Subject: What's Next

"First you go with the horse. Then the horse goes with you. Then you go together."
-Tom Dorrance
What we think about when we ride will make all the difference.  Believe in both yourself and your horse, for greatness is always there, just waiting to flow freely.
What's Next

“So, I went out and rode my horse today. We did our groundwork. I then got in the saddle and rode at the walk trot and lope, both directions. We worked on our lightness. Then lateral flexions, both left and right. I rode for the better part of an hour in the arena. Next, we opened the gate (nice side-pass by the way) and went for a ride down the trail. I like the trail because I don't have to think when riding the trail. I can just enjoy the scenery and I can let my horse do his own thinking. I just don't understand why he gets so bothered on the trail. After all it is so peaceful out there. My enthusiasm and excitement to ride when I first headed to the barn had dwindled some by the end of the ride so I put my horse up, and to not have to think so much, I found little things around the barn that needed doing like sweeping the floor, washing the windows, cleaning and rehanging the equipment. Everything looked real nice and neat, just the way I'd like. Doing that felt pretty good. But something was missing... Now what were some of those things I was “advised” to work on in my last lesson? I think I got them but where do I go from here? To be honest, I'm not sure that all I was taught made sense to me, or how it applies to my horse and me, but I sure love my horse! If I'm real honest with myself, I think I enjoy “dreaming” of the “possibilities” more than I enjoy the actual ride. Seems I'm always feeling like I'm doing something wrong, or I just don't get it, or sometimes I'm even a little afraid. My friends that I ride with are pretty similar to me. I wish there was more...”

Could this be you? Ever feel a little stuck? I sure have... Why do a few people seem to really excel with their horses and many may feel like they are going in circles? What's the difference between these two groups? Could it be that one group has a definite goal in mind and the belief that they can achieve it?

I would like to be able to guide you to your next step. In fact I was racking my brain in how I might do that. In hopes of helping you along if the story above spoke to you or perhaps one of your riding friends. The more I thought about giving you a motivation, the more I felt that that wasn't the answer. Then I thought about what motivates me. Is it to be able to do a certain classy move on my horse that I was exposed to in a clinic, lesson or videos I've watched? Yes and no... What really drives me is a picture of the possibilities, that anticipated joy. I'm not sure if it was what the instructor was saying or doing that impressed me the most, but I think it was the doing, what I saw, and I wanted that.

Two different things might go through ones mind when watching the possibilities. One might be: “I could never do that.” The other: “I'm going to do that.” One rider is performing in the arena to an audience of thousands and the other is sitting on the couch watching. I believe the confidence of the person is the main difference. One dreams about doing it. The other did it.

For years as I look back, I believe I avoided setting goals, I thought goals were for someone else, not me. Oh I've accomplished many things but I never really set my goals too high. I think that deep down I thought if I couldn't easily achieve something, I'd try something else. Something that I knew I could achieve. That's not bad. But I ask myself; “what do I really want?” From this, I can decide to go after something bigger than I thought possible.

Use your imagination and think of how you'd really like that ride to go. What do you really want to happen with you and your horse. Dream big and go after it. I strongly believe that our desire to do the thing must be much bigger than our discomfort to achieve the thing. This helps us build that confidence.
So where to start; Decide what you want to achieve with your horse. You may want to dream a little bigger than in the past.
  1. Take ten minutes to just pretend you already are doing that thing that would make you along with your horse, feel like a million bucks. That's dollars, not your horse's hind-end vertical maneuvers.
  2. Grab a piece of paper and write your dream down. Put this piece of paper in a place where you will read it every day.
  3. Start riding with a commitment. Study often.
  4. Create your own riders Fellowship, your support system. You may want to ride with others on a similar path. Do some research and find a qualified instructor or clinician. Not just anyone, but someone who  want's to be a part of your success. Keep in mind that no one has more interest in your success than you do.
This little song by Nat King Cole might just help you along your way...

Pretend you're happy when you're blue
It isn't very hard to do
And you'll find happiness without end
Whenever you pretend

Remember anyone can dream
And nothing's bad as it may seem
The little things you haven't got
Could be a lot if you pretend

You'll find a love you can share
One you can call all your own
Just close your eyes, she'll be there
You'll never be alone

And if you sing this melody
You'll be pretending just like me
The world is mine, it can be yours, my friend
So why don't you pretend?

Ride Your Dream... Robert
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Attend a Clinic and allow us to help you build your confidence.
Clinic Schedule
2019 Clinics at Coyote Mountain Ranch an
  • May 24-26
  • June 8-9
  • June 17-21
  • July 12-14
  • July 27-28
  • August 5-9
  • August 24-25
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  • September 21-22
2019 Clinic in Star, Id
  • April 27-28
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  • June 27-30
The Horse Fellowship LLC
Robert and Janet Phinney

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