Making Equestrian New Year Resolutions that are Fail-Proof

I have many clients and friends who come to me with questions about how they can make their horse life have less conflict, less liability, and less drama.  They seek assistance in creating reliable contracts and written agreements, as well as my counsel on how to handle difficult equine situations and relationships.

I've written this post to help you frame and realize your goals for 2014, so that your horse life can focus more on the joy of riding and less on the anxiety of legal, business, or personal conflict.

Here is to a year of accountability, reflection, action, and success!

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No Longer Available!

Most of us at one time or another become frustrated when we don't accomplish our New Year Resolutions.

We start the New Year with a fresh slate and a feeling of such great excitement of hope and possibility.  Thinking of who we want to become in the next year, or how we can improve our lives is such an intoxicating dream!

Envisioning where you want go with your goals is an enormous part of reaching them- without dreams we can often become stagnant- but dreams without action often remain unaccomplished.

There are many ways to achieve your goals- and I'm sure your mother, friend, significant other, or trainer- are all willing to give you their two cents.

While it is often wise to listen to the advice of others, taking a moment to really contemplate WHAT you want to accomplish, WHY it is important to you to accomplish the goal, and HOW exactly you will meet that goal is typically the greatest recipe for success.

This FREE worksheet incorporates these important elements of goal making and goal accomplishing.  This Worksheet includes a completion guide and an example worksheet for your convenience and guidance.

It is a simple worksheet, but it asks the right questions.  This is the key to efficiency, productivity, and success in accomplishing your resolutions this year!

Ready to craft your perfect, personalized, and FREE worksheet?
Take action, this worksheet will be available ONLY until January 5, 2014.

No download, no gimmicks, no steps.  Just Click!

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No Longer Available!

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One of my New Year Resolutions is to offer the thousands of readers who visit this blog more equestrian law, business, and lifestyle content that is authentic, helpful, insightful, educational, and interesting.  
This blog initially began to serve my own educational needs, and this year I want to focus on my mission, making this blog more about YOU: savvy equestrian readers who love to learn, who appreciate reliable equine resources, and who love horses and want to improve their equine lifestyle.
With that in mind, keep an eye out for some upcoming exciting changes right here at Ribbons and Red Tape.

Thank you to my readers for making "this whole blogging thing" worth it!

Care to share? Let us know what equine goals you have, or if you have any tips to getting those goals met in 2014.  Did you write a post on the topic? If so, leave the specific link in the comments!

Want to stay up to date on important equine legal issues, like horse slaughter, wild horses, equine contract horror stories, important equine law litigation, business law for equine business owners, and more?


Natural Disasters and Horses: How to Prepare

I know I missed the classic blogging Thanksgiving post by a few weeks.  But I think that being thankful is an excellent practice throughout the year, plus, my Thanksgiving was waylaid by one of the worst fears for equestrians: fire

We were away at the hospital when the neighbors called late at night that the neighborhood was under emergency and immediate evacuation.  California has received very little rain this fall/ winter, so the hills were ripe kindling, leaving no time for enacting our thorough evacuation plans.
Our neighbor rushed to our barn to turn the horses out into the large paddocks.
The wind was outrageous and whipped the fire into a fast spreading frenzy.

The next morning once we were allowed access to the road I checked on the horses.  They looked shell-shocked, but they were healthy and hungry for their breakfast.  They anxiously watched all the fire crews, but because they seemed happy to be together and to be home (we put them back in their stalls and closed all barn doors and windows so they were shielded from smoke.  They also drank enormous amounts of water!), we decided not to take them to a new facility which would just cause them more anxiety.
 The outer paddock fence posts were on fire, but no embers entered their paddocks.  The firemen came hiking out of the bushes and commended how well the property perimeter had been cut back of brush, and at how well the horses removed any dry vegetation from the paddocks.

The sand arena became a staging area for emergency vehicles, and hot spot teams and trucks used the fire roads and horse trails throughout the property.

Disaster Tips for Horse Owners:

Fire is traumatic! For humans and for animals.  Take time to assess any physical and emotional stress and treat it accordingly.

Make sure the appropriate disaster insurance for your region (tornado, fire, flood, etc.) is up to date.  Property insurance, fencing insurance, horse mortality/ major medical insurance.

Have multiple versions of your evacuation plan ready.  Sometimes you have an hour to evacuate, sometimes you have only 5 minutes.  Familiarize neighbors, employees, boarders, and any close or relevant parties with your evacuation plans. 

Preparation of the property! Maintain paths and roads- the fire crew loved how well they could access the property and neighboring properties with our roads.  Cut back vegetation (even if you have to bear the cost to cut back a stubborn neighbor's vegetation, it is worth it!), or take other precautions appropriate for the natural disasters in your region (clearing debris from flood zones or drainage ditches, securing propane or hot water tanks from earthquake, etc.)

Keep emergency numbers handy.
Always have a trailer in an easy to access and use location.
Attend local disaster preparedness meetings, particularly for animals.
Become a member or donate to your local volunteer emergency services.

Any other tips to share with other horse owners?

I'm grateful that no lives, homes, or animals were lost in this fire; I'm grateful for the thorough emergency response teams; I'm grateful my barn had used "best practices" in disaster avoidance preparation.  Serve yourself, your neighbors, and your animals and take time to ensure you are prepared to the best of your ability.