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Podcasts

Novemeber 2nd, 2018

Herd and Herd Dynamics | Ride Every Stride 078

You’ve probably heard me say this before, “Horses aren’t people.” You may have also rolled your eyes at me, because it seems obvious. Doesn’t it? Yet you’d be surprised how often people misinterpret horse behavior as being the same as human behavior, with the same emotions and causes involved. But the truth of the matter is different. Horses are a different species, with different instincts and social hierarchies. This episode goes in depth into the herd dynamic, and most importantly, where you fit into that dynamic. Spoiler alert, your position is to be the leader.. 

 

Key Takeaways

 

If I could leave you with one clear message about herd dynamics it would be to observe your horses objectively. How can you be the leader of an organization you don’t know anything about? We have to watch our horses and see how they interact. Sure, a calf may be nudging against their mother because there is a mother-offspring bond, or the calf could have a spur on its neck. Humans can be very selfish in our love. However, horses are different—they care more about the survival of their species, something that drastically sets them apart from the human mindset in most cases.

If you are going to be leading more than one horse, you need to figure out where all of the horses sit in your herd as well—they can’t all be equal. Figuring this out will help you communicate with them better while using body language and pressure they already understand. You have to learn to emulate their behavior in order to do this.

And the humanship aspect of all this? Just know and respect those in our lives for who they really are, don’t twist your perception and assumptions about a person. When we know that and accept our role for what that is, and we can earn that role of respect with them as their leader – that makes the working relationship with our horse that much better.

 

We also want to give a big thanks to Equi-racks who’ve been helping us out with the podcast and we’ve been using all their products on our new facilities on the ranch.

 

****Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

October 26th, 2018

Just Letting Go | RES 077

Don’t know what you can do unless you let go of comfort zone. It’s easy to hold onto what we know and stay in one spot, but unless you branch out, you’ll never know what is just beyond our reach. So there a lot of things that can hold us back in both our humanship and horsemanship. Most of these are in our mind—like a stake in the ground that keeps an elephant from running off from a circus. They could easily tug it free, but they’ve been conditioned since birth to believe that can’t yank that thing out of the ground. So we will be talking about how to not be that elephant, and how we can let go and let our horses grow with us. 

 

Key Takeaways

 

So how do you ride every stride if you let go of the reins? Well, I like to look at the reins as a last resort steering wheel. There are so many other communications to learn between you and your horse, your body, voice, and weight. And 9 times out of 10 if you do let go, your horse isn’t going to bolt. Thinking your horse is a ticking time bomb is detrimental to your growth and the horse’s too.

More often than not, what we are holding our horses back from doing is just based on our own fears. Getting over that fear can come in steps, but one of the key tickets to letting go is visualizing what you want to happen. Like a batter see’s hitting a ball, let your imagination go first and let your body follow through.

Something I like to say about both us and our horses is that we need to be willfully guided. But to be guided, we have to be moving first. After all, how are you going to ride every stride if you’re not riding! Just take a step, even if it’s in the wrong direction. You have to be moving in order to guide the horse and be guided by what the horse makes you feel.

 

We also want to give a big thanks to Equi-racks who’ve been helping us out with the podcast and we’ve been using all their products on our new facilities on the ranch.

 

****Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

September 28th, 2018

Organization and Horsemanship | RES 076

This episode wrangles with a topic brought up on Facebook by a great friend of mine, Steve Stevens up in North Texas. Now Steve asked over Facebook if his followers thought that organization played a role in their horsemanship. The way they hang up bridles and saddles and lead ropes, could that at all impact their horsemanship. A lot of people said no. They drag their ropes, leave stuff on the ground till the next day, and so on and so forth. But professionals chimed in and said that this kind of organization was a key component of their horsemanship. I agree with this. Organization can definitely play a role in how you approach your horsemanship, and this episode dives right into why that is.  

 

Key Takeaways

 

So what’s the connection between how you hang your tack and your horsemanship? For one, I use organization as a teaching tool. When I know exactly where everything is in my barn, I can say ‘Hey Laura, go grab me a Snaffle bit – the second one on the left.” Now Laura may not know what a snaffle bit is, but because my organization is tight I can still lead her right to that bit and she can start learning more about it.

One of the main benefits of organizing tack is the overflow into our thoughts—when we organize our gear we are also organizing what we’re thinking about. I believe everyone should have a plan for their horse each day, but not be attached to that plan. Horses can change what you need to do in a heartbeat, as well as what you need. Organizing your gear can help you preemptively plan for diversions in your day and help keep an even flow when plans change on the fly.

Of course, if you are still having a blast with your tack looking like a tornado organized it—don’t feel like you have to change just because I told you to! Everyone’s path through horsemanship is different. As long as your organization method keeps you motivated to ride and lets you spend more time with your horse, I’m all on board.

