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Women & Horses by Mary D. Midkiff - horseback riding fitness techniques for women

Women & Horses, knowledge for the female equestrian; female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

Back in the Bluegrass
by Mary D. Midkiff

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The Women & Horses Newsletter - April 2007

Hello again everyone and thank you so much for your patience while we made the move from Colorado to Louisville, Kentucky. We literally moved our entire life to Kentucky in less than a month and have finally settled in.

We bought a lovely home in an area known as The Highlands in a historic section of Louisville and I am working from my home office.

My new address is Equestrian Resources, 46 Hill Road, Louisville, KY 40204. My website and email remain the same. www.womenandhorses.com and mmidkiff@womenandhorses.com.

Redge is very happy in his new home at Stone Place Stables in Prospect, KY a mere 15 minute drive away. Stone Place is owned by a family who has registered it as a conservation easement never to be developed. It has 650 acres of farm land and is located on the Ohio River. It has all the facilities Redge and I need to train and compete in dressage and a beautiful big cross country course and trails. Please come visit us anytime. I will be conducting clinics there and am slowly getting the word out that I am available for training and teaching.

This is a homecoming for me as it has been 25 years since I lived in Kentucky. I grew up in Versailles and Lexington and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1981. It is a completely different environment than Boulder, Colorado and each has its own unique beauty.

Louisville has loads of big, old hardwood trees that are amazing towering pillars of strength and beauty. I am surrounded by red bud, dogwood, magnolia and flowering cherry trees which sit comfortably underneath all the giant oaks and maples. Green grass is everywhere and the cardinals and robins make music all day. I have been incredibly impressed by the amazing architecture here in Louisville. It is like a living museum of giant homes that have been preserved from over 150 years ago. The sixties urban renewal passed Louisville by somehow and the commercial and residential buildings stand as a testament to the city’s past.

Now to the horses. Since I have only been here a month I have a great deal to learn about the horse people mentality but from what I have seen so far they are eager for new information and resources that will work for them and their horse partner. I am thrilled at the openness I am finding and feel that I have landed back in Kentucky at the right time.

Off-the-track Thoroughbreds are the popular choice for sport horses here which makes perfect sense since there is a constant churn from the surrounding racetracks. Horse racing here is like olive oil to Italians. Everyone knows a little bit about it, whether you are a horse person or not. Horse lingo is common lingo around here and it is nice to be back in familiar surroundings.

Most people I have watched ride are doing so with training from the 70s as I call it when there was a huge wave of Europeans that entered into American horse sports. The World Eventing Championships came to Kentucky and America for the first time in 1978. I was a volunteer at those championships and have been in love with horse sports ever since. Previously all I had known were hunters and Saddlebreds.

Most trainers and instructors that I have seen so far are teaching very traditionally and using close contact saddles perched up on the withers. And most of the horses I have seen are doing the job but not enjoying their job. They are typically a bit rough coated, have underdeveloped muscles and plodding along.

I hope to infuse "life" into the community here by offering education which will create healthy "shining" relationships. I want to see the riders aligned and balanced, saddles properly fitted and placed, and horses that are dancing and loving what they are doing with a bright light in their eyes.

It will be a slow process and I will be respectful of where people are in their lives and in their riding but will offer them an opportunity to do something special in their horse careers.

Redge is a great example of what horses can be and I always look at a horse with the thought "What could this horse really be in life?" I look for their potential no matter what it may be.

Redge is happy, quiet, respectful, loving, playful, listening, having fun on all the wide open fields with me and enjoying exploring his new environment. His inner peace and contentedness shows through his spirit, his physical and mental health and his outlook toward me and other humans. This is what I want for every horse.

So I am on a new journey. It is very exciting and I have so much ahead of me that I want to do. Several new books, DVDs, teaching and training, clinics plus starting a "Horse Power for Youth" project here in Louisville. We bring at-risk and low income teens and the horse community together to create job and career opportunities for the teens in the horse industry.

My books and The InBalance Oil are available as always on my website. I am processing all orders again and appreciate your patience in receiving them while I was in the middle of the move.

My husband, Tom Aronson, is the new Vice President of Churchill Downs, Incorporated. We are thrilled with this new opportunity and who knows what this association will bring to our lives. I have access to the racetrack facilities and am brainstorming on how I will use them to benefit horse people and horses.

Stay tuned for my May/Kentucky Derby month newsletter! It is Derby fever here throughout the entire month of April. It should be a fun ride. Watch for me on TV Derby Day, I will be the only one wearing a red hat! HaHa!!

With sincere gratitude from the Derby City,

Mary D. Midkiff

New Phone Numbers: Office 502-552-1195

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Midkiff Horse Training, PO box 24395, Lexington KY 40524
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