Tag Archives: Horse Training

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Honesty is an interesting concept. Most of us horses are truly honest. We don’t know how to be any other way. But people, well, not so much.

Most people believe they are honest. But often humans are simply justifying their behavior and calling it honesty. If they really looked at what was going on, they’d probably realize they were either manipulating a situation to their advantage, or ignoring the truth of their behavior.

Are you honest? I’ll bet you are, at least most of the time. Sometimes not being honest is the kindest thing… like when your grandmother asks if you like her mince pie, but you really don’t. You don’t want to hurt feelings. So, when is honesty the best policy and when is it a matter of violating values and honor? That’s a tough question that I don’t have an answer to. But perhaps just asking the question will stir the kind of thought that’s helpful.

Do you appreciate honesty? Are you a good example for your children, friends, co-workers? A reputation is an easy thing to damage, so use your good sense of honesty well.

I’m honestly hungry! Will you bring me a carrot or two? Jane’s out of town and I want my treat!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Responsibility. It’s a big part of life. Jane tells her students that their horses should be responsible for their own gaits. They shouldn’t repeatedly ask or nag at their horses, or they’ll just get tuned out and ignored. She says your horse should respond to the first request, and should maintain his or her gait until asked to do something else.

It’s pretty easy for me to get lazy about being responsible for my job. How about you? Have you ever avoided doing those things you know you should be doing? Perhaps it was because you became lazy, or because no one seemed to care one way or another if you got it done? This tendency is why we have leaders or bosses. We often need someone to keep us on track.

A good leader or boss is someone who inspires you to do your best without nagging or shaming. Good leaders find ways to help their subordinates feel important and valued. A poor leader uses punishment or embarrassment to force compliance. A good leader creates a desire to do well. A poor leader makes people unhappy, and is often looking for replacements when subordinates leave or quit.

Which kind of leader are you for your horse? Do you intentionally create desire to be good, or do you inspire fear of doing poorly? What kind of leader are you with other people? Are you an uplifter or a tear downer?

I’m so glad my person is an uplifter! Jane makes me want to be the best I can be. She makes me feel good about myself. There’s nothing more important than that. I’d do anything for Jane because it feels so good to please her. She makes me feel good about ME.

How about you? Do people feel good when they’re around you? Remember, molasses horse cookies catch more flies than vinegar!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I had trouble sleeping last night. I’m about to start the new show season, and I started fretting about being ready. Now that I’m showing at Grand Prix, I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up with the up and coming younger horses. Then I realized that I had put my negative musings into a future that’s not here yet. I always pride myself at being in the present, and realized I was not doing that. I was projecting negative thoughts into my own future. I had to stop!

Awareness is the first step to changing something. Once I became aware that I was projecting negative thinking, I could stop and change where I put my intention. I decided to visualize a better future. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and created a movie in my mind of the perfect Grand Prix test with Jane. I went through the whole thing, with perfect pirouettes and perfect one-tempis, and with a satisfying pat on the neck from Jane at the end. I saw the judge write down lots of sevens and eights, and even a few nines on the test sheet. In my mind I saw the final score being written by the judge, and felt the excitement of receiving the best scores of my life!

Changing your mental focus is not hard, but you have to decide to do it. You have to put the mental energy into changing what you’re thinking about. You have to create the images you WANT, not ponder on what you don’t want. That takes some focus and discipline.

What would be your best outcome for today? What could you focus on to give energy to that? Give it a try, and see what happens! You may be in for a surprise!

Once I gave a little bit of mental time to what I do want, I went right to sleep. Now I’m rested and ready to go! When is the first show? I want to earn that terrific score!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

There’s a whole lot that goes on in this world that we never hear about. Some of it is bad, but a lot of it is good. If you could measure the bad against the good, you’d find that the good stuff far outweighs the bad stuff. How do I know? As a horse, I’m very connected to the energy of the planet. I can feel what’s going on because I am totally present. I spend little or no time in the past or future, I’m just NOW. And I can feel the positive pulse of the earth. Well-being abounds!

What if well-being isn’t showing up in YOUR life as much as you like? Then I’d ask, what are you thinking about? Where are you putting your mental energy? Are you looking for the things that are WRONG in your world, or are you looking for the things that are RIGHT? Which is it? You get MORE of whatever you put your energy into. So if things are bad, well… Think about that! Just for today, look for something that is great about you or your most pressing situation. Then spend some time feeling the wonderful feelings that thought brings to you.

