The relationship between horse and human extends far beyond the saddle…Get in Touch
Horses Offering People Education (H.O.P.E. in MA, LLC) was founded by Diana Bezdedeanu in January 2022, to spread the message that "the relationship between horse and human extends far beyond the saddle".More About Diana
Horses Offering People Education is proud to be a supporter of the Thoroughbred Makeover! Hosted annually by the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), the Thoroughbred Makeover is an opportunity for trainers across the country to showcase the breed in a 5-day competition featuring ten different disciplines: Barrel Racing, Competitive Trail, Dressage, Eventing, Field Hunter, Polo, Ranch Work, Show Hunter, Show Jumper, and Freestyle. Each week, we’ll highlight a different trainer’s journey to the Makeover or share words of wisdom from former competitors.
To submit your #TBMakeoverThursday story, please click here.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: consistency is the key to success when it comes to horses. A consistent diet, turnout schedule, exercise regime, etc.
It’s been a busy month here at Horses Offering People Education. A lot is happening behind the scenes; including a long-overdue soon-to-be live website update, new program planning, and community outreach. In the midst of all that, I recently spent a week down in Orlando, FL at The HERD Institute, where I’ve been working remotely as their Executive Assistant since the Fall. Add in the fact that we’ve had several very cold days earlier this month, with temperatures here in Massachusetts dropping as low as -27, and then shooting back up to 35 degrees the very next day.
Thus, time at the barn in February has been limited. I’ve been going as often as possible, sometimes for 15 - 20 minutes at a time, simply to just visit my horses in their paddock or stalls. There’s been no expectation to “work”.
And while it seems like Winter will never end, the reality is that Winter isn’t to blame for decreased time spent at the barn this month; there is always going to be something going on. It’s how we balance the rest of our lives (career, hobbies, family, and friends) in the horse ownership journey that truly matters. After all, the only constant in life is change.
As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a few moments to share, in no particular order, 22 things I learned in 2022…
1. A successful year of business is not measured by how many clients you’ve had or how much money is in your bank account at the end of the year.
2. When one barn door closes, another opens.
3. Not all superheroes wear capes. Some have four hooves and a tail.
4. Believe it or not, it is actually more cost-effective to spend more money all at once in order to save more in the long run. Don’t skimp on high-quality grain, hay, supplements, tack, training/lessons, farrier, and vet care maintenance.
5. A certification is only the beginning of a practitioner’s journey.
6. The Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover really is the “Happiest Horse Show on Earth”.
7. It’s okay to take a vacation every once in a while. Unwind and unplug, your life will still be waiting for you when you get back.
8. Mental health is just as important as physical health, for both horses and humans.
9. Consistency is the key to success, for both horses and humans.
10. Lesson plans are a good backup, but really, “it’s not about the activity”.
11. Never settle with your current state of knowledge. Look to further your education through clinics, conferences, workshops, seminars, etc.
12. The best reaction is no reaction when it comes to a horse’s spook. Just ride it out.
13. If you never ask the question, you will never receive an answer.
14. Pitch yourself. You never know what may come of it…
15. Invest in your brand. From logo and website design to apparel.
16. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.
17. A successful business is not built overnight.
18. The best way to start your morning off is a 5-minute barn visit.
19. It may take a bit of trial-and-error to find the perfect daily recipe for your ponies.
20. The only thing that matters is whatever is happening in the present moment. You can’t change the past, or predict the future.
21. Age is just a number, not a defining factor.
22. Ex-racehorses make the very best companion ponies.
Thanks to all who have been following my journey this year. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2023!
𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬, 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐠𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠.
Yes, I seriously just wrote that.
For those of you who have been following this page for a while or know me in real life, you’ve likely recognized that this is NOT my typical philosophy. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I get very comfortable in situations, and am beyond reluctant to do anything different, because if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
I take riding lessons twice a week, and for the past few months, I’ve mostly been riding a lovely been-there-done-that blue-ribbon winning turned bombproof lesson horse. She has re-instilled a sense of confidence in me that months ago, I could have only dreamed of. However, I’ve always felt like there was *something* missing from our rides, and have never been able to put my finger on it. Until now.
Friday afternoon, I arrived to the barn and found myself lessoning on not one, not two, but three new lesson horses! You see, my trainer had decided to try me on a number of different mounts all in the same hour, to help me figure out what qualities I personally like in a riding horse.
At first, I was quite skeptical and honest-to-God almost had a massive panic attack upon the first pony’s back. However, as each short ride progressed, I found myself loosening up, as the worst, unknown part was over.
To my (and everyone else’s) surprise, my favorite ride of the day was the least likely culprit; a pony whom I had some pre-ride prejudice against, simply due to multiple prior instances of impolite ground manners. Overall, the lesson was one of my favorites to-date, as I typically second-guess every move I make, but simply just let myself enjoy the ride. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, right?
Flash forward to yesterday’s lesson. I was placed on yet another new-to-me pony but this time, there was an instant connection. Everything I liked about my favorite mount from the previous day existed in this gray gelding and more.
The ride was, dare I say it, easily one of my best ever. That’s not to say I won’t ever go back to my usual been-there-done-that mare. But this particular pony has an extra sparkle, the piece of the puzzle that’s been missing all these months…
𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬: 𝐩𝐨𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐮𝐩 𝐨𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞. 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐟𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐟𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐨.