Horse Wise

Horse Wise

By Lynn Reardon
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.

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My brilliant (not) career as a polo player. The story of a polo match that brought out both the best and the worst in me.

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How to improve your riding when you can’t ride for extended periods (due to circumstances beyond your control).
In this episode, I discuss how to take advantage of extended breaks from riding (due to weather, injury or other annoying factors). It can be frustrating to have a forced break from riding. But there are fun ways you can use this time to actually improve your riding -- even with very little time in the saddle. If you can take a playful and fresh perspective, the exercises I share will be of great benefit (plus will make you laugh). I speak from much experience — over the last seven years, I’ve had multiple  involuntary breaks from riding (from reasons such as natural disasters, athletic injury and family member illness). Each time, I emerged with greater insight and improved horsemanship skills — precisely because I couldn’t ride in my usual routine (and in my old patterns).  Below are some of the resources I mention in the podcast: 55 Corrective Exercises for Horses book by JEC Ballou https://www.amazon.com/Corrective-Exercises-Horses-Resolving-Preventing/dp/1570768676 Kathleen Beckham’s Grey Horse LLC blog https://www.facebook.com/greyhorsellc/ Wendy Murdoch https://murdochmethod.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRSqtjThWjI&t=1s Think Harmony book by Ray Hunt https://www.amazon.com/Think-Harmony-Horses-Depth-Relationship/dp/0914330152 Seamless Seat book by Kathleen Schmitt https://www.amazon.com/Seamless-Seat-Creating-Ideal-Connection/dp/1592286852 Buck Brannaman newest DVD https://brannaman.com/bb-storepages-In-Snaffle-Bit.html At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching or general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
20:03
February 14, 2020
How to tell the difference between a shut down horse and a truly calm horse. And why that distinction is so important.
The term “bombproof horse” is always a red flag to me. Many times, that can mean that the horse is shut down and essentially unresponsive to its environment. In this episode, I discuss the reasons why you don’t want a bombproof horse — and how to help a horse that has become desensitized to the point of equine zombie status. A good riding partnership requires that both members truly participate in their endeavors together. At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching or general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )1
24:23
February 9, 2020
What do your car and groceries have to do with horses? A fun winter exercise you can do (no matter how cold the weather).
Winter can be challenging for equestrians. The weather is often cold, snowy or icy (depending on where you live). Your normal riding routine gets disrupted on a regular basis. How do you make progress  with your horse during the winter months? In this episode, I share a fun exercise that is easy to do in the winter — and reveals much about your riding patterns. Best of all, it doesn’t even involve your horse or the outdoors. All you need is your car and some groceries. I came upon this exercise purely by accident a few years ago — and it changed my entire perspective on my equitation and riding goals. At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching or general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
16:44
January 31, 2020
How the nicest people can sometimes create the biggest trouble for their horses.
It seems like a paradox that nice people can ruin horses. When we think of a ruined horse, we envision cruel owners who abuse and mistreat their horses. But unfortunately sometimes truly nice people can create big trouble for their horses. Mostly through small things that don’t seem important at all. As well as things that don’t seem at all related to horses — like what type of perspective you bring to learning or listening to advice. In this episode, I share some examples of what I’ve observed over the years with nice people and troubled horses. Including the story of a hard luck little mare who had only nice people for owners — yet still ended up deeply in crisis. At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching or general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
25:42
January 27, 2020
How I learned to embrace my inner horse geek (thanks to Ray Hunt). And why that made all the difference to me (and to the horses).
