Green Goo joins Charter Sponsors

This week, we welcome Green Goo, a family of natural products from Sierra Sage Herbs, as a new Charter Sponsor. The women-owned, B Corporation will be contributing some excellent offerings to our Best Horse Practices swag bags.

Read more about the company here. 

Writes Betty Johnston of Sierra Sage:

Our Green Goo Animal First Aid really gained recognition with farm and horse owners where preventative and natural care was absolutely necessary to keep everyone healthy. The product is great for skin irritations, hot spots, wounds and areas where horses tend to itch and irritate more. And the best thing is; you don’t need to prevent them from licking it off because the product is so natural and clean you can eat it.

As a natural progression, offering natural body care products to our animals has become important now that we know the damaging effects of chemicals on our own health. Preventative medicine not only ensures a better quality of life, but also helps reduce the costs of expensive medical care over time. Often times the little wounds require a vet visit because there is no over-the-counter first aid available. Green Goo Animal First Aid is the first and most effective over-the-counter care on the market. Not only are you reducing vet visits, you can manage day-to-day symptom discomfort.

All BHP Summit attendees will receive Green Goo Animal First Aid as well as other goodies and a coupon for future online purchases.
Thanks, Green Goo!

Register for the Summit

Amy Skinner returns to Maine

Amy Skinner of Essence Horsemanship and Bar T Ranch will visit Maine for a weekend of private and semi-private lessons October 21-22.

The accomplished horsewoman teaches English and Western. Her schedule for the October weekend is booked solid, but you can still audit.

The event takes place at Goldenwinds Farm in Norridgewock, Maine.

  • Lessons start at approximately 8 am and go until 6 pm.
  • Auditors are welcome at $25 per day.

The weekend event will take place in Goldenwinds’ indoor arena, a 60’ x 120’ space as well as in nearby outdoor spaces. For more information and directions, contact Debbie Hight at (207) 431-0644 or dhight at tds dot net.

Skinner has studied at the Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Spain, with Buck Brannaman, Leslie Desmond, Brent Graef, and many others. Additionally, she is an accomplished guest columnist for NickerNews and BestHorsePractices. Read her articles here.

For more information,

Juliana Zunde to offer tutelage in Durango

Juliana Zunde, an accomplished rider, frequent guest columnist, and Best Horse Practices Summit special guest, will offer clinic lessons in Durango, October 5-7, just before the BHP Summit. Riders registered for the Summit will get HALF OFF her rates.

Register for the Summit

Zunde writes:

I was born in Germany and started riding when I was 8 years old. At 14, I passed the German riding test in order to compete at the equivalent of our A shows. This test consisted of a 1.10m jumping course, a second level dressage test, a written and oral test. I showed in Germany up to the 1.30 jumper classes. I came to the USA in 1981 and worked for several people as a groom and rider before starting my own business. I have worked every aspect of the US Hunter and Jumper business ever since.

I have taught riders from learning to put the foot in the stirrup iron, to top levels of Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation classes. I have also competed in the 1.50 Division in the jumper ring on a thoroughbred that I had rescued from the killers. I am a USHJA approved Trainer, and also have a small “r” judging license for Hunters and Hunt Seat Equitation.

My training philosophy is summed up in the 10 Points of Track-Momentum-Balance. Read more about that here.  I combine years of experience in classical dressage along with my knowledge of natural horsemanship to help you have a cohesive relationship with your horse and better communication regardless of your discipline.

Rates: $100 per person for one hour private or semi-private lesson.

$120 per person for 4-6 people in a two-hour session.

Half price for those registered for the Summit.

For more information and to book time with Zunde, please call Catherine Milton at 314-323-8305.

Best Horse Practices Summit Single Day Special

Are you local and can only get away for one Summit day?

Aren’t sure if you can attend for the entire, 2.5 day horse conference?

For a limited time, the Summit is available to you for single day registration.

Space is limited.

Offer ends October 1.

For $200, you can now register for Monday OR Tuesday.

Register here for single day, Monday or Tuesday

OR

Register here for the entire, 2.5 day Summit

You will receive:

  • All access to early morning electives
  • All access to academic presentations at the Strater Theater
  • All access to arena presentations at the LaPlata Fairgrounds.
  • Special Redmond Rock gift bag
  • Complimentary Darn Tough socks
  • Summit swag bag
  • Scrumptious Lunch and dinner provided by the Strater Hotel.