I’m basking in the Florida sunshine today. It feels so good on my sleek black coat. It warms my muscles and makes me want to nap. I love the sun and the soft breeze caressing my skin. I’m looking forward to Jane showing up for our ride. It’s a great day. Are you going riding today? If it’s too cold and snowy where you are, at least take your friend a carrot. Your horse misses your voice and your soft, loving touch! It will make you both feel good to spend some time together.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session Hosted at TIEC

Photo credit ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – August 5, 2019 – Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort welcomed 24 athletes participating in the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, hosted July 29 – August 2. Participants spent five days receiving mounted instruction from clinician Jeff Cook that focused on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances, and course work, in addition to receiving coaching on grooming, horsemanship skills, and barn management from Veterinary Technician and Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Anne Thornbury.

“The purpose of this program is to open eyes and open doors,” stated Thornbury, who has been sharing her wealth of knowledge and expertise with EAP participants since 2012. “It [EAP] opens the kids’ eyes to all the things they need to learn about being horsemen and all the opportunities there are besides just riding in the horse industry.”

Thornbury went on to explain the difference between a rider and a horseman, something she stresses to her students: “Riders might be able to find distances on a horse that’s correctly prepared, but not know one thing about what it ate, what it drank, what was its mood… [but] horsemen want to know everything there is to know about their horse. If you want to be the whole package, a really good rider has to know their own horses. It’s all about the horse. The horse always comes first, no matter what. Their safety and care come before what those kids want to do. I hope that their takeaway is that no matter what, the horse’s comforts are met before their own, and that they appreciate everything their horse does for them. You can’t do it without them.”

Cook focused on improving the riders’ basics and fundamentals this week. “Hopefully with the aids and their position improving, they can do things in such a way that things just happen easier and are a lot more enjoyable for horse and rider.”

Cook continued, “You don’t stay the same. You either get better or worse, and as long as you’re at it [riding], you have to keep trying to learn. For example, there was a moment in that last session where a student lengthened the rein a little and [I really noticed] the difference in the horse’s back legs. We’re always looking to learn.”

Although some participants enter the program just for the experience, many have professional aspirations and hope that the program will open doors to new opportunities and serve as a pathway to success. “Those kids [who want to be professionals] can come to us and we’ll mentor them and find places for them to go,” Thornbury continued, naming several top professionals who were EAP graduates, such as Jacob Pope and Carly Williams. “For kids that want to make something out of riding, it’s a great step up for them,” Thornbury emphasized.

To learn more about the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, visit USHJA.org.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Two brains. That’s right, I have two brains. So do you. The difference is, you have a bundle of nerves called the corpus callosum between the two halves of your brain that lets the sides chat. My brain doesn’t have that. It’s true that my brain, or brains, have a very difficult time talking to each other.

For a horse, this means I have to be trained to do things from both sides. What might be easy for me to understand through my left eye, may be difficult to understand through my right eye. It’s a pain, but it’s the price I pay for having eyes on the sides of my head like a prey animal.

Humans can have binocular vision, so you can see things with both sides of your brain. That means your left-brain hemisphere, the logical, linear, thinking side, can analyze things and explain them to the right, more artistic, big picture, emotional side. That corpus callosum is very handy, as long as it’s working.

When humans are under extreme stress, the corpus callosum shuts down. Communication stops. That means you could get stuck in responding to the situation from only one side of your brain. If it’s the logical side, you’ll probably analyze the situation and handle it without emotion. If it’s the emotional side that takes over, you may find yourself hysterical or locked up and frozen. Speech is located in the left, logical side, and if the emotional side takes over, that’s why you get tongue-tied if you get upset. Have you noticed that when you’re stressed and can’t think of what to say, but then calm down and the corpus callosum starts working again, suddenly the perfect words for that snappy comeback show up in your mind? Frustrating, isn’t it!

If you have a plan to handle a situation, you’ll strongly trend toward the logical side of your brain, where plans and analyzing resides. That’s why it is so helpful to have a PLAN before you get in that stressful position.