 

We also want to give a big thanks to Equi-racks who’ve been helping us out with the podcast and we’ve been using all their products on our new facilities on the ranch.

 

****Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

September 21st, 2018

3 Obstacles to Horsemanship and Humanship | RES 075

As you all know, we love getting listener questions. By far the most common questions we get revolve around confidence, anxiety, and a slew of other mental barriers that get in the way of our horsemanship. Everyone experiences these kinds of roadblocks, even me. At every clinic I’m at I tell folks the only difference between them and me is that I’ve had more practice, I’ve just screwed up more than them. And that’s it. Everyone at times feels like they aren’t normal—like they aren’t failing by doing X or Y. But the truth is that’s completely natural, we are all trying to figure this out together, although a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. But that’s the focus of this episode—the three roadblocks between you and your horsemanship and humanship..

 

Key Takeaways

 

Our Past: often times we let what’s happened to us completely dictate what we do in the here and now. People get sucked into dwelling on their past, and it puts a damper on the present. But you shouldn’t do that—you should reflect on the past to learn, not to mope. Especially with our horses. Plenty of people have told me, “Ah well my old horse did this” or “So-and-so’s horse did this to me.” But that was a different horse. Don’t let your baggage from the past interfere with a new horse, it’s a different animal!

 

Judgement from Others: we have to learn to know when to take advice and when to reject it. We shouldn’t do something, buy this saddle or this horse just because we are afraid of what people will think of us if we don’t. For example, a horse very near and dear to my heart passed away tragically one day. I considered that horse one of my best friends—and immediately people told me what I should do about it. Oh, bury him in a pretty place—or move on Van, just go get another horse and get back on that saddle. No one understands my experience with that horse, I couldn’t let their judgement of my grieving process get in the way of what I needed to experience. Don’t let other’s judgement become a wall you are afraid to pass.

 

Restricting our Beliefs: what I mean by this is that you shouldn’t be afraid to believe in yourself. To believe in your dreams, goals, and success. If you limit yourself to what others tell you you can and can’t accomplish or focus too much on the obstacles, you will draw those negative things to you. But if you believe in the unlimited you’ll find that every stride of the journey comes with its own success and beauty, and the more you appreciate those moments in the here and now, the more that dream of yours will peer over the horizon at you.

 

We also want to give a big thanks to Equi-racks who’ve been helping us out with the podcast and we’ve been using all their products on our new facilities on the ranch.

 

****Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

September 14th, 2018

Oh Snap! | RES 074

If you’ve been around a while you know I love it when we get listener questions in. Recently, I got a few of the same question back to back—which I how I know it’s time to talk about it on the show. The question that’s been coming in is “Do you use snaps on reins?” What they mean is the small metal snap loops to attach the reins to a bit. The short answer to their question is this: no. The main reason for this is that I’m not a fan of metal on metal contact on anything having to do with equipment on horses. The reason for this is that it is distracting, the snap sliding over the bit is a harsh point of contact. I get why some people use snaps—it makes it easier to swap out reins. But the barrier of metal on metal is something that I find gets in the way of communicating what you want to the horse.

 

Key Takeaways

 

So what are some alternatives? Many people use nylon reins. These can come in all sorts of colors to match the rest of your equipment, and can be looped right on the bit. The thing about nylon is that it doesn’t have any give at all to it. There isn’t any elasticity there.

 

Leather is by far my preferred rein type. The water loop on the reins attaches directly to the bit, and it has just a little bit of stretch to it. I find that it makes for a slower, smoother way of communicating my thoughts through the reins to the horse. It just feels right to me, a little more natural and stylish in my opinion as well.

 

It’s of my mind that you want to keep safety and comfort for the horse at the forefront of your thoughts when thinking about materials you’re using to ride. For example, I see some people using nylon off billets to cinch their rigging. But as we said before, nylon has no give. If you don’t use any type of material that has give in it on your cinches, then you can make it harder for your horse’s lungs to expand and breathe. That’s the opposite of what we want to do.

 

If you’re interested in more ideas and alternatives go stop by a local riding competition. Take a peek at other people’s tack, specifically riders and competitors that are highly successful. They do things a certain way and use certain materials for a reason.

 

I want to give a very heartfelt shout out to SnodGrass Equipment—I had my arena drag stolen a while back and not being able to keep my arenas even and fluffy was driving me crazy. I emailed Randy Snodgrass, telling him how bummed out I was, and Randy took care of me—he just sent me another one. Talk about commitment to your customers there. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Randy’s kindness and the quality of SnodGrass Equipment’s wares.

 

We also want to give a big thanks to Equi-racks who’ve been helping us out with the podcast and we’ve been using all their products on our new facilities on the ranch.

