Five-star event rider Lisa Barry examines the importance of maintaining balance and centering herself when it comes to riding her horses.
A few days ago, I sat in the Orlando airport waiting for my delayed flight to board. I was headed to eastern Pennsylvania to visit one of my very best friends, Hannah Sue Burnett, for a few days. As I waited—relatively patiently—I couldn’t help but reflect and be thankful.
I have been riding and competing since I was three years old. From my very first pony to my very first five-star horse, I have been lucky enough to learn an amazing amount about my craft and life in general. This sport isn’t easy and it can get to you, whether it be a short-term issue that just needs some tweaking or a longer term training/competition aspect that needs time, patience and practice. The highs are high and the lows are low. When things get tough you need a tribe: a village of people that you can rely on to help you through it or celebrate with you in your victory, however big or small.
My horses and love of eventing have brought some incredible people into my life. No matter what, no matter how far away, no matter how much time between visits there are a few amazing people that have made my journey so much fun and have helped me keep things in perspective.
I’ve been struggling with the training of one of my lovely horses. Feeling a little stuck and down about it. But, after spending the last few days with my dear friend and top-level colleague, all of my floating pieces are finding their way back down to earth. I’m coming out of a “vacation” with clarity on some new training ideas and a relaxed but motivated point of view. I feel like I’ve been reset. And a little fun is never a bad idea!
My first ride on Possum after my vacation was probably the best ride I’ve had on her in weeks! The biggest thing I’ve learned about this life with horses is balance. You absolutely have to want it and work your tail off for it, but you also have to remember to re-center yourself every once in a while so that you can be better for the horses. They always come first and sometimes that means we as riders need a little time for ourselves, in whatever aspect that helps us.
I’m so very thankful for the wonderful friends I have acquired and all the knowledge and experiences we have had together in this wild horse world. To the future and beyond! Here’s to more good rides and more years of fantastic friendships with amazing experiences!!
This post is sponsored by Lisa’s product pick for the month: Neigh-Lox® Advanced
“Neigh-Lox Advanced is my go-to choice of supplement for my horses that need added GI support. It maintains a healthy tract in both their front and hind gut. I have found that with maintained daily use it can help prevent ulcers from returning or needing recurrent expensive veterinary treatments!”
Lisa Barry, FEI 4* Event Rider and Trainer
Neigh-Lox® Advanced provides complete digestive support to reduce the incidence of ulcers and colic in horses that are traveling.
Lisa Barry is a five-star event rider who has been riding and competing horses for 29 years, and has 16 years of international competition experience. Her horses have had top placings at many FEI events including at the Advanced/CCI4*/CCI5* level. Lisa has trained with Karen O’Connor for 25 years, and has worked for and ridden with Karen and David since she joined the O’Connor program as a working student when she was 17. Lisa competed at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event aboard her beloved FIS Prince Charming, aka “Peanut,” a tiny, feisty New Zealand OTTB. Lisa is currently training and coaching out of Lexington, Kentucky and Ocala, Florida. If you have questions for Lisa or would like to learn more about her program email her at [email protected]
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