Off to school!

I said I was going to do it and I have…I believe I finally found an AQHA trainer that I trust to finish my VLC and do it fairly. Great facility, weekly lessons are included, and there was not a single bit in her tack room that I object to. The worst thing I saw was a slow twist, which doesn’t bother me. It’s the thin wire “tongue slicer” bits I object to. Like this. If anybody ever put this on my horse, I would have to kill them.

Anyway, he is off to school November 1st! I am excited about it even though he won’t be at home and I’m paranoid about that. But I’ll have my weekly lesson so I’ll still see him regularly. Right now the game plan is just to do a thirty day evaluation and then give me things to work on for the rest of the winter at home. Then he’ll go back in the spring, closer to show season. Money is always a factor, and I like that this trainer is willing to work with a limited budget. She made a lot of good points I’d already thought of about how it makes more sense to go to bigger shows and fewer of them and to start him off at the local open shows and keep it cheap and not take him to an AQHA show at all until he’s super solid and has a very good chance of doing well. I really felt like we were on the same page, and every horse in her barn was happy and looked great. I didn’t see a single pinned ear.

I figure I’ve got him as far as I can go without possibly making a wrong turn – he walks, trots, lopes, halts and backs. I can ride him around bareback in a halter. He is still somewhat one sided and doesn’t like to bend to the left, and sometimes has balky moments on left circles. He also likes to drop his shoulder that direction. All the methods I know for fixing that are probably not the ones we want to use given that we want his head to stay low and his neck to stay flat. It’s time to turn him over to someone who is an expert at what he needs to do and can also watch me ride and pick on me.

I think I’ll always be glad I started him myself though – I got what I wanted, which is a very calm, easy horse who’s never had a bad experience about riding or a reason not to like it. Now I just need to fill in some of the training gaps before he leaves – like teaching him to clip, as he’s expected to know that and I admit I don’t own a pair of clippers at the moment and haven’t even tried so far. (Fortunately, I can borrow!)

So how far did the rest of you get with your projects? Did you decide to get some outside help? Did you decide just to haul in for lessons or get a friend for a second pair of eyes to assist? Who actually made it to a show this summer? (I tried, and then they decided not to allow stallions, and they didn’t have stalls so there went that idea) Did you accomplish as much as you meant to? More? I got everything done on my list except the trail riding – not surprising, that’s the hard one for me because I freakin’ hate trail riding, even on trained horses much less taking the green one out to see what happens! But on the plus side, he rides absolutely great bareback and I hadn’t even meant to try that at this point.

(hmmm, there was more to this post and Blogger ate it…next time!)

Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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