 

****Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

September 7th, 2018

The Practice of Being Positive | RES 073

It’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thinking, even if it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. We might complain about the weather, it being too hot or too cold. We might say, “Well my mare is in heat right now and you know how that goes.” We find it so easy to fall into negative thinking, and I think a lot of it has to do with the media we take in. There’s always bad news in the paper and people arguing online, over the radio, and on T.V. Being positive is a practice, one where you take a negative and see the bright side of it. When we do that we’re able to visualize a better road forward for ourselves and our horses.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Positivity is ultimately a conscious choice we have to make. It may come easier to some than others, but all of us have to work at it in order to find the positive in every situation. Not just in life, but directly with our horses as well.

 

When our horses do something we don’t want, like buck or turn the wrong way or won’t load on the trailer—it’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative side of the situation. But if you take a moment and step back, you can see that both you and the horse are learning. Learning what triggers the horse to buck, and the horse is on its way to learning that bucking is a waste of energy—it will be easier in the long run for them not to.

 

Another key is that our thoughts control our actions. I like to do an exercise at my clinics where I give all the riders a task, and then bring in a large cone to the arena without saying anything. Riders will start gravitating towards it without knowing why. Even after I tell them to leave the cone alone riders will still drift to it—it’s occupying so much of their mind that their body is telling the horse to wander that way. Use your thoughts to focus on the positive, and your body and actions will follow.

 

Committing to better thoughts can be difficult. We can’t forget about all the bad things that have happened to us, but we can choose to acknowledge that we’ve grown from them and move forward. We can choose to learn how to cope and be happy. And if you can’t find a way to think positive all the time, learn to not think negatively. Let other things occupy your mind and learn to accept that things are perfect for now—that everything in this particular stride is okay, and just a step on a journey to something better. 

 

Let us know how you choose to stay positive over on our Facebook page.

 

Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

August 31st, 2018

Dreaming of Horses | RES 072

The coming episodes are going to be tackling a trend I’ve seen lately from our listener questions and the clinics I’ve been hosting–and it has to do with the mental side of horsemanship. Often times our brain gets in the way of our ride more than the horse does. And one of the key parts of our brain to exercise is our imagination. When Laura first came to me she told me that she rode horses as a kid but fell out of it later on in life. She told me she was dreaming of riding horses, and that dream was incredibly important. We’re going to talk about those dreams and the imagination to make them happen.

 

Key Takeaways

 

We’ve all been caught in daydreams before—imagining riding down a beach, through pasture, or by a herd of mooing cows. Often times this can be seen as unproductive or a waste of time. We’re adults, right? We live in reality. But the only way to change that reality, move forward and grow, is to dream and then take action on those dreams.

 

As kids our imagination can get us in trouble. We might climb a tree and jump on a cow’s back just to see what happens. But there’s nothing wrong with that in a certain sense—visualizing new things, trying them out, and even when failing—learning how to grow and move forward. I think we all still need to dream like kids dream—big and bold. We can let our experience as adults help out with the logistics of that dream, but you have to imagine it first.

 

My grandma used to say “Yard by yard life is hard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch.” Take small steps to your dreams, because often times we have to overcome obstacles to get there. It takes a lot of time and effort, but taking it one step at a time makes the journey much easier and enjoyable.

Worrying about how you’ll get to your dream is creating obstacles that don’t exist yet. Worry about the why, then just take a step. The how is going to change all the time.

 

Let us know what your dream is over on our Facebook page—and just as important, what you’re gonna do to take a step towards it. Remember—dream big and dream like a kid.

 

***Also, if you’re a fan of the show please take time to head over and leave us an Itunes Review to give Laura and myself a glimpse of how we’ve helped you or what we could do better to help you ride every stride.

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

August 24th, 2018

The It Factor | RES 071

As you should know, we love getting listener questions and feedback on the show. This episode is centered around one of those questions, and it has to do with the “It” factor—meaning greatness. Can greatness in our horses be taught, or do they have to be born with it? I find this to be a fascinating question that clearly straddles the overlap between horsemanship and humanship.

 

Key Takeaways

 

 

First, let’s get my definition of a great horse that has the “It” factor. There are many aspects to what makes a great horse, I don’t think it’s just one thing.

 

Athleticism is important, because the things we tend to ask of our horses require them to be strong and swift. Eye appeal is important too, a horse that easily displays that strength and athleticism and stirs that thing inside you called beauty.

 

The biggest part of greatness in my opinion is trainability. If you can’t train your horse, they won’t do a single thing with that greatness. You can’t teach this quality to your horse—all you can do is take what is already there and maximize their potential for success.

 

So, how do we identify greatness? In short, it’s up to you to see it in a horse. I was once told that a horse across the way was an outlaw, had hurt multiple people, and was just overall nasty. In spending time with that horse, and eventually working with him, I found that the horse just didn’t have any confidence. He’d been reprimanded so much for the tiniest mistakes that I could feel it while working him. In building up his confidence, that greatness he already had begun to show.

