Hi everyone! I'm happy to be here! I have browsed the forums on numerous occasions but have finally joined.
Here's a bit about me. I have been trail riding (Western) for several years but hadn't been formally instructed in Western since I was 12. (I'm 31). I decided that I wanted to learn how to ride English and began taking lessons in January and I love it! I am doing my first schooling show competition at the end of the month and my goal is to eventually compete in jumping. I can only take lessons 1 day a week, so I'm progressing slowly but steadily.
Last month I took a magical vacation to a dude ranch in Montana where I spent 7 glorious days surrounded by horses. 6-8hours a day I was on horseback and when I wasn't in the saddle I was in the corral spending time with the horses and learning as much about horsemanship as I could from the knowledgeable people there. They practice Parelli and through their instruction I actually got to do round pen work with 2 different horses (while they were there telling me what to do next from outside the ring). I also learned how to ride bareback, how to rope, how to wrangle and how to barrel race!
Coming back home was sure hard! But I decided I wanted to start leasing a horse since I know that ownership is out of the question for me right now. I want to ride more than just the 1 day a week I take lessons and renting for trail rides isn't cost effective. The horse I will be leasing is already trained and is a very sweet, bomb proof and experienced horse. So my main question now is how to bond with him and become his herd leader and earn his respect since he's new to me and I'm new to him and I will only be able to interact with him 1 day a week. What method should I use to establish that? I'm reading up on different methods now but I will post in another thread to get ideas from all of you!
I have been devouring as much info as I can about natural horsemanship and try to apply those principles as applicable during my lessons (ie: pressure/release, setting boundaries, etc.). I really connected with the book "Team concept: Creating a Partnership with your Horse" by Marlis Amato. I've also watched the Buck documentary and plan to get some books by Tim Dorrance, Ray Hunt and probably a Parelli DVD or 2.
My goal for being on this site is to learn as much as I can from more experienced horsemen/women so that I can increase my own skill and knowledge and become a better horsewoman. There is MUCH I don't know and I want to change that so I can get the most out of my horse riding.