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Ride Every Stride | Horsemanship and Personal Growth with Van Hargis

Van Hargis

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Ride Every Stride | Horsemanship and Personal Growth with Van Hargis

Ride Every Stride | Horsemanship and Personal Growth with Van Hargis

Van Hargis

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Followers
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About Us

Welcome to Ride Every Stride with Van Hargis, a podcast about horsemanship . . . and more. Our goal is to educate, motivate, inspire, and entertain you through an exploration of everything horsemanship and the intersection of horsemanship and humanship. We want to give you practical tools that you can use in the arena or on the trail and teach you the principles of great horsemanship, while also inspiring you to apply those same principles to help your personal growth and success.

Latest Episodes

Herd and Herd Dynamics | Ride Every Stride 078

You’ve probably heard me say this before, “Horses aren’t people.” You may have also rolled your eyes at me, because it seems obvious. Doesn’t it? Yet you’d be surprised how often people misinterpret horse behavior as being the same as human behavior, with the same emotions and causes involved. But the truth of the matter is different. Horses are a different species, with different instincts and social hierarchies. This episode goes in depth into the herd dynamic, and most importantly, where you fit into that dynamic. Spoiler alert, your position is to be the leader. Key takeaways If I could leave you with one clear message about herd dynamics it would be to observe your horses objectively. How can you be the leader of an organization you don’t know anything about? We have to watch our horses and see how they interact. Sure, a calf may be nudging against their mother because there is a mother-offspring bond, or the calf could have a spur on its neck. Humans can be very selfish...

-1 s2018 NOV 5
Comments
Herd and Herd Dynamics | Ride Every Stride 078

Just Letting Go | RES 077

Don’t know what you can do unless you let go of comfort zone. It’s easy to hold onto what we know and stay in one spot, but unless you branch out, you’ll never know what is just beyond our reach. So there a lot of things that can hold us back in both our humanship and horsemanship. Most of these are in our mind—like a stake in the ground that keeps an elephant from running off from a circus. They could easily tug it free, but they’ve been conditioned since birth to believe that can’t yank that thing out of the ground. So we will be talking about how to not be that elephant, and how we can let go and let our horses grow with us. Key Takeaways So how do you ride every stride if you let go of the reins? Well, I like to look at the reins as a last resort steering wheel. There I so much other communication to learn between you and your horse, your body, voice, and weight. And 9 times out of 10 if you do let go, your horse isn’t going to bolt. Thinking your horse is a ticking time ...

-1 s2018 OCT 27
Comments
Just Letting Go | RES 077

Organization and Horsemanship | RES 076

This episode wrangles with a topic brought up on Facebook by a great friend of mine, Steve Stevens up in North Texas. Now Steve asked over Facebook if his followers thought that organization played a role in their horsemanship. The way they hang up bridles and saddles and lead ropes, could that at all impact their horsemanship. A lot of people said no. They drag their ropes, leave stuff on the ground till the next day, and so on and so forth. But professionals chimed in and said that this kind of organization was a key component of their horsemanship. I agree with this. Organization can definitely play a role in how you approach your horsemanship, and this episode dives right into why that is. Key Takeaways So what’s the connection between how you hang your tack and your horsemanship? For one, I use organization as a teaching tool. When I know exactly where everything is in my barn, I can say ‘Hey Laura, go grab me a Snapple bit – the second one on the left.” Now Laura may not k...

-1 s2018 SEP 29
Comments
Organization and Horsemanship | RES 076

3 Obstacles to Horsemanship and Humanship | RES 075

As you all know, we love getting listener questions. By far the most common questions we get revolve around confidence, anxiety, and a slew of other mental barriers that get in the way of our horsemanship. Everyone experiences these kinds of roadblocks, even me. At every clinic I’m at I tell folks the only difference between them and me is that I’ve had more practice, I’ve just screwed up more than them. And that’s it. Everyone at times feels like they aren’t normal—like they aren’t failing by doing X or Y. But the truth is that’s completely natural, we are all trying to figure this out together, although a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. But that’s the focus of this episode—the three roadblocks between you and your horsemanship and humanship. Key Takeaways Our Past: often times we let what’s happened to us completely dictate what we do in the here and now. People get sucked into dwelling on their past, and it puts a damper on the present. But you shouldn’t d...

