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How can Horseback Riding Help You?

Have you always wanted to ride horses, but you’re wondering how horseback riding can help you? There are so many ways and I’ll bet some of them are new to you. Did you know I was born with cerebral palsy and when my dad was told I’d never walk, he refused to accept that. What did he do? He taught me to ride horses and that single decision changed my life. Not only did I learn to walk, but I became an equestrian champion, against big odds. How did horseback riding help me? It strengthened my leg muscles, improved my balance, built my self-esteem and made my dreams come true. I wanted to be a champion and I was able to achieve that dream many times. What if you have a different kind of disabil...
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My first pony-Little Man

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When I was a little girl, my big dream was to become a good rider and compete in the big shows. But, even champions have to start somewhere, right? So I stated my riding career with a fuzzy brown little pony named Little Man. He looked so cute-like a stuffed toy. But he liked to be naughty. He was a rascal. I tried to improve his mood by giving him a sugar cube before I rode. But my strategy failed. Whenever Little Man got sleepy, he’s lie down. The fact that I was on his back didn’t matter. I’d get up and tell my daddy that Little Man was sleeping again. Still, Little Man was a good beginner pony. At least he didn’t have other tricks in his magic bag. For example, he didn’t buck me off. May...
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What is horsemanship?


How would you describe horsemanship? Do you think it’s only learning to ride horses? I think it’s much more than that. One of the elements of horsemanship is building a relationship with your horse. How would you do that? You can study his personality. Does he like being patted? Does he search your pockets for treats? What makes him happy or displeased? Find out what he enjoys and work that into his schedule. If he likes jumping, practice that. If he likes dressage, have fun with that. Peach and me Photo by Bob Moseder Included in My Life at Sweetbrier Be sure to spend time with your horse. Learn about general care like grooming, feeding, etc. Try to develop a bond with your horse. I think i...
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Getting to know the Clydesdales


Today we’ll talk about Clydesdale horses. Do you know what they look like? They’re really tall and hefty fellows (and girls). They’re the horses you see pulling wagons in Budweiser beer commercials. They are also usually featured during the superbowl football games. Do you know how horses are measured? They’re height is determined by how many “hands” high they are. Each hand is four inches. If you have a Clydesdale horse who measures 18.2 hands that would be 74 inches.   Clydesdales are sometimes called “Draft Horses” because they’re very good at pulling heavy loads. They can haul things or pull wagons and it’s no trouble at all for them. What colors are they? Clydesdales are usually brown, ...
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Presenting the Quarter Horse


the Quarter Horse When you read the name “Quarter horse” are you wondering how he got that name? The name came because Quarter horses were even faster than Thoroughbreds at running a quarter mile or less. You probably remember that a very speedy Thoroughbred can run about forty miles an hour. These racing Quarter horses had very strong legs and lots of muscles in their hindquarters to help them run fast. Can you believe that Quarter horses can run as fast as fifty-five miles an hour? That’s part of the reason that some people call the Quarter horse the “World’s greatest athlete.”  That’s fast indeed. You might have been thinking that the name “Quarter horse” meant you only get part of a hors...
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Meet the Welsh Pony


Welsh pony  Imagine that you have been riding for a couple of years. You are getting to be quite a good rider, but riding is something you love more than any other sport. You have finally convinced your parents to buy you a pony.Good job! Now, you want a pony with a friendly temperament and one that is easy to manage.  Maybe you can suggest the Welsh pony to your parents.You can impress your parents by telling them that the first Welsh ponies were found in Wales around the time of the Roman Empire. They learned to cope with cold weather conditions there. They have sturdy bones and strong hooves (their feet). They developed those strong feet and bones because they spent many years running thr...
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The Thoroughbred:Fast and beautiful


When you hear the word “thoroughbred” you probably think of purebred. But “Thoroughbred” is actually a breed of horse used for racing. Just like the Arabians, Thoroughbreds are one of the oldest breeds of horses.They are the fastest breed of horse, because racing is their specialty.  Some of them can run as fast as forty miles an hour! The Thoroughbred is known for his bravery, too. All Thoroughbreds are related to the Byerly Turk, the Godolphin Arabian, and the Darley Arabian. The first name refers to the owner or importer, and the second part of the name is the special breed. Thoroughbreds are nervous and sensitive, so they are not recommended for beginner riders.  Peach and Deanie Photo b...
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Introducing the Arabian Horse


