Finding solutions not excuses! By Vanessa Bee

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told something was impossible.

I expect some of you reading this would say the same.

You’ve been told (or maybe even told yourself!) something couldn’t be done and there are a whole bunch of reasons why.

Before 1952 it was believed that running a mile in four minutes was impossible for a human to achieve. But a man called Roger Bannister didn’t believe that. The ‘experts’ said that if it ever happened it had to be a certain temperature (68 degrees) with no wind and on a clay track.

Well, Roger Bannister ran it in cold weather on slippery grass and smashed the four minute time limit that he had been told was impossible. He didn’t make excuses, he got on with running!


When I started Horse Agility (it did not exist before 13th December 2009) I was told many times that ‘ordinary’ horses wouldn’t work with ‘regular’ horse owners at liberty, couldn’t jump through hoops, wouldn’t jump through fire, couldn’t pop balloons or cope with lots of scary things.

I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why this Club should not exist.

But the members of this Club have done it, over and over again, they looked at a challenge and instead of wasting time on excuses they put their energy into finding the answer.

Excuses don’t make a great life story.



  1. Leslie Clough

    Yes,yes,yes. I have learned, take a chance, trust yourself and your horse and be amazed!

  2. Maggie Cason

    You are right Vanessa! This is so true. I have really enjoyed doing the impossible with my mustangs. It’s been an awesome learning experience, and so much fun!

  3. Lynn Acton

    Thanks to Vanessa and this club, I now do things with my horses that I would not even have thought to try. It has transformed my relationships with them, so we have much more fun and cooperation instead of just them listening to my instructions.

  4. Sheri Pederson

    when I found this group in 2013 and began my journey at Starter, I looked at the Adv and Adv* tests and thought it would be INCREDIBLE if my pushy, spooky ex-racehorse ever got to that level. Truly, it seemed like a pipe dream. It’s 7 years later and it IS incredible, and is NOT a dream! The confidence gained and the relationship built during this journey is beyond my ability to describe it. There is ALWAYS more to learn and do, but I am so grateful to have found this group and I love sharing what I’ve learned about agility with others that I meet!

  5. Kim Gieseke

    This is the best thing that has ever happened for horses and their human owners! I am at the point that I every horse I start does horse agility before we ride or drive. By the time they are understanding obstacles, the saddle or cart become just another obstacle in which they do something with their human. I had an “impossible moment” at the end of October when Vanessa gave us a heads up that we would be popping balloons. Years ago I had put my Haflinger, Mary, in training with a guy that was supposed to train her to piaffe. She came back and any loud noise, like a gun shot, would cause her to piaffe. I soon realized he had been so intense with the bull whip she was now terrified of loud noises. I had a moment of “oh, no” Mary will not be able to pop a balloon, but I guess horse agility has also conditioned me to take on any challenge Vanessa has put out to us. I started thinking that maybe this could help Mary overcome her fear of loud noises. I am also jumpy with loud noises but know that if I am the one creating the loud noise I jump less; then my thought became would this be the same for the horses? Then I wondered if there was a way to make the balloon pop quieter and remembered as a kid doing magic tricks if you put a piece of tape on the balloon and put a pin thru the tape it would deflate instead pop(usually). We have used both ideas and they are working so well, it even seems that some of the horses are enjoying the balloon popping. I have nine people and horses competing this month and all of them are less jumpy now that they have popped the balloons. Even my horse Mary is starting to have confidence and has popped a few balloons. I have more work to do but it has now balloon popping become an achievable obstacle, thanks to Horse Agility helping me think out of the box!

  6. Ev Nusic

    I really enjoy that every month there is a new training challenge. I’m not a trainer, so I have to go off and learn a new skill in order to teach it to my horses. The balloon popping was a HUGE challenge for me and Colby since neither of us likes loud noises. Thanks, Vanessa, for giving us the motivation to face this fear and overcome it.