I didn’t learn to ride until I was an adult. Predictably, I wasn’t exactly the smoothest rider at first. In fact, I was a downright nerd at the barn. If there was a wrong fashion choice to make, I made it. Rubber riding boots. Giant bright sweaters. Oversized helmets that made me look like an uncoordinated motorcycle cop. You name the worst equestrian fashion faux pas — and I embodied it. I longed to be rugged, tough and world wise, like the pro horse trainers I knew. But over time, I came to realize that my nerdy perspective was actually a positive thing. It gave me a fresh and completely non-cynical approach to the horses. My “beginner’s mind” was open to many possibilities that experts would never consider. Because of that, I became aware of small things in the horses’ behavior and expressions that seemed significant to me (and to the horses). I was more receptive to learning — and the horses were happy to teach me because of that.  I owe this insight to an early experience at a Ray Hunt clinic. It was the first clinic I had ever ridden in. Blissfully clueless, I went into the colt starting class with a polo saddle, Gap jeans and a barely broke 3 yo TB straight from the track. A wiser, less nerdy person would have never ridden in that clinic. But I learned so much from Ray. And it’s because of that clinic that I became a dedicated (and perpetually nerdy) student of horsemanship. At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching or general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
13:47
January 17, 2020
What I’ve learned from doing the Horse Wise podcast. A look back at the podcast highlights of 2019.
I started the Horse Wise podcast in February 0f 2019. At the time, it was just an experiment. As I look back on the year, I’m amazed at the growth of the podcast. It has become one of the key tools of the Horse Wise education program. We now have listeners in 48 states and 23 countries! I have learned so much from doing the podcast — including my own aptitude for talking endlessly about horses, horsemanship and horse people. Enjoy this episode about the lessons I learned from hosting the Horse Wise podcast — and thank you all for listening. Happy New Year! If you’d like more information on Horse Wise services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
09:29
December 30, 2019
Believe in your horse, so your horse can believe in you. A simple quote from Ray Hunt that contains so much wisdom.
The most important principles in life are often simple. They seem self-obvious and straightforward to understand. But putting them into practice isn’t always so easy. Especially when the principle involves becoming aware of how you need to change. One of the most helpful horsemanship sayings to me is the seemingly simple Ray Hunt quote: “Believe in your horse, so your horse can believe in you.” But there are many layers of wisdom beneath that short sentence. In this episode, I share some of my own experiences with believing in my horse — and how those led to me learning how to believe in myself. True to form, the podcast includes entertaining analogies (such as how tying your child to a dining room table is like you not allowing your horse to make a mistake) — none of which are suitable for actual child supervision or parenting techniques. At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching (with customized references to things like the muddy puppies or fly fishing analogies) or just general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
15:40
December 19, 2019
The biggest mistake you can make when a ride doesn’t go well - and how the solution involves you, giant muddy puppies and a sense of humor.
There is a classic mistake I see most riders make when a ride doesn’t go as expected. And that is the tendency to immediately assume that 1) you suck; and 2) your horse hates you. Pretty much every horsewoman I’ve ever known has experienced the “I suck and my horse hates me” syndrome. It can be overwhelming— and involve sleepless nights, inner turmoil and complete loss of perspective. We think that we are taking constructive action by berating ourselves — after all, we failed and we should pay a price for that right? But the truth is that all of the angst actually prevents us from helping and supporting our horse. The chaotic wave of emotion acts like a fog — we can’t see the what actually happened during the ride because of it. The good news is that there are some fun, simple ways to prevent the “I suck and my horse hates me” scenario. Listen to the episode to discover how you, giant muddy puppies and a sense humor can change everything for the better. At Horse Wise, I teach people tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). If you’d like more information on mindset practices, audio coaching (with customized references to things like the muddy puppies or fly fishing analogies) or just general Horse Services, please visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
18:07
December 2, 2019
What kind of qualities does your dream horse have? Find out how I discovered my dream horse this year — much to my surprise and delight.
