Hi, my name is Linda. I was born in Germany and all I’ve ever wanted was a pair of cowgirl boots, guitar and a horse. So far I have the first two but alas, am still missing the horse.

I started reading everything I could about horses and their care when I was just little. Luckily my parents fed my interest and I became more serious about getting into the sport. I met more and more horse people whom I peppered with questions and then I found Kijiji and my favorite bookmarked horse websites.
After a couple of years of researching, drawing horses, acting horsey, and generally finding ways to annoy my parents with my equine passion, I found the perfect place to ride and my parents agreed.  Venture Arabians!

Gary Millar my instructor, cemented why I was there. He has the same horse philosophy that I do. I admire the way he understands the horse mind, is able to read their behavior and the respect he shows for the animal and the rider.


I want to live a life with horses – training, riding, rehabilitating and just being with them. Thanks to Gary and Venture Arabians, I’m off to an excellent beginning.


if you would like to post a comment or ask Linda a questions e-mail: info@discoverarabianhorses.com or check out our Facebook Page.

Monday, JUNE 23, 2014


Hard workout tonight. Everything in my body hurts. But, I got Ellie to round well, and I also did well in canter.
Highlight of the night: I went down to get Ellie, and once I got closer, I started clucking and calling her name. Her ears started flicking in my direction. Once she realized that it was me, she turned around and walked towards me, nickering. It made my heart melt. She's such a good girl.

Monday, JUNE 9, 2014


No news today. It has been too rainy to ride.

Saturday, MAY 31, 2014


Fun, fun, fun!!

Together with Robin and Ellen, we drove down to Ponoka, Alberta to watch the Aurora Arabian Horse Association Summer show. My instructor Gary and Sydney as well as Alicia were also there. Gary and Sydney were both entering classes with Zorro and TC.
The show featured dressage, hunter pleasure, western pleasure and country english. There were such gorgeous horses! Everything from grey to black, buckskin and palomino, as well as a couple gorgeous paints.
I experienced everything from thrills and spills. I learned the importance of being able to control your emotions because in certain situations, once you lose the connection with your horse, you may end up picking dirt out of your teeth!
My new goal for next year is to enter in the AAHS in a walk, trot, canter hunter pleasure class. I'm excited already! Of course, I have to work hard and keep myself (and Ellie) fit, setting small goals for myself on the way.
The highlight of today would be when a gorgeous horse in a country english class was prancing around almost the entire time, and when the horses name was announced, my group and I had quite a laugh. His name was Midlife Crisis. Why, what a perfect name!
All in all, I had a great time and it was an amazing experience being able to learn what it is like in a horse show up close. Also, I had a large chocolate chip cookie for dinner. What a great way to start of my goal to stay fit!

Saturday, FEBRUARY 22, 2014


Before I start, I've got to say that this has to be one of my best rides yet. I was very proud of my achievements. And I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped me get this far. And yes, I couldn't have done it without Ellie.

I mounted Ellie, after grooming and tacking her up. There were two or three other riders with their horses as well. I started by warming Ellie up. First, we did the regular walk, trot warm up, as well as some circles, bending, turning, turning on the forehand, etc. etc. Then I tried a warm up drill that I saw in a video that Gary showed us at the Christmas party. The goal is to walk, halt, walk, halt, walk, trot, walk, trot, until you only have to gently squeeze your thighs and your horse immediately speeds up or halts. I did this for a while, and it worked very well. I only had to squeeze my thighs and Ellie was off into a trot.
Meanwhile, Gary had been working with another rider on driving, which is basically riding the horse from the ground. They did this for a while, so I continued with the start, stop drill. I would either close my fingers around the reins, or restrict the movement with my body and Ellie would slow down almost instantly.
I was currently practicing bending inside of a circle, when Gary asked me to sit the trot and push her further out. Because I worked on control, it was easier to slow her down and push her into a bigger circle. I also focused on sitting up, keeping my hands still, and pushing my heels down. He then asked me to canter in the circle. I put my leg back and gave a little "kiss", and we were off. I held on as hard as I could, closed my fingers around the reins, and it was one of the most perfect moments of my riding career. Ellie was cantering at a slow pace, I was pushing her out with my legs, and I felt very secure in the saddle. We did this a few times, and each time was better than the last. I was so happy over my achievement, I was still super happy days later. Ellie deserved a big rub down and some treats after that!


