Help! Should I start a second blog site? Or just add more content to this blog and Facebook?
I have the urge to blog and discuss topics that are NOT horses…for example marriage, kids, homeschooling….the stuff that happens in my life that is more indirectly related.
If you are here for ‘horse’ stuff….how would you feel about a post that was my favorite recipe or about me homeschooling my kids?
I bought two other domains already just incase….
yourlifeyourwork…com —–work is so closely tied to life
mastertheartofliving….com ——- I don’t just want to ‘live’, I want to ‘master the art of living’
Would it be more confusing for me to have two sites….or more useful because I have ‘horsey’ and ‘non-horsey’ topics?
Picture this: A young mother in the grocery store with three kids all under the age of six. Little hands are reaching, little voices are asking, ‘Mommy…mommy…’ and it largely goes one of two ways:
#1- the mom looks frazzled…the kids are picking up everything, one won’t stop screaming for the toy he wants, another is running up and down the isles taking things off shelves….
#2- the mom looks tired….but the kids are engaged. They are asking for things but the mom is asking them questions back, ‘Can you pass me that can of tomatoes?’…..’do you see the apple sauce we usually get?’ , ‘how much is that bag of chips that you want?’
LOOK: Either example is work. One is more productive.
My husband Jesse often says that, “Horses are like kids — if you don’t keep them busy they will keep you busy.” Sometimes when they keep you busy, it will be doing thing like bucking or generally giving you a hard time. Often this is a sign that the horse is controlling the workout.
In yesterdays blog I explained how I use training cycles with Jac. You might be asking, “How does this apply to me?” Well let me ask you a question — has your training flat-lined? Is your routine the same every day? Consistency is good, but we need to remember to challenge our horses both physically and mentally.
Does working your horse involve increasing and decreasing the intensity over time? It should.
The concept of cycles applies not only to individual workouts, but to overall training plans over weeks and months. For example, pertaining to a weekly plan, Monday will be an easier day than Tuesday, Wednesday. And Thursday may be the peak of the week, and Friday will be easier — similar to Monday or Tuesday. The weekend can be used as recovery time, as time needs to be allowed for the body to rest and rebuild.
On an even bigger scale, looking at a month or several months, the training should have cycles in which week one is easier than week two, three and four but then week five might head back down the scale.
A horse that is ridden several times a week, with a routine that never changes, will often become more difficult because they have reached a level of fitness and are not being challenged either physically or mentally.
Having a plan, and planning with cycles in mind, will assure you have an aim each time you work your horse. So, even if you only ride three times a week you should use a training cycle.
This episode has several major points. The first one I want to focus on is the idea of ‘training cycles.’ Each day with Jac consists of cycles that are physical and then mental/emotional. These are components of each workout routine.
The simplest day would only contain one cycle. A longer day will repeat these cycles over and over.
In this episode I cycle through:
- physical cycle- controlling horses direction and speed in round pen
- mental/emotional cycle- introducing the bridle/first bridling
- physical cycle- using tarp as a training tool
- mental/emotional cycle- review previous leading lesson
- physical cycle- lunging
- mental/emotional cycle- introducing rope for cinch/girth training
- physical cycle- lunging with rope around belly
- mental/emotional cycle- leading with the rope until quiet
Something to notice is that each ‘physical’ cycle isn’t necessarily the same intensity. Often by the third or fourth ‘physical’ cycle the horse doesn’t feel as much like playing, so the cycle is less intense.
Another way of saying this would be ‘four cycles doesn’t mean four times as much work for the horse.’
I may accomplish four times as much in that day, but only work the horse half again as hard as I did in the first cycle. Did you follow that?
So adding cycles, rather than extra days, can actually be physically easier and more productive in the long term.
Westfall received her first pony at age six and has claimed to be “obsessed with horses from the beginning,” and continued working with horses throughout her childhood. While in high school Westfall began competing in jumping and barrel racing. In 1997 the horsewoman earned an Equestrian Studies degree at The University of Findlay in Ohio. Westfall didn’t stop competing, traded barrel racing for reining, and continued to win. Unique to the freestyle reining competitions, Westfall was often bridleless and in some cases, even competed bareback. In 2003 she won the National Reining Horse Association Freestyle Reining Competition, riding without a bridle. Her ride at the 2006 All American Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle created a sensation. She won with a high score of 239 and earned national recognition after a video of her ride landed on YouTube and has since been viewed well over a million times. That same year, Westfall was the first female to compete in the Road to the Horse competition; she proved her determination when she won, defeating her male competitors. Equally inspiring to her bridleless freestyle riding is her ability to train horses. She has produced several training DVD’s and is an inspiration to many. In 1997 Stacy and husband Jesse Westfall started Westfall Horsemanship, a training facility in Ohio where they live with their three boys.
Stacy’s great tip is at 3:22 minutes into the video (it will save you money AND make you smarter!)
Also: Why does Stagecoach West carry ‘Stacy Westfall’ saddle? Who is Stacy’s coach?
Listen to Trish’s tip for on the road….I totally agree!
Being interviewed….without knowing the questions ahead of time…is always interesting!
How did I forget to mention my induction into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame?
And…if you haven’t seen the Jac videos yet…follow this link! Or read the blogs….
Day One……Day Two……Day Three.……..Day Four……….Day Five