What's your dream horse like? Most people have specific ideas about what they want in their dream horse. They make a detailed list of qualities (like height, conformation, bloodlines, movement type, color, discipline training and so on).  For me personally, I never much believed in the idea of dream horses. The horses in my life had all crossed my path at the right time — rather than me specifically searching for a certain kind of candidate. None of them were perfect by traditional standards (they had sports injuries, personality quirks or imperfect conformation). But they all were good horses for me and I enjoyed our time together immensely. This year, I had to unexpectedly retire a 9 yo gelding due to EPM complications. Inspired by several friends who had acquired young prospects, I began a quiet search for a new horse. My list of ideal attributes was a little offbeat — so I didn’t expect to find a horse that matched them all. But then I met a 16H bay gelding who had the most important quality of all. One that wasn’t even on my list. I knew this horse was my next schoolmaster — and I brought him home immediately. His name was Cozy Kitten (a great name) — and he had recently retired from the track at age 11 (after 94 races). Listen to the podcast to find out why I chose him — and why I feel so fortunate to have found such an ideal teacher. Did you find your dream horse? You and your horse could be on the Horse Wise podcast! If you’d like to share the story of how you found your dream horse — and why he/she is the perfect horse for you — please contact us. We are doing a series of interviews about dream horses and what they have  brought to their owners’ lives. Links from the podcast: Horse Wise https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ http://horsewisecoach.com/ CANTER Kentucky https://www.facebook.com/canter.ky/ https://www.instagram.com/canterkentucky/ LiftOff Equestrian https://www.facebook.com/Liftoff-Equestrian-295400912964/ https://www.instagram.com/liftoffequestrian/ LOPE https://www.facebook.com/LOPETEXAS/ https://www.instagram.com/lope_tx/
18:00
November 1, 2019
Meet Erin Shea of Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Erin is a marketing genius, a talented journalist and a dedicated fan of OTTBs. Especially one named Turbo Booster.
This interview is the last of a series in honor of the Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover event in Oct 2019. Erin Shea and I discuss the history of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (“TAA”) and the evolution of its partnership with the racing industry. TAA accredits charities that provide assistance to off-track TBs throughout the US. Due to their rigorous accreditation process, TAA literally sets the standard for aftercare in the nation. Once accredited, organizations are then eligible for grants through TAA. The TAA accreditation and grants allow TB charities to gain key national support for their work that they might not otherwise be able to access. The TAA accreditation process also promotes the sharing of best practices and mentoring among TB aftercare charities. I’m honored that the aftercare charity I founded (LOPE) has been been accredited since 2015. Speaking from experience, TAA has played an invaluable role in LOPE’s warhorse program. Because of their accreditation and support, LOPE has been able to take in warhorses from all over the US (including Puerto Rico). Since 2012, the TAA has granted more than $13.8 million to accredited aftercare organizations and 9,000 Thoroughbreds have been retrained, rehomed, or retired by accredited organizations. Currently, 70 organizations with approximately 160 facilities hold TAA accreditation. TAA is one of the official charities of the 2019 Breeders Cup — plus will have a presence during the World Championships. They are excited to announce that Keeneland has initiated their tote donation software — so anyone can donate to TAA from a winning ticket from a self-service betting terminal. Please consider a donation to TTA before the end of the year. Their work is invaluable to the aftercare of Thoroughbreds retiring from their track careers — and a donation to TAA helps horses receive top notch care from the best groups in the US! Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance: https://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org https://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org/taa-impact/ https://www.facebook.com/ThoroughbredAftercareAlliance/ https://www.instagram.com/tbaftercare/ https://twitter.com/TBaftercare Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover: https://www.tbmakeover.org/ Horse Wise Education Services: http://horsewisecoach.com/ https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/
25:51
October 10, 2019
Meet Erin Crady of Thoroughbred Charities of America. Behind her quiet, multitasking ninja facade, Erin is a true TB aftercare trailblazer, natural disaster hero and rugged pack trip rider.
