About Mary Dixon (marydixon) & Adventure Horse Riding in NYS

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You've found the Mary-Dixon page about horsemanship.  Horses are my passion and my obsession.  They have helped me become a kinder, more confident, more patient person.  What they have taught me about them and taught me about myself is immeasureable.  I now try to teach folks about the nature of horses and how to understand each other which leads to a more confident human and a more confident little darling.
Adventure Horse Riding in NYS


Consistency is the Key for Your Little Darling !

When it comes to working with horses, consistency is the key ...  " Consistency is your greatest ally and inconsistency is your worst enemy".

This is one of the best lessons I have ever learned and it makes a HUGE difference in the interaction between you and your little darling.  Why?  Because he is not confused and "gets it" - you gave him the real opportunity to understanding a behavior that you want from him.

A few simple examples:

If you expect him to always drop his head for haltering then that is what you need toalways insist on.
If you allow him sometimes get away with raising his head in the air and you still halter him and then other times you expect the head to be lowered, you are inconsistent and confusing to your horse.

It really does mess him up because he then thinks both actions are just fine.

If you sometimes let him rush out of his stall and other times require him to wait for you.

If you allow him to jig back to the barn and other times require that he quietly walks back.

If you allow him to stomp his feet for feeding and you feed him and other times you  insist that he is mannerly or allow him to head dive in the feed bucket and later don't allow it.

If you allow him to move when you get up on the saddle and climb up there anyways and other times you require him to stand still.

When you ask your horse to stop and allow him to leak forward or move out on his own instead of doing what you have asked him to do.

And the list goes on and on and on ....

You are always training your horse and too often it is easy to forget that.  They are aware of nearly everything you do when you are around them.

So, to help your little darling always be good and well-mannered, be aware of what you are doing and BE CONSISTENT.


Adventure Horse Riding in NYS            Smilla13@gmail.com  (Mary Dixon)         www.RideNYS.com


The Power of the Walk/Stop Exercise and 10 Hours of Riding

The Power of the Walk/Stop Exercise and 10 hours of Riding

I have a new horse, a Paso Fino, and can you say hot, and crazy as a bedbug !  Oh my goodness, spin, and way, way too fast.  The action "walk" just was not in her vocabulary.  Not since my beloved Jose have I had a horse as scared and wacko as this little girl.

So after 5 days just riding her in the playground (my work area) and forever and ever and ever teaching her how to do walk/stop she finally learned to listen.  We did not get to her to being able to walk 4 steps, she could only do 3 steps before she sped way up again, but she finally did catch on to  the "stop" and the "release".

Once Cassie caught on to walk 3 steps, stop, 3 steps, stop and wait for me I then took her out onto the trail.  Needless to say, the first ride scared the bejesus out of me.  BUT, she would actually stop when I asked her too - every single 3 steps before we would start up again.  Did that for 2 hours on the trail, then next day 3 hours, then next day 2 hours, and I have to admit the first 2 days were pretty awful, but my goodness, the third, fourth and fifth days - what a HUGE improvement.

Her head finally dropped and we ACTUALLY COULD WALK quite a distance, and yesterday I started taking her down hills which I would have never, ever dreamed possible.

So, we are now in a partnership - she trusts me and I trust her - more work needs to be done, she is not perfect but I am no longer afraid of her nor is she afraid of me.

I had forgotten how well this works - ALWAYS - I have done it with many outlaw horses through the years but it has been a spell since I have had a new horse. 

Try it and you will be impressed with the outcome.

Remember, it takes the time it takes and it will take less time.

The best to you.

Cassie, Paso Fino

Adventure Horse Riding in NYS            Smilla13@g  Smilla13@gmail.com  (Mary Dixon)                                                          


Discouragement and Hurt Feelings from Horses

I used to tell folks all the time not to take incidents, accidents, etc., personally.  Then a few years ago after a crash I was so emotionally hurt that my horse would do that to me that I almost just sold him.  And, I pretty much ignored him for almost 6 months.

Well, my girlfriend is now in the same situation.  Her horse laid down yesterday, in the deep snow, twice.  When she went to mount him again in all the bulky winter gear, he took off.  She had to trudge through the snow at night, thank heavens there was a moon out there, and she was scared and exhausted.  We rounded up a very scared horse who kept running away and ponied him back to the ranch.  

First words out of her mouth were "he going to auction !".  When I inquired how she was doing this morning, she texted back and told both my other girlfriend and me that she was seriously thinking of giving up riding.

Hopefully, after a few days, she will settle down and rethink the situaton.  Horses are just fantastic at teaching humility and discouragement and she loves her horses dearly.

My girlfriend and the Outlaw ~  in better weather !  

Adventure Horse Riding in NYS            Smilla13@gmail.com  (Mary Dixon)         www.RideNYS.com


2 Tack and Equipment Care - great tips

2  Tack and Equipment Care

Are you shining bits, stirrups, and buckles? Toothpaste is wonderful for cleaning white stirrup pads and shining silver bits, stirrups, buckles, buttons on your tack. Toothpaste will make your horses gleam!

Having trouble keeping your stainless steel horse bits and stirrups clean and shiny? You can soak any stainless tack item in a bowl of vinegar for several days to dissolve the rust. Rinse thoroughly after using.
Horse Tack Mold Problems? Want to remove mold on leather products like saddles, bridles, leather boots and straps? White vinegar can be used for a deep cleaning of mold. Vinegar will also remove buildup and stickiness.

Adventure Horse Riding in NYS            Smilla13@gmail.com  (Mary Dixon)         www.RideNYS.com