Introducing the Arabian Horse! The Arabian Horse The beautiful horse in this  picture are called an Arabian Horse.  Did you notice that his face is curved or “dished?” Did you also see that the horse in this picture has a wide space between his eyes? People who lived in the Middle East a long time ago thought that horses with this type of head were very smart. They even gave the wide space between the horse’s eyes a special name. It’s called the “Jibbah.”  Many people believed that the bigger the “Jibbah” the more talents the horse had.  Some people would describe the Jibbah as a broad forehead. You may also have noticed that the horse has very large eyes. That’s another sign of kindness in ...
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Meet the Icelandic Horse


Icelandic Horse photo by Melissa Regina Have you ever heard of the Icelandic Horse? As you can imagine, it is native to Iceland. If you consider just his size, it’s less than 14.2 hands, which would be considered a pony in America. But in Iceland, it’s called the Icelandic horse. This breed is hardy, healthy and strong. Residents of Iceland ride these horses. How do they manage in the frigid weather? They have a double thick coat for warmth and protection from the elements. What other colors can they be? You may find Icelandic Horses that are gray, brown, chestnut, roan, dun, black, palomino, or pinto. Some even have beautiful blue eyes. The Icelandic Horses are used for riding, herding, and...
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New interview with Mary Deal


Banner by Rhonda Patton Would you like to learn more about Deanie Humphrys-Dunne’s award-winning books, children’s books, or her interests? If so, please check out her new interview with fellow author, Mary Deal, who is also an artist and photographer. If you read this article, you will not only learn more about Deanie and her work with children’s books, but also, you can read about Mary’s many talents. Hattie and Elliott writing the schedule. Here is the link to her interview. https://www.marydeal.com/creative-friends The post New interview with Mary Deal appeared first on deaniehumphrysdunne.wordpress.com . Original link
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How to succeed after you get your pony

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Your dream came true. You can’t wait to go the barn and ride your pony every day. But how do you succeed after you get your pony? First of all, make sure you take riding lessons from a reputable teacher. Be sure your teacher is experienced and relates well to you. For example, does he/she encourage you and help you work on your weaker areas? Perhaps you have trouble keeping your legs still when your riding, or keeping your heels down. When these things improve, does the teacher compliment you? I think it’s helpful if you have gentle corrections, as well as compliments on your areas of improvement. This way, riding is fun, even on challenging days. Make an effort to learn how to care for your...
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Horseback riding: Should you persevere through setbacks?


What if you’re a little girl who loves horses, but you had a bad experience with a pony? Should you continue horseback riding? Should you give up when things get rocky? Should you persevere through setbacks? Here are my thoughts on it. First of all, it’s not a good plan to give up on your goals and dreams because you could establish a pattern of giving up when things get a bit rocky. This is not helpful because when you give up you fail to move toward your goal, regardless of what it is. The best way to overcome your fears is to persevere. My dad said “Anyone who has never fallen off a horse or pony, hasn’t ridden much.” It’s not that falling off gives you a badge of honor, but in horseback ...
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Setting goals: why do you need them?


 Do you have a dream?  First,  you must know what you want. What comes next?  You need to set your goals. Why should you set goals anyway? Here are my thoughts on goals. If you don’t have them, how do you know where you’re headed? To me, it seems like you’re driving around without an idea of your destination. Isn’t that a waste of time and energy. Let’s imagine you want to be a dancer. First write your goal down and post it where you can see it every day. That way, you remind yourself of your plan. What do you need to do to become the exquisite dancer you’d like to be? I would think you need a schedule for practice. Remember, the more you practice the better you become.  Mom and Daddy at Swe...
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Therapeutic riding: Learn how many ways horses can heal you