 

Do more than trust your first instinct when looking for greatness. A beautiful, strong horse may not have all the brains there it needs to use that strength. A horse that doesn’t catch your eye as much may be the most adaptable, trainable horse on the planet. Take time to get to know these animals and see how you can polish their natural abilities to make them great in their own way.

 

 

Links

 

GreatOakEquine.com

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

August 17th, 2018

The Controlled Wreck | RES 070

This week we are talking about setting your horse up for success, but really offering them a decision to make and being prepared for the result—be it what we wanted or not. I’m talking about the Controlled Wreck. This is a training tool that works a bit like a pop quiz for your horse, and often times the rider and trainer too. The Controlled Wreck highlights what to do when you get a “wrong answer” from your horse and how to correct them.

 

Key Takeaways

 

 

An example of a Controlled Wreck would be to walk your horse around in a circle over and over again, stopping each time at the same spot. Then, on the next circle, keep walking past that spot and see how the horse reacts. Do they try and stop again out of anticipation, or do they keep moving?

 

You have to be extra prepared when seated on the horse as well. In case anything goes wrong you need to know how to regain control or take away their ability to buck. And along these lines, we need to know not have to telegraph what we are trying to test our horse. You need to be thinking “go right” without your body following through.

 

The preparation comes in when something does go wrong. You have to be able to guide the situation from being negative, to positive. Things can escalate quickly. People often lost it when their horse goes from walking to bucking, but they don’t when they go from a walk to a trot—even though that is still showing you’re not in control. Make sure you correct the smallest behaviors before things get out of your control.

 

Like always, make sure you know what you’re asking of your horse. Giving a pop quiz without knowing the answer is a recipe for disaster. And when your horse passes the Controlled Wreck remember—where we release is what we teach.

 

 

Links

GreatOakEquine.com

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

August 13th, 2018

The Older Horse | RES 069

Horses and humans have a lot in common. For instance, aging. Just like we get old, slow down, have back pain, dietary problems, and need to adjust to keep our minds and bodies active—horses do too. They have a specific set of needs and issues that may arise as they enter old age, and we’ll be covering exactly when, why, and what to do when our horses start getting up in years. They become members of our families and require all the attention and care we would give ourselves.

 

Key Takeaways

Age can be a relative term. A horse might be called “old” even if they are 5-6 but are competing in high-intensity competitions. But as some veterinarians have told me you can start thinking about a horse as “older” around the age of 12. This is when stresses can add up and start to lead to issues like arthritis or other dietary and joint issue.

Activity plays a huge key in a horse’s older years. Especially if they have been high performing and very active their whole lives. Retiring them full stop into a pasture full of grass is a surefire way to have their mental and physical health decline. In a sense, horses either use it or lose it.

Still, we have to be cautious and attentive as we ride our older horses. Pay attention to their soreness. Does it last for days after a ride? They may need a supplement or an easier riding regiment to help their joints and muscles recover.

It is still perfectly fine to ride your older horses though. The activity helps keep their minds busy as well, you don’t want them to just see the farm and pasture every day for the rest of their lives.

 

I’d like to give a shout out to my horse Scooter—who I lovingly say I bought on sight, even though it was with a bit of regret and apprehension at the time. He has been integral through my journey in horsemanship and even Laura’s, definitely a horse that only comes around once in a lifetime. He’s made it on up in years but is still riding every stride like it’s his first.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

August 3rd, 2018

Leader vs. Dictator Approach | RES 068

Welcome back to Ride Every Stride—Laura and I know that it has been a while since we stepped behind the microphone, but we’re glad to be back and at it. We’re coming back on this episode to talk about something that straddles the line between horsemanship and humanship. Are you a leader or an authority figure? What’s the difference? Well, for starters, we’ve all had a boss or two that seems to be more of a dictator than a leader. Sure, they give instructions and force you to carry them out—but the difference between a leader and this bad boss is in the why of why you, or your horse, are carrying out these orders.

 

 

Key Takeaways

 

I see some people raising their children in a way that they are more of their friend than a parent. The parent worries about being “liked” by their kids more than anything else. Well, when it comes time to put their foot down there is often resistance. The same goes for our horses. In being a leader we can’t just be a friend, we have to set our horses up for success and help them make the right decisions in our relationships with them.

Now the other extreme is the dictator approach. This is when we don’t care if the horse understands why it needs to perform an action. We just care about the result. But when we take this dictator approach the horse still performs differently—mainly out of fear or anxiety. And we don’t want that at all.

What we want to do is keep our promises to our horses. Let them know that if they do X, you’re going to ask them to do Y again. And setting them up so that doing Y is the easy thing helps them learn this. Being consistent and keeping that promise to the horse helps them feel secure—and when they feel secure, there isn’t any room left for them to be anxious.

