“A Summer's Awakening” — Episode 3

by Barbara H. Callihan

Before leaving Pahrump my mechanic brought to my attention that my new to me trailer was too heavy for my truck rear springs, causing my truck to squat, and giving me the scary sense of floating as the front of the truck lifted. Yikes! I tried to make an appointment to have ‘air springs’ installed before I left, but none were available in Pahrump or Vegas till late the following week. My plans were to arrive at Mark Bolender’s Bolender Horse Park in Washington by August 2nd, and I would need to drive cautiously and slower than planned, which meant it would take longer to get there. So, I made my appointment with Curtis RV in Beaverton Oregon for Wednesday July 27th.

Curtis RV was friendly and professional, and their installation time of the air springs was exactly as they had quoted over the phone. Unexpectedly they discovered that I needed the roof of my new trailer recaulked, and that there were mud wasp nests deep into the propane channel of the water heater! In the end, it only took one additional day, and I was on the road, after picking up Chunky Monkey from Rita’s, making the final leg of my trip to Bolender Horse Park.

I thought I would beat the freeway traffic by leaving mid-day. It was a good thought, however, I found myself in bumper to bumper traffic on I-405 for about 45 minutes. It was a very nerve-wracking experience as impatient drivers were weaving in and out at 20 to 30 mph, and jumping in front of me to fill the open space I allowed in front of my rig to give me space to break!!! Glad I had excellent brakes on my truck and trailer and deep pockets of patience that afternoon. Of course, I felt empathy and concern for Chunky Monkey as her balance was being challenged with the herky-jerky, stop and go traveling!

In the end, I arrived at Bolender Horse Park as scheduled on Tuesday, August 2nd just as a ‘gully washer’ rain storm was ending. I hesitated at the base of their short but steep gravel driveway as the water rushing down tumbled small gravel, as I do not have 4-wheel drive. My confidence was definitely challenged! I pushed aside my nerves even as my trucks tires began slipping. Ever so slowly with my gear stick in low-1, I made up the slippery road to my destination. Yaaaaaaaah!

My Possibilities are becoming Successes, a theme that had begun to emerge from my Journey.


“A Summer's Awakening” — Episode 2

by Barbara H. Callihan

Now home from Texas I looked around and took stock of the results of my procrastination of the last year! Good Gawd!!!!!! Where to start? Answer to self: “Just take the first step and keep moving.”

Two weeks later, on Monday, July 25th. I, Ears and Chunky were leaving HHB at 4:00 am, focused to beat the morning summer heat while headed on our first leg of our Journey, Stockton, Calif. My mind racing with so many wonderful expectations, questions, while feeling super excitement .... then ..... my doubter shows up. ☹ YIKES! She is whispering at first then gets louder and louder with negative statements and frightening questions that caused me to doubt the decisions I had made for this Journey and then it escalated into degrading the Journey itself!

“YUP”, all this may be true, however, I am going to seek my Possibilities.” “My Inner Spirit allows U-Turns!” My negative doubting thoughts slowly quieted and began to let go. I felt my body and mind soften, relax and excitement return!

Early evening of the 25th Chunky was happily bedded down in her stall at D’Alanzo Equestrian Ranch outside of Stockton. Ears happily greeted my #1son with her whole body wiggling. After she was fed and stretched out and comfy in her Bunk House bed, I shared precious time and conversation with my #1Son PTyrone over a delicious dinner at the Outback.

Morning of the 26th Tuesday, I awoke refreshed with energizing thoughts of the day ahead of me. This excitement fueling me on the road by 6:00am

Yaaaaaah! After a long safe and smooth 11 hrs I have reached my 2nd destination, Jewel Or. As Ears and I had began the last 15 minutes of the narrow winding road, she sat up, looked intently back and forth, stuck her twitching nose out the window, following with gentle whining while her tail became a fan!

I was greeted with warm hugs and happy chatter from friends’ Hans and Rita (40 year friendship). Awwww! My home away from home. My eyes feast on the Rainforest of green Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Coas, tal Redwood, Alder, Vine Maple Ferns, fields of grass supported by the rich black dirt -sound of the Nehalem river with the evening and morning mystical mist creeping above ground. Magical!! I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.............becoming fully present.


