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TSB joins The Homes for Horses Coalition in helping a local equine rescue on Make A Difference Day.

TSB joins The Homes for Horses Coalition in helping a local equine rescue on Make A Difference Day.

 

The Homes for Horses Coalition, representing over 300 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the United States, is urging anyone with an interest in horses to volunteer at a local horse rescue facility during the 25th annual Make A Difference Day, the nation’s largest day of community service.

Initiated in 1990, Make A Difference Day encourages Americans to devote time and talent to helping others by doing volunteer work in the community, and millions of citizens participate in community improvement projects of almost every sort including building, painting, repairing, and clean-up.

“Rescues strive daily to effect positive change for at-risk equines in their communities, and they are so often in need of help with short-term labor intensive projects,” says Cindy Gendron, the Coordinator of the Homes for Horses Coalition.  “A committed group working hard for one day can make a huge difference by completing necessary tasks, such as fence repair, building shelters to protect horses from the elements or putting up hay for the winter.”

You can also provide invaluable help by checking out a rescue group’s wish list, shopping for needed items, or making a monetary donation as Trafalgar Square Books is doing for our local Vermont rescue The Hooved Animal Sanctuary (www.hooved.org).

“We are always in need financial help and have several new animals in need of vet and farrier work,” says Deborah Deschamps Baker of the Hooved Animal Sanctuary in Chelsea, Vermont. “Most of our local rescues are full to capacity. I am  receiving 4 to 5 calls weekly from people wanting to give us their horses along with 2 to 3 calls a week with abuse complaints. The Hooved Animal Sanctuary’s Humane Agents investigate all large animal complaints for Orange County and assist other counties when needed. All the daily care and work at the Sanctuary is done with the help of volunteers. Our Humane Agents are also trained volunteers. All donations go to the feed and care of the horses.”

You can make a donation to The Hooved Animal Sanctuary, or volunteer to help, by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

To find horse rescue in your area, visit the Homes for Horses Coalition website (www.homesforhorses.org) and click on the member page, where you will find contact information for rescues listed by state.

Help a horse…horses help us in so many ways.

 

MakeDiffDay

Stacy Westfall on Roxy. Photo courtesy of Stacy Westfall from HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD.

Stacy Westfall on Roxy. Photo courtesy of Stacy Westfall from HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by Denny Emerson.

 

Stacy Westfall became the first woman to compete in—and win—the prestigious “Road to the Horse” colt-starting competition in 2006, the same year that she electrified the reining world with a bridleless and bareback championship Freestyle on her black mare “Roxy” (Whizards Baby Doll) at the Tulsa Reining Classic and the All American Quarter Horse Congress. While Stacy continues to compete, she loves to teach and share her knowledge, and tours the country regularly giving clinics and appearing at expos.

In Denny Emerson’s honest, on-target, guaranteed-to-rev-your-engines book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD, Stacy shared a little about how she came to horses and why she thinks she “got good.” Here’s her advice as to how all of us can one day have the ride of our life (tack optional).

 

Stacy’s life circumstances:

“I grew up in South China, Maine. My mother had ridden as a girl and as soon as our family could afford an equine (when I was about six), a pony named Misty joined the household. This was the same pony on which my mother had learned to ride sixteen years earlier!”

 

She got hooked on horses when:

“From the very beginning, I was one of those kids who reads the Walter Farley Black Stallion books over and over. I would have given anything to be shipwrecked on a desert island with a horse.”

 

Stacy thinks she got good because:

1  “My parents got me a horse when I was about thirteen and from that time on I lived on my horse. I rode her seven miles to work. I took her to local open shows on the weekends and entered every class. That mare and I developed a deep connection.”

2  “My mom was my first teacher, but she didn’t just tell me what to do. She wanted me to figure it out. If my pony did something wrong, like stopping at one of the tiny jumps we had set up, Mom would say, ‘Why do you think Misty did that?’ Her approach got me thinking like a horse, which has really influenced my life. When you can figure out what the horse is thinking and how to communicate with the horse and mold that, you can do almost anything.”

