Editor's Postcard

Cross Training

Cross Training
Catherine Madera

How to Stay Fit and Inspired

by Catherine Madera

 

Mark Bolender shows Eli how to navigate the balance beam. Photo credit Catherine Madera

Outside of riding horses, I’ve never been very interested in sports. This is why my husband worked extra hard convincing me to join him on a 30-and-over soccer team last June. When the day of our first game rolled around—like, my first game ever—I was nervous. I like to exercise, but a soccer game was way out of my comfort zone. A funny thing happened at the end of the game, however (which we lost). Sweaty, my feet throbbing from brand new cleats, I felt exhilarated and happy. It was fun to do something different and stretch myself.

NWHS publisher Karen Pickering likes to say her mare, April, is a “jack of all trades and master of none,” but exposing her horse to different situations and disciplines has produced a very well broke, confidant horse. April is mentally fit, something that makes her a pleasure to ride and handle. This is also a critical piece of a finished horse. Shortly after my first soccer game, I took Eli down to Mark Bolender’s amazing mountain trail course to expose him to something new. I’m sad to admit my expectations, like with soccer, were low. Eli goes out on the trail, but he spends plenty of time in arenas. I knew the obstacles would challenge him and be way out of his comfort zone. A funny thing happened, however…he did great! He seemed to know it, too, and exhibited a new confidence after negotiating those first obstacles. It was exhilarating to try something different and see him shine. No matter what your favorite discipline, “cross training” with your horse can breathe new life into both of you and is just plain fun. I highly recommend it (and do check out Bolender Horse Park!).

If you need training inspiration, don’t miss the Northwest Washington Horse Expo coming in October. The full run down of activities is on page 6. In what ways do you foster mental fitness in your horse? Email me at editor@nwhorsesource.com.

Ride on!

 

Published September 2012 Issue

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

More in Editor's Postcard