Questions as a new owner
*apologies in advance for the novel*
I've been taking lessons on and off since I was six years old, but never quite settled at one barn or into one discipline. About a year and a half ago I found a barn I loved and started working on dressage. A month ago I bought the mare I had been leasing since April 2012.
Now that barn is up for sale (I came along right as the managers were splitting) and I recently moved to a new barn. I've never showed (I don't do well under pressure) but decided I really want to start working towards it and kick my fear of showing right in the behind. This new barn is fairly competitive, and I feel really out of place as a new horse owner.
Even though I've been around horses for a long time, I never created a solid base of experience around them (if that makes sense.) And horse ownership is a whole new world to me. I make myself nervous now whenever other people are around because I am worried I'll look or sound ignorant, and then I am just a wreck.
The community is nice but again, I feel very inexperienced and looked down upon for it.
Any advice on how to settle in? Any suggestions or tips are welcome too :-). Thanks!
There's a big difference between riding and owning. You'll probly be best to be honest about your knowledge, and I'd like to think, that you'll find someone who help you.
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I am very open about my experience, I have a good trainer, and I take lessons twice a week :)
Never mind what anyone else thinks, you are there to enjoy your horse and your sport. I am sure you put out some serious coin to do this. Just be friendly to everyone and most everyone else will be friendly back. The only opinion that counts when judging you and your horse, is an actual judge at a show and your instructor, because you pay them for their opinions. The rest don't mean diddly squat.
And welcome to the forum and the world of horse showing, both are very fun addicting places to be!
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Heck even when we know stuff, there's always things that have not come up yet that we need to learn.
If your barn owners are professional about their split and keeping it out of the barn - then heck, that's the same as anyone. Learn, shadow as you can.
If there are barn fights, then sit back and wait. Someone else will take over sooner or later. Might be a good idea to look for another barn, just to be safe.
You live right next door to me. :-)
First and foremost, enjoy this new trail in your life.
If you live right next door to Prarie Rose, you're living near good people! PR is the best. If you have questions, ask her. I KNOW she'll give you good advice and answers. Have fun with your horse and I'll share a secret that might boost your confidence: Not everyone who has horses knows what they're doing. There are a lot of people who don't bother to educate themselves and just coast along. The fact that you KNOW you don't know, and want to learn means a lot. If you are REALLY worried about sounding ignornant, talk with PR because she is one of the absolute kindest people I know. But really, I think you might be over-worrying about this. ALL horse people started somewhere, and their opinion of you (if it matters) will be formed more by how you treat your horse, than what comes out of your mouth.
Good luck. Dressage would make me a nervous wreck.
This! Don't be afraid or worried to ask questions. I'd much rather be asked a ton of questions from someone then have them think they know what to do and do it wrong. Horse people are usually very understanding, as we are ALL learning. No body knows everything, as new reasearch and studies happen all the time. Just relax and enjoy your horse and btw, we all would like a picture of your horse.
Always remember, that the most important thing is about the relationship between you and your horse. Many people who think they know everything in the horse world, don't. True horsemen and women realize that you can never know everything, even with their own horses who they may have had their whole lives. Always remember that every horse is different.
A little quote from one of my favorite speeches:
Be careful whose advice you buy,
but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia;
dispensing it is a way
of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off,
painting over the ugly parts
and recycling it for more than it's worth.
Whatever barn you go to, you will always run into negative people, so more so than others. You just have to find the positive ones. You will probably find that there are other people at your barn that are in the same situation you are in, just cover it up well.
Deep breath, its not at all unusual and make silly mistakes when under pressure, some people just cannot handle it or pump too much adrenalin for simple things, it's really pretty common.
Just take the time and take a deep breath, don't try to show off or make it clear you know a lot (which I'm sure you do!) because that just sets you up for failure.
You'll settle in with time! Good luck.
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