Go to Summit home page

Go to Summit Index page

Register here for single day, Monday or Tuesday

Thanks, Patagonia. Move over, Carhartt

You could make the argument that those of us working outside and with animals have greater connections with those animals and the land than those who simply play outside (i.e., outdoor recreationalists). We horse owners, therefore, might well be happy consumers of clothing made by a company prioritizing good treatment of land and animals (an idea that the industry sometimes calls ‘ethical clothing’). We might also welcome a fresh alternative to the same-ol’, same-ol’ from century-old clothing companies like Dickies, Wrangler, and Carhartt.

All of which is one way of saying:

Thank You, Patagonia!

and

Move over, Carhartt!

Earlier this month, Patagonia unveiled its WorkWear line. The clothing is made with a blend of Iron Forge hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. In tests, the fabric was 25 percent tougher than the cotton duck canvas in Carhartt jackets. Yet it’s deceivingly soft and doesn’t require that “Forgive me while I walk around in a cardboard box” break-in period.

WorkWear, like all Patagonia products, comes with researchable background information on how its production impacted the planet and the people who made it. Some say the company’s Footprint Chronicles are leading the entire industry to be more sustainable, accountable, and transparent.

We visited with Patagonia folks earlier this year to learn about the new line, its origins, and what the California company – more often associated with rock climbers and surfers – has planned for outfitting our community:

  • “Iron Forge” is a reference to the smithing done by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his rock climbing comrades back when his fledgling company was literally forging climbing equipment in a tin shed (now called the “Tin Shed”) in Ventura, California.
  • Designing and crafting work clothes isn’t a big leap from a standards or cultural perspective at Patagonia, said business unit director Ed Auman, “this is not ‘work inspired. It’s been in our DNA.”

Thankfully, the women’s WorkWear line is not simply the men’s version recut with wider hips and added pink buttons.

The Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Barn Coat is tough, warm, and more feminine than typical barn coats. It comes in Coriander Brown, a warm, yellow-brown with cream stitching and is lined with Thermogreen insulation and silky, deep orange polyester. There are five pockets, including an inside, zipped chest pocket for valuables.

My favorite features:

  • Oversized pull on the zipper makes it easy to zip up and down with cold fingers and/or gloves
  • Side cinch straps with buckles give it a feminine silhouette and are useful for custom fitting
  • Slick lining makes layering easy
  • Hemp blend sheds hay, shavings, etc.
  • Hem length is not too short that drafts come up your backside, not too long to for riding, mucking stalls, shoveling, etc. Falls at the hip.
  • Two distinct snap closures at the sleeve mean you can pull sleeves over or off your wrist depending on your needs (using a hand tool or covering your wrists for warmth).

Coming to the Best Horse Practices Summit? You’ll see our presenters and ambassadors outfitted with these WorkWear items:

Women’s Iron Forge Hemp Barn Coats

Men’s and Women’s Farrier Shirts

Men’s Barn Coats

Men’s Ranch Jackets

Read more about Patagonia’s outfitting the Best Horse Practices Summit outfitting here.

Best Horse Practices Summit Schedule is Here!

The Best Horse Practices Summit Schedule:

(Please be patient as this schedule is subject to minor changes. Details and links coming soon.)

Register here

Sunday, October 8, 4-9 pm:

Welcome Reception and Sign In

Join us at the historic Strater Hotel to sign in and pick up your welcome bag. Mix and mingle with other registrants and BHPS presenters for drinks (cash bar) and appetizers in the Strater’s Pullman Room.

Food and beverages served from 5-7 pm.

At this time, you will sign up for Summit electives: Rider Fitness session (Monday am), Healthy Rider Brain presentation (Monday am), the Horse Brain dissection (Tuesday am), and the field trip to view the model wild horse herd in Disappointment Valley (Wednesday, all day).

Monday, October 9:

The Summit will be held at the Strater Hotel and nearby fairgrounds

Morning Academic presentations at the historic Strater Hotel

7-8 am Elective – Rider Fitness with David Stickler in the Pullman Room. Come ready to move and the only session for which jeans and boots is not appropriate attire (sweats are best). Limit to 60.

7-8 am. Elective – Healthy Rider Brain talk with Dr. Steve Peters in the Strater Theater.

8:30 -9:15 am – Keynote Address with Wendy Williams, “Can Horses Read? It depends on what you mean” a multi-media presentation by NY Times best-selling author.

9:30-11 am – Dr. Steve Peters and Martin Black present Evidence Based Horsemanship, a multi-media presentation that delves into neuroanatomy and neurochemistry with narrated video of practical experiences.

Dr. Sheryl King

11:15 – 12:30 – Dr. Sheryl King – “Choices and Consequences: How even simple management decisions impact horse behavior and health,” a smart, practical guide to identifying right’s and wrong’s in equine management.