Monday, FEBRUARY 17, 2014


This was the first time being out after about a month, and I was really excited about getting back into the saddle. I had worked out lots over this past month, and I was ready to put my muscles into action.
While warming up Ellie, Gary was setting up pylons, three on one side, three on the other. Today we would be working on turning corners. How does turning corners help in riding you ask? It helps quite a lot if you ask me. We had to focus on using as little rein as possible, besides the outside rein touching our horses necks. We would point our toes in the direction we were going and turn our whole upper body. This would automatically move our weight to the inside seat bone. This helped me focus less on the reins and more on my seat and legs, and Ellie was definitely a lot more responsive to my leg aids. She would turn as soon as I turned my upper body. We would turn at the bottom left pylon, to the center right, then top left and the opposite way back. We also tried weaving through the pylons and a lot of other turns using only our toes and upper body.
We then tried it at a trot. This was more challenging, not just because it was a faster gait, but because there were two riders at once. We had some difficulties, but we eventually worked it out. During the trot, I realized that without the constant use of the reins and sitting up, pushing my heels down and keeping my hands still, Ellie was a lot more responsive, but she had also gone into the bridle. I was getting a lot of compliments on how pretty it looked. We kept working on turning, and I was very proud of Ellie and I. This exercise definitely was going to help improve my riding for the future. And Gary and I could tell that working out definitely paid off!




I know I haven't written much in a while, but it has gotten too cold outside to ride and school is keeping me busy. I had one week off in November. I did go riding that week, and I even took a friend with me.
Last week at my lesson, I was joined by three other riders, riding Sensor, Kahree and TC. Since it was already dark outside, I had to borrow a flashlight to find "my" lovely horse, out with the herd. I was not wearing gloves, and my hands had started to become very cold. Only thing was, I couldn't find Ellie. I went up to every grey horse I could find, but none of them had the distinct flea bites like Ellie had, nor did they have a pink marking on their nose. My mom and I counted several of times to make sure we weren't counting wrong, but we were missing two horses out of the five grey. Katana and Ellie. We eventually decided to look behind a row of bushes, when a white figure with glowing eyes starts running towards us from a distance. We had no idea what it was, since it was dark out and the flashlight I was using was only producing a small stream of light. I was about to run for it, when I realize that it is only Ellie. I am flushed with happiness as I realize that she most likely came because she had recognized my/our voices, and as I go to put on her halter, she did not move away, but stands and waits for me, nickering when I get close. My hands made the whole process of putting on her halter a lot more difficult. Eventually I got the halter on, checking to see if we had the right horse (just in case), and hiked back through the snow, Ellie probably as happy as I was to get into the warm barn.
After tacking up, I go to mount Ellie in the arena. For some reason, the stirrups were a lot shorter than usual, even though they looked at normal length. It made it much more difficult to mount Ellie, especially when I finally got my toe into the stirrup and she started to walk away. I quickly pull my foot out and land securely on the ground. I was not in the mood for weird stunts that would later injure me.
I warmed up alongside the other riders, practicing sharp turns, transitions, and a sitting trot. Pylons had been set up in each corner, and a maze was also set up beside one of those pylons, leaving enough space to make a sharp turn without touching pole or pylon. I decide to make the turn, turning my entire upper body, pushing Ellie around with my legs and looking where I'm going. When we make it around without touching anything, I cheer quietly in my head, amazed at our sharpest turn yet.
Later in the lesson, I tried the maze, hoping to make it around without any difficulties. First turn, cleared; second turn, also cleared; third turn...I turn my entire upper body, squeeze with my legs and lead her around the last bend. I did it! The first time I ever cleared the maze on my first try without any difficulties. I can barely hide how happy I am and lean down to give Ellie a quick rub on the neck. I pass by my mom and she gives me a double thumbs up. I smile widely at her.
We continued practicing halting so that we would end up standing vertically or angled to the wall. I got it a couple of times, but I was definitely going to have to work on that.
We used the maze as trotting poles, and, in the lead, I clear the poles the first time, without as much as a nick of the poles. It is quite an amazing feeling when your horse cleanly trots over the poles. Like springs underneath a secured pillow. Believe it or not, we made our horses halt by running into walls. Yes, you heard me. No full on face-into-the-wall kind of stop, but so that we would stop controlling the horse, letting everything go, and they would just halt when they got closer to the wall. Simple as that.....for everyone else. I let all control go, but Ellie(probably not her fault) turned right before the wall. Eventually I got it. I was still proud, though, of our lovely transitions from a halt to trot. Great response, transitioned directly to a trot.
At the end of the lesson, I did some more freestyle bareback riding. I have become quite a fan of it. She responds to my aids like as if we were one being. We cleared the maze on our first try through it, and she turned as soon as I put my leg back. I dismounted from bareback going down one side with both feet at the same time. Almost like sliding off of a warm, fuzzy slide. I gave Ellie lots of treats after that, then returned her to the herd. My legs burned for more than two days after that, but I don't even mind the pain. I'm just always excited for my next lesson.


Sunday, AUGUST 11, 2013 - Show Time


The time had gone by so fast already. I barely realized it was already the day of the show when I woke up, bright and early. Dressed in my finest riding clothes, finished off with my polished boots, my Mom and I drove out to the barn. We were already a little late, so we decided to have breakfast in the car.