-1 s2018 SEP 22
Comments
3 Obstacles to Horsemanship and Humanship | RES 075

Oh Snap! | RES 074

If you’ve been around a while you know I love it when we get listener questions in. Recently, I got a few of the same question back to back—which I how I know it’s time to talk about it on the show. The question that’s been coming in is “Do you use snaps on reins?” What they mean is the small metal snap loops to attach the reins to a bit. The short answer to their question is this: no. The main reason for this is that I’m not a fan of metal on metal contact on anything having to do with equipment on horses. The reason for this is that it is distracting, the snap sliding over the bit is a harsh point of contact. I get why some people use snaps—it makes it easier to swap out reins. But the barrier of metal on metal is something that I find gets in the way of communicating what you want to the horse. Key Takeaways So what are some alternatives? Many people use nylon reins. These can come in all sorts of colors to match the rest of your equipment, and can be looped right on the ...

-1 s2018 SEP 15
Comments
Oh Snap! | RES 074

The Practice of Being Positive | RES 073

It’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thinking, even if it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. We might complain about the weather, it being too hot or too cold. We might say, “Well my mare is in heat right now and you know how that goes.” We find it so easy to fall into negative thinking, and I think a lot of it has to do with the media we take in. There’s always bad news in the paper and people arguing online, over the radio, and on T.V. Being positive is a practice, one where you take a negative and see the bright side of it. When we do that we’re able to visualize a better road forward for ourselves and our horses. Key Takeaways Positivity is ultimately a conscious choice we have to make. It may come easier to some than others, but all of us have to work at it in order to find the positive in every situation. Not just in life, but directly with our horses as well. When our horses do something we don’t want, like buck or turn the wrong way or won’t load on the trailer—i...

-1 s2018 SEP 8
Comments
The Practice of Being Positive | RES 073

Dreaming of Horses | Ride Every Stride 072

The coming episodes are going to be tackling a trend I’ve seen lately from our listener questions and the clinics I’ve been hosting–and it has to do with the mental side of horsemanship. Often times our brain gets in the way of our ride more than the horse does. And one of the key parts of our brain to exercise is our imagination. When Laura first came to me she told me that she rode horses as a kid but fell out of it later on in life. She told me she was dreaming of riding horses, and that dream was incredibly important. We’re going to talk about those dreams and the imagination to make them happen. Key Takeaways We’ve all been caught in daydreams before—imagining riding down a beach, through pasture, or by a herd of mooing cows. Often times this can be seen as unproductive or a waste of time. We’re adults, right? We live in reality. But the only way to change that reality, move forward and grow, is to dream and then take action on those dreams. As kids our imagination can g...

-1 s2018 SEP 1
Comments
Dreaming of Horses | Ride Every Stride 072

The It Factor | Ride Every Stride 071

As you should know, we love getting listener questions and feedback on the show. This episode is centered around one of those questions, and it has to do with the “It” factor—meaning greatness. Can greatness in our horses be taught, or do they have to be born with it? I find this to be a fascinating question that clearly straddles the overlap between horsemanship and humanship. Key Takeaways First, let’s get my definition of a great horse that has the “It” factor. There are many aspects to what makes a great horse, I don’t think it’s just one thing. Athleticism is important, because the things we tend to ask of our horses require them to be strong and swift. Eye appeal is important too, a horse that easily displays that strength and athleticism and stirs that thing inside you called beauty. The biggest part of greatness in my opinion is trainability. If you can’t train your horse, they won’t do a single thing with that greatness. You can’t teach this quality to your horse...

-1 s2018 AUG 25
Comments
The It Factor | Ride Every Stride 071

The Controlled Wreck | RES 070

This week we are talking about setting your horse up for success, but really offering them a decision to make and being prepared for the result—be it what we wanted or not. I’m talking about the Controlled Wreck. This is a training tool that works a bit like a pop quiz for your horse, and often times the rider and trainer too. The Controlled Wreck highlights what to do when you get a “wrong answer” from your horse and how to correct them. Key Takeaways An example of a Controlled Wreck would be to walk your horse around in a circle over and over again, stopping each time at the same spot. Then, on the next circle, keep walking past that spot and see how the horse reacts. Do they try and stop again out of anticipation, or do they keep moving? You have to be extra prepared when seated on the horse as well. In case anything goes wrong you need to know how to regain control or take away their ability to buck. And along these lines, we need to know not have to telegraph what we are tr...

-1 s2018 AUG 18
Comments
The Controlled Wreck | RES 070

The Older Horse | Ride Every Stride 069

Horses and humans have a lot in common. For instance, aging. Just like we get old, slow down, have back pain, dietary problems, and need to adjust to keep our minds and bodies active—horses do too. They have a specific set of needs and issues that may arise as they enter old age, and we’ll be covering exactly when, why, and what to do when our horses start getting up in years. They become members of our families and require all the attention and care we would give ourselves. Key Takeaways Age can be a relative term. A horse might be called “old” even if they are 5-6 but are competing in high-intensity competitions. But as some veterinarians have told me you can start thinking about a horse as “older” around the age of 12. This is when stresses can add up and start to lead to issues like arthritis or other dietary and joint issue. Activity plays a huge key in a horse’s older years. Especially if they have been high performing and very active their whole lives. Retiring them fu...