3  “I attended the University of Findlay in Ohio. In its equestrian studies program, I learned traditional training techniques and fundamentals with top instructors, and got into reining with champion trainers. My famous bareback ride is an extension of taking the technical stuff I learned and wrapping it around what my childhood horses taught me about the relationship horses can have with people.”

 

Stacy’s advice to the rest of us:

“It all comes back to attitude and passion. If you go into this because you dream about getting famous on a horse or having a great marketing plan, you’ll never have that connection with the horse. This is something that, if it’s in you, you would do it even if you didn’t get paid—you do it because it’s you. When it’s really cold, or when it’s really hot, or when it’s really hard, do you still want to do it? A favorite quote of mine is: ‘Verily, the lust for comfort murders the passion in the soul, then walks grinning in the funeral.’ (From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.) If your passion gives way to the appeal of comfort, you will not succeed at a high level because at some point you’ll need to beat someone with passion—and people with passion who’re willing to work for it like that will be unstoppable.”

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

Find out how 22 more of the best riders in the world “got good” and get their tips for “making it” in the horse industry in HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by Denny Emerson, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

"Cavalletti work is invaluable for all riders and every horse, no matter what stage they are at," say Ingrid and Reiner Klimke in their influential book CAVALLETTI.

“Cavalletti work is invaluable for all riders and every horse, no matter what stage they are at,” say Ingrid and Reiner Klimke in their influential book CAVALLETTI.

 

We’ve all seen them, and most of us have ridden over or through them at one time or another. Whatever your discipline, cavalletti–poles made from wood or synthetic material and raised off the ground at varying heights—are “invaluable for all riders and every horse, no matter what stage they are at,” write Ingrid Klimke and her father the late Dr. Reiner Klimke in the international bestseller CAVALLETTI.

 

Here are 8 reasons why we all should use cavalletti, whether preparing our horses for jumping, the dressage ring, ranch work, or pleasure and trail riding:

1  Cavalletti work develops strength in particular muscles by asking the horse to move in a specific and controlled way. For example, the horse becomes more sure-footed as a result of lifting his feet high to go over the cavalletti, and then placing them back on the ground between the poles.

2  Cavalletti allow more demands to be made on the horse’s legs without compromising the quality of the gaits, namely walk, trot, and canter.

3  They are useful for loosening muscles and relieving stiffness. For example, riding a horse over cavalletti with his neck lowered and stretching forward and downward will help specific back muscles to contract and relax, effectvely loosening any tightness and helping the horse find or regain his natural rhythm.

They improve fitness: Slowly increasing the amount and difficulty of the work over cavalletti increases the efficiency of the horse’s heart and lungs.

Cavalletti help a young or green horse learn to balance with a rider on his back, and they will improve his confidence, particularly in preparation for being ridden over uneven ground.

6  They enable the rider to gain an understanding of the horse’s psyche and how to bring out the best in him: Does he remain calm or become excited as you approach cavalletti or change the pattern or height of the poles? By altering cavalletti exercises, the rider can begin to learn how to control a particular horse’s reactions to certain scenarios.

7  Strategic use of cavalletti can improve the quality of the horse’s walk and trot, the rhythm and regularity of his movement, and build impulsion and cadence over time.

8  Perhaps most importantly: Training with cavalletti adds interest and challenge to your horse’s training session. “Monotony prevents learning,” write the Klimkes. Keep your time with your horse enjoyable for you both!

 

CAVALLETTI is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

NEDACavalletti

 

Ingrid Klimke is headlining the 2014 NEDA Fall Symposium at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts, November 1 & 2. CLICK HERE for more information or to register.

Upward transitions are all about thrust and reach. They reinforce the "Go." Downward transitions are all about engagement. They reinforce the "Whoa."

Upward transitions are all about thrust and reach. They reinforce the “Go.” Downward transitions are all about engagement. They reinforce the “Whoa.”

 

“The purpose of transitions,” says Beth Baumert in her new book WHEN TWO SPINES ALIGN: DRESSAGE DYNAMICS, “isn’t to get into the gait of choice, but rather to do it with grace, in a way that improves the horse. Transitions can improve the connection and collect him.”

