Ta-Da! Join Me at the Barn.

Who knew I would love giving clinics this much? In the past, I’ve always done a scant few a year here in Colorado, but the last two years have run me full tilt around the globe. It’s a huge learning opportunity to be able to work with so many more horses and riders than I could by staying local. Apparently being a clinician is like riding; you improve the more time you spend in the saddle.

Designing my clinics, I try to combine my past experience attending clinics (some of the best and worst memories with my horses), with a method of teaching that I wish someone had used with me, and then season it all with my dearest wish for better understanding for horses living in a human world. A lofty goal, but I’m happy with how it’s going so far.

There’s a comment I hear often, “I can’t unsee this.” Initially, I took it as a compliment, hoping I’d done a good job describing and explaining. Horses always backed me up, standing next to me with their body language saying the thing I was verbalizing, and it was so obvious that we’d all laugh. I got wonderful testimonials and the people who came to my clinics were open-minded folks trying their best for their horses. It’s been a happy bubble. Sometimes people told me that they couldn’t find a local trainer like me, and I’d try to be humble and smile. I can be insufferably dense sometimes.

On the way to the hotel after a clinic, the organizer “complimented” me with an edge that I finally heard. She insisted she really had to quit her trainer and there were no other options. None. And commuting 7000 miles to ride with me wasn’t going to work. It was almost like I’d pulled the rug out from under her. I felt like apologizing.

With the same kind bluntness, she went on to tell me that she subscribed to two other trainers online, but she really wanted to subscribe to me online. Then we both acknowledged that I didn’t have an online program.

It isn’t that I hadn’t thought about it. Half my friends (I know both the trainers she followed) have them and they’re doing a good job. If I was to take it on, it would need to be different enough to be worthwhile, remain true to what I train, and offer value to followers. Not to mention my tiresome aesthetic requirements.

One more challenge, I’m not convinced we can learn the fine art of training from how-to videos where we sometimes do more damage than good for horses. What if this art of training should be passed hand to hand, human to horse, the old-fashioned and ridiculously limited way?

And is anyone as old-fashioned as me? I write, for crying out loud. Not with a quill, but low tech for sure. And I recently found out that blogs are terribly outdated now. Apparently, everyone has moved on, and here I am, close to nine years in with no plans for extinction. I’m a blogasaurus, the opposite of a T-Rex, I have spindly legs but very agile fingers.

The organizer and my friends are right, of course. I’ve been resistant but after that proper shove, the idea had a runaway in my skull. I asked advice, made some lists, bought a bunch of tech gear that I can’t figure out how to use, and made a start on my online program.

  • Rule one: It has to feel personal.
  • Audio blogs read by me.
  • Podcasts like where we breathe together in the saddle.
  • Short videos describing some of my favorite riding exercises.
  • Signal Speak: Reading calming signals on my videos and yours.
  • A re-organized library of past blogs grouped by topic.
  • Live chat opportunities.
  • Reduced rate for one-on-one time with me.
  • Q&A from members with answers longer than I can write on Facebook.
  • A mentor corner to share ideas among trainers and where I can form a list of local referrals.
  • Writing for Riders
  • Insert your best idea here. You are the one who knows.
  • My favorite part might be the daily quote.

It’s been a collaborative effort between my new tech goddess, a few mentors and friends, and me. The new website will roll out in January, with a subscription fee. Before that, I’ll be leaking bits and pieces over the next weeks.

Finally, the boulder blocking the path was what to call this place in cyberspace. Isn’t naming the hard part? Naturally, I over-thought it, then all the words ran together, most being overused and understated, or just plain lame. Cleverness bumped up against wordiness. Brain cells died painful deaths. Breathe, Anna. Less is more.

The things I hear most from readers and riders are that they feel isolated. They struggle with peers who are critical. Most want support with a different training approach saying old methods, “always felt wrong but it’s what I was taught.” And there is no place locally.

