Thursday, February 25, 2010

Horse Training: Creating the Thinking Horse

Have you ever worked with a horse who "just wants to get it over with"? In other words, as you are working with the horse on a particular exercise, he rushes through it quickly so he can be done and be turned back out to pasture. Sound familiar?

Those are the actions of a reactive horse, not a thinking horse. Yikes!

Those kinds of horses scare me because I know that if I ever get in a jam with that kind of horse, he's going straight into his "fight or flight" reflex, and he's not going to listen to a single signal I'm giving him. He's going to "rush" and "react" until he feels safe again. Reactive horses rush through things, which can be dangerous.

The Illogical Logic of the Reactive Horse
During horse training, reactive horses don't seem to operate on any sort of logical premise. These horses just rush through stuff. They run, they buck, they rear ... they basically cause chaos and damage because they don't feel safe. They seem quite crazy, but in actuality they do operate from a real logic chain, albeit one that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us. Reactive horses seek one thing:


When in "fight or flight" mode, reactive horses rush around and use whatever means they can to get to safety. Here are two examples.

Example 1: George
First, there's George. George was a 16 hand quarter horse I bought from a lady who was quite vague about whether he was actually saddle broke. Her words were something like, "Well, we've hopped on a few times." Hmmm, not at all reassuring. Therefore I treated George as a completely unbroke colt and started from the ground up. Training progressed quickly and well until we got to the lope. Then all hell broke loose. Talk about the "reactive horse rush"!

George would bolt anytime we stepped into the lope. He'd make one good circle and then head off in a straight line. In fact, the lope scared him so much he'd run straight for the trailer, where I normally untacked him. His logic chain went like this: "This loping thing scares me the death so I'm going to run to where we take this saddle off so I don't have to lope. Trailer, here I come!"

Example #2: Walker
The second example involves Walker, my reiner-turned-roper. He had apparently been roped and traumatized many times as an unbroke 3-year-old, and when I started him in roping training, he lost it ... several times. His reaction was similar to George's. Like all prey animals in flight, horses rush for safety ... and Walker sure did. The groundwork with the lariat worked fine, but when I got on and started sacking him out with the lariat, he reacted.

Walker ran for safety which, in his case, meant the company of his pasture buddy Fezzywig. No amount of pulling on one or both reins had any effect. Walker had Fezzywig and safety on the brain. It wasn't until Walker saw the 5-foot solid horse panels that he slid in a 10-foot sliding stop, leaving unbelievable tracks behind him. Yowza. Not fun. Luckily, with Walker in a "sitting" position, I was able to step right out of the saddle safely. Nevertheless, Walker's little spazz-attack convinced me that transforming a reactive horse to a thinking horse was more important than ever.

Horse Training to Create the Thinking Horse
I've had a lot of different horses in my checkered horse career, all of them with different temperaments, and I've learned several ways to transform a reactive horse to a thinking horse. Some of these ways are old cowboy tools, and others are newer nutritional tools. They each have their place my horse training toolbox.

Horse Training Tip #1: Cowboy Up
This isn't always possible, depending on where you do your horse training and how much you feel you can "cowboy up," but it can work really well if you're up for it.

With George, I had fewer tools than I do today. I ended up solving his bolting problem the old-fashioned cowboy way. I took him out to an open pasture and starting loping him. When he bolted, I let him run, and then I asked him to run faster. I kept him running until he wanted to stop, and then I asked him to keep running.

I kept him at a high lope until he started to twitch his ears back and forth and even lick and chew. Amazingly, he could lick and chew even while loping really fast. These were signs that he was starting to think rather than just react. I let him stop loping after that. He did this several more times after the first incident, but then was "cured" of his bolting.

I could easily cowboy up with George because I had plenty of room for him to run with no danger of hitting any obstacles. I was also lucky that he was a runner and didn't buck, which made staying in the saddle easy when he bolted.

Horse Training Tip #2: Buddy Up
Many fearful horses learn to think instead of react by watching other more experienced horses perform a fearful activity. For instance, my neighbor and I both own several horses, and we both decided that all of our horses should learn to accept having a rope thrown from their back. Following an amazing guide written by Mary Duke and Dusty Healey of Stirrup Cup Farm, my neighbor Katee and I have been preparing our horses to accept the rope.

