Communication, Yesterday and Today

Communication, Yesterday and Today

The Horsemanship Journey is proud to present Sean Covey in our Premiere Episode. Sean shares insights from his father, Stephen R. Covey’s book - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Dr. Stephen R. Covey was quoted as saying, “Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating.” Because communication is so important, an organization called the Pony Express was established back in 1860. The Pony Express was an American express mail service that used relays of horse-mounted riders.

Plans for the Pony Express were spurred by the threat of the Civil War and the need for faster communication with the West. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. A total of about 157 Pony Express stations were placed at intervals of about 10 miles (16 km) along the approximately 2,000 miles (3,200 km) route. This was roughly the maximum distance a horse could travel quickly, either at a trot, a canter, or a gallop, depending on the need. The rider changed to a fresh horse at each station, taking only the mail pouch called a mochila (from the Spanish for pouch or backpack) with him. The employers stressed the importance of the pouch. They often said that, if it came to be, the horse and rider should perish before the mochila did.

The service lasted only 19 months until October 24, 1861, when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for its existence. However, the romance surrounding the Pony Express has made it a part of the legend of the American West.”

The comparison from then to now is quite remarkable. We pick up our phone and talk to practically anyone practically anywhere, practically immediately. We use video calls, share letters, pictures, videos, and transfer practically any type of information practically effortlessly. Because of the ease of communication, opportunities for horse people are practically limitless.

If you want to be a part of the romance of the American West, if you are a horse enthusiast, horse owner, horse trainer, horse lover, competitor, horse rider, rancher, rodeo fan, or contestant, if you want to be a cowboy or cowgirl, or you are interested in horses at any level, we recommend participating in the communication available through membership in The Horsemanship Journey.

For less than $4.00 per month, The Horsemanship Journey provides information from the top horse trainers, best horsemen and women, horse veterinarians, horse health professionals, motivational speakers and authors, and more. In addition to the horse videos or monthly episodes, The Horsemanship Journey now offers virtual Personal Training from some of the best horse trainers and personal coaches in the world. The Personal Training program is called “Real Progress” and was developed by Al Dunning who is part of the Personal Training Team.

If your American Dream includes horses or simply a love of horses, The Horsemanship Journey provides the information for you to be as good as you can be and take your dream as far as you desire. It’s much safer and faster than the Pony Express and the mochila is optional.

Equine Practitioners recommend horse owners change practices immediately…

Equine Practitioners recommend horse owners change practices immediately…

New research has led the American Association of Equine Practitioners to recommend that horse owners change the way they’ve been doing things and implement the change immediately.  For the past 50 years or so, equine practitioners have recommended the same protocol for parasite control. The problem is that those practices are based on research from about 50 years ago.

Based on much newer research, the American Association of Equine Practitioners has changed its recommendations and has adopted new guidelines for parasite control. Why is this important to you? It seems that previous standard practices such as deworming every other month, alternating the drug used, and changing pastures at the time of treatment have and are creating super parasites that are more and more resistant to the available drugs. The AAEP states that decades of frequent use have produced drug resistance in parasite populations. Without change, and with no new drugs being developed, the future for horses will be catastrophic.

As it is, owners and vets must come to peace with the fact that eradication is not an option. We must live with the fact that our horses are going to have parasites and that our job is to manage the number of parasites that our horses host.

Dr. Macarena Sanz teaches equine veterinarians about this problem and presents the new AAEP Internal Parasite Control Guidelines at continuing education forums such as the Western Veterinary Conference. Dr. Sanz was recently featured on The Horsemanship Journey for an exclusive interview where she explained the problem and the suggested solutions. She laid out what horse owners need to know and what changes are necessary to keep parasites at bay.

The Horsemanship Journey releases horse health videos each month. They feature the top horse health professionals including equine veterinarians, farriers, dentists, chiropractors, and more. You can find cutting-edge and up-to-date information, how that information affects you and your horse, and what you need to know as a responsible owner.

We want the best for our horses when it comes to how they are cared for. We recommend The Horsemanship Journey for being informed and educated by the best horse health professionals in the world.

The 80/20 Rule for Horse Owners

The 80/20 Rule for Horse Owners

Getting better outcomes

For ourselves and for our horses

The Pareto principle states that roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.  Other names for this principle are the 80/20 rule or the law of the vital few.  This principle has been proven to be true throughout multiple aspects of our lives. Let’s look at one application for horse owners and see how focusing on certain high leverage activities can lead to better outcomes for ourselves and for our horses.  

Sean Covey appears on The Horsemanship Journey in the Premiere Episode and talks about “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Sean explains that being aware of what types of activities we are doing and then choosing to do the ones that have the highest impact is how to become more effective. Here is Habit 3, “Put First Things First” in a nutshell.

