Friday 6 April 2018


A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to an event put on by our provincial equestrian federation. We skipped the first part, which was the AGM and vote for directors, and showed up for the lectures and food. Priorities.

The first lecture was from a vet on the topic of colic. Most of the information was known to me, but I did pick up a few new things that I didn't know.
  • If you suspect your horse is colicking, take away their food. Water is okay for them to have. You don't need to add more to a backed up system.
  • It may be better to administer a half dose of Banamine versus a full dose - a full dose works for about 12 hours, and a half dose about 6 hours. If the colic is of the more serious variety, it may be better to discover this and move on to the next phase of treatment earlier rather than waiting for the 12 hours, after more damage may be done. But of course, follow the recommendation of your vet.
  • Colic surgery ranges from $6,000 to $20,000. The lower cost is for a simple displacement, the higher cost for more involved surgery and the weeks of aftercare at the vet clinic.
  • The purpose of walking the horse is to try to get the gastrointestinal tract moving again, and help to hopefully move gas along. If the horse is laying down but is staying quiet, let them lie. The large intestine is attached along the horses back and hangs down, and is very heavy. When they lay down it relieves some of the tension and can reduce some discomfort.
  • And not new information, but needs to be repeated - do not give Banamine intramuscularly (despite what the bottle may say). The chances of a Clostridial myositis infection are too high, and nobody wants to deal with the results of that.
The other presentation was really interesting and will hopefully be useful in real life as well as horse life. 

It was presented by Richard Monette, of Inner Warrior Consulting. He is a Leadership and Performance Coach, as well as a Mental Coach to Olympic athletes, including this year's Bobsled gold medal winners.

The topic was about having a Purpose Map to help one achieve their goals.

What is "purpose"? To choose to act now in a way that will benefit you later.
Those are supposed to be plus and minus's.
A person is able to control their focus and the amount of energy they put in play to achieve their purpose. One who lacks focus and energy procrastinates. One who has great focus but low energy is disengaged (someone who reads all the things about riding but never rides their horse). One who has great energy but little focus is distracted. And one who has great focus and great energy is purposeful, which occurs in only about 10% of people.

How does one make purposefullness a habit? By using a Purpose Map.

The Purpose is a Why. It should be clear, concise, guiding, unifying and compelling. It should apply to you. It should tell the complete story of success by using as few words as possible. 

The Success Factor are the factors that are critical to success.

The Behaviours are observable behaviours that are critical to success.

One should keep score. This I found interesting. You should score the tangible and intangible moments that matter. (On my run today - did I enjoy it?)

Reflection. What worked? What could be improved?

We did our own Purpose Map during the event. It was quick - I think we were given about 3 minutes for each part. In reality this should take much longer, and may require many revisions to get the phrasing that works for the individual. He showed the Purpose Map that the Bobsledder had created before the Olympics (scribbled on a piece of paper in a cafe somewhere in Europe) that had taken about 6 revisions to get to that point. 

Here is the Purpose Map I did (with some other scribblings on the page).

I would like to get further along with Cisco. Motivation has been tough to find this winter with the neverending cold that we have experienced.

My Purpose was to have Cisco able to do a training level dressage test. Which, at this point, is a ways away. It doesn't have to be at a show, but just to have him at that level. I need to work on this phrase to make it more simple but impactful (the Olympian's Purpose was "Performance on the day").

My Success Factors are:
  • Ride consistently. I need to ride at least 4 times a week. 
  • Exposure to experiences. I don't want a horse who can only do things in the ring. Things done outside and away from home are instrumental to a horses education. Thus I need to have him trailerable this summer. And I need to take him to other places. I have an opportunity to trailer him to a friends place which will be about as low key as I can make it and I need to take advantage of it. 
  • Invest in training. I need to find a way to afford to take lessons with a suitable trainer on a somewhat regular basis. This teaches me new skills, but also gives me motivation to ride and work on those skills. 
I plan to write this up a bit fancier and put it on the fridge. Hopefully it will help to give me some motivation on those days when I could ride but am looking for an excuse not to. In general I am a terrible goal setter, so we'll see if it works.


  1. "To choose to act now in a way that will benefit you later." i love this!! this kinda stuff has been on my mind a lot lately, as evidenced by my own post today. i didn't use the same terminology as this presenter (bc i don't really know it haha) but yea, the idea of a "map" is kinda how my brain works too. and it really helps in breaking down big far-off goals into attainable bite-sized pieces that i can tackle with gusto on any given day. love your goal too - good luck creating your own map!!

    1. I laughed when I saw your post this morning. This one has been sitting in my drafts for almost 2 weeks and I finally finished it last night.
      I'm really good at breaking the steps down to work towards something, but suck at actually coming up with a goal. I've been around horses for too long to get my hopes up that everything will go smoothly.

  2. That is a really neat map and thanks for explaining the exercises.

    1. I liked how it could be applied to life, work, and sport.

  3. Those were two very good lectures. If the association was smart they would have sandwiched the AGM between the lectures. :)