I didn't start taking lessons until I was 25, too. Well, I turned 25 soon after starting them. I had always wanted to learn, and after graduating my masters with no job, I decided to do something for myself. I started out with the most awesome old cowboy to ever be born in the wrong era. Bill had this...magic with horses. He touched them, he spoke to them, you could see their eyes gentle, their bodies relax. He taught me how to really communicate with my horse, to understand what it was trying to tell me.
He passed away two years ago this coming summer, which made me question continuing. Bill always made me feel so safe, like nothing could ever go wrong as long as he was there to protect me. It took me a month to get back on my own horse...but one day, I just climbed on...bareback, in shorts, no shoes...Bill was looking down at me having a fit, yelling "I taught you better, girl!" But it showed me I could ride without him physically being there.
I continued taking lessons from his daughter, Kay, who trains very similar to him, but with a slightly different teaching style. Kay constantly challenges me to step up to my fears and face them, and has given me in a lot of confidence in a totally different way than her father. She's going to be moving away, so once again I face the question of continuing. His younger daughter is planning on training this coming year, so I am hoping to continue the "Bill" method.
I really wasn't looking forward to having to adjust to a totally knew trainer and method. Bill didn't particularly teach "Parelli" or "Anderson", it was a mix of his experience and what he knew worked. You could probably call it natural horsemanship, but it's a still all his own. He didn't have any particular training or certificate, just 50+ years experience with horses...training, rehabbing, rescuing.
The best advice I can give you is go with your gut. If you aren't comfortably with the situation after giving it a try, walk away.
"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die...don't be scared, jut enjoy the ride." - Chris LeDoux
Last edited by HooverH; 03-07-2010 at 02:07 AM.