Transitions not only make life fun and interesting for the horse, they also put the rider in the position of leader. Here are Beth’s tips for riding good transitions:

  • Make one change at a time.
  • Convert the energy.
  • Monitor the frame.
  • Relax the neck.
  • Monitor the bend.
  • Monitor the rhythm.
  • Monitor the speed.
  • “Look for the possibility”—feel for the right moment to make the transition.

 

Exercise: Looking for the Possibility
“Looking for the possibility” of a transition is all about gaining access to the horse’s hindquarters and keeping connected to them.

Step 1  Do a trot-walk transition and immediately do a leg-yield or shoulder-fore. Then trot off again.

Step 2  Next, halt briefly and do a turn-on-the-forehand or a turn-on-the-haunches. Then trot off again. The turn or movement teaches the horse that he needs to stay connected and listening with his hindquarters in the walk. Even if the turn or the movement isn’t perfect, it improves him, making the next upward transition more supple, engaged, and obedient. It makes the next transition more possible.

Step 3  Do variations of the same theme: Leg-yield or confirm your shoulder-fore before the transition to canter. These transitions help you retain the ability to “Go” in downward transitions, and they help you retain the ability to “Whoa” in the forward work. When the circle of aids is working you can easily adjust your horse within that circle, making anything possible. You want to be in the “land of all possibilities.”

 

Find other great insight and exercises in Beth’s new book WHEN TWO SPINES ALIGN: DRESSAGE DYNAMICS, available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

 

Here’s what top riders, trainers, and judges are saying about WHEN TWO SPINES ALIGN: DRESSAGE DYNAMICS:

“Sometimes when I’m teaching I find myself thinking my student really needs to read Beth Baumert’s book. The perspective and the words she’s chosen give a welcomed fresh approach to describing the theories behind training.” —George Williams, Member, US Dressage Team and President, United States Dressage Federation (USDF)

“I absolutely LOVE this book! It grabbed me from the moment I read the words ‘perfect balance’ and ‘that place where two spines meet’—you get such a great visual from this! When teaching, it can be a struggle to help riders who can’t seem to balance themselves. This is where author Beth Baumert provides a valuable tool: She explains why the rider’s balance is the key to the horse’s balance and how a controlled interaction of balance ultimately leads to success and harmony. This book is where the magic begins.” —Debbie McDonald, Two-Time Olympian and USEF Developing Dressage Coach

“Beth Baumert and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to horses and dressage training. Now she has created the best guide I’ve seen for those who really want to grasp the ins and outs of dressage—I’ve never read a book covering all facets of dressage in this detail. With all that is going on in our sport today, I hope that riders—now and in the future—will pursue dressage as it is described here by Beth.” —Henk van Bergen, Former Chef d’Equipe, Dutch National Dressage Team and British National Young Riders Developing Team, and Member, FEI Judges Supervisory Panel

“This book is truly timeless. I can humbly admit that it clarified some subject even for me, after a lifetime of being involved with dressage. It is the equivalent of countless clinics given by some of the best in the world.” —Axel Steiner, FEI 5* Dressage Judge (Retired), USEF “S” Judge, and USDF “L” Program Faculty Member

“Beth Baumert’s book is desperately needed. I see many riders going down the wrong road, often because of a dubious understanding of the term ‘dressage’ and a limited view of its importance. Whatever you are riding—whether hunters, ponies, jumpers—I recommend that you learn about and use dressage in your schooling, if only for reasons of maintaining soundness. I’m lucky that, in my life of riding and teaching, there has never been jumping without flatwork. But that’s in my own little world. Today’s riders are too consumed with cosmetics and competition. Even riders at the top have somehow lost what the Masters knew centuries ago! Every rider needs to know the basic tenets of dressage, and so I recommend When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics. I can’t say enough good about it.” —George Morris, Former Chef d’Equipe, US Show Jumping Team

“This is a great book! It mirrors what I see in Beth Baumert’s students—they all demonstrate a very classical way of riding and training horses. When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics clearly explains the classical foundation of how the rider should balance and sit so that he or she can then educate the horse. Beth has provided a valuable tool for all kinds and levels of riders.” —Bo Jena, Chef d’Equipe, Swedish Dressage Team and FEI 4* Judge

CLICK TO ORDER NOW

Reata Brannaman gives TSB Managing Director some rope-handling pointers.