We noticed that whenever we worked together, one with a green horse and one with a more experienced horse, both horses remained calm. The green horse watched the more experienced horse accept the rope, and learned instantly that the rope wasn't something to be feared. This turned the green colt into a thinking horse. This has advanced our training progress by leaps and bounds. In fact, we have found that when we work our green horses independently, the progress is much slower and the chances of our horses reacting much greater.

Horse Training Tip #3: Cancel the Fight or Flight Reflex
I'm pretty much always ready to cowboy up when I'm already in the saddle and the horse underneath me bolts, but I like to avoid it when I can. To that end, I definitely "buddy up" with other horses when riding a green colt.

These days I also have another tool: an herbal supplement called Eleviv that literally has the effect of canceling out a horse's reactive response.

More scientifically, this herbal combination has the effect of switching panicked horses, who are in their "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system, back into their more normal relaxed parasympathetic nervous system. This is important because many traumatized horses remain stuck in the panicked sympathetic nervous system after trauma, even if they seem calm on the outside.

Walker is a perfect example. He worked like a perfectly broke reining horse and it wasn't until I started trying to rope off of him that I realized that he was still traumatized about the lariat.

I started Walker on 2 capsules of Eleviv a day and gave him 2 extra capsules when I went to ride him. Within about 4 weeks he was calmly roping the RoboSteer with another horse (see our practice pic above). Within that 4 week period, the weather was so bad that I worked him no more than 6 sessions, 4 times at Stirrup Cup Farm and twice at home. That's pretty amazing progress for a horse who was so panicked by the lariat that he literally bolted. The Eleviv is now one of the most important tools in my horse training toolkit.

Read more about Eleviv and how it's used for horses and humans in the Natural Solutions ebook.

Horse Training for the Thinking Horse
So there you have it ... three of my favorite tools for transforming the reactive horse into to thinking horse. I have to admit, these days I do less cowboying up than I used to, but I do love to cowboy up. It's fun. But there are also less traumatic ways to train a thinking horse, and these days I tend to use those methods more. For one thing, these methods are not as hard on my body, and I definitely don't like it when horses rush through things. For another, they are a heck of a lot more convenient!

What about you? Got some great ideas for creating a thinking horse? Please leave me a comment or contact me. I'd love to hear as I'm putting together another ebook for the horse community!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

Photo credit: Mary Duke of
Stirrup Cup Farm

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Horse Health Care: Have You Done a Rib Check plus Feeding Enough Hay

A fuzzy horse does not necessarily equal a fat horse. I don't know what the whether is like where you live, but here in Colorado we are having the coldest winter in 100 years. That's cold.

What's worse, horses here are freezing to death, and I mean that literally. Horses that look "fat" from a distance are actually dying of pneumonia because they don't have enough fat to stay warm.

There have been enough cases of pneumonia and cold-related horse deaths to really cause alarm, since many of the horses who have died were not old, ill, or otherwise impaired. They were just cold and hungry.

Hence, the need for a rib check.

Horse Health Care and the Rib Check
If you want to take excellent care of your horse this freezing winter (it's snowing in Texas, for goodness sakes!) then do a rib check on your horse every few days. A horse who looks "fat" because he's got a giant shaggy coat may actually be quite thin underneath all of that shag carpeting.

To do a rib check, just wiggle your fingers into your horse's big hairy coat and run your fingers across his ribs. If you feel a lot of bumpity-bumps down the line, you know that your horse needs more calories to stay warm. If you feel nothing but a smooth glide, then you know that your horse at least isn't starving to death.

Also feel for hollows along your horse flanks, by his withers, and along either side of his spine. He should have some fat deposits along his topline as well. If he's got those, you're good to go. If he's got hollows instead of soft pads of flesh up there, you may need to throw more hay.

How Much Hay for Horses is Enough?
Hay for horses … I used to think figuring out how much was enough was a tough equation. You can always go by bodyweight and all the formulas in the textbooks. But textbooks don't take into account weather (like the coldest winter in 100 years) or other factors that might affect your horse's weight.