Do you have a plan? What situations might show up in your life where a plan would be of value? I suggest you make that plan NOW, while you’re relaxed and both sides of your brain are functioning together!

I have a plan to move to higher ground behind the barn the next time we have a flood. I’m not worried because I know how to get there. I’ve looked at the route with both eyes, so both halves of my brain know the way.

How about you? Do you know the way?

Love, Your Friend, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Albion College to Host CPI Spotlight for College-Bound Equestrian Students

Photo courtesy of Albion College.

ALBION, Mich. – June 25, 2019 – For college-bound equestrians exploring a world-class liberal arts education, the College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) will produce a CPI Spotlight event Sept. 27-29 at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. The event will combine campus tours and hunter seat equestrian activities. It will be an opportunity for prospective students to experience Albion College firsthand.

Albion College was named one of The Wall Street Journal‘s “Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges.” With 49 majors, concentrations and pre-professional programs, Albion gives students the flexibility to forge their own paths while gaining an understanding of the world. Albion College offers varsity competition in Western and hunter seat and dressage competition on the Albion dressage club team at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center. Riders at Albion College come from all backgrounds and regions of the country.

“Albion College student-equestrians get a broad-based education in our classrooms and equally broad-based lessons in horsemanship and riding at the Held Center,” said Randi Heathman, Albion equestrian recruitment coordinator. “The result of this education can be seen in our many successful alumni, who graduate with problem-solving and leadership skills that serve them in a variety of career fields.”

Apply now for CPI spotlight at Albion College.

The varsity equestrian competition experience at Albion is not limited to experienced riders. Albion welcomes men and women whether they are experienced equestrians or are interested in learning to ride.

The weekend will provide student athletes information about Albion College’s many liberal arts academic programs. An admissions representative will be available for questions.

In addition to a student-led campus tour, students will experience the Albion College riding program and the opportunity to ride three times. A riding lesson Saturday kicks off the weekend. A short clinic is scheduled for Sunday morning and a mock collegiate-format horse show will be held Sunday afternoon. The event will provide students with a taste of what it is like to catch ride. Participants will ride Albion College horses and they will work with the coaches.

At the barn, attendees will learn additional horsemanship skills with Albion College students and coaches. Topics will include basic care such as grooming, wrapping, points of the horse, and parts of the saddle and bridle and more.

For more information, go to collegeprepinvitational.com.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Photo by Liz Ritz Photography.

A terrible thing happened today, and I’m really struggling to get over it. There was a loud hissing sound that hit my nervous system with a scream that said “RATTLE SNAKE!” I was so startled, I jumped sideways really hard and fast, and unseated Jane! Her off balance body clinging to my side triggered “MOUNTAIN LION!” in my brain. So, I bucked. Not just a little – I bucked from one end of the arena to the other until I shook off the “Killer Lion!”

But that lion was actually my best friend, Jane. I dumped her! In the dirt! I bucked her off! I’m so upset! Jane and I have been best friends for ten years! I’ve never bucked her or anyone else off. NEVER! Not even once.

Fortunately, Jane was not seriously hurt. She’s a bit banged up, but no broken bones. Of course, she was wearing her helmet. She ALWAYS wears her helmet. Thank goodness! I would never have intentionally hurt her, but I could have anyway just reacting like a normal horse!

No one has ever come off me before, and it freaked me out. I was wide-eyed for twenty minutes. But I’m not going to let this ruin my time with Jane. I’m going to look at this with clear thought, do some EFT meridian tapping to release the energy pathway that my neurons created during this fear episode, and move on.

Jane understands that I was acting out of instinct, not maliciousness. Still we both feel really bad about it. We have to just have to make sure that we FEEL our feelings, do the techniques we know to release the energy of the past, and move on.

Have you ever been bucked off? No fun, is it? I hope you always wear your helmet! Even your quietest, most trusted friend is still a big powerful horse. And he could do a normal horse thing and accidentally hurt you. Even if you only get bucked off once every ten years, like Jane just did, you never know if today’s ride is going to be the one. Put on your helmet! EVERY ride!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Wylde to Host Masterclass Clinic at Rutledge Farm

Middleburg, Va. – May 13, 2019 – The team at Rutledge Farm is less than one month away from welcoming Olympic show jumping gold medalist Peter Wylde to host an exclusive masterclass clinic as a part of the 2019 Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Applications for the four rider spots will close May 16, and auditor tickets are available in the remaining weeks leading up to the clinic. Wylde joins Rutledge Farm’s group of elite 2019 clinicians, including Karen Healey, Boyd Martin, Will Simpson, Ali Brock, Debbie McDonald, Phillip Dutton, and Stacia Madden.

