If you are feeling stuck, there is often nothing as inspiring as hearing from someone else who also experienced challenges, but was able to work through them.

It is inspiring to learn from others who have experienced challenges, made progress, and can share what worked, and what didn’t… Because there are certainly unique challenges in riding, especially when you are starting out or re-joining the world of horses as an adult!

Recently, I reached out to the members of my Balanced Riding Course for feedback on the program, but I also asked them to share the best advice they would give to other riders.

As a teacher, nothing makes me happier than to hear of student’s success, and there is real wisdom here in their advice. Enjoy! 

Andy (and her horse Lizzy)- Big Challenges = Big Growth Opportunities

Amy – Celebrate the Little Successes

Amanda – Remember Small Steps

Nancy – It’s About Practice, Not Perfection

Joanne – The Power of Community

Lisa – Becoming Comfortable After a Fall

If one of these short clips resonated with you, leave a comment below!

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Comments

24 Responses

  1. I enjoyed all of these videos and can relate to each and every video….thank you for everyone who shared their story of the course or something in particular that resonated with them. There are words of wisdom here!! Thanks Callie!

  2. One time my horse was eating grass and I walked over to pet her and as I was petting her she lifted her head and bit me. I didn’t know any better at the time but I walked away and now she thinks she can bite me for no reason. What should I have done? Smacked her? Shooed her away?

    1. Hi Peyton, I hesitate to offer a direct answer here because I would need to know more of the context of what happened. I think the best next step for you could be to spend time observing horses and work on developing a sense for as they get tense, relax, pin their ears, swish a tail, stiffen their bodies – all those little signs that tell you their mood is changing so you can respond in many cases before a more aggressive move such as this bite.

  3. Many insightful stories here! I can relate to Lisa’s braced ankles! Also have to agree with Nancy about Callie’s welcoming and encouraging nature! Looking forward to riding at Honeybrook again soon!
    Staci 🙂

  4. I so enjoyed all these short video clips of points that people have been so affected by in a positive way by Callie’s training. I have so much to learn myself and want so much to help the young riders that come to our barn. I do want to check into the balanced writing class.
    Thank you Callie for all you do to help us.

  5. Yes, I was able to connect to something in each and every video! I specifically liked the message of “big challenges equal big growth opportunities”, and becoming a problem solver by “dividing problems up into smaller pieces.” I look forward to more information about the Balanced Rider course!

  6. I related to Lisa’s comments………trainers I have had have all been riding since very young and don’t really think about what it is like to have ridden when a young woman and then begin again as a much older woman………
    ***I am on your email list Callie.***(so please don’t add me again)…….will I receive information about when the balanced riding course begins?
    Thank you, Leslie

    1. Hi Leslie, yes – just sent the email out today with the first of the intro videos for this course, let me know if you don’t see it!

  7. All of these videos were so helpful in deciding whether this course was one to invest in. Lisa’s comments resonate with me as I am 49 and just started formal riding lessons. I have a private formal lesson one day a week. After a couple of months I still feel like I am not getting it. Nancy’s comment about practice was relatable although it’s tough not being a horse owner, but having the desire to get out to practice. I suspect that signing up for this course and watching the video’s repeatedly would be helpful for gaining the knowledge part of riding.

    1. Hi Donna, I just sent out the first of the “preview” videos to the course today, here is a link to sign up for those if you don’t see the email: http://balancedridingcourse.com/

      Another idea for you could be leasing a horse? Some barns offer a lease program and this allows for extra time with a horse that isn’t always in a lesson format. This may be an option for you as you feel comfortable handling and riding on your own.

      1. Good idea Callie. I always thought iust riding lessons in lesson format (for me anyway) is not enough …… a horse is sentient being not just a machine.slave ect. You aren’t replying in later vids?

        1. Hi Pete! Do you mind clarifying what reply you were looking for?

          -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  8. All these videos are awesome and as an older returning rider I can relate to so many of the comments. I have learned so much in the couple of years I have been a member and still learn something new every time.

