This is a very new adventure for me…….blogging. I never was much good at keeping a diary or even a weather journal. But maybe when there is a horse involved, I might do better. We’ll see how this goes.
I should start by introducing myself. You can call me Wendy but I’m also known around the barn as “CR” which stands for cockroach and that’s a long story. I might share it some day. I’ve been an avid horse person for 45+ years. Am I dating myself? I have Appaloosa horses……..whoa, wait a minute, don’t leave…just because I love ‘em doesn’t mean you have to! Stick with me here. ……. I have owned, bred and rode Appaloosa horses for 35 years. I operate a small boarding and training facility where the horses are kept in a natural environment or “no frills” as I like to call it. Happy horses are my first concern.
I am also a Certified John & Josh Lyons Trainer/Instructor, an Accredited Josh Lyons Trainer and a farrier. Did I mention that I love horses?
My area of expertise, if I may be as bold as to assume I have one, is recreational riding. I have ridden countless miles across Ontario and many other locations and have lots of stories to tell of those adventures. Over the years, I was often asked why my horses were so well behaved on the trail and in camp. And just as often I didn’t have an answer – I thought it was because they were Appaloosas! So I started to pay a lot of attention to what I was doing and observe what others were doing. The pieces began coming together.
I remember one fella who was having enough trouble with his horse that he ended up selling him. A short time later the second horse developed the same undesired behaviour. He was sold. When the third horse began to exhibit signs of the same problem, the light bulb came on for me! The horse wasn’t the problem at all – the rider was! What a discovery! For our horse to change, we need to change. But human nature makes us very resistant to change…it’s difficult for us. If you don’t believe me, try putting on your right sock first in the morning if you have always put your left one on! Repeating the same something in the same way and expecting a different response from our horse doesn’t work. And actually that’s a definition for insanity, isn’t it?!
It became evident to me that it is the rider that needs the education yet we always think about training the horse. Now, when I ask at one of my clinics, who there is a horse trainer, not many put up their hand. My response is that they all are, they just didn’t realize it. Anyone who handles a horse must be aware that they are teaching that horse something. It’s in their hands whether it’s a good or bad lesson that the horse learns.
As my journey of self-education continued, I read a book by John Lyons. He made sense to me and actually confirmed some of my own discoveries. I remember when attending a symposium of his, I wondered how he had spied on me in my own barn. How did he know I did that with my horse? Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who did, because it was the accepted, traditional way. Often what he explained to do was exact opposite and it really made you think about what you were doing with your horse. The methods were simple enough for me to understand and implement and they worked! I became a student of John Lyons through any source available to me. My horses are even happier.

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Comment by Claire Sutherland on January 15, 2010 at 7:09pm
I too love the natural horsemanship. And, have seen some amazing things done, by both Josh Lyons and Chris Irwin. But....and a big but here...I really do think that when working with a difficult horse, the most important part, is knowing when to stop. Pushing the horse that one step too far, can undo so much, in such a short period.....and to have gained so much to go even further backwards is so very discouraging.

Your blog is very well written! Keep it up, and good luck.
Comment by Geoffrey Pannell on January 13, 2010 at 5:09pm
Well written blog Wendy, I too like appys, but TB's are the ones I ride most( I EVENT) . Iv'e read a bit of John Lyons, liked what I read. I'll be looking forward to hearing more of your adventures in Ontario. It's one part of the world on my to do list. Cheers Geoffrey
Comment by Wendy on January 13, 2010 at 4:26pm
Thanks for the encouragement, Jennifer 8>)) It is interesting how different things look when we turn to ourselves for the root of our horse's problems. And when we start our work from that end of things, the changes are amazing! Good luck with your horses.
Comment by Jennifer Lamm on January 13, 2010 at 1:15pm
Hi Wendy. Welcome to blogging. You are a good writer.... My horses know that I only ask them to be horses and that I'll work on myself...... the calmer and more confident I become, the more well behaved they become.... I have two difficult horses..... but I've worked on myself since my 6 year journey began, and the transformation is amazing in them. I like John Lyons too.....:)

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