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Are You A Horse Junkie?

Are you a Horse Junkie? Here’s the test to find out!

You might be a Horse Junkie if…

…all of your shoes have traces of manure on them.

…you walk behind your car and touch it so it knows you are there.

…you see a golf course and think about how great it would be to gallop across it.

…you know the towing capacity and wheel base of most trucks.

…you have a washer and dryer just for horse blankets and pads.

…your friends and family check the barn before the house to see if you are home.

…horse breath is your favorite smell.

…the majority of your shoes are for the barn.

…you have two piles of dirty clothes – still clean enough for the barn and definitely dirty.

…your Christmas and birthday lists are all horse related items.

…you know where you can park your truck and trailer at your errand stops in town.

…you say “whoa” to your dog instead of “stay”.

…you click to other people to get them to move along.

…if someone is going to the barn before you meet them, add 2 hours to the original time.

…you back a truck and trailer better than most truck drivers.

…your hair style is determined by how well it will fit underneath a helmet.

…when you cut your finger, you have to run out to the tack room because that’s where all your first aid supplies are located.

…you know not to wear fleece around your horse.

…you have nail polish to keep your Chicago screws from coming undone.

…you know what Chicago screws are.

…your work outs consist of riding, shoveling manure, stacking hay and hauling buckets of water.

…you spend all of your birthday and Christmas money on competition entry fees.

…you make your yearly calendar based upon your horse events.

…you can fit your truck and trailer through most fast food drive thru’s.

…you can fit a ride into a spare 45 minutes.

…you watch the zookeeper cleaning up after the Zebra’s and envy them.

…you don’t know that you smell like horse urine.

…you think that horse poop is not smelly and gross like other kinds of poop.

…you make a sweet feed cake with carrot candles and handpicked grass decorations for your horses birthday.

…hay can be found in your shirt.

…you go outside in the cold to put a blanket on your horse, but can’t be bothered to put a coat on yourself.

…you buy items for your horse without question. When you or your family needs something, you ask yourself , “do we really need that?”

…you have been to the vet with your horse at least twice this year, but you personally have not been in 5 years, unless it was to get a tetanus shot.

…you feed and care for your horse before yourself, in your pajamas.

…you go south for the winter, but must come home every two weeks to see your horse.

…or – you go south for the winter so you can ride your horse!

…you would rather watch your horse graze than watch TV.

…you have major medical for your horse, but no health insurance for yourself.

…you are an expert at working with hat hair.

…you consider yourself a winner if you take home a ribbon at a competition and it cost you $240 to enter.

…hay is a daily hair accessory.

…your dog is a breed from the herding group.

…when driving down the freeway in your car, you shift your body weight and put on leg pressure anticipating a “shy” when passing a big noisy truck with a flapping tarp!

…you go on a non-horse vacation, and find the local tack store.

…you know exactly when your horse had their teeth done last, but can’t remember the last time you had yours done.

…you drive 4 hours for a one hour lesson.

…your yearly one week vacation is going to a clinic or competition with your horse.

…you spring out of bed at 4am for a horse competition, when you really just needed to get up at 5am, take a shower, pick up donuts, wash the truck, get gas, feed, clean stalls, drive to the show, get tacked up, braid if necessary, warm your horse up and are ready for your 8am class, but you are regularly late for work.

…you can fix anything with bailing twine or wire.

…your idea of buying new shoes involves meeting your farrier every 6-8 weeks.

…that said, you buy $200 shoes for your horse every 6-8 weeks, but struggle to buy yourself a pair once a year.

…your favorite free time is spending a long weekend in front of a horse trailer by a dusty arena.

…you think 101°F is a normal body temperature.

…instead of giving someone directions to turn “left” or “right,” you tell them to “gee” or “haw.”

…your favorite outfit is mostly leather and may include a whip and spurs.

…you cringe at paying six bucks for lunch, but won’t
blink at spending sixty on a riding lesson.

…you complain about being sore after a workout, but would
never complain about the pain from your lesson the previous day.

…any object is evaluated for how you might use it at the barn.

…when you go to the mall, you look for horse items in every store and usually buy them because they are “hard to find”.

…you love Ralph Lauren and Hermes because they have a horsey theme, not that you could ever afford them because you have horses.

…your home is covered in horse art, sculptures, knick-knacks, calendars and pictures of your loved ones riding horses.

…your phone ringtone, computer background and icons are horses.

…at any time in your life, you set up jumps in the backyard and had your dog jump the course.

…instead of skipping, you “canter”.

…you know more knots than most sailors.

…you know the first four generations of Native Dancer, King, Three Bars, Leo, Hickstead, and/or Furioso II, but you can’t remember your spouse’s age.

…you lean forward as your car goes over a speed bump.

…you and your horse both use Mane & Tail Shampoo and Conditioner.

…your tack room and barn are neat as a pin; not so much your house.

…your veterinarian is number one on your speed dial and your spouse is number two.

…you are still reading these and s-nickering to yourself.

-Heather McWilliams © 2017

Looking to Improve Your Horsemanship?

