Heinrich's Diary

Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #1

January 7, 2021

dear diaryMy person has been so preoccupied with a lot of things, I haven’t gotten her to write in my diary for awhile. (I am so smart but I still haven’t figured out how to type with my hooves). I think the last time was my Covid update. So there hasn’t been much to write since we are still in the Covid times. Everything sure did change since last winter.

There have been some silver linings though ... My person’s person is home a lot and he even comes out to watch us ride in our Pixio lessons with Nicole. It’s so fun when we have the lessons because Nicole tells me how beautiful I am, how my muscle has changed, and how I am just the perfect horse who can do no wrong. Yet she tells my person what to do better so I look even more beautiful. It's never my fault, always hers.... hehehehe. I am not sure she agrees?

The other silver lining is that my person received the Inaugural Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund Grant. We were so honored to receive this. It can be used for several things. One purpose of the grant is to promote leadership and mentorship in the horse world. My person said she has been lucky to have wonderful mentors and opportunities and is excited to have the opportunity to further develop these skills and relationships. She is using part of the grant to develop her relationship with George Williams and work together with George in helping me take my next training step - into FEI (for our humans who don’t know what this is, it is the international level competition). George is a very good teacher and has offered guidance and advise to my person on several occasions.

Read more: Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #1

Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #2

stallJanuary 8, 2021

My Mommy said a bad word (told in the sing songy voice of a tattletale). I thought I was being really good, you know, only a little spooking today. Then she said “No matter where you go in the world there is always ‘THE’ (insert naughty word of your choice) corner”. 😂 😂 Was so much fun. I wasn’t even being that bad, just having a good time. When it was time to leave the ring though, I acted like I couldn’t even go out properly.  😆😆

So I call her My Mom when she is being naughty, or when she thinks I am being naughty.  When we dance together or just hang out, she’s My Person.

January 9, 2021

We have continued to settle in to our lives here in FL. My person had so much energy until she didn’t. The last two afternoons she was soooo tired. She didn’t even ride me one day. But that’s OK, I figure she needed to rest up so we will be ready to start our serious training with George.  

I’ve finally become comfortable with my waterer and even think its fun. I’m also having fun with my green bottle.  Randy, the farm owner, is so nice because she brings me toys. I even tried to get my new friend Curio to play with me!

Read more: Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #2

Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #3

iguanaMy Person says time flies so fast and she doesn’t know where the time goes. Now I know what she means. I felt like I just wrote about my first lesson with George, and now here we are two weeks later!! One day just seems to blend into the next and sometimes its hard to remember what day it is. Here is what I have been doing the last week or so...

January 13, 2021

Do you remember I sent George a photo the other day of the Iguana in the driveway? Well, I had to send him another photo. This is now my pet iguana. He lives in the stall with me! We all get along well - me, my iguana, my unicorn and all of my toys.

We had another lesson with George today.

Read more: Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #3

Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures 2021 Entry #4

Heinrich's Diary Day #4Dear Diary,

Woohoo!!! I went to a show! Oops, My Person asked me to first share some things from HER diary about The Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund grant, which she was awarded from The Dressage Foundation.

Sorry though, I just can’t contain myself, I have to share my news about the show. My Person and I danced!! We got a 75.375% in my third level test 3. I’ll tell you more about it later. I also have a video to show you. But I better do what My Person asked - here is more about the grant.

But still speaking of the show - In her diary she said one of the many reasons she is so grateful to have the grant to train with George in FL is his guidance at the show. She and I haven’t had much coaching at shows. George was a huge help. Not only is his eye impeccable but he keeps us focused on our goals with the right amount of patience and challenge when it is needed. (You will see more about that later)

One purpose of the grant was to work with a mentor. My Person believes that a good mentor is also a good example for the leadership skills you want to develop. My Person was drawn to George’s example when she met him in Germany for the first time. He was very friendly and open and seemed like a natural leader. He seemed to be a good sportsman. And watching him dance with his partner Roche in Germany was a thrill.

In the years that have followed, as My Person has gotten to know George better, she continues to see these qualities in George and then some. They say it comes from the top. Well, that is just what My Person has experienced during her time in FL. George, Roberta and their group are so welcoming and have made us feel a part of their team. Everyone watches each other and supports each other. My Person and I can see that George has a wonderful rapport with his students. He can be fun, relaxed and joke with them yet push them when needed. There is a definite sense of camaraderie with George’s group. He even takes time to pet ME and have his own conversations with me. You can tell he really loves US horses.

George sets a good example by working hard, having high standards, yet remaining kind and respectful to those around him. It is amazing how busy his day is in FL. Yet in each time block set aside for a student, they get 100 percent of his attention. (Unless there is an Iguana in the ring or falling out of trees - George likes to watch Iguanas)

My Person say that another treat about having the grant to work with George is that as a professional it is a unique chance to focus on your own training and recharge your batteries. This energizes her to be a better trainer, teacher and leader when she gets back home. My Person works on her own a lot (as do many trainers with their own businesses), so this is just a phenomenal opportunity. And while she considers herself extremely lucky because she has a wonderful ‘village’ it is wonderful to have the chance to strengthen existing relationships as well as develop new ones in FL. My Person thinks other trainers may agree, that in working on your own a lot, sometimes you need somewhere to turn or talk to about training or other business ideas. So developing relationships with others, like George, who ‘have your back’ is very important. (My Person has enjoyed meeting and comparing notes with other professionals here in FL as well)

Oh, and one more thing. Speaking of ‘the village’. We all know what a big village it takes to keep us horses going in the ‘fashion to which we are accustomed’. This may sound like a cliché but it is so true. There are so many people who have to be behind us horses and their Persons in order to do the many things we want to do. It takes so much coordination to get everything covered. We just want to thank the many people who are making it possible for us to train in FL this winter.

Ok, now on to my daily diary.

Read more: Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures 2021 Entry #4

Contact Barbara Strawson

Misty Gleann Training Facility

Barbara's training business is based at her facility, Misty Gleann, which is located at 12900 Lewisdale Road, in Clarksburg, MD 20871.  Get directions to Misty Gleann.