Back to School

Spring is almost upon us.  Last night before bed the clocks jumped ahead an hour, the flowers are starting to bloom and the horses in the barn are beginning to shed like crazy!  For those of us without an indoor, all of these signs point to it almost being riding season again.

I’ve decided to do a bit of spring cleaning here at SnapDragon.  I’ve begun getting the business back in shape to start on a very small scale.  I started to clean up the SnapDragon Face Book page, and I resurrected and updated the website. I’ve learned my lessons of the past and my hope is to start teaching and training again, but keep it at a manageable level and grow slowly.  That’s the goal anyway…

Part of getting everything back into shape is getting myself (the head trainer) back in shape! I signed up to take 2 riding lessons this past week and boy was it a wake up call!  Getting old stinks and if I have any advice to offer my readers it’s this, “Don’t get old. Just don’t do it!”

My first lesson was at a Hunt Seat barn in the area.  Hunt seat is what I grew up riding, so I figured it would be a breeze. Well, after not riding for almost 8 months, I was in for a rude awakening!  My instructor picked me apart (nicely) and attempted to put me back together, while I struggled to maintain my position, breathe, keep the horse moving, and generally ignore the searing pain in my left ankle that is a constant when I’m on the back of a horse.

At the end of the lesson, I was left sore but accomplished.  I got my first ride of the season under my belt and I survived!

A couple of days later, I took a lesson at a Dressage barn in the area.  Public Service Announcement: completely changing disciplines is a great way to make you feel like you forgot how to ride!  Honestly, I didn’t do terrible, but there was quite a bit of adjustment. The way a rider sits in the saddle, how their leg hangs and how their upper body are positioned are all slightly different in Dressage than in Hunt Seat.  It was fascinating and frustrating all at the same time.  The result of that lesson is that I definitely want to work some more in Dressage.  My goal at SnapDragon is to turn out well-rounded riders and that starts with a more well-rounded instructor.

Right now, I am sore but happy.  I am excited to get myself and my horses back in shape as the weather becomes nicer.  Lessons start up again in about 3 weeks (April 1st) and I’ve already booked a few students!

Remember, everyone can benefit from riding lessons.  It doesn’t matter how long you have been riding or what your skill level is; there is always something to learn.  And even the best riders will benefit from an eye on the ground.  Trust me, all the best riding instructors have their own riding instructor to keep them on top of their game!

If you have any suggestions for topics or any questions you would like to have answered, let me know in the comments section.


Loose Horse

It’s one of every horse owner’s top nightmares:  Your horse is not where you left him.  He’s LOOSE!

This could be one of several scenarios:

  • You fell off the horse and now he’s running free
  • Your are leading, grooming, or somehow handling your horse in the barn and he somehow slips free of you.
  • You come to the barn in the morning to find that your horse is missing from his pasture or stall.

What do you do?

Continue reading “Loose Horse”

Back in the Saddle

cropped-stretchlove.jpgThe Horse World is an interesting place, and the horse business is a very rough business.  You have to be tough, dedicated, resilient and (seemingly) rich to make it in the horse world.

I have been involved with horses now for over 30 years.  I periodically take a break from it, but I always come back.  Now is one of those times.

I had my own riding lesson business (SnapDragon Stables) for almost 6 years, then about two years ago I gave up on it.  Like I said, the horse business is rough.  I was broke, exhausted and found myself starting to dislike horses.  So I took a break.

But I miss teaching.  It’s my passion.  And I love horses.  Though the work was tough, and the money was almost nothing (when you figure in overhead such as hay, vet, farrier, and barn lease costs), I’m itching to get back into business.  It’ll be different this time around.  It has to be. But luckily I’ve learned from my mistakes.  And I hope that I can help others learn from my mistakes as well.

The purpose of this blog is to share some of my knowledge.  Things I’ve learned while in business and from a lifetime with horses.  I encourage anyone reading this to ask questions, make suggestions for future posts, etc…