Reata Brannaman gives TSB Managing Director Martha Cook some rope-handling pointers.

 

A few years ago, TSB Managing Director Martha Cook and I each swung a rope for the first time during our week’s visit to the Padlock Ranch outside Sheridan, Wyoming. I admit, I thought about little other than the fact that the hands around me managed to do this at a flat gallop, and I couldn’t even snag a “sawcow” from a standstill. I promise you, there wasn’t even a shadow of a mathematical equation peering out from the dustiest corners of my mind.

 

TSB Managing Director Martha Cook (right) and Senior Editor Rebecca Didier (left) struggle with the science of roping at the Padlock Ranch in Wyoming.

TSB Managing Director Martha Cook (far right) and Senior Editor Rebecca Didier (far left) struggle to learn the science of roping at the Padlock Ranch in Wyoming.

 

Today’s New York Times Science Section had a this short video about a French student of applied mathematics who took trick roping to a whole new level–actually figuring the exact ratio of loop and the impact of the roper’s hand position. Check it out:

 

Click image to watch the NYT video.

Click image to watch the NYT video.

 

Of course, when it comes down to it, just like for some applied mathematics isn’t “scary code” but poetry, for many handling a rope is just like dancing with a partner. Here’s Buck Brannaman earlier this year at the Dublin Horse Show:

 

Click image to watch Buck Brannaman at the Dublin Horse Show.

Click image to watch Buck Brannaman at the Dublin Horse Show.

 

Not many of us can dance like that.

 

 

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, the acclaimed seven-disc DVD series that brings Buck’s teachings into your living room, is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is free.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO TRAILERS

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Only a few miles from the beach in Florida is not a bad place to be in January.

Throw in a unique opportunity to learn from and spend time with three top trainers and Road to the Horse alumni as they work with young and developing riding prospects, and you’ve got yourself a really good time!

Join your fellow sun-, fun-, and horselovers at the spacious and well-appointed Pioneer Trail Reserve in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, January 2-4, 2015. Host and TSB author Sean Patrick (2014 and 2015 RTTH Wild Card Contestant) welcomes Jim Anderson, reigning champion and overall winner of the 2014 RTTH competition, and Mary Kitzmiller, winner of over $55,000 in the Extreme Mustang Makeover events and the only woman to have been chosen to compete at the Road to the Horse’s Wild Card Competition in both 2014 and 2015, to his fabulous facility.

 

Pioneer Trail Reserve is a spacious and well-appointed equestrian facility, with a large covered arena and luxurious clubhouse.

Pioneer Trail Reserve is a spacious and well-appointed equestrian facility, with a large covered arena and luxurious clubhouse.

 

Sean, Jim, and Mary will provide in-depth instruction, explanations of their techniques, and up-close-and-personal insight over the course of 18 teaching sessions, featuring colt-starting, preliminary under-saddle work, and more advanced training and maneuvers. Symposium attendees are provided refreshments and a fully catered lunch each day at no additional cost. In addition, separate tickets are available for a VIP dinner on Saturday night, where guests can relax, interact with each other and all three clinicians, and enjoy live music and delicious meal in a beautiful ranch setting.

We caught up with Sean last week and asked him to tell us a little about the event and how it was conceived:

 

TSB: How did you, Mary, and Jim all meet?

Sean: At Road to the Horse 2014, there were eight of us selected to be competitors in the new “Wild Card” part of the event. It was such a nice group of individuals, we all quickly became friends. I’m originally from Canada, Jim is Canadian, and Mary desperately wishes she was, so we had that in common!

 

TSB: When did you conceive of the idea to hold the symposium? How did you come up with the name Three Amigos?

Sean: If I was to design the itinerary of a perfect 3-day clinic, this is it.  I knew Jim was coming down to visit, and Mary had just been to our place for a clinic, so I thought about bringing us all back to the same location and offering a fun, in-depth look at how we each teach horses. I have three colts all needing a start right at that time (January), and this experience will be a wonderful way to get them going. In addition, we all have a gelding from the same ranch (the Four Sixes) and the same group (chosen for last year’s RTTH), so our horses Smokey, Guthrie, and Jack all know each other well.  There will be three sets of “Three Amigos”!