This interview is part of a series in honor of the Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover event in Oct 2019. Erin Crady and I have a fascinating discussion about the evolution of Thoroughbred aftercare and TCA’s role in the industry. TCA’s history literally began in a living room (a very nice living room at CandyLand Farm) over thirty years ago. Since then, TCA has has provided over $23M grants to over 200 Thoroughbred related organizations. In addition to aftercare groups,ŤCA also supports Thoroughbred incentive programs, backstretch and farm employee programs, equine-assisted therapy programs that utilize Thoroughbreds and equine research. Their Horses First Fund is a ground breaking initiative to assist Thoroughbreds in crisis situations (such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico). TCA is the Presenting Sponsor of the prestigious Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover. They have supported the Makeover since 2012 (at its inception) and its mission of creating markets and public demand for OTTBs in the show ring. Held each January, TCA’s largest fundraiser is a Stallion Season Auction. The event consists of an online and a live auction of select seasons and other items. Most seasons sell during the online auction however approximately 10 select seasons, as well as other items such as trips and tickets to sporting events, are sold during a live auction. Their next Stallion Season Auction will be on January 8-10, 2020. Thoroughbred Charities of America: https://www.tca.org https://www.tca.org/horses-first-fund/ https://www.tca.org/seasons/ https://www.facebook.com/ThoroughbredCharitiesofAmerica/ Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover: https://www.tbmakeover.org/ Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare (OTTB group in Puerto Rico that saved many racehorses after Hurricane Maria): https://www.ctahorse.com/ https://www.facebook.com/horserescue/ CandyLand Farm: https://candylandfarm.com/ Horse Wise Education Services: http://horsewisecoach.com/ https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/
41:36
September 28, 2019
Where to start with your horse? Three simple areas to focus on (without fancy bits, astrology signs or complex training methods).
Confused about what to do with your horse next? I focus on certain core fundamentals — none of which involve fancy bits, complicated training methods or “woo woo” magic. They are discipline neutral and can be applied to any breed of horse. They aren’t even my own patented technique or anything silly like that (I promise you, I will never be selling monogrammed halters or specially designed magic wands).  These are simple tools to learn how to 1) train your eye to see key elements of your horse’s behavior and movement; 2) develop your analytical and assessment skills (to accurately interpet what your eye sees ) and 3) physically direct your horse in exercises that build his confidence and balance (via equine biomechanics principles). At Horse Wise, I teach people these tools so that they can learn how to coach themselves and their horses to progress together as a team. It’s a fun process that shows you how build a good partnership with your horse (in a practical, straightforward way). But my schedule for in-person sessions (both local and out-of-state) is pretty much full all the time. To meet long distance client demand, I’ve created an online coaching package (http://horsewisecoach.com/online-horsemanship-coaching/) to teach these principles (customized  for each horse and rider). If you’re interested but online coaching seems a little weird, we have free pdfs with fun exercises to practice and learn more on your own. Plus I offer a free 30-minute consultation call, to discuss whether online coaching is the right approach for you and your horse (and if not, what other resources might be useful for you in your geographic area). Visit our website for more information:  http://horsewisecoach.com/ And if you’d like to keep up with our news and updates, please join our email list or follow us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/ )
19:11
September 14, 2019
Meet Sarah Coleman of New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. A hilarious superhero, Sarah runs on pink glitter, unicorn images, cheesy quotes and the biggest work ethic ever.
This interview is the first of a series in honor of the upcoming Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover event in Oct 2019. Sarah Coleman and I have an entertaining talk about racehorse adoption, horse show swag, cat herding techniques and the importance of the color pink. We also discuss the importance of education in the horse world – and how both New Vocations and Horse Wise focus on education as a key part of our programs. New Vocations is the oldest and largest racehorse adoption charity in the country. They adopt and rehab hundreds of horses each year. Sarah runs the special events at NV and oversees the development of their lovely headquarters at Mereworth Farm in Kentucky. One of the signature events at NV is their annual All-Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show and T.I.P. Championships. The show is held at the Rolex Stadium, Walnut Arena and Hunter/Jumper Complex at the Kentucky Horse Park on Sept 6-8 this year. Sarah has run this show since its debut – and has made it into a wonderful showcase event for Thoroughbred lovers and owners.  http://newvocations.org/kentucky-charity-thoroughbred-show/ Informative links from the interview: New Vocations: http://newvocations.org/ https://www.facebook.com/new.vocations1/ https://www.instagram.com/newvocationsracehorseadoption/ Other Awesome TB Racehorse Adoption Groups: https://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org/taa-accredited-organizations/ Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover: https://www.tbmakeover.org/ Sarah Coleman Instagram (if you want to follow her addiction to the color pink):  https://www.instagram.com/ky_horse_girl/ Horse Wise Education Services: http://horsewisecoach.com/ https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ https://www.instagram.com/horse_wise/
37:16
August 30, 2019
Dr. Jyme Nichols of Bluebonnet Feeds on equine nutrition, Captain Crunch, leaky gut and Snickers bars. The most fun discussion of horse feed science ever!
