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Now and Then...trainer brag, reflections, end of season wrap up.

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  • Now and Then...trainer brag, reflections, end of season wrap up.

    Wow. What a great year, to cap off a really rough journey that started when I got my horse in 2006. I don't even know where to start.

    Short version, when Sarah found me, I had just moved into the facility declaring myself an "A Barn Refugee", determined to do nothing but take my still-green, imported warmblood and Antares saddle on trail rides for the rest of our lives and enjoy a non-henpecked, boxed-in, belittled existence and knowing I was responsible for his health, nutrition, and maintenance and turn outs that last longer than 45 minutes, and loving it that way.

    It started with her just giving my horse a schooling ride or two here or there, between which she'd email me insights to what was going on with his body, and what to work on. Soon, I was taking two lessons a week with her in addition to the schooling ride, a schedule we keep to this day.

    Over this year, her quiet style of teaching, her interest in and willingness to take the time to understand my horse's unique issues and personality, her thoughtful preparation for every lesson, the way she built on our strengths and the time she took to explain and help me understand how to get through the weaknesses, and her respect for me as a horse owner with 20+ years of experience (albeit most of that experience was in hands on horse care, trail rides, and local shows - not in rated show rings) has completely reignited my passion for learning and pushing myself and helped me remember the dream of riding at a higher level than I'd ever done before, and the reasons why I'd bought a horse like him in the first place.

    She watched us go out on trail rides, and even encouraged it, lol with white knuckles I'm sure, and also helped me through the sometimes hairy process of my determined efforts to turn my greenie into a horse that I can, today, ride on the buckle through rushing streams, over varied terrain, past scary objects, etc.

    She saw something worth nurturing in us and when I look at our first show this season, I have to wonder what it was.

    Anyway, it was her first year being a professional trainer, and my first year showing at rated shows, and last night we brought home the award for Champion in our division this year, at 2'6 with our eye on showing 3 foot next year.

    So I just wanted to thank my trainer, and share our journey with all of you. It's been an amazing year!!!!

    Here's where we started in February:


    And here's where we ended up in October, finishing 5th of 33 in this round at the CPHA Horsemanship medal finals at LAEC.


    Thanks also to this board. I've learned so much on these threads, and been so encouraged by both the level of expertise as well as the no nonsense lack of pretentiousness. I've learned we don't all fit into one box and I'm not alone in being a bit 'square peggy' sometimes. There's room in the horse world for us all!


  • #2
    can't watch the videos due to stupid work firewalls, but your story is inspiring! Congrats on your progress!


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by KateKat View Post
      can't watch the videos due to stupid work firewalls, but your story is inspiring! Congrats on your progress!
      Thank you! It's been SUCH a long road. i didn't even want to dredge up the myriad of health/soundness issues we battled from 2006-2008 (the reason he was still green coming into this year at, now, 8 years old) but it really has been quite a road. rereading my post it sounds really bitter, and I'm sorry about that because while I was at the time, I'm not any more. I'm just SO glad to be enjoying happier, healthier days.


      • #4
        Your horse is absolutely adorable!!
        "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx


        • #5
          I love seeing before and after videos, very educational! Good job!


          • #6
            Fanatasic progress, you guys make a great team. Congrats!
            Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique


            • #7
              Haven't read the whole post yet but you have made some great improvements. The second video is just lovely!


              • Original Poster

                Thank you very much. On top of all the work and having it pay off, I've come out on the other side with an amazing bond with this alpha male fratboy of a horse that I basically handwalked on and off for the first two years, then with Sarah's help had to really work to forge a relationship in the saddle - we're finally really partners (with me as the leader he's the four legged love of my life and I'm so happy to have him.

                Oh and for anyone who's curious, here's my trainer's website. As much as I love having so much of her attention, she has room for a few more clients here in LA county!

                Last edited by KristieBee; Dec. 15, 2009, 12:24 AM.


                • #9
                  just watched the videos and wanted to say what a difference! You guys have really done a great job. Oh, and I love your horse too. Now that I know where you are it wasn't me if he goes missing...


                  • #10
                    Great story!! Awesome finish to the year and good job knowing when to back off and regroup. Your last video was so HUGELY different from the first and your horse is ADORABLE! I hope that the two of you have formed the bond you were hoping for, even if it took longer than you would have liked!! Congrats!
                    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.


                    • #11
                      Aww KB. I love you and love T-man. So proud of you both
                      Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                      My equine soulmate
                      Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                      • #12
                        Aw, I love your story and watching your two videos! You look great together!
                        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


                        • #13
                          Great story and love the before and after vids.


                          • #14
                            wow what an INCREDIBLE improvement between the two videos! your hard work has clearly payed off. congrats on a great season and good luck in the 3' next year!!
                            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                            • #15
                              This is terrific!!!

                              BRAVO on your progress
                              Erin and
                              Instant Karma "Sunny", ShineDown "Liam"

                              "You can't control the wind, but you can adjust the sails."


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you so much everyone! It's fun to share successes after so many years of frustration. Having this light at the end of the tunnel has made it all worthwhile.

                                And yes, HellerKM, I love this horse so much. For me riding has always been about the relationship. When he was laid up, it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed to take lessons on other horses. Sarah has uncovered an athlete in me that is driven for more personal reasons as well, but still, primarily, my motivation comes from the relationship with my horse - setting goals, having things to work on together, and then, testing our partnership is the reason we compete.

                                It has been so amazing to take the bond we formed on the ground through all the hours of handwalking and worry and frustrations of layups and being misunderstood together, finally getting in the saddle and tackling all the new challenges that waited there, and then, finally, laying down such a show season of growth and learning and accomplishments I could not have even imagined two years ago, or heck, even in February when that first video was taken.

                                Lol a memory that still makes Sarah and I laugh is the day I imploded mid-lesson and half laughed/half wailed: I'M JUST SO TIRED OF SUCKING!

                                Thanks for sharing in the happiness on the other side.

                                Last edited by KristieBee; Dec. 16, 2009, 11:54 AM. Reason: grammar.


                                • #17
                                  Great story, you BOTH look fabulous. Best of continued luck!
                                  Aunt Esther for President 2012