Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What my horses have taught me

As inspired by Viva Carlos, the lessons that my horses have taught me.

Terry (Open Gate Secretariat)

Terry gets a special mention because while I didn't own him, he was my very first equine partner.  From the age of five to the age of ten, this pony was my nemesis and my best friend. 
  • You can do more than you think
  • You have to do it yourself, no one else can do it for you
  • Never, ever look down at a fence
  • When in doubt, kick
  • Some days you're going to lose no matter how hard you worked for it and that's okay
  • Quick Silver should not be left on for an hour, it won't work better

Allen (All In Good Time)

My very first horse who arrived at the same time that I was discovering horse life as an adult.
  • Don't be afraid to let go of control, he's better at this than you are
  • You will get there when you get there
  • Schoolmasters are worth more than diamonds and gold
  • You don't dominate a horse, it's a team sport
  • If you get the chance to do something big, just go for it, you won't regret it 
  • Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway
  • Go.  FORWARD.
  • Never, ever pull to a fence 
  • If you get dumped in a fence, you probably deserved it
  • When the old man says he's done, let him be done

Fiona (Can't Drive 55)

My princess.  A Craigslist find for $800 that taught me all about taking chances.
  • Sometimes you've just got to take that leap
  • Listen when they say they don't want to do the job
  • Don't rush talented horses
  • The horse is more important than the discipline
  • Galloping down to a big fence is freaking amazing with the right horse
  • Chestnut TB mare is not profanity
  • Dressage is fun
  • Selling a horse is hell

Theo (Expect the Unexpected)

The former school horse turned show horse.
  • Things are not always as they appear
  • Experts can be wrong, horses don't read the training books
  • Inside leg to outside rein is more than something my trainer yells at me at random
  • Great mind > fancy moves
  • Amazing tails are overrated
  • People will never forget the past
  • When you know you've found the right horse, freaking buy it
  • Dressage is not about checking moves off a list
  • Don't forget why you started
  • Positive reinforcement works
  • Make time for random trail gallops, jumping, and hour long curry sessions; the dressage arena will still be there tomorrow
  • Black bay horses look amazing in every color