Thursday, January 27, 2022
Friday, January 7, 2022
Happy New Year!
I’m supposed to be writing about how horses and humans are similar. Someday, I’ll get to that. It’s a really interesting discussion, actually.
But it is the new year. And I just turned 39, which means I’ll soon be turning 40. (I’m so good at math!) I feel like I have learned just enough, at this point in my life, to have some fun without being too dangerous.
Let’s make some changes.
Let’s have some fun.
Let’s think in new ways.
Let’s share our joy.
You with me?
I hope so, because this year, we will unroll some really fun changes to Bridle Ranch. Stay tuned!
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Hello Centaur Friends!
I get asked, sometimes, which is my favorite breed.
These horses are called Gypsy Vanners, and they are amazing. So, so pretty. They used to be used to pull the carts for Gypsies. They’re typically a little taller than ponies, and stocky. Seriously. They’re built like draft horses, minus the height.
I had the fortune of working with a Gypsy Cob, which is a close cousin of the Vanner. This little guy was a 4-year-old therapy horse, which gives you an idea of their temperament. They are calm, steady, sweet little workhorses. And gorgeous to boot.
They have two big problems: The first is their cost. A typical Gypsy vanner goes between $10,000 and $40,000. Sadly, that is probably more than I will ever justify paying for a horse. Well, maybe not. :)
The second issue is their feathers. Guys. I am such a sucker for that long hair around the big breeds’ legs. I just love it. Trouble is, it requires a lot of care. If it’s not cared for right, it can cause some real problems, including infection. I want a horse with feathers so badly. And, I am so afraid that I won’t be able to care for them well enough and my horse will get sick and then I will have hurt this sweet animal and learned a $10,000-$40,000 lesson. I’m pretty sure that was more than my entire college education...
Of course, then there is the Thoroughbred, which holds a special place in my heart.
Thoroughbreds are the epitome of the sport horse. They are typically known as racehorses, but they also excel at jumping and dressage. I’ve ridden a few of these guys, and there is a power and grace to their movements that is incomparable. Their strides are long, their paces smooth. Often, they are very sensitive, which is a glorious thing for an experienced rider. They are also very intelligent, which makes them fun to train.
The biggest downside to the Thoroughbred, in my opinion, is how heavily they are influenced by Arabians, which tend to be a little flighty. (Read, spooky.) That flightiness means that every plastic bag, every tarp, every puff of wind, portends death in the mind of the horse, and they tend to freak out and run. It’s a pain in the little Arabian. When it manifests in a Thoroughbred, which often has 2-3 hands on an Arabian and an extra 500 pounds, it becomes something else entirely. Now, don’t get me wrong; Thoroughbreds don’t always have this tendency to a dangerous degree. It’s just… some of them do, and most of them have it to a degree that is noticeable and adds an element of uncertainty to all interactions that I, personally, don’t totally love.
And then, there’s the Quarter horse. I love these guys!!!
They say the west was won on the back of a horse, and I’m pretty sure it was mostly Quarter horses. They are usually around 15 hands, and good, steady little workhorses. They’re generally easy keepers, with a calm temperament. Much like the Gypsy Vanner, but without the feathers. Plus, they are supposedly the fastest land animal over the quarter mile (hence their name,) which helps with many jobs that need doing.
I don’t really have any complaints about Quarter horses. As a breed, they are just about everything a person needs in a horse. But, if I’m being honest, I find them a little uninspiring. I know, I know! They are beautiful, and majestic, and wonderful simply by sheer fact of them being horses! I just… prefer something a little more fanciful, I guess.
Which leads me to my favorite breed.
My favorite horse breed is… (any guesses?)
I’ll give you a hint.
Or a picture… :)
There she is! My favorite breed is a Friesian! Look at that mane and tail! And the gorgeous black coat! Those have maybe been slightly enhanced in this picture, but only slightly. The long mane and thick tail are characteristic of the breed. So is the jet-black coat. And the feathers! Did you see? They’re just enough to give a hint of that gorgeous long hair, but not enough to be intimidating to care for.