  9. Amy’s comment about being flexible because one fantastic ride this week can possibly be a not-so-good one next week has been true for me over and over again. Getting a better performance from the horse is an adventurous learning experience. Her comment about being in the present and riding every step is a frequent comment my instructor puts this way: ‘ You’re not a passenger. You need to put lots of effort to communicate with your leg cues.’ I’m very thankful to have an instructor that celebrates my little successes and never fails to let me know I did something correctly.

  10. Callie
    I think you do a wonderful job.
    I was a Blachsmith for years until I retired.
    I have been to numerous clinics.
    I have a library of Books and DVDs.
    I am always looking to learn more.
    Right now I’m trying to learn to communicate better with horses. I have been to clinics which were a waste of my time.
    I think you do a good job you just haven’t hit on a subject that I’m interested in.

    1. Hi David, thank you! What topics are you interested in? I’ll see if I can point you in the direction of other resources.

  11. Watching all these clips has hit home for me! Almost teary eyed. I am turning 42 and getting back into riding after a VERY long hiatus. I’ve ridden since a very young girl and stopped in my mid 20’s after much personal strife. NEVER losing the love and passion for horses and riding. Now, at this time looking for a barn to ride at in Northern Florida. Callie, I stumbled on your videos on you-tube and have been watching for the last two days straight! You’re an amazing rider and your videos are SO informative! Almost wishing I lived near Honey Brook Stables to take lessons. Loved all these clips and look forward to seeing more.

  12. “There is a funny trend in the horse industry right now. The biggest demographic of people getting into horses and riding are middle aged or above and are either brand new to riding or are returning after a several decade hiatus often due to career and family.”

    That pretty much certainly describes me to a T. I go to the stables and nearly all of the students are young girls and I am the odd duck, as the 50 year old guy wanting to learn long distance endurance trail riding. My instructor is very good, has been at it a long time and makes me feel welcome to join the group. I love riding more than anything I have ever done in my entire life. My riding lessons are the highlight of my entire week. I have enjoyed watching your videos thus far and if I ever make it back to PA, I would definitely like to take one of your workshops and/or lessons. Thanks again.

    Tony
    San Jose, CA

  13. I can relate to all of the above videos. Especially the first one as I too have a thoroughbred and have gone through similar problems. But from watching your videos Callie, I am learning to create understanding and a bond between my horse and me. I enjoy going to the barn and being with my horse now and not just looking at it as a chore. I also go to the barn and avoid the many distractions around me when I am with my horse. I have changed my usual expectations of what I’m supposed to do with my horse and stop listening to people at the barn telling me what I should be doing with my horse. At my age I get frustrated because I cannot ride like I use to when I was younger and I feel like a beginner all over again. I will keep on watching your videos as they are very inspiring to me.

  14. Yes, this phenomenon has been increasing over these last 10-20 years! These students are my primary group, those beginning riding as an adult or returning to it after years of hiatus. I too did the same thing, after marriage and raising a family my resources began to lighten up so I could include horses again in my life. It was great to be back in the saddle again, but my body, reflexes, etc were not the same. I stayed fit over the years so I was not out of shape, but I still had great memories of galloping in meadows and great trail rides, feeling “one with the horse”, etc and somehow I couldn’t get that exact feeling back! So I fixed my mind on a new adventure and setting new goals. That was about 16 years ago. I bought horses, started teaching others how to ride and focused on older adults wanting to come back to it again or fulfilling a childhood dream of learning how to ride. Some are showing! It is such great fun to pass on the passion! Happy Riding Everyone!! You’re never too old to pursue a dream!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comment! Great to meet other instructors also focusing on helping beginning and returning riders!

  15. Thank you all for encouraging us older riders ! I’m trying to “get back in riding shape”, and it’s harder as an older rider. I feel better now that I’ve read of others with similar experiences , and I’m determined to keep pursuing my love of all things “horsey”! I love your videos, Callie. I’m learning much from them. Thanks!
    Kate

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