Calm, Clear, Committed

I just returned home from Lexington, Kentucky, where I had the honor of judging the colt starting competition, Road to the Horse.

While I was there, I discovered something I’ve known for a long time, but it came to me again like a breath of fresh air – and I want to share it with you.

That is what this video is all about.

I’m going to give you a little backstory first.

To get there, my husband and I drove from Texas to Kentucky. We like road trips, plus, it gave us time to be with each other and go on a little adventure.

At the show itself, I had a wonderful time. I enjoyed everything about it – the competitors were terrific; the judges were a great group; Lexington is beautiful, and it’s truly horse country divine.

As a sidebar, when I travel, sometimes it’s tiring. That’s normal, and we all can get pooped out being on the road. But to the contrary, when this event was over, I felt energized!

Now fast-forward, when it was time to come home, Tom and I had to decide if we would break up the drive into two parts or drive straight home (which is 16 plus hours, including pitstops).

We were wrangling around with what we should do when I had the idea to get up super early, hit the road, and see how we felt about stopping (or not) as the day went on. If we got tired, we would spend the night somewhere. If not, we would drive all the way through.

Now, please allow me to digress for a moment and go back to judging.

One of the elements on the RTTH scorecard is “clarity of message,” which asks how clearly a competitor communicated what they were asking a colt to do something. Did they present things so that the horse understood what to do?

There was something about that element I loved. It’s simple and to the point. Do you communicate clearly – or are your communications muddled? That’s a subjective judgment, but I loved the perspective of looking at things that way.

When I got in the truck, I decided to make the driving trip home fun.

And we did.

Early in the trip, we both knew we would probably make it all the way.

Now, please know we usually travel comfortably and have a good time.
But we don’t typically commit to making sure we keep our energy up – no excuses. This time, we wouldn’t let the “Oh, this is hard – or I’m so tired – or this is tough on my back” into our thinking.

And the day went by quickly as we rolled along.

The point is, I was inspired by the ‘clarity of message’ element on the judge’s sheets. It helped me remember that it usually happens when we are clear and committed to going for something with tremendous energy.

It’s the power of seeing what we want, setting an intention to see it through in the most favorable light, and then committing to it.

We can do this within by talking to ourselves about the million things we do each day – and we can also do it for our horses.

It’s the difference between allowing ourselves to be drug down by our imperfections or keeping our eye on small step goals and taking lumps in stride. The missteps do have the best information to help us improve, and we make sure we stay committed to enthusiasm and positivity as we experience the inevitable mistakes.

When you ride, it might be talking to yourself about being calm, noticing where your horse’s focus is, being clear about your message, asking your horse for a move – then seeing what happens – but not allowing yourself to go down the rabbit hole of limiting thoughts and discouragement.

The next time you ride, get clear about one or two small steps you want to achieve.

Approach them with the expectation you will be calm within. You will communicate clearly with your horse.

If things get muddled, slow down and come back to stay calm – and get clear again. Either back up a step or try again – trusting you will discover the connection and success you seek with your horse.

Don’t give in to or waste time on bummer feelings about disappointments when things don’t work out. Return to calmness and clarity – and stay flexible on your pony.

There is great power in the energy you bring to everything you do.

What do you think? Please leave a comment for me. I love hearing from you.

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23 Comments on Calm, Clear, Committed

  1. Rollins Roberta on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 1:22 pm
  2. You’re the best, Barbra! You always lift my spirits and give me strength to “just do it” !

  3. Sheila on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 1:34 pm
  4. Yes yes and yes!!!! Love this. This is where I am at right now!!!

  5. Cheryl on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 1:49 pm
  6. Wow. This is so perfect. For my last 2 lease rides and my last lesson before I listened to your podcast this quote is where my brain has been:

    “Approach them with the expectation you will be calm within. You will communicate clearly with your horse.

    If things get muddled, slow down and come back to stay calm – and get clear again. Either back up a step or try again – trusting you will discover the connection and success you seek with your horse.

    Don’t give in to or waste time on bummer feelings about disappointments when things don’t work out. Return to calmness and clarity – and stay flexible on your pony.”

    Result: Saturday my trainer said I had the best lesson I’ve had in probably 2 months. And even better…I FELT the difference. I think I’m going to read the above quote before I head to the barn every time! Thanks, Barb.

  7. Alice on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 1:49 pm
  8. It’s amazing how focusing on a task, visualizing it complete, can make it flow effortlessly. It’s almost like we “think it to completion.”

  9. steven & robyn martin on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 3:02 pm
  10. wonderful thankyou Barb, your such an inspiration, I’ll be following your advice.


  11. steven & robyn martin on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 3:03 pm
  12. awesome!!


  13. Jenny on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 3:40 pm
  14. Thank you for sharing that!

  15. Janice on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 3:45 pm
  16. Sometimes it seems impossible to turn that negative around, and everything that comes after the negative thought/thing seems to confirm it to you unless you can see through it. This message actually helped me, just now.

  17. Lynetta Snelling on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 4:52 pm
  18. Thanks for the wonderful message Barb! Someday we will get to the Road to the Horse. Glad you had a wonderful time. I know you were a very fair judge. I love your daily messages and learn from them!

  19. Nina on Sun, 3rd Apr 2022 4:58 pm
  20. This message is an absolute must when riding more than one horse in a class! CANNOT allow the experience on the first horse affect the ride on the next. If the rider has a great run and is on a high, he must come back down to prevent over-riding the next horse. If the first horse needed pulling, the rider can NEVER take the first horse’s poor performance out on the next innocent horse. Adapt!!!

  21. Dianne Burns on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 7:13 am
  22. Barb – I’m always struck by how dedicated you are to all of us out here who are trying our best to become better riders. You’re so genuine. Thank you!
    Dianne Burns
    Lompoc, CA

  23. paula on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 8:21 am
  24. Hi Barb thank you for the reminder:
    calmness, clarity and commitment words to live by…so appreciate you.

  25. Andrea Irving on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 8:50 am
  26. Thank you. This is Great to keep in mind before each ride. The simple message sets the tone for being present with your horse.

  27. Belinda Williams on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 9:31 am
  28. Again your message is so valuable to me!!!! Simply and easy to implement. This is important as you illustrated in our personal life and in our time with our horse.
    You are amazing, Barb! Thank you for your commitment to sharing important messages that will enrich our lives! Hugs, Belinda and Duke

  29. Barbra Schulte on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 10:00 am
  30. Thank you all for your comments. Keep at it! (-:

  31. Norma Rolff on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 12:21 pm
  32. I always look forward to your messages because I know that you’ll be up…Up in attitude. It’s so true if you think something is going to be awful it probably will be awful. But if you think I’m going to give it my best it will be good, or if there are bumps in the road it won’t seem so bad. I always pray for God to go before me and make my paths straight and let me not offend anyone or they me. Let me stay calm and collected no matter what. Thanks Barb.

  33. Rebecca Napier on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 12:39 pm
  34. Thank you so much. Love love the message and I am working on this with my new horse.

  35. NANCY on Mon, 4th Apr 2022 10:51 pm
  36. Barb, thank you for consistently reinforcing the power of positivity in all that we do with our ponies and in life. I’ll embrace that same energy on my road to Moab. See you in a few weeks!

  37. Melanie on Tue, 5th Apr 2022 5:34 am
  38. Love this message ❤️ thank you 😊

  39. Laura Yarbrough on Tue, 5th Apr 2022 5:56 am
  40. C3 Formula

    [{Calm + Clear + Committed} X energy up + Horse+ baby steps] = Success

    Love me some Hammer Time!

  41. Dawn on Wed, 6th Apr 2022 5:29 am
  42. It’s almost like you knew what I was thinking! I LOVE your messages Barb. Thank you so much for your wise positivity. I just returned from a show where yet again I came in last in my showmanship class. 😑 I truly love showmanship and I practice every day, but it’s been a struggle to place well at a show. I had someone video me and I could see the error with such clarity, but I’m not going to stress about it. We’re going to go back to the practice pen and calmly work out the kinks. Baby steps and clear vision will help to strengthen my intention. Love you Barb!!! ❤️

  43. Mary Kay Russell on Thu, 7th Apr 2022 11:30 am
  44. Recently my horse and I have had a “falling out”. We have lost our connection. I am starting a course on Attunement, and what you have said in this video just reinforces everything they are teaching. Thank you. I will save this video and go back to it before I go out to the stable, to ground me and make my expectations realistic.

  45. Cindy Newell on Thu, 7th Apr 2022 6:33 pm
  46. Wow Barb! I know exactly what you’re talking about. I don’t usually look forward to a long road trip and I can make myself miserable. And I see how it translates to working with my horse. I am going to be clear, concise and committed to everything I do and I know I will enjoy it more.

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