The Horse Wise podcast shares stories of horses and people – and what they teach each other. Horses bring wisdom, humor, athleticism and inspiration into our lives. Join host Lynn Reardon as she encounters entertaining characters (horse and human) on her own horsemanship journey.
When I first started a racehorse adoption charity (LOPE), I was a complete novice at running a farm or training green horses. Did this stop me? No, that would have been too easy. Instead I cheerfully plunged ahead, oblivious to potential downsides of my inexperience. While my open-mindedness and optimism were terrific traits, I did end up learning many things the hard way. Like the importance of awareness when working with horses. Or of verifying information provided by other horse people (who may have issues with awareness themselves). In this episode, I share two entertaining stories of calm horses and savvy owners who weren’t quite what they seemed. They taught me valuable lessons about safety and observation skills that I never forgot. I hope you enjoy these tales of my misadventures — and that you never have to learn these things the hard way (like I did). For more information on LOPE’s work, please visit www.lopetx.org or https://www.facebook.com/LOPETEXAS/
Cassie and her mare Sasha are both teenagers (age 16 and 17 respectively).They’ve been a team for six years (Sasha was Cassie’s 10th birthday present). Together, they have accomplished much in the show world (including US Pony Club Finals and US Dressage Championships). But their biggest challenge was their quest for USDF Bronze, a journey that brought many twists and turns. In 2018, Cassie was within one score of achieving the Bronze. But when Sasha began to show signs of stress and tension, Cassie had to make a choice. Was it better to push Sasha to get that last score right away? Or to give her a break from showing and possibly not achieve Bronze at all? Cassie’s decision made all the difference to Sasha — and changed her perspective on competitive goals. Cassie has been an intern at LOPE since 2017. She has shown much dedication to horsemanship and to her feisty mare Sasha. . For more information on LOPE’s teen and young adult internship programs, please visit http://lopetx.org/starting-gate-program-for-future-horsemanship-leaders/ To reach their USDF Bronze goals, Cassie and Sasha trained with Ashley Shaw Dressage in Dripping Springs, TX (https://www.facebook.com/ashleyshawdressage/)
Dr. Matt Evans DVM is an equine vet, stand-up comic, landscape painter, master gardener and all-around Renaissance man. He decided to become an equine vet even though he had no experience with horses prior to vet school. Matt doesn’t let details like that get in the way of bold career moves. In addition to being a partner at Austin Equine Hospital and pursuing multiple creative endeavors (like parenting), Matt is active in local community charity work AND is a runner. Seriously, this guy is like a super hero or something. Best of all, Matt is hilarious and finds the humor in every situation (especially those involving horses). In this interview, we discuss how artistic passions and equine veterinary work complement each other in his life. For more information on Matt’s adventures in landscape painting, please visit him on Instagram at @evanspaintingsandstuff. To learn more about his work as a veterinarian, please visit Austin Equine at @austinequine. For our Austin listeners, Matt will be competing for the title of Funniest Person in Austin at the Cap City Comedy Club on 4/16 at 8 pm. Finally, for those folks who want to learn more about my racehorse adoption charity (LOPE), please visit www.lopetx.org. Matt and the wonderful team at Austin Equine Hospital have generously sponsored LOPE since 2004.
My horse Santo is big, sweet QH with a heart of gold. He also is a very emotional kind of guy. Santo has LOTS of feelings that he wants to share with everyone, all the time. He had some dressage training (not a massive amount, but much more than I had as a rider). One year, I came to realize that both Santo and I needed to concentrate on foundation work together. So I took Santo to a clinic with Peter Campbell. I put aside my usual dressage tack — and I decided to ride in western gear (wade tree saddle, mecate reins). My goal was to concentrate on the fundamentals and do my best to set Santo up for success. A calm, slow ride without any dressage bells and whistles. Instead, a whirlwind of troubled colt swept across the arena, leaving a wake of chaotic riders behind him. The outcome turned out to be my first ever canter pirouette, an advanced dressage movement that I never expected to experience on Santo. This episode is dedicated to the memory of Peter Campbell (1964-2017).
For more information on Peter and how his clinics helped the horses at LOPE (the racehorse adoption charity I founded), please read this 2015 blog post from former LOPE staffer Suzanne: http://lopetx.org/blog/horsemanship/10-things-learned-peter-campbell-clinic/
Penny Reeves is the owner of Graymar Farm in Driftwood, TX. In this second part of her interview, Penny discusses the importance of horsemanship over show scores. For her, the horse is an individual to be treated as a partner -- both in the show pen and at home. Please see the first part of her interview in the Horse Wise episode titled The Never Ended Evolution of a Horse Crazy Kid. Penny is a multi-discipline show trainer, instructor and competitor. She acquired her first horse in fourth grade (a green broke Tennessee Walker purchased with money she saved). As an adult, she put horses aside to become a parent and grown-up. When her children became interested in horses, Penny (literally) jumped into her first ever formal riding lessons. From there, two horses named Pinto Bean and Strawberry led Penny into the world of jumping, 4H shows, western all-around competitions and professional training barn ownership. Along the way, Penny also became a health club owner, youth sports coach, radio personality and avid Western Dressage scholar/competitor. . Graymar Farm is a professional training/boarding facility with 50 horses in residence, along with three trainers (including Penny) and a close-knit, friendly community of aspiring show riders, horse lovers and lifelong students of the horse. For more information, please visit Graymar Farm at https://www.facebook.com/Graymar-Farm-195344433861590/
Penny Reeves is the owner of Graymar Farm in Driftwood, TX. She acquired her first horse in fourth grade (a green broke Tennessee Walker purchased with money she saved). As an adult, she put horses aside to become a parent and grown-up. When her children became interested in horses, Penny (literally) jumped into her first ever formal riding lessons. From there, two horses named Pinto Bean and Strawberry led Penny into the world of jumping, 4H shows, western all-around competitions and professional training barn ownership. Along the way, Penny also became a health club owner, youth sports coach, radio personality and avid Western Dressage scholar/competitor. Graymar Farm is a professional training/boarding facility with 50 horses in residence, along with three trainers (including Penny) and a close-knit, friendly community of aspiring show riders, horse lovers and lifelong students of the horse. For more information, please visit Graymar Farm at https://www.facebook.com/Graymar-Farm-195344433861590/
Tulsa Mambo was an opinionated racehorse with a big personality. He was the first horse I ever met who had a truly sarcastic sense of humor. But underneath that prankster facade, Tulsa had a heart of gold - as well as a heroic sense of chivalry. He first came into my life in 2003, when he joined the LOPE racehorse adoption ranch. Tulsa was the first ever "warhorse" to come to our program. Warhorses are racehorses who ran at least 50 times, often retiring at an older age (7 or above) from the track. Tulsa's mischievous adventures eventually earned him a whole chapter in my book (Beyond the Homestretch). A truly unique character, Tulsa taught me much about horsemanship and life. Not to mention rattlesnakes. Visit LOPE at www.lopetx.org for more information about our work with ex-racehorses.