When we got to the barn, we realized that we were some of the first people there. One glance at Ellie's pen and I knew I still had a chance to quickly brush her before the lady I was sharing her with came to tack her up before me. Ellie was still shining after the bath that I gave her yesterday. The first time I have ever bathed a horse. Other than the three large dirt spots on her hindquarters. Nobody could really tell how she had gotten them, since she was wearing a blanket over night. Rather than make a big fuss about it, I brushed her down, while my Mom started scrubbing at the spots with a sponge and a stain remover that I had bought just for the show. After several attempts and lots of scrubbing, I finally managed to get them out. Everyone had already tacked up their horses and had headed to the warm up arena, but I wasn't riding before the lady I was sharing Ellie with, so I couldn't tack up, since we were using different tack.


This was my first (fun) horse show, so my Mom and I were new to braiding a horses mane. I gave up after several attempts, but luckily my Mom was a hairdresser, so after about five minutes, she had made what her and I thought was the best looking braid at the show. After scrubbing out Ellie's dirt spots, cleaning her hooves and making her shine from front to back, I took her into the arena to lunge her while we waited for more people to show up. A couple minutes later, my 'riding partner' arrived, so I handed Ellie over to her. While she was tacking up, we were talking about the show and a lot of other things, just to get to know each other. She is really nice, and before she entered the ring to ride her pattern, I wished her and Ellie good luck.


I stayed to watch how it works for entering the arena, etc. but I was amazed at how well my riding partner could ride. I already knew she had ridden for a while now, and I knew she already had a lot of her own horses, but wow, just wow! Her hands were still, her transitions were amazing, and overall she was just amazing to watch. When she finished, she handed me Ellie, and I went to go and change out the tack. I still had a little bit of time until I rode, so I put Ellie in her stall.


The rest of the day was about the same pattern. Everyone rode a second time, other than my riding partner, who sadly had to leave, but I also tried the loose rein challenge that was set up in one of the horse pens. I thought my second ride was better, which is exactly what the results on my papers said. As Gary handed over the last results sheets, he mentioned "don't get your hopes up too high" and quickly smiled before heading back to finish handing out ribbons. I couldn't believe it! I was going to go home with two first place ribbons on my very first show! It was something I've always dreamed of doing, but I didn't know that I could accomplish it this early in my riding career. I could only think of one reason; I couldn't have done it without the help of Gary and Millar's Venture Arabians. And of course I couldn't have done it without Ellie, the best horse in the world!


Thursday, AUGUST 1, 2013 - Birthday Bash


Today I am one year older! I can't believe it, and the best part was, I got to spend half of the day at the barn! My day started off by spending lunch with my entire family at Tony Romas! Yum! After one delicious meal, I got to open a huge bag of presents! Right in the middle of Tony Romas! It took me a while to try and pull out some sort of bag, which I realized was a helmet/riding attire carrier, once I got it out. I checked all of the pockets that it had, and afterwards I was a little richer and prepared for the show with hair ties and leg wraps.


Stuffed and happy, my dad headed back to work and we headed home. Later that day, we had dressage night at the barn, which is, as the name says, a day at the barn where we all meet up and practice all sorts of dressage skills, but the theme for now would be practicing the dressage tests that we would ride in the show.

Before I even have a chance to tack up, I am told to open the huge present some of the ladies riding tonight brought along, because the things inside might be useful for tonight's ride. After opening the card and pulling out the present tissue, I pull out all sorts of shampoo's and detangler's, new riding gloves, and a brand new saddle pad! After thanking them for the great present's, I head back inside, detangler in hand, to get Ellie shining from forelock to tail.


The ride was great! We all had our highlights and low lights, but we all left with even more knowledge then before. My feet were on fire inside of my boots, and Ellie was starting to get tired as well. We all spent the rest of the evening talking, eating the cake that my Mom had brought along, and after a tiring workout, relaxing while watching the sun go down. This was definitely the best birthday ever!



Wednesday, JULY 31, 2013 - Dressage night


Every Wednesday, me and a group of other riders riding at the barn get together to ride different dressage rides, each one a little different than the next, each one a surprise until Wednesday night.


One night, there were only four of us. Gary, me and two other riders. We were riding in a pattern that I considered looked like Cavalia or the mounted police rides.

We all got partners that we would have to ride alongside at different areas. First we would walk down the center line in partners, then the next time we would ride down the center line in a row of four. Then other times we would come down the diagonal, then walk down the center line with our partners. Other times we would walk out on the rail, then "Valte" to the other side so that we come through the middle, two going one way, then the other two the other way, then turn up and walk down the center line, so on, so forth. We eventually decided to do this in a trot. Ellie was going the fastest, so I really had to work hard to slow her down and keep her with the rest of the group. In the end we all halted in the middle in a row of four, while my Mom applauded loudly. I thought this was a great workout for all of us, controlling the speed of our horses, practicing turns, riding with other riders. It was overall a great night, even with missing riders and no music.

I can not wait to find out what our "Authentic DQ Night" is going to have in store for us!