Again, all of this requires us to make the active choice to be a leader. Or at least to make the choice to learn how to be a better leader. And as time goes on, our communication with the horse can become more subtle and understood.

Consistency and persistence is much more effective than dominance. That’s the key take away. And the results of that are commitment, trustworthiness, security, and confidence. The main ingredients for a leader on any stage, saddle, or workplace.

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

May, 5th 2018

Before You Do, You First Must Try | RES 067

There comes a point in everyone’s life where they hit setbacks. Obstacles enter our path and sometimes they are easy to get around, and sometimes that can bring our lives to a halt. Likewise, some people seem to deal with obstacles better than others—somehow staying positive no matter the trauma or odds that stand against them.

 

I was moved recently by a video I watched of Mandy Harvey – a contestant on America’s Got Talent. She lost all of her hearing when she was 18 years old. But being deaf wasn’t enough to stop her from reaching for her dreams. And in the video she sings beautifully, using her feet to sense vibrations through the stage to keep the beat.  So this brings me to the point of this episode, which is to try. Before you can do anything, even if it seems impossible, you first have to try, and try hard.

 

 

Key Takeaways

 

You can expect to succeed right off the bat. That’s why, especially in the face of great difficulty, you have to reward yourself for trying. You have to habitually put in effort to keep trying, to keep opening up in order to see any improvement. Just don’t settle for it. Your performance can be perfect for now, but don’t take your eyes off the horizon.

 

9 times out of 10 the biggest obstacle to our own success rests right between our ears—it’s ourselves. So I encourage everyone to take a good, long look at your goals. At the dreams that seem impossible, and then muster up the guts to go for them with everything you have. 

 

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

 

 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

April, 27th 2018

Respecting the Horse Profession | RES 066

97% of people involved with horses as of today are involved with them as a hobby. That means only 3% make their sole living off horsemanship. It’s something I wanted to touch on as I get asked all the time about recommendations for good trainers, or how to become a trainer. It often takes a lot longer to become a trainer than most aspiring professionals think—it’s not something you just go to school for, pass a test, and then start making a professional living. However, if you’ve ever accepted money for interacting with horses, or giving advice, then you are technically a professional. We’ll be keeping that in mind as we discuss the effort, time, and skill that goes into being a reputable horse professional.Getting your horse back from a trainer, or bringing a new horse home for the first time is an incredibly important transition. If you listened to episode 064 you heard Laura and myself talk about bonding with your horse. This episode touches on very practical applications of that bonding. There are ways to set your horse up for success by being attentive during the training and afterwards as well.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Setting boundaries is very important when it comes to practicing your horsemanship professionally. It’s real easy to take a call on a Sunday afternoon when you’re with your family and get whisked away to someone’s aid. But professionals, in any field, set working hours for themselves. Don’t be afraid to stick to those hours—and respect the time and availability of those you work with.

 

Personal time is important. I got to a point years ago where I realized I was simply providing for my family—I wasn’t actually present with them and enjoying any time with them. I was so set on pleasing my clients and convinced I had to make that priority number one, and that wasn’t the lesson I wanted to teach my kids. Make sure you respect your own needs and family, especially as an up and coming professional.

 

When interviewing a potential trainer, make sure you know exactly how much experience they have. Email them and see how long it takes them to respond and if they can communicate to you clearly. If they can’t tell you what they’ll be doing with your horse, they may not be a good trainer for you. Also, check out their facility. Are you okay with what conditions your horse will be housed in? Do the work before hand so you don’t become cross with your trainer during the process for something you didn’t look into.

 

So, when can you start calling yourself a professional trainer? Remember, if you take money for your services with a horse, then you are technically a professional. Well, I was always too afraid to put that label on myself of being a trainer. I thought it would be disrespecting other trainers I looked up to if I claimed that I was on their level. It wasn’t until those people started calling a trainer that I began to see myself as a true professional. Because if those I respected saw me in that light, I could step into that role more easily, and it pushed me to train harder and learn more.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

April, 20th 2018

Homecoming: Getting Your Horse Back From A Trainer

RES 065​

Getting your horse back from a trainer, or bringing a new horse home for the first time is an incredibly important transition. If you listened to episode 064 you heard Laura and myself talk about bonding with your horse. This episode touches on very practical applications of that bonding. There are ways to set your horse up for success by being attentive during the training and afterwards as well.

 

Key Takeaways

 

 

The best way to set your horse up for homecoming success is to spend as much time as possible with the horse in the previous environment. Go see what the trainer is doing, know exactly how your horse is being handled. Being in the environment so the horse is comfortable with your presence will help when they’re introduced to their new home.  