The first category or type of activity is Urgent and Important. We know these things need to be done and usually don’t have a problem getting them done because of their urgency. Here are a few examples of Urgent and Important with horses:

  • Frozen water trough
  • Broken water line
  • Injuries such as lacerations
  • Feed storage is completely gone
  • Severe colic
  • Entries for the show you’ve been preparing for close in one hour
  • You have waited until the last day or last hour to prepare to present your horse in some way

The second type of activity is Important but Not Urgent. Here are a few examples:

  • Setting goals for what you want to accomplish in your horse experience
  • Seeking out and then spending time with a mentor/coach/trainer that you like and trust
  • Preparing and planning for weather changes
  • Preventative maintenance around the barn or pasture
  • Preparing and planning your feed management
  • Scheduling and following through with adequate practice/training time

Category three is Urgent but Not Important. These are things like:

  • Phone calls that are unimportant or not necessary
  • Text or email messages that are unimportant
  • Responding to notifications that have no value
  • Conversations or any communications that are unimportant and interrupt priorities

And finally, Unimportant and Not Urgent. We know what this looks like:

  • Excessive time watching tv
  • Getting lost in media channels for hours with no purpose
  • Relaying negative thoughts or stories to other people

We instinctively know that Important and Urgent must be done and we know that Unimportant and Not Urgent should not be done. These two are usually not the biggest problem with managing our lives. The challenge is saying no to Urgent but Not Important and saying yes to the Important but Not Urgent. It sounds easy enough, so why then do most of us have such a hard time managing our time? The answer is that things that appear Urgent but Not Important act on us and we usually react without much thought. Things that are Important but Not Urgent must be acted upon. We must consciously choose to act and then follow through. We must be proactive to be highly effective. That’s why.

The people who have the most meaningful, most accomplished, and most rewarding horse experiences and overall lives for that matter, live on purpose. They act on the things that are important to them rather than react to all the outside noise that surrounds us.

According to Pareto, 20% of our activities give us tremendous results, 80% do not.  Becoming aware of our activity, identifying the high leverage or high impact activities, then following through with the Important but Not Urgent while politely saying no to the Urgent but Not Important, results in a more fulfilling and happier ending for every aspect of life we apply it.

Many members of The Horsemanship Journey identify watching the monthly show and/or participating in Real Progress Training as high-leverage activities that improve their horse program and overall life plan. The Horsemanship Journey has monthly horse videos that feature top horse trainers, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, horse vets and other horse health professionals such as horse dentists and farriers, saddle and hat makers, and much more. This combined with motivation and inspiration from authors, coaches, and speakers. We invite you to say yes to participating in The Horsemanship Journey as one activity that will certainly yield desired results for anyone wanting to improve.

You Have a Crystal Ball

You Have a Crystal Ball

So, it turns out you have a crystal ball. We all do. Your friends, it turns out, and your entire social network have a tremendous influence on your future. We want bright futures. We want better living and it has been said that the most important tool at our disposal for living better is other people.

In the words of motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” You can argue the idea of being determined by outside sources rather than your own decisions shaping your destiny, but when you consider that adults in most circumstances have the liberty to choose their friends and circle of influence, it dissolves the idea that we are not personally responsible for our futures.

The people we surround ourselves with are the biggest influence on our behavior, attitudes, and results. We should point out that our “entire” social network includes online as well as offline. So then, if our best tool is at our disposal, how do we use it?

First, accept the truth that the people you spend the most time with shape who you are. They determine what conversations dominate your attention. They affect which attitudes and behaviors you are regularly exposed to. Eventually, you start to think like they think and behave like they behave. It’s a fact of life that some people hold us back, while others propel us forward.

Second, accept the truth that you can construct your own social network and that you are responsible. In most cases, we are not at the mercy of our family, our culture, our school, our community as to where and whom we choose to spend our precious time. Our guest in Season 1, Ryan Stream says, “if you want to change, you have to change your friends.” If we sit idly by, without taking deliberate action, we may suffer the result of an unintentional life of existing rather than thriving, reacting to rather than acting upon.

Third, make some decisions. There are 7.9 billion people on the planet and a plethora of internet forums to choose from. We not only must choose who to allow but who not to allow. Most of us are experiencing or have experienced negative people who are simply not good for us. The future we want won’t happen with these people around us. We are going to need to act with courage and diplomacy to make the necessary changes with our allotted time.

Fourth, we change, and other people change. Some good advice is to spend your time with the people who are already living the life you ultimately want to live–those who have been successful in your field or people that you really admire and aspire to emulate, then regularly look into your crystal ball, and evaluate your future and your entire social circle.