Thursday, JULY 18, 2013


Yesterday, I took my cousin and her Mom (who were currently visiting from Germany) out to the barn to "show off" everything I could do. I thought maybe Ellie might not recognize me as much as before, since I hadn't seen her in three weeks, but when she saw my Mom and I get out of the car, she started looking over interested (like she always does) and began to sigh and neigh, as if saying hello. I grabbed my red halter and headed over to her pen. I let her smell my hand and I stroked her head. She only moved aside to let me open the gate, but stayed put as I put on her halter. I was already excited to ride her again, as I had been thinking of her everyday the past three weeks I was gone.

I brushed her down, which I almost didn't need to since she looked cleaner than usually! As I was doing so, Gary had brought in Katana so that both my cousin and her Mom (who had never sat on a horse) could also have a chance to ride.

Once tacked up, all of us headed to the arena. I grabbed a lunge line and headed to the center of the arena, so everyone had a good view of what I was doing. Camera's ready, they watched my every move. Lateral lunging; a good technique for warming up and bonding with your horse. She was very responsive to my cues, and backing her up was amazing! She is just such and amazing horse.

I then mounted, checking my stirrups and my girth before getting on. Then light and gentle, sat down in the saddle and got myself settled. Off we go!
Ellie and me have come such a long way in these past months! She really has helped me become a better rider. She was being very responsive to my cues (leg pressure, shifting my weight, etc.). The show was great. We walked, trotted and cantered, and of course halted. I patted her lovingly after our lovely ride, but then it was time to let my cousins have a turn. Gary brought in Katana, and got both of them prepared to ride. My Auntie-in-law already looked great up on Katana, even though it was her first time sitting on a horse!

I waited with Ellie in the aisle, taking a bunch of pictures of her so that I could print them and hang them up in either my room or in my locker, once school started!
They then called me back in, and told me to ride with both of them. I grabbed Ellie (still tacked up) and mounted, then rode around in a circle alongside Katana. Hand in hand, my Auntie and I, and later my cousin, rode alongside one another and had a great time! Everyone left with a smile on their face, and I hope that I could do this again some time. Maybe ride with beginners and let them be confident to ride, and let them have a good time so that they can too leave with a smile on their face and want to keep doing this.

On our drive home, I was already excited for the rest of my (horsey-) summer!


Friday, MAY 17, 2013


I know I haven't written anything in a while, but I have been busy with exams, homework and lots of other activities that have kept me from writing. But I decided to take some time and summarize the exciting things that have been going on during my horse riding journey.


Over the past few weeks, I have been riding Ellie. I have really fallen in love with her, and I enjoy coming to the barn to visit her. I do believe that Ellie and me have a created bond that I wish to never break. When I first started riding her, she was still shy and needed someone to trust. Now when I get her from her pen, she nickers when I call her name and barely walks away, other than that one day where we were playing the "catch Ellie from her pen" game. Riding on her has been great too! She responds well to my commands, and even arches her neck when I trot her. Even when I lunge her. I have also started cantering on her! But I have focused more on trotting, leg pressure and keeping her against the wall. It has been going great! Me and Ellie both improve more and more each week and I am proud of it.

On one weekend I went to work at the barn. I was grooming horses all day long. I started at 9:30 am and ended at around 1:00 pm. My nails became black after grooming at least two horses, and I had never felt as dirty as I had then. The horses that I groomed were Sox, Sensor, Zoro, Katana, Ellie and some of the foals.
I had been stepped on around five times and I was starting to get worried when my Mom never showed up at 12:00 pm. We later got a call from my Mom saying that her car had broken down and that it would still take a couple minutes. I continued grooming horses, waiting for her. I still remember when Gary was riding on one of the horses and I ran in panicking, because Zoro had gotten his leg stuck in the stall guard nets. I had to somehow get him out, but eventually I did. I also remember when I was getting Ellie, who had run around frantically in a mad canter just a few minutes earlier, and I finally realized that her lip was bleeding. I was worried and so I asked Gary what I should do. He told me to just bring her in so we could examine her. Her lip was starting to stop bleeding, but I was still worried. Gary decided that she wasn't going to die and so I finished grooming her. I was really tired after that and I remember having to put all my clothes in the wash, since they were all so dirty. I really enjoyed helping. It was a fun experience.



Monday, APRIL 1, 2013 AND The best April Fools Joke!


So, on Monday I went riding again. I got to come at 4:00 pm rather than 6:00pm because I had one more day off before I went back to school. I got to ride Ellie again!! I was really excited.

The first time I rode her, Gary brought her in because she used to walk away from her previous owner when she was getting her from the field. When I got her that lesson, the only thing she did was turn her head away a bit! She must like me already! I brushed her down again, but today she hadn't shed as much. I was pretty happy about that, but I was still covered in tons of white hairs! If I would collect all of the hairs she looses until the summer, I bet I could make the biggest and fluffiest horse hair pillow in the world!!! That's what Gary always says.