 

Now, don’t go and absolutely copy what the trainer or previous owner did. If you are getting your horse home from me, go and do Van-like things as you transition into doing more you-like things.

 

One of the mistakes I see people make all the time in this process is being honest with themselves. Yeah, you may’ve hurt your back the week before and decided to send your horse away to a trainer – but the reality is you’re sending them off to someone who can train them better than you. Someone who knows how to do it a little bit better. We have to own up to what we don’t know so that we can ask and learn. Being a know-it-all gets you and your horse nowhere.

 

Be respectful of your trainers and where your horse is coming back from. Trainers are not babysitters watching your horse while you go off and do your “real” job. They are professionals who have spent years of their lives studying and working with these animals.

Horses don’t understand time. I can’t pull a magic number out of the air and tell you how long it will take for your horse to acclimate to their new environment. The point here is to be consistent with your interactions and training, and work on building confidence and trust with your horse.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

April, 13th 2018

Horse – Human Bonds with Trust & Respect | RES 064

I’ve been having some conversations lately around the nature of “bonding” with horses. I hear it all the time, “I can’t wait to get back home and bond with my horse.” Well, what exactly does that mean? When asked, most people say that they mean hanging out with their horse in the pasture. Doing some work, occasionally petting them, and just generally being close in proximity to them. While that’s all well and good, I’m not convinced that’s all there is to bonding with a horse. See, a bond requires a relationship. Relationships require more than just “hanging out” around one another, like a lazy couple sitting in their living room with the TV on, not actually interacting with one another. So the two cornerstones of the human – horse bond I’m talking about on this episode are trust and respect. No relationship I’ve ever seen is worth its salt without those two key components.There is a student of mine who has been taking lessons from me for years, and before that, her grandparents plopped her down in a saddle at the age of six. She can ride well. She doesn’t bob around in the saddle and flail her arms. She has good posture as well. But something I noticed time and time again is that after riding a horse a few times, the horse starts resisting her commands. She may want to move up to a trot but the horse wants to grind down to a walk. What I realized through observing her is that she needed to work on her seat—meaning to work with the horse rather than have the horse do all the work. Working on your seat means working on being a leader.I always used to think that lunging was a great idea for the right reasons, but I have to admit, my attitude towards lunging has changed. It always seemed like a good warmup for the horse—or even a warm up for the rider’s courage before they hop in the saddle. However, over the years I see that lunging can be a great way to set the tone for the day. A pilot check, if you will, of what the horse’s attitude is and what’s in store.

 

Key Takeaways

 

 

In the horse human relationship there needs to be a leader. If the horse is the leader and starts treating you as a fellow horse, it could be extremely dangerous. This why being the leader is so important. Boundaries need to be set in the bond you have with your horse, and setting them is up to you.

 

Horses don’t tend to have the personal relationships we like to project on them. In the wild, once they’ve weened off their foal, there isn’t much of a bond left. They are just a part of the herd, which has its own kind of relationship and hierarchy that’s much different than any human relationships. It’s mainly there to give an increased chance of survival for the individual – I doubt many of you look at your friends with that mentality.

 

So, how do we develop that trust and security with our horse that shows we are really bonding? Purpose. Setting an intentional purpose for your horse secures that bond and establishes you as their leader. If you are just going to hang out and pet and feed your horse for the day, be intentional about it. If you’re going out for a ride, be intentional. Set up the boundaries.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

March 30th, 2018

Working On Your Seat | RES 063

There is a student of mine who has been taking lessons from me for years, and before that, her grandparents plopped her down in a saddle at the age of six. She can ride well. She doesn’t bob around in the saddle and flail her arms. She has good posture as well. But something I noticed time and time again is that after riding a horse a few times, the horse starts resisting her commands. She may want to move up to a trot but the horse wants to grind down to a walk. What I realized through observing her is that she needed to work on her seat—meaning to work with the horse rather than have the horse do all the work. Working on your seat means working on being a leader.I always used to think that lunging was a great idea for the right reasons, but I have to admit, my attitude towards lunging has changed. It always seemed like a good warmup for the horse—or even a warm up for the rider’s courage before they hop in the saddle. However, over the years I see that lunging can be a great way to set the tone for the day. A pilot check, if you will, of what the horse’s attitude is and what’s in store.

 

Key Takeaways

The student I just mentioned suffered from a condition I call Dead Butt. This means that you aren’t setting the rhythm for your horse, you are literally just riding along, letting the horse do all the work for you. You need to lead your horse, not just sit dead up on them.

 

Laura’s husband is a musical genius—you can bet that whatever song he is listening to he has all the details playing out in his head. So imagine this—you’re dancing and you have a dance partner. Internally you are hearing music, feeling the rhythm, then turning that feeling into motion—not only for yourself, but for your partner. When you do this well the dancing is great, if you can’t translate that rhythm though things turn south. This same principle applies to riding.