This interview was full of great information and much laughter! Dr. Jyme Nichols and I have a fascinating discussion on equine nutrition breakthroughs and the parallels to new theories for human nutrition. Issues such as leaky gut, ulcers, inflammation and metabolic disorders have surprising connections in both horses and humans. Dr. Nichols is an ARPAS certified Professional Animal Scientist (PAS) in the Equine discipline. She is the Director of Nutrition for Bluebonnet Feeds and leads efforts behind the Stride Animal Health brand.  Lest you think she is a boring scientist type, Dr. Nichols is a true cowgirl who grew up on a ranch at the border of Nebraska and South Dakota. Her family included saddle bronc riders, ropers and barrel racers. She went to college on a rodeo scholarship. After entering her graduate academic program, Dr. Nichols then assisted in coaching the team members to a national championship. In between rodeo competitions, her published research focused on managing blood glucose and insulin concentrations in horses with an oral psyllium supplement. Which sounds technical but just think about it as related to Snickers bars and Captain Crunch.  Dr. Nichols’ additional research has focused on identifying equine veterinarians' educational needs in equine nutrition. Dr. Nichols has been part of the Bluebonnet Feeds team since 2011.  Informative links from the interview: Bluebonnet Feeds product line: https://bluebonnetfeeds.com/ Oral Plasma information (the biggest tip from the interview): https://strideanimalhealth.com/content/product-info/LIFELINE_TechBul.pdf Dr. Nichols’ dissertation (Identifying Equine Veterinarians' Continuing Educational Needs in Equine Nutrition): https://shareok.org/handle/11244/320979 For regional listeners in Texas/Oklahoma counties, please check out Lindsay Burer’s informative page. She is an Equine Nutrition Consultant and often holds terrific educational events: https://www.facebook.com/lbequinenutrition/ As always, for more information on Horse Wise and our national education services: http://horsewisecoach.com/ 
35:16
August 19, 2019
Meet Jennifer Holme. A dedicated rider discusses how classical horsemanship helps her dressage goals and partnership with her horses (Teddy and Jade).
Jennifer Holme is a dedicated dressage rider and Horse Wise client. She has two wonderful geldings (Teddy and Jade) who are truly her dream horses. An adult amateur, Jennifer learned to ride as a child. But after a fall, she put aside horses to focus on dance, college and adulthood. Twenty years later, a lesson at a hunter/jumper barn led her back to horses. She hasn’t looked back since. Her journey has included multiple disciplines (jumping, western and her current passion of dressage), a move to Texas and two quests for the perfect horse (which resulted her acquisition of both Teddy and Jade).  Teddy is former reining horse with a heart of gold and the build of a burly dachshund. Jade is a young Lusitano with fabulous dressage potential and a sweet temperament. During the interview, Jennifer discusses how classical horsemanship has helped with her dressage goals and (most importantly) her riding partnership with Jade and Teddy. For more information on Horse Wise and to download a free study guide, please visit our website at www.horsewisecoach.com Jennifer has worked with both Penny Reeves of Graymar Farm and with Nancy Fair of Fair Oaks Farm. She also has attended a key clinic with Linda Hoover (sponsored by Horse Wise). Please visit their sites for more information about their wonderful services: Nancy Fair: https://www.facebook.com/nancy.fair.7 Penny Reeves: https://www.facebook.com/Graymar-Farm-195344433861590/ (also, please see our earlier podcast interview episodes with Penny) Linda Hoover: https://www.facebook.com/LindaHooverRefinedHorsemanship/ Horse Wise: https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/
30:51
August 7, 2019
The story of Shadow Warrior, the bravest (and most dangerous) horse I ever owned.