 

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TSB: What does each clinician bring to the table that is unique and/or different?

Sean: Jim is so well schooled by many top horsemen. He’s quite humble, so you won’t always hear about that part. His ability to handle and teach horses is first-class. His 2014 Road to the Horse world championship is proof of his abilities.

Mary has very different experiences than Jim and me. She has also ridden with top horsemen, but has spent time with a lot of tough horses and built her program around that. She’s a student of the bridle horse, gifted in gentling horses, amazing at teaching tricks, and an excellent cow-horse hand.

Then there’s me—I’m just along for the ride!

[Ed. note: Sean's just being modest...he's the author of the bestselling book THE MODERN HORSEMAN'S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE and the DVD set by the same name. Check them out and see what's so special about this guy!]

 

TSB: Tell us a little bit about how symposium attendees will spend their day, and what you feel they will take away that they can apply to their own evolution as horsemen/women.

Sean: The round pen will be set up for the benefit of the three youngsters. Each trainer will spend one hour with each colt, on each day. Since we have three different horses, and trainers, the development of each style with each colt will be different. This is ideal for seeing how we all approach our plan. In the afternoon, topic-based teaching sessions will begin with the three-year-old geldings. The attendees are able to sit closely on the bleachers, ask questions, chat with trainers as they work, mingle with other industry experts, and spend time by the fire with them in the evenings. There is also a VIP dinner with all the trainers on Saturday night. We are encouraging a lot of crowd interaction and know the pace will move quickly and keep people learning and entertained.

 

TSB: If you could choose three words to describe the Three Amigos Symposium, what three words would you choose?

Sean: Intimate, enlightening, engaging.

 

TSB: Are all of you returning to RTTH in 2015?

Sean: Jim won the 2014 Wild Card event and then the championship title. He was invited to come back in 2015 to defend his title.  So he will be at 2015 Road to the Horse against Chris Cox and this year’s Wild Card winner.

Mary was a 2014 Wild Card contestant and was invited back for 2015.  I was also a 2014 Wild Card contestant, and like Mary, invited back to compete again.

So all three of us are heading back to RTTH in one way or another…it’ll be hopefully Mary or I who compete against Jim in the finals!

 

Don’t miss your chance to walk the beach in your boots and start your New Year with new insight into horses, starting them, and taking them that next step! Tickets for the 2014 Three Amigos Symposium and VIP dinner are on sale now CLICK HERE.

 

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Airports near the New Smyrna Beach Pioneer Trail Reserve facility include Orlando (MCO) and Daytona Beach (DAB ). Hotel accommodations have been arranged nearby at the new “Hotel of Choice” Country Inn and Suites (with a special nightly “Three Amigos” rate of $69.00), and there are beachfront options for the family on the Atlantic’s beautiful New Smyrna Beach, as well! It is an easy drive to/from Daytona Beach, Disney World, Sea World, and many other major Florida attractions, so it’s no problem to make this a family “post-holiday” vacation, while you slip away each day to work with and witness the best in the horse industry!

 

A portion of the Three Amigos Symposium proceeds will be proudly donated to the “Hope Reins” Therapeutic Riding Program based in New Smyrna Beach at Marcody Ranch. For more information on the event or assistance with ticket sales, please contact the “Three Amigos” event coordinator at events@seanpatricktraining.com or 321-693-5551. Media passes are available.

 

Sean Patrick’s THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE book and the DVD SET are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

 

 

The way of it is, as most of you have noticed I’m sure, come September, the days are getting shorter.

But that’s just a matter of sunlit hours. The hard-working riders, trainers, and horse professionals we rely on at TSB to write our books and create our DVDs don’t experience shorter days in any way other than maybe slightly larger electricity bills (as the lights in the barn and indoor stay on longer!) They are still up early (in the dark, now) and in bed late (yes, dark again) and on the move every minute in between.