 

The rhythms we establish with our horses are fairly simple. Walk, trot, and canter are all 2 beat, 3 beat, and 4 beat gait. As a rider you need to establish that rhythm, know what you’re expecting from your horse and use your body accordingly.

 

It’s okay if you want to ride along casually and be a passenger. But if you want to be a better “dance partner” for your horse, you have to keep pushing the bar. Learn how to communicate more subtly through your body language and commands.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

March 23rd, 2018

To Lunge or Not to Lunge That Is the Question | RES 062

I always used to think that lunging was a great idea for the right reasons, but I have to admit, my attitude towards lunging has changed. It always seemed like a good warmup for the horse—or even a warm up for the rider’s courage before they hop in the saddle. However, over the years I see that lunging can be a great way to set the tone for the day. A pilot check, if you will, of what the horse’s attitude is and what’s in store.

 

Key Takeaways

 

When I lung a horse now I come at it from the perspective of a trainer. Not just in that I’m training a horse, but training an athlete. If you were an athletic trainer working with people, what kind of things would you keep an eye out for? You’d watch for their form, how much strain they’re enduring, where that strain is located, what muscles are being worked, and how the athlete feels about their performance. This is exactly what I keep an eye out for when lunging horses now.

 

In lunging in different direction and watching the horse’s performance, I might see that they aren’t cantering so well on either their right or left side. This helps me decide what we will focus on when riding. I may not even saddle the horse after lunging if I see something is causing them pain or discomfort.

 

There are some common mistakes I see in lunging. The first is when the person on the ground is moving a lot, sometimes more than the horse. This sets the tone in the horse’s mind of, “Wow, I must be the leader today because this trainer is following me all over the place.” In horse hierarchy, the leaders are the most efficient, the followers do all the extra work.

 

Another mistake I see is people lunging a horse on too long of a line. But there are some simple physics involved here: you can’t control a horse as well from 10 or 20 feet away as you can from 3 feet away. So I may start, when warming up, at only an arm’s length of rope. Then I may add slack as long as I still feel comfortable and in control of the horse.

 

I don’t want people to be afraid of lunging, but if you’re going to do it, I want you to do it correctly. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Don’t let the horse learn that you can be bossed around when applying pressure to their nose. They shouldn’t be allowed to put more pressure on that halter and lead rope than they would a bit. They should be willing to stay soft on the nose and do nice circles around us.

 

Also, matching your commands with your rhythm will help teach your horse how to match with your own rhythm. You don’t want to have to pull on a horse to get them to stop—having them be in synch with you and follow your own pace and lead is the way to go.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

February 18th,
2018

Why vs. How in Practicing Horsemanship | RES 061

I had the privilege of spending a week with Mr. Dorrance, watching and learning how he practiced horsemanship.  One night at dinner I said, “You know what? You’re worse than my grandad.” See, I couldn’t remember a single time growing up where my grandad gave me a straight answer to a question. He’d either ask another question or make a statement that I didn’t even think was related. Well, Mr. Dorrance told me if you went and asked ten different trainers how they did something you’d certainly get at least ten different answers. He told me if I asked him the same question ten days in a row I might get a different one each day. His point was this—the way you do something and how you do something might be infinite.

 

Key Takeaways

 

It’s the number one question I get asked. “Van, how do you this?” So, I think real hard about what they really want to know. But I have to say, again like Mr. Dorance, the answer might be different or change.

If there was just one cure-all for a problem people would have a little notebook to mark off the boxes one by one until their issue was resolved. But life doesn’t work that way most of the time, especially when horses are involved.

 

Focus on the why. When you truly focus on the why, the hows tend just fall in place like magic. So take time compare these with your own goals, the how vs. the why. Because guess what? Often times the how depends on the specifics of the why, just think about trying to correct a horse’s behavior without knowing why they are behaving that way. It doesn’t work.

 

Remember that the horse is always right. The horse is either doing what comes naturally, or what they think you want them to be doing. And if you can get the answer you want from them with different hows, all the better. Variety helps keep your horse from being “bored” and certainly yourself as a trainer.

 

A big secret is that there is no patented Van Hargis method. Don’t go around saying, “Well I did this the Van Hargis way.” There is no one way I do anything. There have been plenty of times where I saw a trainer do something and I swore up and down that I’d never be caught doing that—only to one day find myself doing it. Because my “way” is whatever works for the horse.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

February 9th,
2018

Success is a Habit – For You and Your Horse | RES 060

We’re back with episode 60 of Ride Every Stride, our first show back in 2018. We want to thank all you listeners who’ve been nudging Laura and I about getting back to recording. After sorting through some technical issues and inclement weather, we’re both happy to be behind the microphone again and continue with the show. For this episode we’ll be going over a topic that applies equally to you and your horse: success as a habit.