Shadow Warrior was a handsome, well-bred Thoroughbred gelding. His sire, A.P. Indy, was a huge personality at the track. Even now, at age 30, A.P. Indy still has swagger (see link below to his 30th birthday video). Shadow had his father’s good looks, competitive fire and epic presence. Born in 2008, he raced 83 times and retired at age 9. Shadow ended his career in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in Sept 2017. Abandoned at the track, Shadow was rescued due to the heroic efforts of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare. He came to the racehorse charity I ran (LOPE) in Dec 2017. It soon became clear that Shadow had intense aggression and PTSD issues. I had never encountered or worked with a horse as troubled as Shadow. But thanks to the mentorship and coaching of a good friend (Nathan Greiner), Shadow and I slowly made progress together for several months (see three-part series below for details). During that phase, Shadow helped many people learn — including at-risk youth, horsemen of the highest caliber and many racing professionals.  But then Shadow took a turn for both the better and the worse simultaneously. The combination led to behavior that was even more dangerous than before. Although Shadow’s life was much too short, it had great meaning and purpose. The last year of his life was happy, with many days of contentment and peace. I’ll always regret that I couldn’t develop the skills in time to help Shadow fully. But I'll never regret that I had the honor to know him, work with him, learn from him and (lastly) own him. Many thanks and deep gratitude to all the people who helped Shadow and me along the way: Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare, Gary Bailey of Bail-e Horsemanship and Colt Starting, Tom Curtin Quality Horsemanship, The Burke Center for Youth, Dr. Matt Evans of Austin Equine Hospital — and most of all, Nathan Greiner.  Photo of Shadow Warrior: http://tjr.me/galleries/horses/images/shadow-warrior/ A.P. Indy 30th birthday video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X58Nc1_FTDI 3 Part Series on Shadow’s progress in 2017 and 2018: Pt 1: https://mailchi.mp/lopetx/shadow-warrior-a-heros-tale Pt 2: https://mailchi.mp/0fda8b89e31a/shadow-warrior-a-heros-tale-3231277 Pt 3: https://mailchi.mp/lopetx/shadow-warrior-a-heros-tale-3235509
37:04
July 23, 2019
What exactly is Horse Wise? The story of my background with horses, the history of Horse Wise and how learning from the horses drew me into the world of coaching.
For me, Horse Wise began in 2007. Back then, I was running a racehorse adoption ranch and blogging about my experiences. Whenever I would write about a key lesson that a horse taught me, I would tag the post as “Horse Wise.” From that beginning, Horse Wise has evolved into a coaching and teaching service for people and horses. My history with horses started with learning to ride as an adult (in weekly group riding lessons). A full-time office worker with a normal job, I soon found horses taking over more and more of my life (including a memorable volunteer stint with a mounted Park Police unit). Eventually, I moved from Washington DC to Texas and started the racehorse adoption charity LOPE (http://lopetx.org/ ). The ex-racehorses provided me with an incredible education about horses, horsemanship and life itself. They also brought me memorable teachers, starting with the best of them all — Ray Hunt (http://www.alegacyoflegends.com/the-legacy.html). Thanks to the LOPE horses, I wrote a popular book (Beyond the Homestretch) about my work. To my surprise, I then steadily grew into becoming a teacher/coach for horses and their people. For more information about Horse Wise and the services we offer, please visit: http://horsewisecoach.com/  or  https://www.facebook.com/HorseWiseCoach/ 
20:36
July 6, 2019
A frustrated cowboy couldn’t figure out why his mare was so bad at cow work. How he discovered that the mare was a mirror of his own expectations, thanks to a tactful clinician.
