Music and Training Horses
Often, I am asked
what music has to do with breeding and training horses. I find
many similarities in my approach to both: As a musician,
when deciding to learn a new piece of music you must
- First choose the piece
or listen to the piece if possible. Identify the strong and weak
parts of the piece, the things you like about the piece and
the parts perhaps that you don't like as much and decide if the piece
is worth learning (i.e. - your time)
- Decide if you have the
technique for the piece you have chosen (or would like to
tackle/choose) and if not, come up with the proper exercises to gain
the technique. If you do not have the background to realize what
exercises are necessary and how to properly achieve them - get a coach
to work with you.
- Learning new pieces and performing music is a work in progress - an ongoing process that is never ending.
Training horses, breeding horses and riding horses follow the same principles.
I will give you the examples here which correspond to the above
- First choose the horse you wish to breed and/or purchase
the horse move - identify the horses strong and weak points.
Decide what you like about the horse and what you don't like about the
horse and consider if this is an animal that you can work with and is
worth your time to put the effort into.
- Decide if you have the
riding and/or training ability to work with the horse you are
choosing. If the horse if more talented than you are, think about
who you will have help you achieve your goals in training/riding this
horse. Decide if your temperament is one that will work in
harmony with the horses' temperament you are observing. Be honest
with yourself about what you really think the horse can and cannot
achieve by what you are watching at that point in time and what you
think you can perfect in that particular animal realistically.
a horse or building a good, sound breeding program is never
ending. It is in the committment we make that determines how
successful we will be.
In either discipline, it is important
that we take advantage of today's technologies - record the piece,
video tape your riding and be constructively critical of what you have
created to continually make it better for the good of both you and what
you wish to create while being fair and honest about the limitations at
that point in time. Good, Sound, Critical Advice is continually
necessary to achieve our goals.
Since the age of 5, I have had
weekly coaching sessions for piano. At the age of 16, I took on
the harp and at age 18 was accepted to the Eastman School of Music with
a scholarship for harp with a minor in piano, finishing with a degree
in Music Education. Eastman accepts only 100 undergraduate
students yearly out of thousands that apply. It is an extremely
competitive school with very high performance standards. If you
do not keep up the work to the standards of the school, you are
asked to leave. It is that simple. All throughout my music
performance career, I have continued coaching sessions - because I
believe no one is ever finished evolving in their field.
have applied the same methodical ideas to my breeding program in
choosing bloodlines for performance and I have applied a consistent
method to bringing up young horses that makes sense to the horse so
that the future owners will have a willing, fair animal to build their
dream with. No young horse is every forced to do anything - they
are convinced that they should do something because it is fun and
nothing to fear - and it is learned in a consistent manner that the
horse comes to understand quickly. Training a horse is like
building a house - you must first put in a very good, strong foundation
so that you may add the rest of the architectural ideas one by one and
have it stand up to the test of time.
When you purchase a horse
through Normandy Manor Farm's breeding program, you are getting more
than a "horse". You are buying into the benefit of years of
knowledge and an animal that is well adjusted, brought up in a
happy, safe and understanding environment that is ready to be your
I invite you to visit the farm.