-1 s2018 AUG 13
Comments
The Older Horse | Ride Every Stride 069

Latest Episodes

Herd and Herd Dynamics | Ride Every Stride 078

You’ve probably heard me say this before, “Horses aren’t people.” You may have also rolled your eyes at me, because it seems obvious. Doesn’t it? Yet you’d be surprised how often people misinterpret horse behavior as being the same as human behavior, with the same emotions and causes involved. But the truth of the matter is different. Horses are a different species, with different instincts and social hierarchies. This episode goes in depth into the herd dynamic, and most importantly, where you fit into that dynamic. Spoiler alert, your position is to be the leader. Key takeaways If I could leave you with one clear message about herd dynamics it would be to observe your horses objectively. How can you be the leader of an organization you don’t know anything about? We have to watch our horses and see how they interact. Sure, a calf may be nudging against their mother because there is a mother-offspring bond, or the calf could have a spur on its neck. Humans can be very selfish...

-1 s2018 NOV 5
Comments
Herd and Herd Dynamics | Ride Every Stride 078

Just Letting Go | RES 077

Don’t know what you can do unless you let go of comfort zone. It’s easy to hold onto what we know and stay in one spot, but unless you branch out, you’ll never know what is just beyond our reach. So there a lot of things that can hold us back in both our humanship and horsemanship. Most of these are in our mind—like a stake in the ground that keeps an elephant from running off from a circus. They could easily tug it free, but they’ve been conditioned since birth to believe that can’t yank that thing out of the ground. So we will be talking about how to not be that elephant, and how we can let go and let our horses grow with us. Key Takeaways So how do you ride every stride if you let go of the reins? Well, I like to look at the reins as a last resort steering wheel. There I so much other communication to learn between you and your horse, your body, voice, and weight. And 9 times out of 10 if you do let go, your horse isn’t going to bolt. Thinking your horse is a ticking time ...

-1 s2018 OCT 27
Comments
Just Letting Go | RES 077

Organization and Horsemanship | RES 076

This episode wrangles with a topic brought up on Facebook by a great friend of mine, Steve Stevens up in North Texas. Now Steve asked over Facebook if his followers thought that organization played a role in their horsemanship. The way they hang up bridles and saddles and lead ropes, could that at all impact their horsemanship. A lot of people said no. They drag their ropes, leave stuff on the ground till the next day, and so on and so forth. But professionals chimed in and said that this kind of organization was a key component of their horsemanship. I agree with this. Organization can definitely play a role in how you approach your horsemanship, and this episode dives right into why that is. Key Takeaways So what’s the connection between how you hang your tack and your horsemanship? For one, I use organization as a teaching tool. When I know exactly where everything is in my barn, I can say ‘Hey Laura, go grab me a Snapple bit – the second one on the left.” Now Laura may not k...

-1 s2018 SEP 29
Comments
Organization and Horsemanship | RES 076

3 Obstacles to Horsemanship and Humanship | RES 075

As you all know, we love getting listener questions. By far the most common questions we get revolve around confidence, anxiety, and a slew of other mental barriers that get in the way of our horsemanship. Everyone experiences these kinds of roadblocks, even me. At every clinic I’m at I tell folks the only difference between them and me is that I’ve had more practice, I’ve just screwed up more than them. And that’s it. Everyone at times feels like they aren’t normal—like they aren’t failing by doing X or Y. But the truth is that’s completely natural, we are all trying to figure this out together, although a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. But that’s the focus of this episode—the three roadblocks between you and your horsemanship and humanship. Key Takeaways Our Past: often times we let what’s happened to us completely dictate what we do in the here and now. People get sucked into dwelling on their past, and it puts a damper on the present. But you shouldn’t d...

-1 s2018 SEP 22
Comments
3 Obstacles to Horsemanship and Humanship | RES 075

Oh Snap! | RES 074

If you’ve been around a while you know I love it when we get listener questions in. Recently, I got a few of the same question back to back—which I how I know it’s time to talk about it on the show. The question that’s been coming in is “Do you use snaps on reins?” What they mean is the small metal snap loops to attach the reins to a bit. The short answer to their question is this: no. The main reason for this is that I’m not a fan of metal on metal contact on anything having to do with equipment on horses. The reason for this is that it is distracting, the snap sliding over the bit is a harsh point of contact. I get why some people use snaps—it makes it easier to swap out reins. But the barrier of metal on metal is something that I find gets in the way of communicating what you want to the horse. Key Takeaways So what are some alternatives? Many people use nylon reins. These can come in all sorts of colors to match the rest of your equipment, and can be looped right on the ...