A pretty mare was performing badly in a cow working class. She was anxious about making a mistake and didn’t want to let her cowboy rider down. But it seemed like she always did, no matter how hard she tried. The cowboy was frustrated with the mare and wondered why she was so untalented. She had a stellar cutting horse pedigree and ideal conformation for the sport. While he was a good rider and all-around nice guy, he had missed a key point. With a few quiet comments, a tactful clinician helped him understand that the mare was simply a reflection of his own expectations. For more information about Horse Wise and our services, please visit: http://horsewisecoach.com/
12:34
June 21, 2019
Jessica wondered why her horse Blaze was misbehaving “all of a sudden." How small steps had literally led them to the wrong destination. A CSI case of horse behavior investigation.
Jessica and Blaze were a good team. A seasoned professional horse trainer and competitor, Jessica had worked with many green horses. Blaze, a young OTTB, was her latest training project. He had been one of the calmest horses she had ever worked with. But then “all of a sudden” Blaze began to rear in his training sessions. What was going on? After watching Jessica and Blaze work together for ten minutes, it became very clear where they had taken a wrong turn. Find out what I saw — and how it turned out that a few simple steps had led to the problem. For more information about Horse Wise and our services, please visit: http://horsewisecoach.com/
16:11
June 10, 2019
My brilliant (not) career as a polo player. The story of a polo match that brought out both the best and the worst in me.
Many years ago, I played extremely low goal polo. My small budget (and dismal lack of hitting skills) limited me to an inexpensive practice membership at a local club. Each week, I would play practice chukkers with my duo of polo ponies (Pepe and Presidente). I was known on the field for always missing the ball (seriously) — and for my enthusiastic defensive plays. One summer, I got the chance to play in a casual club tournament game. Full of excitement and determination, I put in my best ever performance in the game. To my dismay, it also became the worst memory of my obscure polo career. Pepe and Presidente wouldn’t talk to me for days afterward. For more information on the sport of polo, please visit the US Polo Association at https://www.uspolo.org/ To learn more about Horse Wise and our services, please visit: http://horsewisecoach.com/
20:08
May 20, 2019
How one good horse taught a cowboy so much more than famous trainers on television.
When working with horses. it often can be hard to see the difference between technique and approach/tone. Most people understandably will focus on mechanics rather than presentation. But horses respond as much (or more) to tone as they do to technique. Each horse is different in how they learn (just like people). It’s important to understand what an individual horse needs — so you can then adapt your approach to fit the situation (and the horse). In this episode, I tell the story of how one good gelding demonstrated this lesson to a cowboy. The cowboy was seasoned and kind-hearted — but he had watched a little too many television training programs. By the end of their session, they both had learned a great about each other (without once turning on the TV). For more information on Horse Wise, please visit http://horsewisecoach.com/
14:16
May 10, 2019
How an older gelding, a young colt, a noisy trailer and a 60-day guarantee were nearly a recipe for disaster. Two tales of my adventures in learning about awareness and horses.
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/
21:24
April 18, 2019
How a teenage horse & rider team took the road less traveled (and earned their USDF Bronze medal). Meet the dynamic duo of Cassie and Sasha!
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/)
11:41
April 12, 2019
A veterinarian walks into a comedy club with oil paints, dentistry tools and an easel. Welcome to the world of Dr. Matt Evans DVM.
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. 
45:43
March 29, 2019
How a wild-eyed colt, a western saddle and a big red horse led to my first ever canter pirouette (thanks to a special cowboy named Peter).
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/
14:08
March 21, 2019
Penny Reeves on Horsemanship vs Show Scores. This is Part 2 of her interview series.
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/
21:44
March 14, 2019
Penny Reeves: The Never Ending Evolution of a Horse Crazy Kid
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/
20:39
March 4, 2019
The story of Tulsa Mambo
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. 
14:29
February 26, 2019