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Nose to the Ground August06 Issue
July 26, 2006
It's been warmer than normal here (downright hot in fact) as has been the case in most of the country. There's the threat of forest fires but still it's a most wonderful time of the year.
We usually have enough breeze to keep the flies down but the fly spray is handy when we need it.
In the last newsletter I shared my experience in building a round pen. At my wife's urging I added an extra touch. The top rail and fence are now painted a dark green color (matching the trim on the house and hay shed). Now, instead of saying "Nice round pen!" visitors say "Wow!".
Well. maybe not wow exactly but the new look is impressive and folks comment on it. A picture of our "world class" pen is shown above and on the new round pen page. Visit
http://www.your-guide-to-gifts-for-horse-lovers.com/round-pen.html if you want to build a pen for yourself or your horse lover. Any comments would be most welcome.
Books and Magazines - A Good Day
Earlier I mentioned being introduced to John Lyon's Perfect Horse magazine and I've taken quite a liking to it. So I was pleased one day recently to find the latest issue at the newsstand. I purchased a copy and on the way home stopped at the post office only to find the summer issue of Horses in Art in my mail box. Now that combination made for a "good" day of reading - two good magazines which I can recommend for your horse lover, the former focusing on handling horses, the latter on equine art (You can visit them at www.horsesinart.com).
I've also spent a few good days reading Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling's What Horses Reveal. Hempfling's Dancing With Horses has long been on my list of highly recommended books so I've looked forward to reading his latest literary effort. I've not been dissapointed.
It's an education to work your way through these categories. I do think that this is a helpful book when it comes to trying to reach a better understanding of any horse. Even though this book follows Dancing With Horses and makes constant reference to that book it isn't really a sequel and you don't have to have read Hempfling's earlier book to get the most out of What Horses Reveal. I may even invest in the accompanying DVD in the future. If I do I'll let you know what I think. Even if you already "know" your horse this book is enjoyable reading. Two good sources are Powells Books, and the Back In The Saddle On Line Catalog (where I ordered my copy). Just type the title or author in their search engine.
A New Link
I'm always on the lookout for links to interesting sites although I try to keep the number small and give you an indication as to where I'm sending you. Sometimes I'm able to get a reciprocal link back to Your Guide ...., sometimes not, but a link to a worthwhile site is of potential value to you.
This is a relatively new web site but well put together and the sections on saddle parts and accessories are particularly informative. Fortunately the advice given by the author on what you need to know basically agrees with my own so you aren't apt to become confused with conflicting advice.
Our local home and ranch store has recently added a home decor section featuring a number of framed photographs and prints. Their display includes a couple of works by David Stoecklein.
Another photograph I liked was "Trails End" which might appeal to you if your looking for an interesting photograph of a western saddle.
They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano
I've often wondered just what it takes to become one of those folks who can walk into a small arena with a half-wild, half-frightened, highly spirited horse and within a minute or so have the horse standing gently by my side. Yes I'm talking about the someone like Hunt, Dorrance, Roberts, Hempfling, etc..
But does there also have to be a little gift we were born with to get us on our way? We're not all natural athletes and many of us could practice the piano for years and they would still laugh when we sit down to play.
Obviously becoming an expert on horses takes a combination of time, patience, perserverance, years of study, practice, passion, and of course some horses. If you're lacking in just one of these you probably won't get there.
Now that does not make you a slacker or a loser. Don't get me wrong. Most of us are pretty happy just being able to be comfortable around horses, enjoy being with them, and able to handle them safely and without an abnormal amount of difficulty.
Grandmasters and Horse Gentlers
There's a very interesting article in the August 2006 issue of Scientific American. It's titled The Expert Mind, and addresses what it takes to become an expert at anything. The subjects chosen are chess grandmasters so if chess is a game you enjoy you'll surely enjoy the article. Chess is chosen because it's a straightforward game lending itself to study and experiment and yet requires years of study and practice to attain the grandmaster level of expertise. The question posed is whether what these chess players have in common can carry over into other fields as well. Is there a special gift you must have from birth or is it all just plain hard work?
Consider the chess grandmaster who can look at the situation on the chess board at most stages of the game and make the appropriate move within a very few seconds.
Each one of us is blessed with certain gifts that allow us to do well and sometimes excel at different things. We are fortunate indeed if we recognize these gifts and can do something about developing them. So there may be something rather unique about those who excel in the art of horsemanship.
But the bottom line suggests it is primarily things within our control -
Read What the Experts Have Done
I think you'd enjoy the article if you get a chance to read it. And if you, or your horse lover want to know more about what it takes to significantly advance or rise to the top in the world of horse trainers and gentlers, see what the experts themselves have to say.
Some excellent books are:
All are reviewed on the page on Books on Horsemanship.
Submit an Article
If you've authored an equine article you'd like to share, please contact us. Of course you'll get full credit and a link to your website when it's published.
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