Archive for June, 2010

Which Riding Style or Equestrian Discipline is Right for You?

Guest Post by Roberta Edstrom, Daily Oats Blog

I’ve been a little uninspired lately about blogging so am sharing this article published by my internet friend and fellow blogger, Roberta Edstrom. I love Roberta’s posts because they are full of interesting stories or ideas and always contain a great message. Enjoy!


I wonder if I counted just how many different riding disciplines there actually are in the world of horses how many I would find that I don’t even know about.  There certainly are lots  riding disciplines to choose from:  Dressage, Show Jumping, Cross-Country, Eventing, Rodeo and Barrel Racing, through to Hacking, Trail Riding, Hunter,  Western Riding, Competitive Trail Riding . . . to my favorite, Pleasure Driving.

Loads of horse loving enthusiasts often  try a variety of them while  others seem to endlessly excel in just one or two.  Such as nine-time FEI World Cup Dressage Champion and multiple Dressage Olympic Gold medalist Anky Van Grunsvan  who now loves to ride and show reining horses.

I believe there is a reason that they have named it riding “Disciplines.”

We all train both ourselves and our horses as far as we want to go  in our life — whether from the point of just being able to ride down a trail or becoming a world champion.


I was given this quote the other day by a very dear freind.

“Discipline is the difference between what we want right now and what we want most in our life.”

(In fact I have it now on my desk in my inspirational spiral notebook and I have not changed it all week.)

In other words, it is the difference between that ice cream and my goal weight,  the difference between seeing the new Karate Kid and  finishing a new campaign to increase sales on the Knot-A-Tail website, or even going out to dinner and visiting with my buddy Carl or completing the next chapter in learning CSS programing so I can improve our site for our customers.

Not unlike others, there are many things in my life that I have wanted to achieve but I always seem to find a way to stick them in the back stall of my barn where no one ever cleans any more.

You know which one I am talking about, don’t pretend you don’t.

The one where all the tack that needs repair is hanging, where those worn-out clippers are that need to be sharpened and cleaned but are just sitting on a shelf,  where last year’s horse blankets that the horses ripped last winter are laying on the floor. Ya that stall.  Everyone has one.

Maybe it also has the book you have always wanted to write, that class you wanted to take,  school you wanted to finish, the degree you wanted to earn, the perfect job you have always dreamed about or  that business idea that has been floating around in your head  for the last few years.

But you have not taken that first step forward toward those GREAT true heart’s desires.  The true ‘GREATS’ of our lives.

Just like riding, Self Discipline is a skill and once you come to grips with it, it can alter  your life.  Think about it. Here is what you can gain just by applying some ‘riding’ disciplines to your own life. Imagine if you harnessed this power to change different aspects of your life.

You could have the power of all the horses you have dreamed about riding:

  • increased self value and self esteem
  • a better life for you and your family
  • hope
  • the ‘Buck all you want,  critter, I am going to ride you all the way!’  ride of your life  in  reaching  all of your  life’s ‘TO THE STARS’ dream goals

What good would Self Discipline create in your life?

What if you could practice Self Discipline in everything you did? How would your life change? Would it change? Think of these questions for a moment.

Some of the areas in your life you could change might be:

  • the amount of time spent with the kids, besides just ‘in the barn time’
  • your weight
  • your fitness
  • the tidiness of your office and updates of  more than just the horse records
  • the cleanliness of your house and not just the barn
  • fixing all the broken things in your house  and barn (fix that shelf once and for all)
  • the amount of time spent watching TV
  • watching what you eat
  • fasting for one day per week
  • having a cold shower every morning
  • getting your finances sorted out
  • writing those letters you’ve been meaning to write
  • making the phone calls you’ve been meaning to make
  • organizing your life
  • getting up early to be thankful of all the things you have
  • Ride past the BUCK

OK all you horse lovers.  I believe we are the best of the best with HUGE hearts and endless dreams. So, right now,  yes right now is the time to SADDLE-UP and start riding the life you have always dreamed of.

And I am here to keep reminding you of that.

