Welcome to the Cardinal Points Farm blog !

Dear friends and fellow animal lovers, here it is ... a blog to discuss training.

My specialty is horse training and dressage, but I’ve applied to my horses many invaluable lessons from other animal trainers. Together we can create a greater awareness of the unlimited potential for greatness that your animals (and you) possess, once you acknowledge that many animal species are intelligent and capable of reasoning and communication.

So let’s get started ! Let's share insights, lesson plans, techniques, videos, pics, stories ... what have you.


Sian Min The
Cardinal Points Farm

The newest posts are shown first. To read older posts, scroll down, or expand the timeline in the left side-bar

If you'd like to post your training stories, send your stories to me for consideration. Please specify how you'd like the attribution to read, i.e. your full name or your online name.

Don’t take it so personally! How to conquer fear

So one day your horse dumps you after a buck or a spook; or you have a big welt on your arm where his foot hit you while you were crawling under his belly trying to spray him for flies.

Most likely you were in some pain or discomfort after these happenings, and most likely you felt a torrent of colorful language rising to your lips. As well as the desire to “whup his a—“ ... so to speak.

Truly, people do have this tendency to attribute mishaps to some “thing” that must be “out to get them”. This society’s bent to sue is a symptom of that. I do believe that a good part of the fear of horses, or of riding horses, stems from a deep suspicion that the animal has it in for you. Particularly so, if serious injury or worse is the consequence. Then your verbiage changes to “dangerous unpredictable animal”, or something similar.

Isn’t this a somewhat egocentric view of our role in the universe? Why does it always have to be about US? Sometimes it’s just an accident in the purest sense of the word. It's not the horse's fault (it may actually be our own carelessness). The proverbial “s—t” just happens. I firmly believe that we humans do not rank that highly in importance for an animal to spend his precious feeding hours contemplating ways to hurt us.

In my younger days I, too, experienced a fear of horses. It was not easy to conquer but I did. There were a few things I had to do for this. I learned to get to know, understand and communicate with the horse. I accepted the horse for what it is: an intelligent, expressive prey animal, with very strong survival instincts. I also acquired the physical skills and fitness necessary to minimize the likelihood of accidents. And, I wear safety gear.

So, due diligence has been done. Now riding horses is no more frightening to me than driving on the Houston freeways at rush hour.


  1. I tried to email again, but the message did not go through. I copied it below:

    Hi Sian...I've emailed to this address before, but it bounces back to me. Hopefully this one won't!

    Thank you for letting me ask you questions...like I said, I wish you were here. I have a friend who rides upper level dressage and she helps me from time to time, but I'm almost embarrassed to ask about the walk. It seems like it should be so simple.

    I've almost considered signing up for clinics when they become available, but I think I should be farther along when I do that...what do you think?

    I worked with Tango today and the problem I have is that I think I'm too aggressive with my legs and not fluid enough with my seat. He either lollygags or almost breaks into a trot.

    I was hoping the vidographer would be there so I could show you, but he wasn't...hopefully at my next show. If you weren't so far away, I'd load Tango up and come to you!

    Anyway, can you offer any suggestions to help eliminate the miscommunication I seem to be relaying to Tango? I'd really appreciate it.


  2. Jan, I've sent you a rather lengthy e-mail.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Copyright 2008 - 2014 Cardinal Points Farm. All Rights are Reserved by those who wrote the articles and comments. No content here may be republished without written consent. All content, comments and articles will remain published and on the public record at the blog owner's sole discretion.