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Posts Tagged ‘The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses’

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I remember the first time I read the description of the ideal body for riding horses—it said something about long legs and a short waist, and may have specified “slender”—and how I immediately analyzed my own physical attributes to determine whether or not I qualified as perfectly formed for my chosen pursuit. I failed in some way, of course, because there are few women out there who would likely honestly report always being satisfied with their bodies.

“The list of what plagues women about their bodies is long—and quite enough to wear us out,” writes Melinda Folse in her brand new book RIDING THROUGH THICK & THIN. “Chances are, if you’re a woman, there has been a time (for some of us, that would be ‘always’) in which you questioned your size, shape, body type, the length of your legs, or the thickness of your thighs. It might even be safe to say that most of us, at one time or another, have thought we’re too fat, too skinny (yes, I’ve heard they’re out there), too tall, too short, too muscular, too…oh, whatever else you can think of.”

That’s right: our state of dissatisfaction isn’t even just about weight, although that is perhaps the most common issue battled, inside and out. It’s about shape. It’s about proportion. It’s about not meeting an ideal, albeit an ideal that may not be worthy of the kind of sacrifices we’re willing to make to achieve it.

“Life is short. Life with horses is a gift we ought not waste over worries about our size, our shape, or how we look when we ride,” says Folse, who also wrote the bestseller THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES. “But honestly friends, once we have a solid assessment about who we are—and what can and can’t be changed—we can acquire an assortment of tools and develop strategies for making the most of what we have, taking advantage of opportunities that come our way, and reaching the potential that is unique to each one of us.”

RIDING THROUGH THICK & THIN intends to do just that: empower riders everywhere to find ways to feel good about themselves in and out of the saddle. Less about losing weight or getting fit (although there are plenty of helpful ideas for both), Folse’s book taps neuroscience, mindfulness, and fitness realities to reveal why happiness in our bodies is not only possible—it may be far easier than we think.

RIDING THROUGH THICK & THIN is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

 

CLICK HERE to order now and save 30% in TSB’s 30th Anniversary Sitewide Sale! Sale ends tomorrow (December 3, 2015), so hurry!

 

RT3 Here

 

Don’t miss Melinda Folse’s “Life with Horses” blog on Equisearch.com: CLICK HERE to read her CENTERED RIDING “aha” moment!

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs for 30 years, is a small business located on a farm in rural Vermont.

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TSB author Melinda Folse chooses horses INSTEAD.

TSB author Melinda Folse chooses horses INSTEAD.

 

QUICK! Take this short quiz:

Do you often hear yourself saying: “My best riding years are behind me,” or “I missed my chance to ride with so-and-so,” or “My life led me away from horses”?

2  When it comes to horses and riding, do you define yourself more by what you aren’t anymore, rather than what you are?

3  When it comes to having horses in your life, are you choosing the path of least resistance?

TSB author Melinda Folse, author of THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES, says that having horses in our lives, and riding well now, later, and everywhere in between, is by all means doable, whatever our circumstances. She says making strides to ensure our lives accommodate our love for horses is about changing the way we think.

 

Instead of:

“I wish I had been a working student for so-and-so when I had the chance” (and trust me, I’ve recited this one to myself far more than once!)

You think:

“I will audit a clinic with so-and-so next summer.”

 

Instead of:

“I should have pursued riding when I was young and athletic.”

You think:

“Learning to ride in middle age will be a concussion-free way to tone my body and keep me fit.”

 

Instead of:

“I should have bought my own horse before I became a father/mother.”

You think:

“It will be so much fun to teach my kids how to help with barn chores.”

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

Melinda Folse says, “Telling yourself that the time to have enjoyed horses is in your past is so often the ‘path of least resistance’…dare to choose a different trail, and the challenges will be far exceeded by your eventual rewards.”

We all have time for horses, if we clear our mental space with “Instead” Horsemanship. Go ahead and reframe your expectations to include a weekly dose of horse time. I mean, really—is there anything you’d rather be doing instead?

 

THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

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The legendary Stockyards Hotel in Fort Worth.

The legendary Stockyards Hotel in Fort Worth.

We arrived in Dallas/Ft. Worth today and had the distinct pleasure of checking out the Ft. Worth Stockyards and checking in to the legendary Stockyards Hotel, which once housed THE Bonnie and Clyde.

The Stockyards Hotel, open since 1907, is beautiful, well furnished, and we enjoyed both a belly-up to the bar astride saddles and a darned good steak at the H3 Ranch restaurant rather later in the evening. In the end, we discovered that not only does the hotel feature very large margaritas and unique taxidermy, but also paranormal activity!

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Yes, this hotel is supposedly HAUNTED. Luckily, according to my last-minute online research, “ghosts” have been experienced in the elevator, on the third floor, and in Room 218…the room just down the hall…but not in ours…

After a long day of travel we are off to TRY to sleep! Check in with us tomorrow here, on FB and Twitter, and follow horseandriderbooks on Instagram for more news and a report on any overnight paranormal experiences!