I put on her tack carefully and went to arena. I lunged her again before I rode. It didn't take very long though. She was listening the entire time and when she thought we were connected enough, she stopped when I didn't tell her too. Her inside ear was turned towards me and she was sighing and chewing. Gary pointed out that that was a really good sign. I was happy that she liked me. I then tightened her girth before I mounted. I watched her every move and tightened as carefully as I could. She turned around once to gently nudge me, but Gary mentioned that instead of trying to nip me because she didn't like it, she seemed to say 'Thank you'. I personally mounted the best out of all of my mounts since I started riding. I did it so carefully and gently, it might of seemed like I were in slow mow! Even Gary thought it was pretty good!

I was riding with a girl named Jane, it was good practice for a show because I learned how to pass other riders and work with them in the same space. It was also a little hard to keep her to the wall and not crash into the horse in front of us, since Ellie was faster.
I also practiced sitting trot on Ellie for the first time. I really sucked at it. It is so much different than on Katana!! All day today my thighs were so sore, I could barely walk to my next class! At least I know I used my muscles!!

At the end of the lesson, Jane and me did a small 'Cavalia' performance, where we had to walk down the center of the arena in pairs, then spilt and 'vaulte' and such. The hardest part was the sitting trot, where I had to do sharp turns and try and avoid Ellie crashing into the other horse and rider. We did pretty good actually! In the end I walked Ellie around the arena once without stirrups. We had a really good work out! My thighs and most of my body was aching and Ellie was pretty sweaty! We had to put a blanket on her again!


April (late) Fools

Before class started, we always have about 40 minutes to just walk around and talk to friends. I usually go and talk to my L.A. teacher because she is also into the horse passion. Before spring break, I had told her about how I wanted to trick her on April 1st that I got a horse, because I always tell her how much I want one. Well, I wasn't going to be there, so I had to figure something else out. I had a super evil plan for what I was going to do. I was going to play a late April fools trick on her. She would totally fall for it! When I told my mom, she just rolled her eyes, but I knew it would work.

I walked into her classroom, carrying the horse picture that I had drawn over break that I really wanted to show her! She smiled over at me when she saw me. I walked over acting excited like as if something really great happened. "Turns out my parents did buy me a horse for Easter," I tell her. Her expression is priceless. I try my best to try and hold back my laugh. But since I am like the best liar in the world, she didn't notice anything. I told her true things about Ellie, but added in little white lies to make it even more exciting. She was so excited she was barely sitting in her seat! She wanted me to bring loads of pictures of her! My friend knew something was going on because I had never told her.

Me and my friend then walked away to her desk after I had totally tricked my teacher! I then told my friend about what I had just planned. My teacher was still sitting there smiling. I couldn't wait 3 periods until I had L.A. to tell her, so I got a scrap piece of paper, on which I wrote 'Happy (late) April Fools!' I folded it and handed it to her. After she read it, she finally understood what I had done. She then "shunned" me for the rest of the day! It was hilarious! My friend and me were laughing so hard! Best, April Fools Trick, Ever!!

Monday, MARCH 25, 2013


I was actually just going to write to you! I know I haven't written much in a while, but I have been really busy and we always came home late. But since it is spring break, I have the time! I went riding today. I missed my lesson last week since the snow in the driveway was too deep and it was too chilly. I was really excited to go again, especially today since it was such a nice day out and I really wanted to ride again.


When we got there, we waited for Gary since we wanted to tell him about how my Mom wanted me to ride a different horse. Before we could tell him, he told us that I would be riding a different horse anyway. Good news is Katana is fine. There's nothing that seemed unusual. He said it might have been the ground, the footing might have been bad because of the weather conditions. I rode a horse named Ellie. She is really sweet and cute. She looks almost exactly like Katana, just that she is a mare, she is slightly taller and she has white feet. There were also some other things that were a bit different. Well, she was such a sweetheart. But she is a horse I have to be careful with.

Gary told me that I have to be gentle when I put on her girth, that I have to be careful around her ears, and that when I ride, I have to use little pressure because she is sensitive and that I have to ride her 100%. Otherwise she will do what she wants. I got her ready to go, then headed down to the arena. I was going to connect with her by doing some lateral lunging first. She is a very submissive girl. I lunged her over some poles and did my lateral lunges. It wasn't just a way to connect with her, it was also practice for me since I hadn't lunged a horse in so long. I then headed to the mounting block and as careful as I could be, I sat down into the saddle. I could right away tell that she was different because usually Katana would start to slowly walk on, but Ellie just stood there and waited until I was ready.

I was really surprised when I asked her for a walk because she is much faster and has a different feel. I also realized that she is a horse that likes to walk in smaller circles, not along the rail. So I practiced keeping her against it. I also practiced making her stride longer, which went well.


When Gary asked me to trot, after I had practiced halting and teardrop turns, I had to hold on very tightly with my thighs because she is a very fast horse. If I would have sat there, I bet I would have jumped out of the saddle and landed in the dirt. I held on very tightly, and it actually felt like a really nice trot. It wasn't as bumpy anymore, I wasn't sitting down hard on her back and she actually bent her neck a little. But I could feel my stomach and my thighs aching badly. What a work out!

