What Is Your Horse Born to Do?
by Catherine Madera
Spring is here, bursting with freshness and raw potential. Okay, maybe it’s a little soggy yet in most of the Pacific Northwest, but sun is on the way and new growth is guaranteed. Spring is the season of hope and forward thinking.
It’s also the season of new foals and colts being started under saddle. Eli’s first colts turned 3 this year and I’m excited to discover their potential as well as that of my own youngster, Mateo, now 4. Though I rode him lightly in the fall, he is still as green as the grass growing outside. I’m looking forward to putting serious time on him this spring and summer. Potential: it’s an exciting thing.
Recently, while attending the Washington State Horse Expo, I had the chance to speak with long time trainer Richard Shrake about potential. Shrake knows from experience how to spot raw talent in horses from a young age as well as how to develop it. I’ve been intrigued with his videos on evaluating athletic ability, intelligence and trainability in the individual horse (look for my review of these in upcoming issues). Horses are born with certain things they can naturally do well—or not. It’s our responsibility to steward them through appropriate training, giving them a chance to excel. I find few things as sad as a horse forced to do a job they are unfit physically or mentally to perform. Kinda like me being forced to do gymnastics (I’m 6 feet tall), or sit at a desk all day crunching numbers (I struggle with basic math).
Enjoy our events issue this month; I hope it helps inspire you to reach your potential with horses. If you need support, our cover subject Barb Apple is gifted at helping horse people live their dreams. Give her a call. As always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ride to your potential!
Published April 2014 Issue
Catherine Madera served as editor of the Northwest Horse Source for five years. She has written for numerous regional and national publications and is a contributing writer for Guideposts Magazine and the author of four equine-related books. She has two grown children and lives with her husband and three horses in Northwest Washington.