The thing is, you want to put yourself in your child’s situation – understand their frame of mind, their spirit. In order to do that, you have to see what is in front of you, to be in the present with them. If they bring up your issues, you won’t see clearly what needs to be done.  And you know they can bring up your stuff, big time. Also, you want to figure out how your child thinks and how they perceive you. To understand what it might take for your child to have a willingness to listen and accept the same ideas as you. That is so important and challenging.


You eventually want your idea to become theirs. So if you understand how a child thinks and how they perceive things, you will have a better chance to figure out a way to help and actually find a place where you can help them understand. You want to build a partnership. Not just get them to conform, but to partner with you and follow your lead. I like using the analogy of You are the river bank and They are the river. You set the course, you get them to want to follow the path and then you gently guide them.Brianna

Partnership is a process of you both learning together and building a trust with each other, so your child will accept your lead willingly and with some enthusiasm. There will be upsets along the way, but eventually they will learn and accept your guidance with little or no resistance – no pushback. But you have to keep “your stuff” out of the mix.CJ Horse

You are not just asking the child to conform to you. Kids are all different. What works for one, won’t work for another so you really have to be in the present and see what is there in order to make an impact. I think parenting is about your child feeling apart of something that they want to contribute to and make better – The Family.


Remember, encourage not discourage – and one more thing, always lead with kindness.





What a weekend we had at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison WI!

MichaelCrowd Midwest Horse Fair is one of the largest, most prestigious equine events in the United States and it was held at the Alliant Energy Center on April 11, 12 & 13 2014.

Rhonda Reese, General Manager  and her Midwest Horse Fair Team, including Kathy Freidel, Linda Gosdeck  along with so many others, were so gracious, friendly and organized.     It’s easy to understand why Midwest Horse Fair is the amazing event it is….these people put their heart & soul into this event, and it shows at every turn.

Michael held a total of 7 Clinics:    “Success, It’s All About Fear”, “Horses Healing Kids” and “Overcoming Fear in Life & in the Saddle”.   This was Michael’s first foray into this type of event and none of us had any idea as to what to expect.   TheseMichaelLadder aren’t your typical clinic topics but…the response, participation and feedback we got was phenomenal!    Michael had kids (of all ages!) participating in the “Fall of Faith” and other exercises that we incorporate into our ICS events and the response from the crowd was so positive and uplifting.  We met so many individuals who are interested in joining us and making a difference in the lives of children & families in their communities….it was an uplifting, phenomenal weekend!

If you haven’t attended the Midwest Horse Fair , we suggest you do!  There are literally thousands of vendors, exhibits, a world-class rodeo, breed demonstrations, competitions and so much more!  There is truly something for everyone and we met some of the most incredible people & organizations….and we established friendships that will last a lifetime.     It was a ‘win-win’ event for everyone and Midwest Horse Fair has just announced their 2015 dates so we hope you’ll make plans NOW to attend!


I want to extend a special Thank You to our ICS Teams from Wisconsin and Iowa who filled a variety of posts over the weekend:   manning our booth, answering questions, getting Michael to and from his clinics on time and just spreading the word and raising awareness about how we can make a difference in the lives of our kids.  We could not have done ANY of this without all of you!

In the coming days, we’re going to introduce you to some of the many, wonderful people we met on this journey.   Our goal is to continue to build a vibrant, supportive community of like-minded people who want to help kids, families and each other with their horses.   These magical creatures are paramount to our vision and goals in making a difference in the lives of our most valuable resource….our kids!

– Cindy