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“From time without beginning,” writes Douglas Puterbaugh in his chapter on FEAR in THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE, “man and horse have shared something in common: an ancient and deeply rooted emotion called fear.”

Interestingly, although mankind evolved as a predator and horse hung on in the role of prey, both rely on fear to save them via fight or flight. It is this natural and powerful response that can divide horse and rider, that can cause the horse to jig, shy, and bolt, and the rider to quake, tense, and fall off.

And while fluttering white ghostly figures and things that go “bump” will surely send many a horse (and rider) into a whirling, spinning, tizzy, it isn’t just Halloween that gets us spooked. We come face to face with outer and inner demons every day, and our fear response holds us back as we strive to achieve partnership and higher levels of performance with our horse.

How can we conquer our own anxieties and our own fears, so we can help instill a greater sense of confidence in our horse? Here are four tips from top riders and trainers for saying, “BOO!” right back:

1  Practice, Practice, Practice

“There’s a direct correlation between study and test performance,” says dressage trainer Douglas Puterbaugh in THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE. “There’s a direct correlation between practice and performance in competition. The only way to perform at the best of your ability is to practice diligently…when you’ve practiced so thoroughly that your movements have become almost automatic, that old nervousness won’t the fear it once was.”

2  Scare Yourself…a Little

“If you are trying to build your self-confidence,” writes USEA Hall-of-Famer Denny Emerson in HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD, “don’t hurt yourself, and don’t scare yourself—too much. You have to scare yourself a little to give yourself something to build on, but only a little. Keep doing the slightly scary thing until you have had so much success that you know success is inevitable. Then make whatever it is that you are trying to do a little harder…You can be timid, or shy, or indecisive, or reticent. You can be burdened by any one of many afflictions that result from a lack of self-confidence, and you can improve every one of them if you can figure out a way to scare yourself just a little bit. Too big a scare, and you will find your self-confidence in pieces on the ground.”

3  Employ “Thought Stopping”

“When you find yourself visualizing imminent disaster,” says Olympic coach, dressage rider, and popular motivational speaker Jane Savoie in IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS, “break your pattern by doing some ‘thought stopping’ right away. As soon as the alarming picture pops into your head, use an action word to quiet your mind and erase it. Your action word might be something like: ‘Clear,’ ‘Focus,’ ‘Stop!’ ‘Relax,’ or ‘Breathe.’ Replace the negative thought with a positive one. This is an important step, because if you don’t fill your mind with a positive thought, the negative picture will creep right back in.”

4 Create Safe Habits

“Learn what you need to do to be safe on the ground and in the saddle, and then do those things the same way every time you work with your horse until they are as automatic as the safety habits you use when driving a car,” says Melinda Folse, author of the bestselling THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES. “Even experienced horse handlers can unwittingly grow careless over the years, so it never hurts to take a good look at your habits to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself safe to ride another day.”

Melinda gives us a few ideas of the kind of “safe habits” we all should employ on and around horses:

-Teach your horse to respect your space.

– Pay attention to where you’re standing.

-Wear a helmet.

-Practice the one-rein stop and the emergency dismount.

“Fear is a conquerable thing,” Melinda reminds us—and indeed, all the featured authors remind us in their respective books, “and being safe around horses is something we can be proactive about.”

So don’t stay scared. Get busy!

And Happy Happy Halloween!

Be sure to see what Buck Brannaman says about fear in yesterday’s post CLICK HERE

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If you are planning your weekend of horses, music, and magic at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX June 1–3, 2012, be sure to make time to visit two of our bestselling authors! Melinda Folse, author of THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES, and Kayla Starnes, author of TEAM ROPING 101 will both be on hand, talking horses and signing their books.

Melinda Folse and THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES can be found at Booth #532/530, where she’ll also be talking about her new blog for DiscoverHorses.com. Melinda will be giving presentations over the weekend–she’s invited a few of the women featured in her book to stop by and share more of their stories from very different perspectives on the “Midlife Horse Adventure.” Discussion will open up for audience questions and encouragement (possibly in the form of chocolate!) in order to build and emphasize awareness of the wonderful the community we all share when we love and ride horses.

Kayla Starnes will be in the USTRC booth with her book TEAM ROPING 101. The public is invited to try roping a Hot Heels in the booth all three days, and  an instructor will be on hand to guide novices and answer questions.

Highlights of the three-day equine exposition and music festival include:

• More than 100 clinics, demonstrations and seminars in many disciplines in four venues led by expert presenters such as Craig Cameron and Gina Miles.

• Five major Coliseum shows starring 12-time Grammy-winner Emmylou Harris and five-time Grammy-winner Marty Stuart.