So cinch-up tight, get your riding boots on, add a pair of spurs if you need to and let’s get going.
Pick  just one thing today to apply a  discipline to and keep riding that horse until the damn thing stops BUCKIN’!
Then head out to the corral and grab another.

After all, this is the FUN part of life,

Ridin’ past all  the BUCKS.   Then our life truly begins.

Most important, remember to share the whinny besides with just the herd of horses y0u own, there is an infinite supply.
……………………………..Change a life and “Share “ the Whinny!

I’m just livin’ for the WHINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNY!!

Daily Oats: Food for the Horse lover’s soul




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Even Bulls Have Guardian Angels

My bull, 'Amigo', when he was a baby.

Years ago, when the ‘New Age’ movement got into full swing, the idea of angels began being bandied about big time.  Not that angels haven’t been popular since recorded history, but they were once again brought to the forefront during this new open-minded era.

One idea, that maybe WAS kind of new, was that each and every one of us can ask for help from the angels any time we want. Now mind you, according to the ‘rules’, angels are not allowed to help us unless we ask. That’s because this is a free will planet, so they are not to interfere. Only to help when asked.

Wow! What an untapped resource!

So here’s a story.

I started kind of toying with this idea. Asking for convenient parking spaces and such (TIP: for this particular request you do need to ask and plan ahead a bit — 15 minutes or so). Results? A bit inconclusive. Perhaps because I wasn’t sure if it would work, even though I had always believed in angels.

But then one day I had a very big problem.

I had a small herd of cattle on my ranch in Texas, one member of which was a young bull (we’ll call him Domingo) who belonged to the former renter of the ranch house. He was about two (the bull, not the renter), so he was getting pretty big and serious.

Since I had another bully youngster of my own up and coming — Amigo, pictured above — it was definitely time to call in the chips and get Domingo off the ranch. Even though he had been with me since he was four months old, not one dime for Domingo’s feed or care had ever been forthcoming from his owner, a well-known reprobate in the community who seemed to piss everybody off.

I finally made the dreaded phone call to the guy to let him know he HAD to come get his bull. This was one of those people who had a natural knack for baiting you and getting your dander up, no matter how much you swore to yourself you wouldn’t let that happen.

Out he comes, with a hard-nosed cowboy in tow, saying this cowboy and a couple of his hands will be showin’ up soon to round up the cattle, cut out the bull, load him up, and take him off. Macho, macho, macho, all the way!

Well fine.

Except a dear friend, who was a REAL cowboy from the get-go, said: “Leta, don’t let those guys come out here and roust about your cattle! You’ve got a nice, friendly, quiet herd, and if they do the macho cowboy thing they’ll make ’em all crazy!”

So I was concerned. I worried for days. And of course heard nothing from Domingo’s owner, so obviously he was going to wait as long as humanly possible to make something happen.

Dwelling and praying about the situation I suddenly remembered about asking the angels for help. So I did. I asked for Domingo’s guardian angels to help, and mine too, and any particular “bull removing expert angels” that might exist to get in on the act.


The end result I NEVER could have predicted. Which characteristic (unpredictable results), by the way, I have now found is not untypical of angel-type activity.

About three days after my prayers to the angels, my neighbor called:

“Leta, I think I have your bull over here.” And proceeded to describe Domingo perfectly. Seems Domingo had jumped the fence into the neighbor’s ranch because his cows were in season.

(O.M.G. Domingo was, finally, off my property?! In the most unexpected way possible?!)

I told him who the bull belonged to (the reprobate, whom my neighbor hated with a passion), and my neighbor said,

“Well *@#$&*(@*(&! !!!   I’m pennin’ him up, and callin’___________, and charging him $____________ per day for every @*&(#@(*  day the bull is on my property&*(_#@!”

Needless to say, Domingo was picked up and removed very quickly, and without the need for a macho cowboy roundup disrupting Leta’s herd’s bucolic state of being.

I don’t know what happened to Domingo in the long run, and I hope it was all for the good because he was a really nice bull.

But I do know that after that experience I was SOLD on the ‘ask your angels’ thing and have used it many times since. All with good results.

So just ask the angels for help. You’ll get it!

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