I have a simpler solution. Regardless of whether you feed grain or not, your horse needs a certain amount of long-stem forage (translation: hay) to stay healthy and warm. That is because hay is digested in the hindgut and keeps your horse warmer than grain during a cold night. To figure out how much hay your horse needs, estimate the amount he will need for one night, and toss that amount over the fence. The next morning, see if he has left any hay or if he has cleaned up every scrap.

If he has left some hay, then you know you have give him too much. Let him clean up the remainder during the day, and then throw a tad less hay that night. Keep going until you find just a few straggles of hay on the ground each morning. That's when you know you are throwing enough hay. Your horse will tell you by not cleaning up every single scrap.

Make sense? It does to me. All the hay producers in this county always give this formula to their clients, and it has worked for many years. Hope it helps you figure what and how much hay to feed your horses! Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

Photo credit: / CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Horse Feed: How to Save Money on Hay for Horses with Hay Testing

With much of the nation experiencing some of the coldest temperatures on record, horses are gobbling up hay and feed faster than ever.

Hay for horses, unlike lower quality hay for other livestock, can be quite expensive, as can horse feed. That's why it is so important to test and understand the quality of the hay you feed.

Hay for Horses: My Hay Testing Experience
I recently tested my hay (sent a sample to Equi-analytical Labs) and was shocked to discover that the hay I was feeding my horses, cut from my own field, was low-carb hay. While low-carb hay is great for horses with metabolic problems, like insulin-resistant horses, it is a poor choice for horses who need to gain weight or who are trying to stay warm in extreme temperatures.

I face both situations. My gelding, Walker, is a hard keeper so I always have to feed him extra. On top of that, the other horses in my herd have to eat more than in previous winters because we are having the coldest winter in 100 years here in Colorado.

With these conditions, I was having to feed literally half a bale of hay per horse per feeding (3 times daily) just to keep them fat and shiny. While my homemade "horse goo" was helping to regulate their metabolism and get the most out of every flake of hay, I still couldn't understand why I had to feed so much. Now I know.

Feeding Low-Carb Hay
With low-carb hay (10% carbs), my horses were getting the equivalent of "diet hay," which didn't contain enough starch and sugars to keep them warm and fat. Low-carb hay has fewer calories, so my horses had to eat so much more of it to get the calories they needed. Once I figured that out, I ordered five tons of higher carb hay from a local hay dealer, and now I am feeding much less hay. I am also supplementing my herd with much less horse feed, a senior pelleted feed.

I never knew that hay for horses could vary so much in calories or quality. I'm saving my low-carb hay to feed this summer, when my horses occasionally have to be taken off the pasture while it is being irrigated. During the summer, when the horses have access to lush green grass, they won't need as many calories, so the low-carb hay will make a perfect feed.

Have You Tested Your Feed Lately?
With all the buzz going around about horses with metabolic issues, more hay dealers are now testing their hay. Horse owners who have insulin-resistant horses have insisted on it, which is great.

Now it's time for the rest of us horse owners to get in on the hay-testing bandwagon. If you have a hard keeper, it's worth checking if your hay dealer has high-carb (18% carbs) hay, especially if you live in a cold climate. With high-carb hay, you'll be able to feed much less quantity but get much better results. Your horse will maintain his weight more easily on less hay, and that will definitely save on your horse feed bill.

If you plan on buying several tons of hay from a dealer who does not test his hay, it may be worth your while to see if you can get the hay tested yourself. It could save you literally hundreds of dollars, not to mention the fact that your horse will be a lot happier if you feed him hay that is a good match for his metabolism. The test itself is inexpensive (less than $30), and definitely worth your time!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Horse Health Care and Bodywork: How Do I Know it is Working?

Beginner bodyworkers who want a hands on approach to horse health care inevitably ask this question, "How do I know the bodywork is working?"

There's always a bit of a doubt factor, especially if you are new to bodywork. There is also doubt if you don't see immediate "big changes" in your horse. You begin to wonder if you need to call in the professional to work on your horse.

It's always a judgment call as to whether you need a professional to "fix" your horse's health care issues. If you are not sure what is wrong with your horse, it's always a good idea to have a veterinarian do a full exam to make sure that nothing is truly wrong. For example, you want to be sure your horse doesn't need a float or have ulcers.

