SC. The daily summer storm has arrived. In a nearby meadow only horses remain. Three resident equines graze peacefully, undisturbed by rolling thunder and bolts of lightning. They do not care if rain soaks their coat. They do not mind the howling wind. They are the calm in the middle of mayhem.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive, or a mom, your leadership is essential to ignite positive change in your tribe.
For some women, leading is a second nature. For others it can be challenging, frustrating and, when things don't flow, downright irritating. Sounds familiar?
Read on to learn how interacting with horses helps you grow your leadership skills.