Also, I love the soft look in this horse’s eye. That is also typical of the breed. They are gentle, for all they’re so large. (Generally 16+ hands, and only slightly less stocky than a draft horse.) Per my understanding, Friesians are generally used for showy situations, like parades and such. Personally, I don’t really care. I would absolutely LOVE to have a Friesian. I got to ride one for a glorious summer, and it was truly fantastic. She was sensitive, and kept looking for me to lead her through our exercises. She had a big motion, but it was smooth. As a big girl myself, I appreciated that I really knew I was not going to be able to hurt this horse, and I had a very secure seat on her back.
Oh, my centaur friends, if I could burn through $20,000 on a horse, this would be the one. I just looked it up, though, and if I opt for a yearling without any special pedigree, it might only cost me $7000.
Donations, anyone? :):):)
Smile and Dream, Centaur friends!
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Thursday, July 29, 2021
I have a confession to make. And really, confession is probably the wrong word. It implies that I’ve done something wrong. Recently, I have come to realize that this thing that feels so wrong in my life is not actually my fault.
You see, I fight with depression. Fighting with it sounds so much more hopeful than suffering from it, right? And I try. Oh, I try, so hard, to fight against the weight of it. Sometimes, I succeed.
Other times, it is almost impossible to make myself do the things that are required of me to keep my family moving forward. Usually, I can manage to do the very basics. I can’t imagine how impossibly hard it would be to function in this world with a case of depression any worse than mine is. There are people who do, though, and their strength is absolutely astounding.
When I was 21 years old, I got a job working at a Residential Treatment Center. I had the amazing privilege of teaching troubled youth to ride horses. The things I learned there shaped my adult life, and eventually became the basis for Bridle Ranch.
You may have noticed that at Bridle Ranch, we do things a little differently from most barns. We don’t do any competitions. We don’t have forced timelines for learning. We don’t hire outside trainers. We focus on building confidence, having fun, and working through problems. We provide experience with many different disciplines with horses, which helps students to learn a broad base of horsemanship. We emphasize relationships, patience, assertiveness, and calmness.
At Bridle Ranch, my goal has always been to build people. Yes, we teach horseback riding. But underneath the skills and progression are principles of compassion and unity that, hopefully, help our riders to feel safe and loved.
That is the reason we ride. That inner strength and peace we gain from playing with horses translates to better, happier, stronger, more confident people.
Smile and Ride, friends. Smile and Ride.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Q: What is your role/job title at Bridle Ranch?
A: I am a riding instructor.
Q: What's your favorite treat?
A: I really like caramels and caramel apples.
Q: What's your favorite color?
A: Definitely green, but the natural green.
Q: What hobbies do you have?
A: I enjoy competitive horse judging. I also love anything outdoors from hunting to ATV rides.
Q: Where are you from and what was your life like growing up?
A: I am from Mona, Utah, I grew up very independent and was always looking to be the best I could be. I loved being able to push myself even from a young age.
Q: Where are you in life now?
A: I am currently working towards a future for myself. I am working this summer to help build a resume and more experience in the equine industry.
Q: Any big plans in the future?
A: I am heading to USU this fall to work on building a future with horses. Ideally I'd love to have my own horse ranch but I'm also getting a degree in Agricultural Education so I can continue to teach and instruct.
Q: What is your experience with horses, animals, and/or ranches?
A: I grew up with horses and from a young age I had a passion for them. I have shown competitively for years and I love learning with and training young horses. I have held multiple leadership positions with horses and hope to continue on my journey with horses.
Q: Can you explain what you've gotten out of Bridle Ranch?
A: I have gotten to learn different methods of dealing with horses. I have learned a lot about natural horsemanship and hope to use my gained knowledge in the future. This opportunity to have a job in the equine industry is a dream come true.
Q: What is your role/job title at Bridle Ranch? A: I am a riding instructor. Q: What's your favorite treat? A: I really like caramels an...
Q: What is your role/job title at Bridle Ranch? A: I am the Office Manager and Communication Specialist! I'm mostly over phone calls, em...
Q: What is your role/job title at Bridle Ranch? A: I am the Barn Manager at Bridle Ranch. I help take care of and train the horses, I teach ...