Lunch break

Trade Show open

Presenters available for visiting

12:30 – 1:30 pm – Grab your specially prepared, gourmet boxed lunch provided by the Strater Hotel and mosey to the LaPlata Fairgrounds pavilion.

Afternoon Arena Presentations

LaPlata County Fairground Pavilion

2 – 3:30 pm – Jim Thomas – “Molding Your Horse: How Horsemen are Master Potters” Demonstration with riders, Part I.

4 – 5:30 – Warwick Schiller – “How we can create adjustable, willing, relaxed and responsive horses without force” Demonstration with riders, Part I

We Head Back to the Strater!

Strater Hotel Theater

Bryan Neubert

6-9 pm – Dorrance Legacy Dinner. Fabulous Strater Hotel meal followed by an evening with Randy Rieman and Bryan Neubert as they honor and recall the tutelage of Bill and Tom Dorrance, brothers who are widely considered forefathers of good horsemanship today. Rieman and Neubert worked extensively with the Dorrances and their experiences left indelible marks on their lives and horse work.

Tuesday, October 10

Morning Academic presentations at the historic Strater Hotel

Strater Theater

7-8 am Elective: Horse Brain dissection with Dr. Steve Peters. An incredibly unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a horse’s brain.

8:30 -10 am – Dr. Robert Bowker, “The Horse’s Foot: Gateway to the Entire Horse” Bowker will explain how an intimate understanding of the horse’s hoof will, in turn, lead to more appropriate handling and rehabilitation of the whole horse.

10:30- noon – Dr. Gerd Heuschmann – Biomechanics in riding disciplines, cultures and training principles. An eye-opening, multi-media presentation.

Lunch break

12:30 – 1:30 – Grab your specially prepared, gourmet boxed lunch provided by the Strater Hotel and mosey to the LaPlata Fairgrounds pavilion.

Trade Show open

LaPlata Country Fairgrounds

Presenters available for visiting

Afternoon Arena Presentations

LaPlata Fairground Pavilion

1 – 230 – Warwick Schiller, “How we can create adjustable, willing, relaxed and responsive horses without force” Demonstration with riders, Part II

3-430 – Jim Thomas– “Molding Your Horse: How Horsemen are Master Potters” Demonstration with riders, Part II

We Head Back to the Strater!

6-9 pm, Strater Hotel Theater. Farewell Reception

We remember our time together, celebrate highlights, and visit for the last time. With a special meal by the Strater Hotel staff and closing messages from the director and presenters.

Trade Show open

Presenters available for visiting and autographs.

Wednesday

Spring Creek Basin wild horse. Photo by TJ Holmes

Elective Field Trip to Disappointment Valley, hosted by mustang advocate TJ Holmes.

8 am, Meeting in Durango Transit Center parking lot, 250 W 8th St.

Details to follow.

Register here

Summit ‘family’ map growing

Here’s a look at where folks will be coming from when they travel to the Best Horse Practices Summit, in Durango, in October. They hail from 22 states and three Canadian provinces – what an impressive geographical array of traveling horse riders and owners! Register now

 

Summit Riders Wanted

Best Horse Practices Summit presenters Warwick Schiller and Jim Thomas are looking for a few good riders with issues. Would you like to ride at the Summit?

If you fit our criteria, you could ride with Schiller or Thomas at the LaPlata Fairgrounds in Durango, Colorado, October 9 and 10. It’s free to riders who have signed up for the Summit! If you are an intermediate or accomplished rider and would like to participate, contact us here.

The ideal candidate can easily walk, trot, and canter and is someone who has brought this horse to arenas and public settings prior to the Summit – but may have a particular issue or challenge.

“It might be that they have a new horse, that’s just a ball of energy underneath them and maybe that rider has been used to another, more easy-going horse,” said Thomas.

Here’s a sneak peak of what their presentations will involve:

Warwick Schiller:

Schiller believes horses must be mentally balanced in order to become physically balanced. When a horse is mentally balanced, his body can become pliable for the rider to direct. But when there is interference, the horse becomes unable to focus on the rider’s request and it will offer resistance.

Schiller offers an approach that puts the horse first and emphasizes the need for a relaxed and willing equine partner.

Jim Thomas:

Picture the “perfect” horse and rider pair. They work together seamlessly. The horse is supple, the rider is providing subtle cues with light hands, and they as if they’re performing choreography to inaudible music. How does that compare to the way you and your horse work together?

If you are an intermediate or accomplished rider and would like to participate, contact us here.

Riders must have a negative Coggins and a recent health certificate. Stock pens are available for overnight stays at the fairgrounds. Cost is $11 per night. For more information, contact Angela Fountain at Angela.fountain at co.laplata.us or at 970 382 6465.