“A Summer's Awakening” — Episode 1

by Barbara H. Callihan

Embracing my equestrian dreams

Over the past 50 years I’ve had the privilege of working with 100s of clients in Southern Nevada, from age 3 to 60, to help them realize their equestrian dreams. These dreams took many diverse forms: from pleasure to competitive to seminars; from hunter jumper to western; from trail riding to trail obstacles; and from speed events, to team penning, to endurance races. Along the way I have had the joy of sharing some incredible experiences with so many dedicated, talented, passionate horse persons. Together we experienced the highs of success, the lows of failure and setbacks, and the extraordinary challenges that accompany developing equestrian success and personal victories.

In 2000, after selling my ranch in Las Vegas, I moved to Pahrump and followed my own dream to build a new equestrian center in a brand-new community, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Over the next sixteen years I development enduring and sustaining business relationships and friendships with local businesses, clients, and friends. From the ground up, project by project over time, with the expertise and hard work of many local businesses, I built Happy Hoof Beats Equestrian Center on land that has been in my family for more than 40 years. I am so thankful for the support, care, and compassion of the Pahrump community and for all the individual angels who have contributed to my professional and personal success.

In 2012 I realized another dream when I launched a series of successful cavalletti clinics. In 2015 those clinics transformed into Equestrian Coaching Edge™, a new paradigm in equestrian group instruction covering a dozen equestrian and horsemanship themes. Since 2012 more than 40 individuals have reached for their equestrian dreams and participated in more than 20 different sessions, making them successful beyond my wildest dreams. I had no idea there was a such demand for group instruction in the Southern Nevada and Pahrump Valley, and it was so satisfying to watch each and every participant and auditor experience breakthroughs in their equestrian journey.

Recently, I have felt an inner fire of curiosity and excitement of the unknown building inside me and a renewed focus on my own personal equestrian dreams. With more years behind me than in front of me, I’m deeply aware that every day I have on this fragile planet is a gift, and that time stands still for no one. I have recognized that there are still items to check off my own personal bucket list. While I still have the physical and mental strength I want to be able to choose to experience the adventures of the unknown, challenge myself to learn, test myself to achieve, and master things that I have yet to comprehend. It is time for the coach to become the student and to push myself through unchallenged limits.

This process of choosing what’s next for me has been a deeply personal and has awakened a deep spiritual awareness and ignited a desire to experience physical healing and the rejuvenation of my spirit. At my core I am a horsewomen and any spiritual awakening undoubtedly includes experiencing my own personal horse journey at a higher level. As many of you know, I have had great success with Chunky Monkey competitively. That success is possible because of the close bond that we have developed. Because of this bond I now have a horse that affords me the possibility to continue on my personal equestrian journey with confidence and joy.

So, I’m excited to announce that my new adventures have already begun and I am excited to be able to share them with you. It’s just been until now that I have been able to put the right words down to share with you what lays ahead for me, for Happy Hoof Beats, and ultimately for many of you who are my clients, associates, and friends. Over the next six months I have planned several equestrian adventures. In between each trip, I will return to Pahrump for several weeks and will schedule lessons. I will continue to be in communication via email and Facebook, keeping everyone updated on all my exciting experiences.

For the time being I have suspended Equestrian Coaching Edge program. Over the next six months I will collect feedback and suggestions, and begin to craft curriculum for 2017. In the early winter of 2016 I will announce the schedule for 2017 and launch sign ups.

My first adventure began last week as Chunky Monkey and I left Vegas on our way to Silver Creek, Washington, where we will participate in programs offered by Mark Bolender. Mark is a well-known expert in Extreme Trail, Mountain Trail, and Competitive Trail Horse challenges. He is a three-time National Grand Champion and has designed Mountain Trail and Extreme Trail courses across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Chunky and I will participate in two three-day seminars, take private lessons, and complete a two-day judge’s training course to become a carded judge in this exciting discipline. To wrap up our experience, Chunky and I will compete in our first IMTCA Mountain Trail Challenge—so very exciting!

On our way to Silver Creek we’ve stopped in the Portland Oregon area for a few days to visit family and friends, and to relax and rejuvenate ourselves. We leave for Silver Creek tomorrow.

As I embrace this new adventure it’s impossible to truly know what lays ahead. I do believe that the fire and excitement that builds inside me represents the beginning of the rest of my life here on ‘earth school.’ Now more than ever I am committed to living in the now moment, being aware of the many daily miracles, maintaining an attitude of gratitude, and allowing myself to be guided. I have faith that I have the ability to enjoy, celebrate, share, and embrace life as each moment unfolds for me.