Then Edgar Rice Burro, the brains in the herd, sagely nodded, enthusiastic that I was inviting everyone to the barn. At first, I thought he misunderstood me but he’s so right, it’s just the best place I know. Let’s meet here at the Barn.

To be clear, the blog will continue exactly the same, and it will always be free! Free to read, free of sponsors, and free of ads. As free as a gallop, and as timeless as a cave painting. I’m a belligerent blogasaurus and that will not change.

You can still join us on Facebook here and here.

And if you want even more, something inclusive and deeper, join us in the Barn. We’re supportive, committed to learning and putting the horse first. We’re grateful to be part of a Relaxed & Forward tribe with the goal of changing the horse world for the better. Traveling has shown me that there are more of us than we think.

Oh. Edgar Rice Burro reminds me that if we’re going to be working with less intelligent creatures than him, meaning horses, we’ll need to keep a sense of humor, too.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Clinician, Equine ProBlog/FB/Email/Author/FB/Tweet/Amazon

Join us at Relaxed & Forward Tribe, Intl., with Anna Blake

Our 2019 clinic schedule is filling. Email ambfarm@gmail.com for hosting details or to be added to the email list.

87 comments

  1. I love love LOVE this! Good for you on all counts and I’ll look forward to signing on. The new year is looking even brighter now – thanks, Anna!

  2. I can hardly wait 🙂

    V/R

    SHARON K. AALAND, DAF, USAF

    GRADUATION COORDINATOR

    719-333-8377

  3. I retire 2/29/2020 when I get to MOVE HOME!! By then I’m hoping you’ll have the will to train via Skype. So thanks for moving in that direction.

  4. Anna, this is such fantastic news! I try to think ‘what would Anna say about …’ now, with a bit of luck, I won’t have to guess the answer. Thank you!

  5. Sounds like a project that has been a long time coming! Wish it had happened years ago when I sure could have learned a lot (and Chico would have appreciated it more)!
    Good luck, Anna (and Edgar)

  6. I feel like I just got a late Christmas present and an early birthday present. I can’t wait! And thank you so much. Also, I want to know what vitamins you take to have the energy to pull all of this off! 🙂

  7. WONDERFUL news! As I was reading I thought oh no, no more blogs/writings from you, phew, glad this and Facebook will continue. I’m a readasaraus and just getting into blogging in the last few years so I’m old and behind the times. I hope it doesn’t disappear! ❤️ But to be able to communicate and help others your endeavors will go far and I bet it will seem hard and maybe arduos at first but will get easier and easier as you go! What an adventurous new year you will have! 😀 Diana ❤️

  8. Don’t believe the “blogs are dead” line. It must have the same origins as “America is doing better than it EVER has”…. Looking forward to learning more about the Barn.

  9. The 10 year old kid within is coiling, ready to spring out with the excitement 2019 is promising. Venturing to The Barn, plus a welcome back to Kiwi-land; bring it on. Wow, such a huge journey you’ve trekked in this last 12 months.

  10. I don’t know why blogs have to become outdated. I’m digging my heels in about that. I like reading blogs because they’re so much more personal than a facebook post, and usually in greater detail. Rock on “blogosauris”! Rock on!
    However, I could see myself astride my big, bold and beautiful horse riding out there all alone in our ratty little corral and taking great benefit from a podcast. My greatest challenge is relaxing and leaving my overly active imagination inside the house when I ride. I don’t even really know what a podcast is, but I can learn, right? Just don’t get too techy…some of us have a hard time keeping up with all that stuff. 🙂

    • Oh you make me laugh. I’m doing all kinds of research lately about this and one of the skills they say is needed for me it to be able to provide tech help. Crazy, but I think I’ve described harder things. Just a note, I listen to podcasts when I muck, on my cell phone. So yes, that’s the dream, that you ride listening. Thanks Lorie. And I agree about blogs!

