The blogging community is a wonderful resource for all things equestrian from training ideas and specific exercises to tack and equipment. I learn just as much from reading the comments in posts as I do the post itself many times. Ask a question in your own post and you will more often than not be inundated with wonderful suggestions. Fortunately most bloggers are really awesome and leave the outright judgement at home. Those who are pretty vocally disdaining of others tend to be run out fairly quickly.
Over the past several years of reading blogs and blogging myself, I have learned so much from all you bloggers. While I love competition recaps, training exercise ideas and fun day posts, I have found that it is the little one off comments that have stuck with me and impacted my riding/management on a daily basis the most. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means. There are plenty of tidbits I have picked up and don’t remember that I learned it from a blogger, but here is a list of those I do remember that had the most impact. .
- L. Williams from Viva Carlos is one blogger that spends a lot of time running through my head when I ride. Creepy? Maybe. Probably? In a series of posts this year she was writing about trot work and mentioned that Dante broke to a canter when asked for the trot. Her response to this was to calmly bring him back, set him up for success and ask again. Now this is pretty basic stuff for most, but it really stuck with me. When H’Appy breaks to the canter instead of trot I tend to get a bit handsy and tense. My MO in all things. But now I find myself thinking of those posts, relaxing, calmly bringing the Doofus back and asking again while ignoring the misguided attempt to canter. It has really impacted the way I respond and in turn the way he responds.
- Dom from A Collection of Madcap Escapades completely changed the way I use quick release lines. She was writing about an incident with a horse in the cross ties and went on a small and informative rant about the proper way to use these which as it turned out was not the way I had been doing it for years. I always attached the quick release part to the horse thinking that in an emergency I could reach up and release them. Nope. That end goes on the solid object so that when you release the horse, you still have a tether to grab and contain them. Ever since reading that, I have flipped it around.
- Carly from Poor Woman Showing has a lot of wonderfully sarcastic and funny posts. The one that really stuck with me though was when she went off on a trail adventure with Dopie. She said something along the lines of having to get through the suck before it gets good. And that has wormed into my brain and boosted my bravery on a number of occasions with Doofus of late. In order to get the horse I want, I need to suffer a bit through the firsts and potentially seconds of everything.
- Saiph from Wait for the Jump wrote about an endurance related issue with Lily at the same moment I was having a similar issue with Gem. Both mares had done a fall 50 mile ride and Gem had finished the ride with passing scores but I watched as she drank throughout and still had diminishing hydration scores all day long. Lily had the same thing happen at her ride with Saiph though she unfortunately ended in the vet tent for some hydration at the end. Saiph learned through that that the potassium wasn’t high enough in the electrolytes she was using which caused the water to basically sit in the gut without being absorbed and used. From then on I began to make my own electrolytes and I never had another issue with hydration again.
- This isn’t a single moment thing and I’ve been debating adding it, but it really has impacted me so I am going to. Olivia from DIY Horse Ownership has a difficult gelding, Levi, that doesn’t make eventing easy for her. Yet she goes out there, nearly vomiting half the time, and goes to competitions. Sometimes she circles between jumps. Sometimes she trots. Sometimes she knocks a lot of rails over. But she is there doing it while I sit at home waiting to be better, more ready, more perfect. And that is stupid. She has taught me to go. Have some fun. Do the thing even if it scares you or you feel like an idiot for being there. Go and do and learn and grow. She was the catalyst for me getting off my rump and doing the CT with Gem last year and I didn’t die and I did learn a lot from it.
Those are my top 5. How about you? Anything stick out that a blogger wrote that changed your own perspective, ways of handling things or gave you a good tip? I’d love to read them!