A small brag...Anyone else watch their horse give a lesson and get chills?
Tonight I watched my 10yr Arab/QH gelding be ridden by a (competent) 12yr old in a jump lesson, and I couldn't have been more proud. He was a complete saint in all aspects and totally took care of her over the fences.
I kept thinking back to the first time I looked at him, all gangly and chubby in his 2yr old glory, and how proud I am that I started and trained him myself. I'm also SO thrilled with the progress we have made in the past few months, and how that training has sunk in to the level that another rider can get on and put him together. I'm amazed at how his movement has changed and improved, and how his jumping is almost completely opposite of how it was earlier this year.
Thanks for reading. I almost had tears in my eyes watching, and it was just an amazing feeling. Please share your similar stories!!
Ha, I know how you feel! I'm currently half leasing my mare to a woman who just turned 60 and has only been riding dressage a couple of years.
My horse is a feedlot rescue who didn't get started until she was 9 years old and was a handful at that. Two trainers thought she was worthless and would never amount to anything, but I was fortunate enough to find some people who did believe and now my mare has proven she can compete quite well in eventing, jumpers and dressage.
My mare is a thoroughbred and was as hot and challenging as they come. Somewhere in the last couple of years she had her lightbulb moment and has been a joy to work with. I'm the one who was the crash test dummy and ate dirt more times than I care to admit!
It's all been worth it though to see how careful she is with her beginner rider and the grin on this woman's face as she rides is priceless!
runNjump86, I know exactly how you feel, and it's amazing!
Your story is great and you should be so very proud of your boy.
YES....My first pony was my trainers 'go to' horse when one of us had a confidence knock. I loved that my horse was "that horse", and he really was. One friend had pretty much given up riding due to fear. Her mom was riding Stan for me while I was at a month long summer camp, and my friend would go to the barn with her. She got on Stan once just to have a ride around while her mom was working with their other horse. She began taking lessons on him and by the time I got back from the 2nd camp was riding their horse again, who was the one she'd been scared of before.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
The Arab I grew up with was always a bit 'hot'... He loved to run, though very mellow on the ground. As he got older he stayed spirited and quick under saddle. At only 14.2hh he could easily give adequate horse strides to fences no problem.
So it melted my heart when he gave his first lessons to a little boy and little girls and then went on to be this one little girl's regular riding pony for a while at 21 years old. This horse that my trainer used to be so delicate with when letting anyone else ride him. He still had a big stride that was unnerving for one of his riders used to tiny chubby pony strides, but yeah. He was a gem. And he loved it too! I have a whole bunch of pictures of his various lessons. XD
Absolutely -- my 16 y.o. Appendix that I had to retire from my level after an injury to us both is now carrying a re-rider my age as I teach her how to ride him. Watching him take care of her, watching him love being loved, even laughing at his sneaky ways to be lazy, just watching him be so happy and generous, the horse I thought could never learn to really trust someone else, makes ME grin with pure joy.
Awesome! So glad to hear other stories!! According to her mom, the girl wouldn't "stop yammering" about him the rest of the night and the entire next day. She's in love. I'm so thrilled for him and for the girl.
What made me laugh was seeing her on him. She's short for her age, but he's only 15.1h on a good day, so he's just the right size for her to grow into without looking small at the moment. Then I stopped laughing, voiced that thought to my trainer, then asked "My lord, how big do I look on him?! I'm 5'8"!!"
I can't wait to see him take her cross country. We dug out his kimberwicke to give her more brakes, but I think she will have a total ball.
Yes! At a one day event derby I let a little 9 year old girl ride my sometimes challenging mustang mare after I was done. Mare was so good with her, w-t-c like a pro and even popped her over a small fence or two. Mare held it together when a group of riders came cantering by her, but mare continued about her business, ignoring the others. Even when little girl brought her to a less than great approach to a fence, instead of refusing because of the bad spot, mare hopped over no problem. I was so so so proud of her. Little girl loved her and so did her mother and trainer.
Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert
Yes! My homebred is now in a college program (and summer camp) and it's a wonderful match - she didn't want to event and now it's so much fun to see her in a job she is great at - and all that hard work I did with her has paid off - she thinks this job is a piece of cake. She doesn't buck and spook like she used to.
And it's fun for me to ride her now too, although I have to get myself into lesson-horse mindset and not ask her to do the hard stuff.
Today the NoLongerFatPaintMare allowed an adult amateur woman at the barn to have a "real" jumping experience.
Said adult amateur has a horse who is a bully and a chicken, and he may go over a ground pole or he may not. He may jump a crossrail or he may not.
I asked if she wanted to hop on for a few moments after my ride today. The NoLongerFatPaintMare happily trotted over some poles and cross rails, and then loped over a cross rail with a beaming adult onboard.
I absolutely love both of my horses for this kind of thing.
My mare I wound up with after she was in a college program that essentially went defunct. Mare was sold (I did everything I could at the time to get her then) to a terrible barn where she ultimately started rearing and launching people to the point that she wound up on Craigslist. I recognized her and gave them a call. Went up and was ready to just hand them the cash. Not so affectionate mare, was whinnying for me like a maniac when I walked in the barn. Hadn't seen her in close to 5 years and didn't have a whole lot to do with her at the college program beyond riding in the same arena and feeding her. They insisted I ride her first. Pulled out a dusty snaffle bridle they claimed to have been riding her in (it was behind several with twisted wires and whatnot) and tried to get me to use a saddle. Jumped on her bareback with a snaffle bit as they watched with white knuckles gripping the rails (apparently this hadn't gone well recently...). Mare w/t/c and stopped (apparently also an issue...) to their surprise and my amusement. I didn't think for half a second she'd be anything but the mare I remembered playing around on bareback in a halter.
Took her to my friend's lesson barn, gave her two weeks off. Found her a saddle that fits her and a bridle she likes - she insists upon going bitless these days. Okay mare, you're 20+yo. If you wanna go in what is basically a glorified halter, we'll run with it. She now gives jumping lessons to kids and is the barn favorite. She's the confidence builder. I haven't a clue what they were doing to her at the other barn...but she hasn't put a foot wrong here.
Hahah, when I see my fat lazy lesson pony eyeing me as she jogs ultra-slowly but determinedly towards me with the student who is trying to learn to post and can't steer at the same time it just makes me roll my eyes. She always heads to me and stops if she isn't getting enough input from the rider. Her default gear is halt. I wish she'd just jog around on the rail - it'd make my life, and my students lives, a little easier!
But yes, I know what you mean.
ďEvery horse is good for something. He could be a cart horse or a lead pony and heís still nice to look at. You donít throw a whole life away just because itís banged up a little.Ē