 

Key Takeaways

Most of the folks today in the horse industry, the vast majority of them are women. And I hear a similar story played out over and over again that goes something like this: Well, I loved riding horses when I was little, but then life got in the way. I went to school, found a job, but I always vowed I would get back into riding again. However, coming back into the scene has been much harder than I thought. They don’t remember it being as difficult as it is today. They want to build back confidence in their riding. And how the heck do you do that? Through forming good habits.

 

First off, you start small. You go back to the start with just interacting the horse. Feeding them or even just brushing them. Do it the absolute best you can, no matter how small the task may seem, then pat yourself on the back when you’re done. These small successes will add up overtime and fuel you to want to do more and push further.

 

Remember, that if you put all your effort in and do the best that you can, regardless of the outcome, that effort needs to be rewarded. Your performance may not be perfect, but it can be perfect for now.

Evaluating where you are in your horsemanship is critical as well. You have to know where your confidence starts and begins in order to start taking smaller steps forward. And you want to strive for great things—it’s okay if you take too big of a step at first and have to come back the next day and take a smaller one, so long as you aren’t permanently damaging your confidence from getting hurt.

 

As you rack up the small successes and build your confidence, the horse’s confidence will grow in you as well. I recently worked with a client who was having issues loading their horse into a trailer. Over the days that I worked with that horse, I only approached the trailer with the animal two or three times. I worked on everything else first. Getting more comfortable haltering them, leading them, working on our communications. After building up confidence in all those smaller steps the horse got right in the trailer.

Adversity itself doesn’t breed confidence, overcoming it does. We all face adversity, but if you don’t take the steps to properly overcome it, you confidence isn’t going anywhere. Break your problems down into the smallest steps you can, and start taking them, one by one.

 

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

December, 01
2017

All of a Sudden, For No Reason… | RES 059

We travel around a lot to different expos and shows, and what I love most about traveling around is hearing stories from everyone I meet. Sometimes their stories are touching, sometimes they leave me laughing, and sometimes they leave me scratching my head. One kind of story I hear a lot starts with, “Well all of a sudden, and for no reason…” and at that point my red flags are all shot up into the wind. There’s always a reason. So we’re diving into how our horses communicate with us and how we can better listen so it doesn’t seem like they’re acting out of nowhere.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Horses are incredibly honest, truly. They let us know when something is bothering them in most cases well in advance of acting “all of a sudden”. If we learn to pay attention to what they are telling us then we can address their issues before you end up hanging on for dear life as you’re drug across a pasture.

 

Now don’t get me wrong. Things do happen all of a sudden, like a tree branch cracking and falling out of nowhere. Deer can be hidden in tall grass and bound away as you creep up on them. But it is in a horse’s nature to stay keenly aware. If you pay attention, you can feel a horse’s stride change just a little bit if they sense that something is off in their environment. Maybe they speed up, slow down, or tense up. When this happens just be alert, don’t cause the horse anymore stress. Keep a look out.

 

Be aware of where you’re riding. Know what the possible scenarios that could lead your horse to be spooked or run off. For instance, if you’re driving through a neighborhood and see a “Kids at Play” sign, and then see children playing with a ball up ahead – you shouldn’t be surprised if that ball rolls out in front of your car as you drive by. You don’t have to stress about what could happen as you ride, but staying aware and knowing the risks can help you prevent scenarios where your horse bolts out of the blue.

 

We also have to be aware of what we’re doing. It’s easy to blame an all of a sudden moment on the animals, but the fault can easily rest with us humans as well. Make sure you take the time to really analyze these moments if they occur and see if you did anything to prevent your horse from being set up for success.

 

Have an “All of a sudden, for no reason…” story? Feel free to share! You can email Van at info@vanhargis.com and throw some more stories his way.

 

What do you think?

 

We want to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions. Share them in the comments section below, reach out to us on the Van Hargis Horsemanship Facebook page, or email me! We want your suggestions for topics we can address in future episodes, so if there’s a particular area where you’re struggling or just curious, let us know!
 

We’d Love to Have Your Help Spreading the Word

If you enjoy this podcast and think others would like it too, please share it with your friends and consider rating and reviewing Ride Every Stride in iTunes. It helps make the show more visible, so more people can find it, and the feedback lets us know if we’re on the right track. Thank you–your support is so appreciated.
 

 

                   Learn More About My Co-Host

                                        My co-host, Laura McClellan, is a wife, mom to five, and attorney who also                                                 hosts The Productive Woman, a podcast about productivity for busy women.                                             Check it out!

 

Next Time on Ride Every Stride

We’ll be sharing more practical tips for better horsemanship (and humanship). If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thank you for listening. Until next time . . . remember to Ride Every Stride!

 

Van

Van Hargis Horsemanship

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