I had a nice dismount today, personally my favorite. Gave her lots of pats, then brought her outside. I hope I get to ride her again! Oh, did I mention that my jacket had gone from black to white!? So had the ground ... I can still feel my thighs burning now!



Monday, MARCH 11, 2013


Gary had to go to a meeting today, which he had sent me an email about, but I had never read. When we got there, he told us. Since we were all ready to go, he let me have a free 'practice' lesson. His wife was gonna stay and watch, but if I wanted, he said I could stay until twelve o'clock, which I didn't.

I got Katana ready as always, and headed over to the arena. For a couple of minutes I led him around, working on our connecting and horsemanship. While I was walking to my finishing point in the center of the arena, I felt like as if I were performing for someone and if Katana could bow, I would have done it. I don't know why I felt that way, but I did. I then headed over to the mounting block, where I adjusted the girth and stirrups. I mounted gently, then readied myself to go.
We walked around a long time doing different patterns, practicing my 'turn on the forehand', warming up then decided to practice with the poles. Gary's wife and my mom set up the poles while I walked around a couple more times. Katana and I then walked over the poles a few times. He had been tripping as usual, but has never tripped over poles. Well, he did. Luckily I stayed on, but it was still weird that he did that.

After walking over the poles, I decided to trot around a bit. He tripped lightly a few times, but I was used to it. We used the poles, but he still kept tripping, so we decided to put away the poles. I slowed him to a walk and decided to give him a break from the poles. My Mom said that I should call it a day, but I told her I would only trot around a few more times. I was going to go around the second time, and I was going to go into my two point but just before I did that, he tripped so bad he landed face first in the dirt, me being so close to falling over his neck. I again stayed on, but decided to bring him in and call it a day. I jumped off and started checking his legs for heat, but nothing seemed to be wrong.


While we were driving home, my Mom decided that I should ride a different horse because she is scared I will get hurt. I know how she feels. I was worried more about if Katana is ok than me falling off.



Monday, FEBRUARY 4, 2013


Today was one of the best days ever! I was riding Katana, and I got to jump again today! Before I went riding, I set myself a little goal. My goal was to be more focused and to try my best. I was proud of myself for achieving that goal today.

The other day my mom had mentioned that I do better when my dad is around, so he came along to watch me again. After I had groomed and tacked up Katana, I walked into the arena and got really excited when I saw the poles and the small jump set up inside. Usually when I walk into the arena, I walk around it with Katana a couple of times to get ourselves 'connected'. We are getting better at walking and stopping. I walked around, practicing turning and stopping without pulling on the reins. Then I mounted, which was also better today. Katana did not walk off on me today, but stayed put. I then walked and trotted around, then realizing that I needed a crop, so Gary handed me one. Trotting was then much better and easier for me to post. I trotted over the poles, practicing my two point. That is one thing I still need to work on a bit. I trotted around a few times, practicing going over the poles and doing my forehand turns. As I was practicing my forehand turns, Gary started to set up the jump where all the other poles were. He set up a small cross rail jump. I went over it a couple of times, remember my 'need for speed'. Katana even cantered after a couple of the jumps as well. I have never cantered without the lunge line before, other than when Sensor would spook. So that was really exciting. I then did a dismount, which Gary rated a 7/10. I usually end up with a 6 or 5.5. I untacked and groomed Katana and put him into his stall. I fed him some of my treats that I have stored in the feed storage. Like always, we stayed for a while just talking about riding and other fun horse things.



Saturday, JANUARY 5, 2013

Today was awesome! Yet scary. I started an exercise called a tornado and a runway. You might of heard of it already. It's an exercise where I trot and walk in between pylons shaped in a triangle. I still have to work on that a lot. It's simple, yet hard. Sometimes I almost fell off, but I quickly grabbed the reins. One time a droplet of water dropped from the roof and must of spooked Sensor, because he suddenly shied. Lucky I was holding on tightly with my thighs, because otherwise I would have landed in the dirt. I had a nice canter though!


I compared the videos that I took of the lesson on Thursday and the one I had today. I look so much better in the lesson today. Too bad my batteries died because in the end, Gary put me on the lunge line and I started cantering! The first 6 times I almost fell off. One time I actually fell off. This time it was worse than the one time I fell off. I grabbed his neck and suddenly started slipping around him. I suddenly saw his legs beside me and I hoped that he wouldn't trample me. But he stopped right before he stepped on me. Well, it didn't hurt but my heart was pounding. Thank goodness my mom wasn't filming cause she might have broken my camera (by squashing it with her hands). He then told me a story of when he fell off of a horse and how she tried her best not to land on him. Just like Sensor did to me. I kept on trying and one time my saddle slipped off. I was holding on like a little monkey. He fixed it and I got back on. We did it one more time and this time I got it! My Mom and Gary said it looked pretty good. I was so happy to hear that! But right when I got into it, he told me to stop Sensor. I'm still excited because now that I'm starting cantering, I'm getting pretty close to jumping! I will be the happiest person in the world when I do.