If your horse passes his vet check with flying colors and just needs bodywork to help him realign certain parts of his body or release tension, then you are good to go doing your own bodywork.

Bodywork: Your Horse, Your Hands

You are the most powerful health care provider your horse has. You see your horse more often than anyone else, and you know your horse better than any professional. That's why your hands can have more power to heal your horse than any professional.

Don't get me wrong, a professional can often do moves that you don't know how to do, and that may be very effective for certain health issues. But on a daily basis, you've got some stuff going for you that a professional will lack, including:
  • your relationship with your horse
  • your knowledge of your horse's tiniest forms of expression
  • your horse's trust in you
  • your horse's love
  • your intuition
So while you might not have as much knowledge as a professional healthcare provider, you got a lot more going for you.

As I've often said, horses are pretty good self-healers, and often they just need a little help from us. They need us to act as a "channel" through which they can pull in healing energy. So when you lay your hands on your horse, you are being that channel for healing. And who do you think makes a better channel? A random professional or a person your horse knows and loves ... you?

So the formula for doing bodywork on your horse is this:

Your Horse + Your Hands = Healing

I'm no professional, but I have managed to do a lot with my roach backed horse, Fezzywig. Mostly I just put my hands where they want to go. I do some stretching and acupressure, but Fezzy likes it best when I just lay my hands on and flow energy. I can see a definite difference in just 2 months. See if you can, too.

Fezzy when he first arrived:

Fezzy now:

In the Meantime ...
But if things aren't progressing as fast as you would like, then get some help. Here are some things you can do:
  • Call in a pro from time to time to evaluate your work
  • Learn anatomy so you know where to put your hands
  • Learn more bodywork techniques like acupressure
  • Join the Horse Health Hotline inexpensively and ask a pro all the questions you want
  • Learn more about your horse's personality type with the Horse Harmony book
  • Get together with a buddy and trade horses to work on (two pairs of eyes are better than one!)
  • Get help from an animal communicator to learn the specifics of where you horse hurts
I think those are plenty of resources to help me when I put my hands on my horse ... what about you?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Horse Health Care: How to Help a Rescue Horse Recover from Trauma

The words 'rescue' and 'adoption' are becoming all too frequently associated with horses these days. With some of the coldest temperatures in history and the economic downturn, people are dumping horses left and right.

In fact, it's so bad that people are secretly stashing unwanted horses at a sale horse in empty trailers to avoid having to pay the sale barn commission!

Being "dumped" can definitely be traumatic for horses, since they often pick up on their humans' distress. Plus, when they are being "dumped" they have no idea what is going to happen to them. This level of uncertainty can traumatize even horses with the most stable personalities.

Four Ways to Help a Horse Recover from Trauma
If you are one of the good Samaritans who has adopted, rescued, or otherwise provided a home for a needy horse, you are probably dealing with a horse who has been traumatized to some extent. Even horses who don't show outer signs of trauma may be feeling insecure and uncertain, which can sometimes lead to health issues like colic, ulcers, or allergies.

For instance, a horse with a Metal personality type can often be dying inside while never showing outer signs of stress (read more about horse personality types on the Horse Harmony website or test your horse's type for free at Horse Harmony Test).

There are many small steps you can take to help your newly acquired horse feel more at home and recover from the trauma of relocation. Here's a short list to get you started, all easily integrated into any regular horse health care routine.

Horse Health Care Tip #1: Talk to Your Horse
Even if you aren't the world's greatest animal communicator, your new horse understands more than you think. Horses understand our intent, even if they may not understand the words we use to converse with them. Reassure your new charge that they are safe and will be cared for. It's important to be honest. If you are not sure that you can provide this horse a "forever home," then don't promise it. You can tell them that you will care for them, love them, and provide a safe home for them for now. Daily reassurance is very important to a traumatized horse. If you need help with animal communication, check out the Herbs and Animals website or the blog.

Tip #2: Provide a Steady Routine
Traumatized horses take great comfort in routine because it gives them something reliable to lean on. A steady routine that runs like clockwork will help a relocated horse settle in quickly. This works especially well for mustangs, who are traumatized from being gathered and shoved into a domestic situation. It works the same way for domesticated horses who have been relocated and are uncertain about their future.