For those of us interested in horses, I recommend The Horsemanship Journey. The show showcases the best horsemen/women and personal improvement professionals of our time. It’s where horse people go for motivation, information, and inspiration. It’s the wisdom and knowledge of the best of the best. It’s excellence in horsemanship and in life from those who’ve achieved it. If your future self is more skilled and more knowledgeable with horses, The Horsemanship Journey is one of the places you’ll want to be. Surround yourself with greatness and be your best you!

Wisdom Doesn’t Come From Presence

Wisdom Doesn’t Come From Presence

I was talking to my friend Jimmy Sharp. He was a mechanic that worked on my trucks and everything else that broke. “That’s a real nice truck you’re working on,” I said, “times must be good.” His response, “expensive trucks and fancy stuff doesn’t usually mean prosperity, it’s more likely good bankers.” For some reason, I remembered that. It goes along with, “age is no indicator of maturity” and “wisdom doesn’t come from presence.” These are interesting ideas to observe, particularly the last one when it comes to our horse life.

Some of our families had horses while we were growing up, some of us had the opportunity to ride or be with someone else’s horses, and some of us wanted to have horses when we could. Whatever your length of time on task, I can assure you that the number of hours or years being “around horses” is not equal to your proficiency. You would think it obvious when you read it, but it’s not obvious. At least many of us don’t act like we get the idea. Usually when people say things like, “I’ve been around horses my whole life” they are presenting evidence of their knowledge or justifying their thoughts or actions
with proof of their correctness as if it were the same as the results of a scientific study. Sometimes being aware of our words and intentions can be eye-opening. None of us would presume to be a brain surgeon since we had “been around” people our whole lives or believe that “being around” automobiles is enough to qualify as a master mechanic.

I’m not pointing a shameful finger if you’ve ever echoed these words or had similar thoughts. I know and recognize this concept because I said and expressed these ideas myself early on. Whether it’s these exact words or not isn’t the point. The point is that it’s easy for us to fall into bad thought patterns that move us away from being able to have the happiness and joy that is available with horses or with any aspect of our lives when we do not intentionally make the choice to continue to learn and then follow that decision with action.

Not consciously choosing to pursue excellence is a totally rational decision. The opposite requires effort, so it seems easier to do nothing. With horses, we might be in the minority as a horse owner when it comes to our total friends, family, and acquaintances. So in comparison, merely having a horse qualifies us as an expert in our circle of influence. Why would we do anything more when things are so good? We’re getting by. Our horse(s) seem to be fine and everyone we know thinks we’re Roy Rogers or Dale Evans, John Wayne or Annie Oakley. Life is good. It’s a fact. Why seek to change that? Because the limitless knowledge and experiences available with horses can provide you more meaning, more fulfillment, and ultimately more happiness and joy. That’s why it’s worth it.

In 2016 The Horsemanship Journey conducted a Nationwide survey asking horse owners what was most important in their horse experience. The overwhelming result, 82% of respondents said that “their horse being well cared for” was most important. If you are part of this group, the information and ongoing advancements in horse health alone are massive areas of study. Your knowledge has a direct impact on the health and quality of life of your horse.

Arguably, more importantly, is the fact that human beings are hard-wired for progress. The positive thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that occur when we are making progress are big and broad. They can have a tremendous impact on our daily lives. Learning is a source of self-confidence. Our self-image affects everything we do, every relationship, everything. When we are learning we not only get the benefit of what it is that we are learning but, the good feelings of bolstered confidence and all that comes with knowing and doing what requires effort and is worthwhile. It’s like giving yourself a high five or congratulating yourself for doing what you believe is right.

A recent article by Tracy Brower published in titled “Learning Is A Sure Path To Happiness: Science Proves It” states, “When you learn new things, you also expand your horizons and greater perspective is linked to experiences of happiness and joy… Depression is typically marked by a myopic perspective where you feel limited or trapped within your circumstances. But a broader view—of others, of the world, of circumstances and of possibilities—is correlated with greater happiness.”

In summary, being an exceptional horseman/woman rather than an average or mediocre owner that simply gets by, is going to require a conscious effort. The good news is that it’s worth it. It’s not only worth it, but it’s also necessary if you want more meaning and more happiness. Double good news bonus – the effort required is reasonably small and doable. Learning is easier, more available, and more affordable than ever before.

I suggest and recommend The Horsemanship Journey as a worthwhile component in your overall life plan and horse program. We bring you the top horse professionals in the world for less than $4/month. The show will leave you feeling empowered, informed, and inspired. In addition, The Horsemanship Journey will soon launch private training with the best trainers of our time. Whatever your level of experience and skill, your progress is paramount, and “wisdom doesn’t come from presence.”