My sister takes a short "lesson" after my lesson while I untack and brush down Sensor. I never get to see it cause I'm busy, but my sister tells me everything afterwards. It was her second one today, but instead of the type of riding I do, she is doing vaulting. It's good we're both doing separate things cause then we both have different stories to tell and it's fun listening to her tell me of what she did. She always sounds so happy! I'm just happy she's into something that I am too, because listening to her talk about dolls all day get's kind of annoying. Well, she started trotting today. She did some cool tricks too! She's still jealous of me that I'm so good at riding compared to her and that I already get to start cantering! I was just a little jealous at first that she's starting riding too, even though it's not a "real" lesson, but when I realized that she would never want to try and be better than me, I felt a little better. I was even happier when she started talking to my mom about how she has to buy us a horse, maybe even two! I now realize that once she's better, I could help her and teach a bit. I could even lunge the horse for her, like a good older sister would do!


Tuesday, NOVEMBER 27, 2012

Well lessons are going great! I've practiced mainly my trotting, such as using my leg pressure for turning and posting. I have been riding Mooner for the last 2 lessons. He is very fast. Mooner is helping me practice my balance and control over faster horses. My last lesson we the best though. I was riding Mooner and he was listening to me well! I was practicing turning square corners and walking and trotting large circles around pylons, which was going great. I am better at my transitions. Gary thinks I'm so good, he thinks that I sneak into the barn when he doesn't notice and practice! When he says that I feel very proud of myself.


Back to the main reason why the lesson was so awesome. When I walked into the arena, after I had properly by myself, tacked him up and had groomed him with my grooming kit, I notice that he had set up some poles on the ground so I got excited. I walked and trotted over the poles a few times, practicing my two point and properly posting while trotting over them. He told me to trot a few laps around the arena, and out of the corner of my eye I see him setting up a very small jump. I got really excited, but I remembered to stay focused. Then he told me to make another lap around the arena and give the jump a go. I turn my square corner and center Mooner up for the jump. It was only a small cross rail jump, which may sound unexciting for people who have jumped for years, but too me it was the most exciting thing in the world. A small encouragement and I got into my two point. Mooner did a small jump, then there were two small bumps and Mooners hooves safely hit the ground, and I lucky stayed in the saddle. I was so happy that I did not fall off and that I had finally jumped for the first time I breath out a happy sigh. Gary makes me slow down my horse to a walk and tells me to give myself a pat on the back. Even though I need to practice on looking more professional, I think I looked pretty good for my first try. After a couple more jumps and laps, the lesson is over. I untacke and groom Mooner, watching him happily much on his treats in his stall after. I bring in a couple of horses and finally give Mooner some of the treats that I brought. As we were driving away, I check the time to see that we had spent 2 hours at the barn, again. Can't wait till the summer. I might sneak out of my Moms car and have a slumber party with the horses (and coyotes).


Also a few things that I have purchased so far a red mane and tail brush and a red lead rope. (yes, my favorite colour is red, and I do think red looks good on all horses).



Tuesday, OCTOBER 30, 2012


We haven't talked in a while! Throughout my last few lessons, I have kept improving my lateral lunging and my trotting/posting. I'm getting better and better and I enjoy doing it. In one of the lessons I was practicing weaving through pylons using leg pressure and my "laser beam" (aka belly button). It was going great! I started trotting around the pylons as well, when Gary offered me to try cantering. Well, the first time was amazing, but the moment only lasted a couple of seconds, as I had lost my stirrup (again). The second time I was almost wildly knocked off of Katana. I had adjusted again and was going for my third try. Suddenly the same thing happened but this time my saddle bent even more over, so I basically threw myself off, trying not to hang underneath Katana's belly. All I had said to myself was "one down, 19 to go" and I realized that you aren't a real horsewoman until you have fallen off, so I was happy to know what it would be like for the future falls.


Over the weekend I realized that the reason I keep losing my stirrups and that I had fallen was because my stirrups were too long and my boots were uncomfortable. So I did a couple of chores and got myself a new pair of boots and chaps. I was so excited to get back in the saddle and try cantering again, but when I got there, he told me we were gonna ride bareback again. Wasn't all that bad, since I got to practice turning with my legs and "laser beam" and doing transitions. Gary thought I was so good that he asked if I had practiced! Well, I don't know how I could have practiced without a horse. I was still satisfied when I had Katana under control when he went to fast or he was going the wrong way. He is an absolute dream horse!

Talk to you soon!



Monday, OCTOBER 8, 2012


Just came back from my second riding lesson. This time I didn't use Sox, but I used Katana! He is so cute and soft. He is the best lesson horse I've ever had! I got him out of his pen and I brushed him down with my brushes. Then we started off with some lateral lounging and then we did some riding. I rode bareback. I used my thighs a lot and it worked really well. Then Gary got me to trot! The fastest I've ever gone on a horse! It was so amazing! I used my thighs so much, that when I got off, I though I was walking with my legs spread apart. I did a rear dismount! Then I quickly brushed him down and took off his leg wraps (which I also put on), and brought him into a pen. Today was amazing!!!