Working his way up through the ranks, Wylde quickly made a name for himself as a junior athlete by winning top equitation championships, including the ASPCA Maclay Finals as well as the IHSA Cacchione Cup. In 2004, Wylde earned his first Olympic gold medal for the United States in Show Jumping in Athens, Greece. Wylde also earned an individual bronze medal at the Jerez de la Frontera, Spain World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2002, as well as one team and one individual silver medal at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada in 1999.

Wylde said, “Aleco [Bravo-Greenberg] gave me a tour of [Rutledge Farm,] and it is so beautiful. I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to do clinics anymore, and this is actually the only clinic that I will do besides the Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) with the USHJA. I’m excited to come back to Middleburg in June.”

In 2009, Wylde was asked to be the USHJA’s first EAP National Training Session clinician for its inaugural program, and he currently serves as the lead clinician each year. Wylde also serves as Vice Chair of the Emerging Athletes Task Force. Throughout the year, Wylde currently competes and trains at some of the country’s top show jumping events, including the Devon Horse Show, Kentucky Horse Shows spring and summer series, and the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

On his training technique, Wylde said, “I like to be able to assess what I see with the given horse and give riders insight into what I think is the best way forward, and what small little changes can try to help them. I try to tailor clinics to give the rider the best information without being too confusing, it should be very simple and very straightforward.”

With over 40 years of experience in the sport, attendees can look forward to learning about “honing the art of fine riding.” Wylde’s boutique-style clinic will kick off at 4:00 p.m. with rider spots being limited to just four horse and rider pairs. Auditors are welcomed and encouraged to join as Wylde imparts his knowledge and advice about the sport. Throughout the clinic, Wylde will open the floor for auditor questions, and the evening will conclude with 30-minute question and answer session.

Wylde said, “One of my favorite things about hosting clinics is answering questions. We can use the riders in the clinic as examples, and then talk bigger picture to the audience. I welcome auditors and I think it’s a fantastic way to learn. I really love being able to host clinics and share my knowledge.”

Applications to ride in Wylde’s clinic are now open, with limited ride spots available. There are only a few days left to submit applications, and acceptance notices will be sent out to riders on Thursday, May 16. Auditor tickets will be available in the remaining weeks leading up the clinic.

For more information about Peter Wylde’s Rutledge Farm Session, or to find out how to ride in another one of this year’s sessions, visit rutledgefarm.com/clinics.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Black and white. Yes and no. Up and down. Sickness and health. Positive and negative….

We live in a world of contrast. It’s the duality of Nature that makes up our physical world. Without that contrast, we wouldn’t be able to perceive. It’s in knowing dark that we can recognize light. It’s in being able to experience silence that we can hear noise. The comparisons go on and on.

As infants, people are trained to show a preference for one thing over another. Most well-adjusted (note that you have to be “adjusted”) children develop a preference for positive feedback over negative. For “yes” over “no”. For health over sickness. For “happy” over “sad.” Humans are trained from birth to compare and prefer.

What if nothing you experienced was actually “wrong” or “right,” but just an experience? How different would your world be if you didn’t judge what happened in your life, but rather just observed your physical and emotional perceptions of whatever showed up?

In many Spiritual philosophies, it’s the pain from living with the judgement of what occurs that is recognized as the most difficult part of being human. Release that judgement, and enlightenment is possible.

As a horse, I’m already enlightened. I don’t carry judgement about what happens. Oh, I may have an unhappy memory of the fellow who poked me in the hip to get me on that airplane in Amsterdam, but I don’t JUDGE it. It is what it is. It was what it was. That was then, this is now.

How would your life be different if you accepted “what is…”? Could you try that on, just for a day? Give it a try! Or not. The choice is yours. And that is the one constant… your choice of what you think about is always YOURS.

Your horse is hoping you choose to bring him a carrot when you go to the barn today. He says that is the “right” choice!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com