Deanie and Do All at a show. From My Life at Sweetbrier Have you heard about therapeutic riding? It’s often called hippotherapy. Did you know horses can change people’s lives? If you follow the link I’ll provide at the end of this post, you’ll read about a sickly horse and a girl who hadn’t spoken in a long time. The two connected and you’ll  be amazed what happened next. Horses have been an amazing influence in my own life,but I want to introduce you to the many ways they can brighten the lives of children and adults. Follow this link to find out more about the healing powers of horses. I think you’ll enjoy the stories.  Whether you call it hippotherapy or therapeutic riding, these stories ...
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Sweetbrier: Solving problems


Mom and Daddy at Sweetbrier Picture included in “My Life at Sweetbrier.” Many of you who rode at Sweetbrier knew my dad, but some may not know he was great at solving problems. In addition, he could think quickly in an emergency. For example, one day Princess (one of our horses) fell down the well. Daddy immediately rigged up a rope and pulley to get her out safely. You may remember Daddy searched for ways to save money. For example, he did most of the dental work on the horses himself. Anyone remember helping him float a horse’s teeth? I did. Guess what my job was? I held the horse’s tongue out of the way. If you’ve read some of my other posts you might recall Daddy loved traveling in the m...
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Sweetbrier: the secret to success


Sweetbrier, showing the barns and indoor ring on the hill. Many of us wonder how to measure success. Is it the amount of money you earn? What is the secret to success? As you may know, my family owned a beautiful riding school called Sweetbrier. We were the first in the area to have an indoor riding arena. Although that was an element that added to our success, it wasn’t the whole story. Is the secret to success the little acts of kindness you show? Most people aren’t aware of the little things  my parents did for students. For example, many young riders spent part of their weekend with us to help with farm chores and earn extra riding time. Most people don’t realize Mom often made lunch for...
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The picnics at Sweetbrier


The Humphrys family estate You may  know I grew up on a beautiful riding school called Sweetbrier. My life there was full of adventure and surprise. Of course not all surprises were welcome. For example, my parents loved traveling in their big green motor home we named “The Jolly Giant.” Before leaving, my dad would gather the barn help together and remind them of their tasks. They’d confirm they were willing to arrive at work, no matter what stood in their way. But how about once the Jolly Giant rolled down the driveway, headed to the great unknown? Ah, then came the chance for the troops to abandon the team. If not that, the tractors and other equipment loved to act up at the worst time. S...
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A dream: A blue ribbon for us


Have you ever had huge dreams and wondered if they would come true? I have. I wanted to become a champion horseback rider. But at first, only my family and I believed the big dream would happen. Why? Because I was born with a disability which made walking difficult so every tiny milestone became a stepping stone.  That’s why we celebrated the first day I learned to post on my pony, Little Man. We cheered the first time I didn’t fall off when I was learning to canter. And we practically declared a local holiday when I jumped cross rails without falling off. But it was even more exciting when I got the horse of my dreams. My dad promised to look for just the right horse for me to ride in big c...
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Author and editor: Meet Deanie Humphrys-Dunne


  Recently I had the honor of being interviewed by award-winning author and entrepreneur, Ndeye Labadens. We discussed my books and the importance of good editing. Anyone who is an author, or would like to become one wants to present their best efforts.   Based on your experience after a few books. (specify the number of books with a brief presentation). What would you tell newbies, writer? At the present time, I have published six award-winning children’s books, although my first book, Tails of Sweetbrier, was replaced by a new, expanded version. The titles of my books include; My Life at Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, and Charlene t...
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Fun at Sweetbrier: The lighthearted side


My last post, detailing the fire at Sweetbrier, was sad, but this one will show we had fun times as well at our beloved The Humphrys family estate farm.  My sisters and I never went to the circus, but we made our parents chuckle when one of us mentioned we didn’t need to because we had enough ongoing fun without the circus attendance. Today I’ll present the lighthearted side of fun at Sweetbrier. For example, early one morning we heard thundering footsteps outside my bedroom window. What was causing the commotion? A herd of bulls were stomping around, right outside the window, while they munched on the grass growing in parts of the parking area. What could we do now? We opted to call the dog...
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