Wednesday, AUGUST 22, 2012


I went to go visit Gary on Tuesday, and he is just Amazing!! I just want to thank you for helping me get in touch with Gary. Without your help, I don't think I would have ever achieved my dream of riding. My parents finally say yes to a place where I can go and take lessons. But not just any lessons. These are the best lessons ever!! Thank you thank you sooo much!! Much thanks from me and my family.


if you would like to post a comment or ask Linda a questions e-mail: info@discoverarabianhorses.com or check out our Facebook Page.



Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) offers a fresh approach to learning by applying a little 'Horse Sense' to life. Through the many workshops, participants learn to navigate their way to better teamwork and collaboration by learning to cultivate and develop their own style of interpersonal communication and nuture their own emotional intellegence (EQ) development.


It provides a powerful and effective approach comprised of setting up activities involving horses which requires the individual or group to apply certain and specific skills including: non verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem solving, leadership skills, encourages responsibility, trust, teamwork and relationships, positive relational skills, confidence and attitude.


By coming into the barn, the horse's environment, participants are forced out of their asphalt and concrete world into a natural, safe place. The 'barn' encourages individuals to be relaxed and creative, as well as discover the importance of respect, boundaries and resulting freedom that comes from reconnecting with nature. There is a powerful spiritual, emotional, and psychological connection between people and horses; horses have a great deal to teach humanity.


There are multiple workshops offered re-defining personal and professional development, leadership training along with a fresh look at career transition, all having an incredible impact on individuals and groups, families, corporate leaders, children, youth and adults:

Arabian Horse Reading Literacy Project (AHRLP) for children and youth

AHRLP is an innovative, experiential learning program—Equine Assisted Learning. This program is committed to motivating children to want to read, enhancing their literacy skills and developing their confidence in reading. It is an amazing adventure for the children to enjoy the opportunity to read to the horses and experience the exhilaration and joy of spending time with these amazing non-judgmental teachers. "It is important to teach children to read, but we haven't achieved anything if children know how to read ... but don't!"

Link to the AHRLP website.

Some new programs being introduced this year …


  • Family Reading Therapy sessions - a family can participate together, adults and ‘kids’. Ideal for families trying to promote reading together and assisting family members with reading difficulties. The program will have a large visual focus with lots of ideas about motivating ‘kids’ and adults to want to read together. Link to program.


  • Angel Wings Project - a special program for ‘kids’ with chronic or critical illness. This program will be tailored to the individual ‘kids’ and their families who attend. "Horses lend us wings”. There is no cost for ‘kids’ who participate in this project. Link to our project.


  • French Reading Program - for pre-school and grade 1 … enjoy the program with a leveled French reader and parts of the horse in French. The ‘kids’ can read “en français” and identify parts of the horse “en français” … all the instruction will be in English. Link to our program.

Leadership Workshop

Arabian Horse LEADERSHIP Project assists in cultivating the human capacity for higher reasoning by allowing people to safely participate in scenarios where they have to over ride basic fear/personal communication tendencies and communicate effectively and appropriately ... in other words, to begin to lead without having to think about leading, experiencing and feeling the outcomes ... acting instead of reacting.


Integrated Horsemanship Program

Integrated Horsemanship assists in cultivating the human capacity for higher reasoning by allowing people to safely participate in scenarios where they have to over ride basic fear/personal communication tendencies and communicate effectively and appropriately with their horse. ... in other words, to develop a solid relationship with their horse. Learning to act instead of react by increasing their knowledge and understanding of how horses behave, then applying that knowledge to real horses and real situations.


Adventures with the Horse Workshop

Arabian Horse Adventure Workshop provides people with the opportunity to feel the exhilaration of communicating with live horses, beings of power, beauty, elegance and natural intuition in a safe and secure setting ... a 'gentle adventure'. By learning crucial communication skills walking beside a horse will feel more like dancing with the horse.


Equine Assisted Mental Health Therapy Workshop For Mental Health Professionals

Arabian Horse MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY Project assists in cultivating the human capacity for higher reasoning by allowing people to safely participate in scenarios where they have to over ride basic fear/personal communication tendencies and communicate effectively and appropriately ... in other words, experiencing and feeling the outcomes ... acting instead of reacting. As a professional practitioner, you will discover new tools and possibly new insight on ways to assist people through the effective use of horses as a non-judgmental medium, one that has no bias attached and one that provides immediate and honest feedback—a mirror.


Equine Assisted Mental Health Therapy Treatment—A Fresh Approach To Mental Health Treatment

Equine Assisted MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY (EAMHT) brings horses together with a mental health professional, a professional horseman and a client (individuals, couples and groups) for a collaborative effort directed toward emotional growth, learning and to address treatment goals.

Link to the Equus Alive website.

Feedback and Research


Children’s literacy: Advice from the experts. Link to the AHRLP website.

Relevant data in support of using horses for Equine Assisted Therapy. Link to Equus Alive website.