Monday, November 28, 2011

The benefits of not having it all.

In my previous post about how proud I was about how I have done with Steady.  Kelly made a comment about a benefit of not boarding because I don't have to deal with others opinions about a greenie taking on the training of a greenie.  And that is a very good point.  I do not have to listen to or hear about other opinions about my choices in alot of things including, training, feeding, care.  Which is quite nice to be able to live in a state of oblivion ;).  I have no outside pressures of how quickly we are moving along or so and so does it this way or so and so says to do it that way.  I can comfortably move at our own pace and if I want someones opinion I can go online and ask for it or pay someone to give it to me, i.e. .lessons.

That topic got me thinking that there are more than a few benefits of not having amenities at my disposal and so I decided to list them.  Cause we all know that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence but when we really stop to evaluate the benefits inside our own back yard(so to speak) I think we are pleasantly surprised at what we will find.

Kate at A Year With Horses just touched on the topic about riding off the rail and that made me think how Steady and I have both benefited from not having a 'rail' to ride on.  She mentions attention and straightness and though I had not put much thought into it once I started thinking about it I realized those are fantastic things that we just do naturally because we have had to.  I never realized how aware I am of a straight line.  Whether it is in the pasture, an arena or in the middle of an enormous field.  We rarely ride in an arena and what I have found is that training in my pasture is so much harder to do but if we go into an arena Steady can produce amazing work, hence a 29 on his last dressage test.  Had we produced anything that could have gotten a 29 in my pasture practicing at home?  No, but because we have more challenges in that situation when we do ride in an arena it just comes easier.  I do have to constantly be thinking about where we are going, how straight my lines are and how round my circles are.  I am pretty sure I can produce a nice shapely 20 meter circle anywhere.  Why?  Because I have had to.

Another benefit is grass footing.  Oh yes nice footing would be great and would mean I would get to do more work in more conditions if I had it.  But looking at the benefits of it.  I am extremely educated and aware of what footing is good enough to ride in and what Steady is capable of doing in that footing.  I am constantly aware of every step and placement of every foot. Which in turn makes me a more aware rider.  So though winter months pretty much mean trotting, trotting and more trotting it is good for both of us anyways.

The closest thing to barn drama I see is my little girls fighting about who gets to ride first.
I don't have to worry about my horses while they are at the barn.
If I want to check on them I just have to walk to my kitchen window and look at them in the pasture.
I can ride/groom/play with the horses on a whim.
Saves gas money since the farthest I have to go to see them is 50ft out my back door to the gate of the pasture.
I can talk to myself while I ride without people around to video and post to youtube.
Feeding in my pj's.

Those are what I came up with off the top of my head.  There may be many more I miss because I have only ever boarded my own horse(my arab as a kid) a few times for just a few months at a time.  So I don't really know what it is like to board.  And believe me there are many positives to boarding and negatives about having them on your property that I can think of too but this is just expounding on the positives.


  1. Good points... I try to board at small places or facilities that cater to trail riders even though I show. I've had enough of DQ drama and am too old to play the games. Not to mention I am doing something very unconventional in that I'm training for and showing a full draft horse in dressage.

    Yes the Tack Trunk has large select of consignment saddles both dressage and jump/hunt. They also carry new and if they don't have it they will move the moon to find and order it for you. They are currently helping me with finding a new d-ring egg butt french link snaffle - size 7 - that's not $300. The folks that work there are knowledgable and fun. Let me know if you head this way maybe we can do lunch or you can meet the mares!

  2. Oh I think we should plan a day! Gives me an excuse to check out the Tack Trunk and I would love to meet you and your mares.

  3. cool! email me -


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