• A Texas-sized Xtreme Marketplace in the Amon G. Carter Building offering everything from tack, equine health products and ranch equipment to apparel, accessories, art, and home furnishings.

Kick off your summer with our TSB authors at the AmerEquine Festival of the Horse June 1-3 in Fort Worth, Texas! And don’t forget, THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES and TEAM ROPING 101 are both available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

Blog Bonus!!! Enter coupon code TSBBLOG15 at checkout and receive 15% off your entire order!!

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Author Melinda Folse shares adventure and insight with her trademark laugh-out-loud style in her new blog at DiscoverHorses.com.

Melinda Folse, author of the bestselling book THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES, is writing a new blog on DiscoverHorses.com!

As one among millions of women who once dreamed of horses and are now recapturing that dream, Melinda first let her own struggles to figure out the “horse thing” do the talking in her book. Now, in an exclusive blog for DiscoverHorses.com, Melinda shares more of her funny, touching, and insightful “Life With Horses” experiences.

“For all of us at any stage of discovering (or rediscovering!) horses,  DiscoverHorses.com is a fantastic one-stop resource for just about anything you may want to know, in or out of the saddle,” says Melinda. “What a delight it is to get to be part of  this community — and to have such a vibrant place to share the stories and insights I run across on the Midlife Horses trail!”

Tune in to Melinda’s regular contributions to the DiscoverHorses.com portal by clicking HERE.

And order your copy of THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES from the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE. BLOG BONUS!! Enter the coupon code TSBBLOG15 at checkout and get 15% off your entire order!

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Anyone who has been around horses long enough has, or has had, “horsey” friends. These are the buddies, the pals, the confidantes who “get” who you are when you’re mucking stalls, who laugh at the same four-legged antics, who commiserate over the same mystery lamenesses and training problems. They might be the same friends you hit happy hour with, or maybe not. Sometimes they’re people reserved for that time when you are most who you want to be…beside or on the back of a horse.

“Horses bring great friends into our lives,” says TSB Promotions Director Julie Beaulieu. “From the childhood friends who ran through the woods on horseback with us, to the teenage friends we met on the show circuit, we have ties to them through our horses and the times we have spent together. Once of my most memorable friendships was with a woman named Caroline. She brought her horse to board at a facility where I had my horse a few years ago. She showed me how to enjoy horses ‘later’ in life—Caroline was in her seventies when I met her. While she did not ride much, she generously shared her horse with many of the younger riders at the barn and reveled in the joy of horse ownership and watching others enjoy her horse as much as she did. She also supported all the riders at the barn by being at every event they went to and cheering them on. Always with a smile on her face and a kind word, she was a great example of how to keep active and happier with your horses and friends.”

“Horses have been the catalyst to some of my closest and dearest friendships,” says TSB Managing Director Martha Cook. “Dozens and dozens of names whiz through my mind as I think about the people I’ve met through horses in the last 40 years: Karen Lecuyer, my first ‘Morgan friend’…No two 13-year-olds ever loved their first horses more. Ann Bowes, an older, wiser friend who agreed to chaperone me as a kid down the trails mounted on a young mare both too green and too hot. Johanna Kozlowski, my best buddy at my first ‘horse job’…We rode a lot of miles and shoveled a whole lot of manure together. Les Parker, taskmaster and friend, who taught me a lot about what to do and what not to do with horses. Harriet Goodwin, fellow Morgan lover with whom I shared hundreds of miles of trail and an equal amount of conversation.

“And I have horses to thank for meeting my best friend and the love of my life,” adds Martha. “If I hadn’t struck up a riding friendship with horsewoman Betsy Cook in South Woodstock, Vermont, in 1988, I’d never have meet her son, now my husband of 20 years. For any young women out there looking for a man, I highly recommend finding a riding buddy with a son or two! They come trained to hold horses, drive trailers, and listen to conversations that solely revolve around breeds, gaits, and bloodlines!”

I, too, can think of many special friendships that budded and blossomed because of and around horses. Not one, but TWO bridesmaids in my wedding party were the result of horsey friendships that developed into something very special. It is amazing how hours grooming horses, scrubbing water buckets, cleaning tack, and riding the trails can nurture very deep, very true relationships!

“Horse Friends” can be found at any point in your life. It is never too late to rediscover old ones or find new ones. They are a great source of endless conversation, and common ground for people from all backgrounds, of all ages, for all time. Watch the women in this video from the bestselling book THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES talk about the ways horses have brought them friends, and always given them a place full of like-minded people to turn to, sometimes when they need them most. Think about how you can find horses, and the friendships they bring, a place in your life today, so you have a happier, more fulfilling tomorrow.

And check out the DUST OFF YOUR DREAMS RETREAT launched by Melinda Folse, author of THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES!

-Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

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