Aren’t we all?  As equestrians, we know the learning never ends.  I have a friend who just started taking riding lessons as an adult.  She is a voracious learner and is always striving to be her best in all realms.  I mentioned that I was going to take a lesson over the weekend and she questioned, “you still take lessons?  Haven’t you been riding most of your life?”  Of course I still take lessons and not enough!  Not that I am anywhere near the Olympic level, but yes, even Olympic equestrians take lessons, and a lot of them.  There is always room for improvement.  In contract to other sports, equestrians are working to partner with at 1000+ pound animal, the only domestic animal that could still survive in the wild, with its own thoughts and ideas.

One of my personal goals is to improve my riding and my level of horsemanship this year.  So far, I have been to a four-day clinic and two, two-day clinics.  They have improved my riding significantly and there is real value in the intensive attention and saddle time you and your horse receive at a clinic as well as what we learn from watching others with different horses.

If stepping up your horsemanship is one of your goals this year, here is the perfect opportunity!  Nationally known clinician Kip Fladland is coming to the Event Center at Jeffco Fairgrounds in Golden September 15-17th.  Last year, several area riders who have travelled in previous years to Kip’s home in Iowa for clinics, brought Kip to put on a clinic at a private venue in Conifer.   This year Andrew and I have picked up the reins, so to speak, to bring Kip back again.

Born and raised in Montana, for the last 30 years Kip has devoted his life to working with and riding horses on several large Montana ranches as well as at his place in Iowa.  While working in Montana, Kip met Buck Brannaman and attended several of his clinics.  Buck asked Kip to join him on the road as a clinician, which Kip did for 5 years.

Following his time with Buck on the road, Kip was eager to use the skills he had learned to work with starting colts under saddle as well as problem horses.  He works with all breeds including quarter horses, thoroughbreds, warmbloods, gaited breeds and mules.  These horses go on to compete in dressage, hunter/jumpers, three day eventing, reining, cow horse, cutting and of course as working ranch horses and trail horses.

In his 15 years of teaching clinics, Kip has found great satisfaction in facilitating people to communicate better, have fun and enjoy their horses more, no matter the discipline.  Across the country, Kip has found that the issue that riders struggle with the most is lateral bend according to their horse’s feet.

Kips wife Missy is a dressage trainer who also seeks to emulate the horsemanship masters such as Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance and Buck Brannaman.   Missy has several regional and national titles in addition to earning her USDF Bronze and Silver medals on horses that she has trained and brought up the levels on her own.

Two, three day classes will be offered September 15-17.  You can do one class or both.  Registration is now open and ends on September 1st.  Lunch will be served and auditors are welcome!

  1. Groundwork will be from 9am-12pm all three mornings. This class focuses on groundwork exercises and ends with time in the saddle.
  2. Horsemanship 1 will be from 130-430pm all three afternoons. This is the perfect class for all levels of horses, riders and disciplines.

Think you are too green or maybe too advanced?  Not true!  No matter your level or your horse’s, the format and foundational principles embedded in this clinic will improve your horsemanship and communication with your horse.  Don’t miss this chance to advance your skills!

Read these reviews from other Kip clinic participants:

Kip Fladland’s teaching style for both the horse and human has brought me greater insight in to offering a feel to my horses.  Kip’s direction to riders both in the ground work and under saddle, supports and helps the horse clearly comprehend what is being asked of them.  His positive encouraging style of communication keeps me searching for a more refined connection with my horses.  His willingness to adjust an explanation, or explain a feel offered to a horse by the rider is insightful and has helped me understand better what a horse needs weather it’s a dressage maneuver, jumping a fence, gathering cattle in open country, or roping calves, this information they offer to teach will bring your horse to a place where they try to connect with you. Kip’s lessons will inspire you to find a deeper understanding of your horse no matter what your level as a rider or discipline of horsemanship.  Katie, Illinois

I really enjoyed and learned so much riding in Kip’s clinic!  He’s a fantastic horseman, perfect gentleman, gives individual attention, has a great sense of humor and makes learning fun.  The creative exercises that he taught were very helpful and made me think “outside the box”. Participating in his clinic improved my horsemanship. He’s the “real deal”, never boring, and always looking out for the horse’s best interests.  I’m looking forward to riding in his September clinic.  Liz Olde, Colorado

Kip is a great instructor and is able to explain things in a clear, concise, and constructive way. I wouldn’t miss a chance to ride with him!  Kelly, Colorado

I have been privileged to participate in two Kip Fladland clinics, both with and without cattle, and I have returned home chock full of new exercises and ideas for my horse time. Kip is well-educated, yet easy to understand, and is able to teach to young and old, beginner as well as advanced. My 10-year-old daughter rode with him this year as a birthday gift, and was so proud that he didn’t talk down to her!  He’s got a great sense of humor and has seen and done it all as it pertains to the horse world, but he also takes the time to get to know both you and your horse during the time you spend with him, both in and out of the saddle. Kip is a gift, and is only a stranger the first time you meet him, so prepare to gain a wax mustache, real deal cowboy friend when you ride with him!  Courtney, Colorado

Spots are limited!  Call today with any questions and to reserve your spot!  Stalls & RV hookups available with reservations at Jeffco Fairgrounds in Golden, CO 303-271-6600. Hotels and restaurants within 5 minutes of venue. See lariataranch.com for more information on Kip. Enter both classes or just one. $450/class, $150 non-refundable deposit to reserve your spot. Auditors $25.  Organizers:  Heather & Andrew McWilliams 303-638-0994.