TSB author and Master Saddler and Saddle Ergonomist Jochen Schleese spends much of his year on the road helping clients with their and their horse’s saddle-fitting needs, giving lectures, and presenting about horse and rider anatomy, health, and the saddle-fit factor at clinics and expositions worldwide. In his book SUFFERING IN SILENCE: THE SADDLE-FIT LINK TO PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA IN HORSES, Jochen delves into the issues horses—and their riders—have long dealt with due to poor saddle fit, including damaged muscles and nerves along the horse’s vertebrae; pain and impotence in male riders; and backaches, slipped discs, and bladder infections in women. Jochen has devoted his life to alleviating these problems so that horses and riders can perform their best—and enjoy it—over the long-term.

In this installment of TSB’s Horseworld by the Hour Series, we follow along (and try desperately to keep up) with Jochen as he strives to educate and ensure comfort for horses and riders.

 

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A TYPICAL DAY ON THE ROAD WITH JOCHEN SCHLEESE: VISITING CLIENTS AND TEACHING LECTURES

 

5:00 a.m.  At this point of the day I am usually still fast asleep (thank goodness!) especially when I have been shifted out of my usual EST time zone.

5:30 a.m. Okay, now I’m usually getting up because I like to exercise before heading out to visit clients and starting my day. I get dressed and go for a run, chanting my “gratefulness” mantra that I learned from working with Anthony Robbins. “I am grateful for the health of my children and my wife, I am grateful for the love of my wife and my children, I am grateful to have a job that fulfills my passion.” This I repeat for the next 20 minutes while I move—being able to keep saying it keeps me at a speed that allows me to still talk.

 

Jochen Schleese and his family.

Jochen Schleese and his family.

 

6:00 a.m.  Quick shower and morning routine to get dressed and meet whichever associate I am working with for breakfast. I truly believe breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, especially since our days are usually filled with so many clients and appointments and squeeze-ins that there will be little time after to eat, pee, or even rest.

6:30 a.m.  Breakfast—usually at whatever hotel we’re staying at, or occasionally we’ll splurge and go have a ‘real’ breakfast somewhere in a restaurant.

7:00 a.m.  Last-minute check to make sure the car is packed with everything we need, and we’re on the road driving to the first appointment, which sometimes can be right next door, but more often entails a bit of a drive.

7:30 a.m.  We have reached the first barn; time to set up and pull out the saddle “tree machine” and measuring tools, the sizing saddles for clients to try, and any wool we’ll need for reflocking, as well as our paperwork and pile of evaluation forms. The clients are already at the barn, and the horses are anxiously “chomping at the bit” (pun intended!)

8:00 a.m.  First client has already warmed up her horse and is ready to be seen. I generally don’t like people to ride their horses “warm” because sometimes this warmup can hide saddle- fit issues: The back of the horse gets numb to any pain during this warmup. This one, though, is an old client who has been riding in our saddles for years, and she just wants me to check her saddle to make sure everything is working as it should. Needs a wee bit of reflocking, but other than that it’s fine.

8:30 a.m.  The next client is a brand new boarder at the barn and comes to me with a horse that shows all sorts of symptomatic issues that immediately indicate to me the saddle she is using definitely does not fit. I watch as she rides, her horse stumbling, giving a couple of bucking kicks out the back, and seemingly lame on the right hind. I take the next 1½ hours to work with her and explain all of the problems that I see her saddle is causing, and we adjust one of our sizing saddles for her to try out. Immediately, her horse seems to become a whole different horse—everyone watching can see it!

9:30 a.m.  By this point the client has tried out a couple of other saddles fitted to her horse and has now to make a decision: She realizes her current saddle absolutely won’t work for her horse—it’s too long for his back, it pinches him at the withers, and the gullet channel is barely an inch wide. She decides to buy one of the saddles she has tried out on him. It’s comfortable for her and fits her well, and with a few little tweaks to make it fit even better, both horse and rider are now happy and able to ride together in harmony. She gives me a hug, which to me is the biggest thank you of all.

10:00 a.m.  Several boarders have come to watch “what’s going on” in our corner, especially since I have started to use our brand new “Horse Shape” Laser to determine the horse’s three-dimensional back shape. Two of them ask if we have time to see their horses. I ask my assistant to see if there’s room in the schedule—fortunately, this time we can squeeze them in just before we have to leave for the next barn, but it means we forego lunch (again). Oh well.