Tip #3: Feed The Nervous System
Most rescue horses are nervous wrecks on the inside, even if they don't show signs of anxiety on the outside. This means that they are operating from their sympathetic nervous system, which is their "fight or flight" nervous system. It is not healthy for them to operate from the sympathetic nervous system all the time. In nature, this "fight or flight" reflex is only meant to be used in situations requiring a quick response. After the threat is over, the horse should shift back into their more normal parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with healing and relaxation. Unfortunately, most traumatized horses get "stuck" in their sympathetic nervous system, which means that they can't relax or let down their guard.

To help them shift back into the parasympathetic nervous system, we have discovered that a course of the herbal supplement Eleviv works great. A short course of high doses of Eleviv (2-6 capsules per day) can help a horse shift quickly into the parasympathetic nervous system, and start relaxing. Economic times are tough, but even 1 bottle of Eleviv (60 capsules) tends to work wonders when given in high concentrations, even if this means you use the entire bottle in 10 days (and I can help you get the lowest wholesale price on this product).

Tip #4: Provide a Good Buddy
Sometimes an older horse or a horse with a steady disposition can provide a lot of support to a newly rescued horse. The experienced horse can take your new rescue under his wing, and "show him the ropes." The experienced horse will show your new horse where food and water are to be found, as well as teach him your regular barn routine. Horse personality types that make good "babysitters" for rescue horses include Earth, Yang Ming, and Shao Yin types. Again, you can read more about horse personality types at Horse Harmony or test your horses' personality types on the Horse Harmony Test website.

Simple Horse Health Care Tips for Rescues
I hope these simple tips help you help your rescue horse. It can take a lot of resources, time, and effort to bring a traumatized rescue horse back to vibrant health, but it's worth it. The joy of seeing a fearful, flighty, or troubled horse restored to happiness is worth just about any price in my book. These days, providing a good home for a horse is a worthy endeavor, even that horse never does anything but "look pretty" standing in your pasture.

Yes, hay and horse feed are expensive, and horses eat a lot. But you can count rescuing a horse as a form of tithing. If it makes you feel any better, you are earning brownie points in horse heaven.

Or, as my friend puts it, you are at least "gilding your karma," which has got to be a good thing, right?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

Photo credit: / CC BY 2.0

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Horse Training: The Donut Man Horse

One of my favorite commercials is the one of Fred the Baker, the face of Dunkin' Donuts for many years, trudging around saying,

"It's time to make the donuts, it's time to make the donuts ..."

I know a horse who is just like the donut man because he needs to do the same thing day in and day out. In fact, he went lame and had to be taken out of training. During his period of prolonged stall rest, he got so agitated that he couldn't "make the donuts," or do his daily routine, that he developed an ulcer and become seriously ill.

Once he healed up from his illness, ulcer, and lameness, all his humans needed to do to keep him from getting sick again was to let him "make the donuts" everyday. As long as this horse got to do some kind of routine every day, he was healthy and happy.

Sound familiar? If you have a horse like this, who craves routine like a drug, then you have a Metal horse personality type. (Read more about horse personality types here.)

Horse Training and the Metal Horse Personality Type
The Metal horse is the reliable ranch horse who does his job as consistently as the Dunkin' Donuts man makes donuts. In fact, the Metal horse so craves consistency and routine that he can actually become ill if he doesn't get. The mental and emotional stress of "something different every day" can literally cause a Metal horse physical illness, especially when they first begin training.

Now this might sound arduous and more than a little crazy, since many people don't have time to train their horses every single day of the week. However, horse training with a Metal horse is not as difficult as you might think.

The key to horse training with a Metal type is to pick one thing and do it consistently. The Metal horse just needs one factor of reliability in his life. It might be as simple as a feeding schedule that functions like clockwork. If you horse lives at home with you, perhaps all you have to do is go out and brush your horse once a day. You can keep the routine simple. You just have to follow it very carefully.

A Horse Training Example
When I first began training my mustang mare Reyacita, she would develop COPD or heave-like symptoms whenever we did something different or new. She would also buck. These were all signals she was trying to send me that the varied training schedule, which worked so well on my playful Wood mare Valentine, was much too stressful for her Metal horse personality type.

