Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sticking With It

I like to torture myself and look at horse sale ads when I have down time at work. I saw one the other day for a very nice horse, but it also sadden me. It stated the only reason this horse was for sale was because the owner (teenager) was ready to move up but the horse wasn't confident and needed more time at novice. This horse was 7 and has the potential, but the owner wasn't willing to put in the time. I don't necessarily fault the owner and I am passing judgment without the full story, but it saddens me that the parents and or trainer don't step up to the plate and make the rider put in the time.

So cute.

This is one of the reasons I have so much respect for S and D. They stick with their horses. S has brought her mare from cross rails up to prelim/1*. That is sticking with it. They had their share of problems along the way. A's wife who was S's trainer passed away from breast cancer about 6 years ago. Since then S has been without consistent training. There have been people along the way that told her she needed to sell her horse and they wouldn't make it. Not only have they been successful, but S has also graduated from college, managed the barn, and built a successful lesson program. All of this was not done with out help, but it was done with a lot of hard work. This is why I will always support S in anyway I can. (PS if you ever read this S, I hope you don't mind me sharing your story.)

D is very similar but was able to capitalize on several working student/assistant trainer positions before she struck out on her own. It hasn't been easy but she is sticking with it. She had to make the tough decision to sell her older competition horse so she could fund the young ones. Nothing in the horse world comes easily.

Not easy...

I have not heard a single upper level rider in any discipline talk about how easy their horse is. How wonderful, yes. Easy? Nope. It is the hard parts that make the end so wonderful. It's about the magical connection that can only come with time and trust. It saddens me that some people will never learn this because when things get hard they buy a new horse. 

Don't misunderstand me and think I am condemning everyone who sells their horse. There are many good reasons to sell your horse. If your confidence is damaged, you just don't click, they max out, they hate what you love, and many other reasons are all good reasons. In fact the seller may have a good reason and thought saying the horse wasn't ready to move up would be better. It just saddens me because all horses are one bad owner away from the slaughterhouse. Morbid I know, but there is truth in there. I would hate to think what would have happened to Stinker in the wrong hands. He has enough issues as it is, but with the wrong rider he could have learned some nasty tricks. I'm well aware that if he wanted to, he could dump my ass daily. Thankfully he hasn't ever truly tried. I am glad that I was taught to stick with horses and that I have people to guide me with the same mentality.

Forgive the crap photo.  Pongo was such a good boy.
It was sunset and I hopped on him bareback with a halter and
rode him up to his pasture.  Isn't that what you do with every 6 yo OTTB?


  1. it's awesome that you have such coaches who are so dedicated to good horsemanship! i agree that it's hard to see young riders who get a little blinded by ambition. tho i'd also suspect that this particular sale ad isn't giving the full story (like so very few do)

    1. I am so lucky to have found both of them. I have the utmost respect for them. And I totally agree about the ad. It probably isn't the whole story, but what was said has stuck with me all week which is why I decided to write about it.