10:30 a.m.  Between now and 1:30 we see another five people with appointments (and the two that were squeezed in) and things work like well-polished clockwork. While one of us watches the client ride, the other is taking measurements and making adjustments for another, and the next client in line is busy tacking up her horse. It becomes a very efficient “assembly line” so that at any given time we can actually work with two to three clients at once. This is especially important to be able to do for appointments, which can easily run into each other, but also to accommodate the “squeeze-ins,” which invariably happen when other riders become interested in seeing what’s going on!

1:30 p.m. We have finished our first stop for the day and managed to see a total of eight clients at this barn. We normally schedule 45 to 60 minutes for each client, but because some of them were simply “re-checks” and only two were new clients who were buying saddles, the timing worked out fairly well. So we pack up, munch on an apple and a granola bar, and head out for an hour’s drive to the next barn on the list. Thankfully, this barn will be the location for an evening lecture, and our hotel is just five minutes further down the road, so it will be our last stop for the day.

2:30 p.m.  We have reached Barn Number Two where we again set up and see clients from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. This barn has four scheduled appointments; hopefully any interested parties will be able to stay for the evening lecture to learn more, as we absolutely cannot squeeze any more people in this afternoon. The afternoon’s appointments manage to go off without a hitch and we have four more happy riders.

6:00 p.m.  We clean up and move our stuff to the viewing room, which is where our barn hostess is offering an evening educational lecture for her boarders and their friends. It’s going to be a good evening—26 people have signed up to attend, of which 17 are possible new clients and for whom we have actually left the morning of the next day open for any appointments they would like to schedule to have a personal evaluation for themselves and their horses. Our hostess feeds us sandwiches and water, and we feel a little better.

6:30 p.m.  I set up my projector and organize my thoughts in preparation for the evening’s lecture, which is scheduled from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. My associate puts out my book and DVD, brochures and other materials. People start to come in; some of them already have my book and ask for my autograph. This is always a really cool feeling I have to admit! (It’s hard to get used to being “somewhat of an equestrian celebrity,” but it’s fun to hear them behind my back saying, “That’s Jochen Schleese. He wrote that book about saddle fitting, you know!”)

7:00 p.m.  The seminar begins and the next two hours pass in a whirl. I love to teach, I love to bring across my points with humor, and I know that people appreciate what I have to offer.

 

Jochen admits that he always winds up his lectures reluctantly--he says he could go on and on!

Jochen admits that he always winds up his lectures reluctantly–he says he could go on and on!

 

9:00 p.m.  I wind up the lecture (reluctantly I might add, because I could go on and on!) My associate compliments me on keeping focused (sometimes I do tend to get sidetracked and go off on tangents…) and the attendees come up to ask questions and wanting to hear more.

9:30 p.m.  We are starting to clear up; six more people have signed up for appointments the next morning, which is great, and I am happy to be able to say, “See you tomorrow!” We leave the barn and head out to the nearest restaurant for a late, quick, light supper. Tomorrow will come early.

10:30 p.m.  We finally reach the hotel and say goodnight. I know my assistant will head to her room and work on compiling the information from the day’s evaluation forms and lead cards into the computer while my associate puts together her saddle orders and information. I will spend the next hour catching up on emails and writing the sales report for the day, as well as forwarding any specific issues and observations to head office for follow up.

11:30 p.m.  Okay, finally—lights out. This is a relatively early night for us on the road (I kid you not!); some days we literally work 14- to 16-hour days. It’s tough when there is longer distances to drive between appointments, but honestly—it’s always fun to meet new people and know that we’re making a difference in the lives and health of horse and rider.

 

CLICK HERE to download a free excerpt from Jochen’s book SUFFERING IN SILENCE.

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CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

 

 

 

Check out the other installments of TSB’s Horseworld by the Hour:

HEATHER SMITH THOMAS

LYNN PALM

DANIEL STEWART

DOUG PAYNE

JANET FOY

CLINTON ANDERSON

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