I called a friend who had dealt with several Metal horses and asked what I should do. Her answer was simple. She told me that I had to do one consistent "thing" with Reyacita every day, and that would form the bulk of my horse training with her, at least until she came to trust me fully. Mustangs are notoriously wary of humans, and Metal horses in particular have difficulty giving their trust.

She suggested that I pull Reyacita out of pasture every day and simply tie her to the trailer for an hour. That seemed simple enough, so I just that for 14 days in a row. This simple training exercise satisfied Reyacita's craving for routine, and she learned, after 14 days, that she could trust me not to hurt her, and to provide the a consistently safe environment for her.

At the time, I was also feeding the mare 2 capsules of Eleviv per day, which helped her stay out of her "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system, and stay in her parasympathetic nervous system, which is a horse's normal, relaxed state of being.

Today, when I want to introduce something new to Reyacita's horse training program, I try to follow the same principle of routine. I do the same exercise over and over for several days in a row and give her 2 Eleviv during those days. This principle has worked well with our new roping training.

However, if she ever starts to get panicked, as evidenced by her COPD symptoms, I simply go back to the trailer-tying exercise and give her 2 capsules of Eleviv. By doing this for several days in a row, Reyacita relaxes and "realizes" that all is well again.

If you have a young Metal horse (and you can test your horse here for free online), you may want to employ some deliberately routine exercises to help them stay calm and focused during their horse training regimen. It's a case where going slow helps you go fast later.

Older Metal horses who know their job don't need nearly as much consistency as younger Metal horses just learning their job. Older Metal horses are the ones you can leave in the pasture for months at a time, then pull them up for a weekend penning or roping. So long as they know their job, they don't need any extra help with routine or consistency.

Metal horses are wonderful, tough, hard-working horses, and as long as you treat young Metal horses with careful consistency, they will repay your efforts with a long career of hard work and consistent performance.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!

Photo credit: / CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bottomless Pleasure of Horse Addiction

Dick Francis, horse lover and one of my favorite mystery writers, wrote this about horses in his book "Proof":

"Money down the drain, sure, but a bottomless pleasure in return ..."

He was so right! Horses provide bottomless pleasure to humans, regardless of the money down the drain required to keep them in good nick.

Horse feed, horse health care, horse management ... all of these are costly in terms of time and money. And yet, to a horse addict, the bottomless pleasure gained from our equine friends is like food for the soul.

Don't you get endless pleasure from such mundane horsey things as:
  • watching your horse learn something new
  • being with your horses out in pasture, nothing doing, just being
  • sitting with your horses as they eat (they so love it)
  • observing a young horse change and shift as he grows
  • exchanging scent and breath with your horse, a wordless communication
  • bringing a chronically ill horse back to health
  • being amazed at the physical changes in a horse from regular bodywork
  • knowing you are giving a horse a home in times when horses are being dumped
  • watching the personality of each horse as he expresses it in his special way
  • remembering the crazy times, like when your horse broke loose from the sapling to which he was tied and ran about the campground being "chased" by a tree
And then, of course, there is the achievement of harmony between human and horse, that perfect jumper round where every "spot" was perfect, every jump effortless. The blue ribbons don't matter there, but the perfection of communication does.

The Horse Addiction
If I'm going to be addicted to anything in life, I choose horses. Like any addiction, they can be expensive, but so gratifying as well. No single person needs five horses, and yet that is the size of my herd, the size of my addiction.

Luckily, my addiction is legal. Also, I've built, over time, a passive income stream that pays for my horse addiction, month in and month out. I've known very few horse trainers who thrive financially because horses are expensive to keep, regardless. Yet I do know quite a few amateur owners like myself who do thrive, thanks to passive income.

I'm all for people having horse addictions. I hate seeing people struggle financially with their addiction. I'd like to help. If you, like me, are addicted to horses but struggle financially, would you drop me a line? I'll tell you in five minutes what and how I pay for my herd's needs, and what it would take for you to do the same.

Is being able to easily afford your horse addiction worth 5 minutes of your time? If so, here's where I'm at.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out my ebook for wacky horses and humans, or holler at me if you want to know how I fund my horse addiction ... and you can, too!