Whoa Podcast to Cover the Summit

We’re thrilled to announce that The Whoa Podcast, an informative online platform run by John Harrer and his wife, Ranae, will be traveling to Durango to cover the entire Best Horse Practices Summit in October.

Harrer interviewed Maddy Butcher and Dr. Steve Peters about it here. He’s also visited with BHPS presenters Warwick Schiller, Martin Black, and will soon air an interview with wild horse advocate TJ Holmes, who will host an elective BHPS field trip on October 11 (details to follow).

Harrer has this to say about his BHPS coverage:

Great horsemen gained their experience from riding many horses.  As recreational riders, we don’t have this opportunity.  The goal of our weekly podcast is to inform and entertain horse owners.  We are constantly looking for reliable information that helps owners build a better relationship with their horse. 

Many of today’s horse owners struggle with their horsemanship and are looking for solid answers.  We see the Summit’s unique format of lecture sessions blended with arena sessions as a great way to learn, then “put into practice.”And, it’s all mixed with the wonderful atmosphere of Durango and a bit of fun like the Celebrating the Dorrance Legacy evening.

Ranae and I are very excited to be covering the Best Horse Practices Summit for The Whoa Podcast about Horses and Horsemanship.  We look to come away from the Summit with well-founded, practical tools we can immediately use on our horses and share with our Whoa Podcast audience.

Thanks, John! See you in October.

Amy Skinner on Freeloading, II

Amy Skinner

Editor’s Note: Amy Skinner is a regular guest columnist and has been a horse gal since age six. She works with owner/operator Jim Thomas as a trainer at Bar T Horsemanship where she rides and teaches English and Western. She also maintains Essence Horsemanship. Skinner has studied at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Spain, with Buck Brannaman, Leslie Desmond, Brent Graef, and many others.
Meet Skinner and Thomas at the Best Horse Practices Summit!

Here, Skinner shares some notes on horses and riders. Read Part I of Freeloading

Skinner writes:

When people bring me a horse and go right to name calling right away, my heart sinks. I regularly hear people regularly call their horses:

  • lazy
  • stubborn
  • uncoordinated/clumsy
  • unathletic
  • moody

When I hear these things, though, what I really hear is that rider’s own personality flaws.  They may be telling me that:

  • they are ignorant to the horse’s real nature
  • they tend to humanize their horse
  • or, that their ego gets in the way of finding the best ways to work with their horse.

I like to give riders the benefit of the doubt and consider that they are on a journey of learning. They are frustrated because the horse won’t cooperate in some way and they don’t understand why and don’t have the tools to work through the problem. Consequently, they resort to name calling.

Folks hear me talk about ego, conflict, and nod in agreement, as if those faults applied to other riders, not them. But we all struggle with our egos.

For example: My ego makes me crave recognition for my work, and I have to be careful that I don’t let it get in the way. I don’t want to satisfy my ego at the expense of the horse, by pushing it in a direction they’re not ready for just to look like a better trainer.

I have to be careful not to attach my self-worth to a student or feel that their riding ability is a reflection of my own.

We all have our struggles. Having an ego isn’t a bad thing, but we need to be aware of it so that it doesn’t interfere in our horsemanship.

Let’s assume that if you’re reading this article, you’re seeking real horsemanship and not wanting to achieve “success” at the horse’s expense.  If we really want to figure out why we run into problems with our horses, we need to change the labels we put on them and maybe change the habit of labeling altogether.

  • ‘Lazy’ could really mean the horse is unresponsive.
  • A ‘stubborn’ horse could just be confused.
  • A ‘clumsy’ horse is off balance.
  • A ‘moody’ horse could be frustrated.

When we consider these behaviors, we first need to look at ourselves.  If the horse is unresponsive, how have we taught him to ignore our cues and messages?  How can we help him understand that our aids have meaning? How can we nurture when and how he responds to them?

Often, the rider doesn’t realize her hands and legs create so much noise for the horse. Then, when they really want their leg to mean something, the horse has tuned it out, the same way that we do at a restaurant with background chatter.

Or, the horse could have been dulled down by other riders. Now, you need to help him understand that what you ask has meaning, and that you’d like him to respond to lighter cues.

Either way, it’s human error.  It’s our responsibility to make things clear and easy for the horse to grasp so he doesn’t get frustrated or tuned out.  It’s our responsibility to help him be balanced.

Horses want to get along.  They want nothing more than to find peace and know what their role in our lives is.  If we want to be fair, decent horsemen and women, then we need to drop the name-calling and start looking at ourselves.

Read Part I of Freeloading

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