Women's Apparel

Men's Apparel


This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Image caption appears here

Add your deal, information or promotional text

The Importance of the Foundation

The Importance of the Foundation

By Kathy Baar- 5-Star Master Instructor & HDS 

From a young age, I felt there was something lacking in my journey with horses. I was taking lessons, working off my horse board, showing, and not having fun. In fact, I was anxious about going in the show ring to the point I couldn’t eat for a day before hand. The horses I was riding were expressing their dislike for the approach by being hard to catch and developing displaced behaviors in their stalls. I didn’t know if there was another way to “be” with horses, but I knew if this is what “being” with horses was like, it was not for me. I shifted my entire focus and decided to stop my journey with horses and redirect to a different path.

About a month after this decision, I watched the first clip I had ever seen of a real-life situation where a human (not in a movie or story book, but in real life) could ride a horse bareback and bridles, steer, do flying lead changes, go over jumps, and the horse looked happy and willing! This was my first exposure to a program that taught horsemanship in a sequence, starting with understanding the horse first. Learning what was important to them and how they thought. I knew right away that this was what I had been missing. I still had a dream of competing, but I had to learn how to bring my horse along on that journey in a way they could enjoy, first.

I dedicated the next 10 years to learning how horses learn, think, act and play. I lived and breathed horsemanship at the Parelli Center over the next decade. During that time, I feel like I learned the framework of horsemanship necessary to build a healthy athlete in the sport horse arena.

I have always loved horses, but it wasn’t until I learned how horses communicate that I could make sure they felt loved in a way that was healthy and sustainable for them. This was  the framework for my journey: taking the foundation to performance, approaching the preparation in a way that keeps the horses mentally and emotionally balanced.

I feel that the horses give me feedback on my success by showing up at the gate, ready for another session the morning after a show; willingly loading in the trailer to go back to the show grounds after 2-3 days of showing; calmly standing in the stall at the venue in between events and even sometimes laying down for a roll while we watch other competitors.

Overall, the skills I learned by dedicating my time to horsemanship before sport have helped me have fun and stay safe as I move into the competitive world. Additionally, I feel the ability to understand my horses’ perspective first has increased the quality of their time with me and created a partnership where showing is something we do together, versus something that happens to them.


Are you ready for a better horse life? Try the Savvy Club today risk-free at