I feel it’s important for me to acknowledge the spiritual essences that currently influence me. I believe there is a higher power that is present in my life that guides me and provides insight through my thoughts, feelings, experiences, through the people who show up in my life. I have a deep gratitude for each and every person who touches my life in meaningful ways, allowing me to reflect on my behavior, beliefs, and actions so that I can continue to evolve to be a better coach, trainer, colleague, friend, community member, and family member. Without you, I would not be who I am today.

I am literally holding my breath to see who will be added to my list of life teachers and how they will impact my journey.

Special thanks to Team HHB—Karen Vowell, Maja Hinkle, Jamie Murphy, and Michael Trumble—who are staying at Happy Hoof Beats and taking care of my equestrian facility while I follow my dreams. Without their unwavering support and presence this would not be possible.

Barbara H. Callihan


Fall 2015 schedule and discount packages announced—Equestrian Coaching Edge™

by Barbara H. Callihan

Announcing the fall 2015 dates and curriculum for Equestrian Coaching Edge™ group coaching program
September through December 2015

I am excited to share with you the complete fall 2015 curriculum and session dates for my new group coaching program—Equestrian Coaching Edge™. I selected these session topics and dates after carefully considering dozens of surveys completed by the Southern Nevada horse community during the past few weeks. I feel strongly that this inaugural fall curriculum responds to the current diverse needs of our community and includes topics like warming up, flexibility, trail obstacles, core strength, lateral movement, leads, and more. All session dates for this fall season are scheduled on Saturday mornings. Based on actual demand, I am open to the possibility of repeating specific sessions once the initial date and time sells out for each one. These repeated sessions might occur during the afternoon/evening of the same Saturday or on a weekday/weeknight of the following week.


The Warm Up | Saturday, September 12, 2015 | 9 a.m.
Introduction to Trail Obstacles | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | 9 a.m.

Review the entire schedule and register now.


Multi-session discount packages make Equestrian Coaching Edge™ more affordable
Save up to 25% when you purchase sessions in advance

Affordability was a common theme on responses to our online survey, especially for those participants who are interested in registering into several sessions. Therefore I am delighted that affordable, multiple-session discount packages are now available to any participant interested attending three or more sessions, over a six-month period. These packages are designed to offer up to 25% in savings when purchased in advance—costing you only $37.50 per session when you purchase a package of eight. Certain restrictions apply. Learn more and register now.


Together we can shape the future of equestrian coaching in Southern Nevada—Equestrian Coaching Edge™

by Barbara H. Callihan


Over the years I have enjoyed sharing your equestrian journey with you, celebrating the triumphs, and learning from the challenges. Some of these may have been competitive, pleasure, trail riding, or even the daily magic you experience with your horse!

Because I value your varied experience in the horse world I am reaching out to you for some suggestions and direction for an exciting new program I am launching this fall. The essentials are in place for this new program, and I’m fortunate to have my exceptional hhb team in place, doing behind the scene preparations. As they say, “Many hands make light the work.”  So, now I’m eager to share my ideas with successful equestrian riders like yourself and gather feedback to help me shape final details.

The positive response to my recent “Master Horsemanship Series Cavalletti Workshops” inspired me to rethink how I could provide a horsemanship curriculum to more riders, more often, and more affordably. It became clear to me that it was time to design a new coaching paradigm in order to be able to work with riders at their skill and experience levels.

Out of this process I crafted a coaching program that creates new possibilities in horsemanship achievement. The program is called Equestrian Coaching Edge™. This innovative program offers similarly-skilled riders unique cooperative learning opportunities. Each session delivers specific curriculum, and features personalized coaching and peer-to-peer activities. Research has shown that students in cooperative learning settings, compared to those in individual or competitive learning settings achieve more, reason better, and gain higher self-esteem,

So how can you make a difference? Please visit my website [this will link to a page on her website], review the program details, and fill out a short  online survey to share your candid perspective and suggestions, about the following:

  • Scheduling Preferences
  • Suggested Topics
  • Pricing Recommendation


Visit my website here to learn more before you complete the survey.

Click here to fill out the very brief survey.

In closing, I would like to thank you for sharing in the excitement about Equestrian Coaching Edge™ and for spending a few minutes to tell me what you think. I am looking forward to putting the finishing touches in place based on your informed response.

Ride safe and enjoy, your friend and equestrian neighbor