  11. Exciting news. I loved and laughed at the quill quip! I will follow by whatever means necessary…

  12. Oh Anna! I love it and can’t wait! Scooter & I will sign up right away! Did this come about in your head & heart after the Benson clinic?

    • Thanks, Barb. I’d been on the idea a couple of weeks by the time I got to Benson, but meeting everyone there really confirmed the plan. (Hi Scooter!)

  13. What a wonderful idea! Apologies to Edgar Rice Burrow, but Barn is very ‘American’ … any chance he could come up with a more universal term? ‘Stable Herd’, ‘Out of the Box’, ‘Stable Manners’, ‘Stable Matters’ … Just a thought. Look forward to the new venture 🙂

    • (My first book is Stable Relation. 🙂 ) and I travel enough to know what you mean. Sorry to disappoint you. It’s in the works now. The truth is that Edgar and I are American and there is a feeling we have about the word barn…Sarah says it’s a state of mind. Thanks, Nell. I appreciate your comment.

  14. Glad for your “little gray cells” to have found another avenue to help connect humans with horses…and other critters!
    Yahoo says:
    “Barn- a) large farm outbuilding used to store grain or shelter livestock b) a large building for housing railroad cars, trucks, or other vehicles Stable – a) a building in which horses, and sometimes other large types of livestock are kept. You can stable your horses in the barn.”
    To me, personally, “Stable” is a bit too sophisticated for my little “Barn”! But whatever the name, your message will be golden!

    • Like I said, what’s harder than a name? It’s what it means and how it feels. And on top of that, the culture. I’ve had to learn all the other words for my travels, I even trained myself to say float instead of trailer. My heart is in the Barn. Thanks, Lynell.

  15. omg omg omg….THANK U!!!! I cant wait. Ur words are always so close to my heart and my spirit breaks a little more every time i see horses so abused by loving (cough) well meaning humans with no-idea. Bless them – we all start somewhere…. but i still die a little each time I see poor horsey habits. I try to gently guide and change peoples perceptions and thought patterns in an unobtrusive manner but people are so resistant to change. You have always lifted my heart and given me hope and also some very good advise and some great perceptions that i needed to change within myself too. Every time you gave advise it always rang so true and resonated in spirit – i am in Australia and could never get to a clinic (so far) so your new idea is AWESOME and so so so incredibly welcomed!!!! You rock woman!!! Go forth and conquer the fandangled tangled web of internet teaching!!! LOL – best of luck and good on you – a massive cheer from down-under!!!!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Kerrieann, and the vote of confidence. You are so right, change is hard, but it is gradually coming. Thanks for commenting, and I will be in AU this year coming! Send your location and email address to ambfarm@gmail.com and I’ll keep you posted.

  16. Anna, I have always considered you as an online teacher as I have learned and gained so, so much from your blog and your books………..(and your followers) .and I would never have discovered your books without being “online”. That said every good wish to you for this brave new venture, onwards and upwards, and thank you for every thing so far.

  17. So glad to hear the good news that you will be able to reach more people and share in your wonderful insights from a
    horse’s please. Count me in.

  18. Dear Blogasaurus,

    You scared me! Thank goodness the blogs will continue! I count on them for the insightful messages, humor, photos and superior writing.

    Hugs from “Greatfanasaur”

  19. Well YAY!!! I’m thrilled! How can I help? Really. I have lots of experience with experiential online programs and would be happy to share what seems to work really well. Did I mention, THRILLED? Champagne all around and a warm mash for Edgar!

  20. Just in time Anna! I’ve had 2 rescues for about 6 months. I haven’t done anything other than working on safely handling these boys (feeding, grooming, haltering. leading, picking up feet). I get the sense that they may have some “baggage”, and might need a different and careful approach. I feel like I need help, but I don’t have a trainer locally that I would feel comfortable working with. I’m hoping I can get some guidance by joining you “at the barn”.

  21. Im very excited for thus!! Late reading this blog but nonetheles excited. Looking forward to meeting in the barn

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