I would like to wish you a happy and healthy new year. My baby, Heart of Riding LLC, is celebrating its one year anniversary this month! Those of you who were with me in 2016, thank you from the bottom of my heart, it means so much to me that you helped make Heart of Riding's first year an amazing one! For those of you who witnessed the birth of Heart of Riding, you too deserve many thanks for bearing with me during the transition. Becoming an entrepreneur required a lot of help from my friends, and I truly appreciate it.
2016 recap: So many magnificent students, horses, and teachers, wow!
- I traveled to Middletown, Frederick, and Poolesville to teach, and early in the year even traveled to New Jersey to visit a couple Ride With Your Mind friends and do a little co-teaching there with them. It was my first journey out as Heart of Riding ambassador, and it was perfect.
- Heart of Riding hosted Mary Wanless twice: both clinics were incredibly informative as usual, and a huge success due to lovely participants and loads of behind-the-scenes help from the fabulous Mary Kaminski of EponaHeart Counseling as well as all of the staff at Great Strides, my lovely home barn in Damascus, MD. Special thanks to everyone who helped out on the last day of the last clinic, when I was so sick I should have been in bed (and the next day, when I WAS in bed instead of cleaning up/ferrying Mary to the airport). My sincere apologies to anyone who caught my illness. The only consolation was that even though MW did catch it, she said it only lasted a couple days.
- The horses I teach on at Great Strides came through with flying colors, three of whom are owned by the ultra-caring Terry Lewis, owner of Great Strides. Terry's support and encouragement has been crucial to the development of Heart of Riding, and its success is owed greatly to the partnership Terry, her horses and I have forged over more than a decade of working together.
- Josh, who had been out with arthritis issues for most of 2016, appears to have recovered nicely. His owner Mary Kaminski and I have been thrilled, along with my students, that he has worked his way back into lessons. He is a remarkable horse, I am so happy he's feeling better!
- Despite the sad news that Terry has decided to sell the farm, no bids have been made and Great Strides has decided to carry on with our small co-op boarding operation until the farm is sold. Once the farm is sold, the horses will move to a (tbd) location nearby, and the plan is that I will continue teaching lessons with the same school horses if possible at the new location. I will of course keep my students informed on an as-needed basis. Nothing stays the same, and while it has been an immensely challenging and rewarding experience to steward this land and the horses upon it, I am looking forward to newer and better things, with Heart of Riding at the fore.
- At the end of the summer I had the pleasure of getting together with a bunch of friends for three whole days of nonstop riding, coaching, learning and discussions about practically everything you can imagine related to riding. The amount of experience and skills they bring to the table is absolutely awe-inspiring. We laughed, we sweated, we ate fabulous food and I came away rejuvenated and brimming with new ways to explain things I didn't even know could be explained better in the first place!
2017 plans: more Heart of Riding!
- I'm looking forward to doing clinics in Pennsylvania, hosting Mary Wanless in the spring and fall as always, possibly hosting another Ride With Your Mind Teacher Training, branching out to other barns as a position specialist, and of course continuing to push my students to reach their goals.
- More learning: I hope to learn lots more about coaching, clicker training, learning theory, and anatomy in the year to come. I'm just itching to get my hands on more ways to help riders expand their toolkit so their horses are healthy and happy with their lot in life.
- Maybe a school horse of my own, maybe some showing, and maybe my own logo!
- More blog posts, more newsletters, more events, and more educational opportunities to network and reach out to more riders who need help.
I hope to hear from you if you would like to join me - or if you would like me to join you in your search for a more balanced, graceful, safe, and effective way to be aboard a horse. Cheers!