-1 s2018 SEP 15
Comments
Oh Snap! | RES 074

The Practice of Being Positive | RES 073

It’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thinking, even if it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. We might complain about the weather, it being too hot or too cold. We might say, “Well my mare is in heat right now and you know how that goes.” We find it so easy to fall into negative thinking, and I think a lot of it has to do with the media we take in. There’s always bad news in the paper and people arguing online, over the radio, and on T.V. Being positive is a practice, one where you take a negative and see the bright side of it. When we do that we’re able to visualize a better road forward for ourselves and our horses. Key Takeaways Positivity is ultimately a conscious choice we have to make. It may come easier to some than others, but all of us have to work at it in order to find the positive in every situation. Not just in life, but directly with our horses as well. When our horses do something we don’t want, like buck or turn the wrong way or won’t load on the trailer—i...

-1 s2018 SEP 8
Comments
The Practice of Being Positive | RES 073

Dreaming of Horses | Ride Every Stride 072

The coming episodes are going to be tackling a trend I’ve seen lately from our listener questions and the clinics I’ve been hosting–and it has to do with the mental side of horsemanship. Often times our brain gets in the way of our ride more than the horse does. And one of the key parts of our brain to exercise is our imagination. When Laura first came to me she told me that she rode horses as a kid but fell out of it later on in life. She told me she was dreaming of riding horses, and that dream was incredibly important. We’re going to talk about those dreams and the imagination to make them happen. Key Takeaways We’ve all been caught in daydreams before—imagining riding down a beach, through pasture, or by a herd of mooing cows. Often times this can be seen as unproductive or a waste of time. We’re adults, right? We live in reality. But the only way to change that reality, move forward and grow, is to dream and then take action on those dreams. As kids our imagination can g...

-1 s2018 SEP 1
Comments
Dreaming of Horses | Ride Every Stride 072

The It Factor | Ride Every Stride 071

As you should know, we love getting listener questions and feedback on the show. This episode is centered around one of those questions, and it has to do with the “It” factor—meaning greatness. Can greatness in our horses be taught, or do they have to be born with it? I find this to be a fascinating question that clearly straddles the overlap between horsemanship and humanship. Key Takeaways First, let’s get my definition of a great horse that has the “It” factor. There are many aspects to what makes a great horse, I don’t think it’s just one thing. Athleticism is important, because the things we tend to ask of our horses require them to be strong and swift. Eye appeal is important too, a horse that easily displays that strength and athleticism and stirs that thing inside you called beauty. The biggest part of greatness in my opinion is trainability. If you can’t train your horse, they won’t do a single thing with that greatness. You can’t teach this quality to your horse...

-1 s2018 AUG 25
Comments
The It Factor | Ride Every Stride 071

The Controlled Wreck | RES 070

This week we are talking about setting your horse up for success, but really offering them a decision to make and being prepared for the result—be it what we wanted or not. I’m talking about the Controlled Wreck. This is a training tool that works a bit like a pop quiz for your horse, and often times the rider and trainer too. The Controlled Wreck highlights what to do when you get a “wrong answer” from your horse and how to correct them. Key Takeaways An example of a Controlled Wreck would be to walk your horse around in a circle over and over again, stopping each time at the same spot. Then, on the next circle, keep walking past that spot and see how the horse reacts. Do they try and stop again out of anticipation, or do they keep moving? You have to be extra prepared when seated on the horse as well. In case anything goes wrong you need to know how to regain control or take away their ability to buck. And along these lines, we need to know not have to telegraph what we are tr...

-1 s2018 AUG 18
Comments
The Controlled Wreck | RES 070

The Older Horse | Ride Every Stride 069

Horses and humans have a lot in common. For instance, aging. Just like we get old, slow down, have back pain, dietary problems, and need to adjust to keep our minds and bodies active—horses do too. They have a specific set of needs and issues that may arise as they enter old age, and we’ll be covering exactly when, why, and what to do when our horses start getting up in years. They become members of our families and require all the attention and care we would give ourselves. Key Takeaways Age can be a relative term. A horse might be called “old” even if they are 5-6 but are competing in high-intensity competitions. But as some veterinarians have told me you can start thinking about a horse as “older” around the age of 12. This is when stresses can add up and start to lead to issues like arthritis or other dietary and joint issue. Activity plays a huge key in a horse’s older years. Especially if they have been high performing and very active their whole lives. Retiring them fu...

-1 s2018 AUG 13
Comments
The Older Horse | Ride Every Stride 069
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