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Phantom Legacy 01-12-2011 07:08 PM

Equine Education - Taking my horse with me
 
You guys may remember me posting something before about taking courses to become a horse trainer. Well I have decided to forgo the online attempt, as I realized that it just wasn't going to work for my situation. Then one of you mentioned Meredith Manor, and a couple of other places as well.

For my situation and interests, I have decided that Meredith Manor is the best choice for me. I will be attending the school starting November 28th and working toward a Western Riding/Training Major with emphasis on Reining.

You may also remember my Appaloosa filly I have posted on here named Lera. Due to having the horses on our own property now, and not having access to proper facilities, I found myself unable to work with a horse who had very little training whatsoever. I regrettably had to try and sell her. I received three offers, but when everything with this school was figured out, we decided it would be best to take her with me, and then I could keep her.

I am just wondering if you guys think she would do well as a Western horse. She seems built more for English, and bred for it as well. Her sire has a ROM in Suitability for Dressage, and is a Reserve Grand Champion in Hunter in Hand. On the other end of the spectrum, her grand sire is DreamFinder, a legendary Halter horse.

I am interested in Dressage, but I want to do Western, and I'm about 99% certain that she has to be trained in the same discipline I'm taking up. Since I'll be working with her it only makes sense. On top of that, what would I do with a dressage horse that I had no idea how to ride? ;P

I don't have great pictures for conformation purposes, but what does it take for a horse to be decent in gaming events? I know she is built more like a Thoroughbred, so she's pretty lean and would be better suited for WP if anything. Just looking for opinions is all, and that includes on Meredith Manor. If you like the school, that's great, but if you don't please don't say it is a crap school and not give a good reason. There is no best school. All schools are better than one another in a specific area. That's just how it works, and I had to choose what was best for me and my situation.

Thank you in advance. :)

Here are some pictures of Lera that you may or may not have already seen. (I wish I could get better ones or at least more recent, but this dang snow is a pain. She has filled out quite a bit.) I want to get a video when the snow clears.

http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/u...n/DSCF1106.png
http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/u...n/DSCF1113.png
http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/u...n/DSCF1093.png
This is the most recent picture.
http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/u...n/DSCF1294.png

I understand this isn't much to go on, but any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Romantic Lyric 01-12-2011 08:29 PM

I'm not going to be all that helpful. Sorry. I just wanted to say that I think her coloring is gorgeous - and I'm not even that color crazy or a fan of Appaloosas.

As for her suitability, she does look a bit more "englishy" because of her lean build and leggy legs. Most of the reiners I've seen have a very different build than her, but I'd definitely take someone who does western more seriously's opinion more seriously than mine.

Phantom Legacy 01-12-2011 09:36 PM

It's okay. I don't mind compliments on her. :)

Yeah, I'm a Western rider because that's all I've ever done. I've always wanted to try English, but I'm just going to stick to what I know for now.
I know most reiners are short and well muscled with powerful hindquarters. That just isn't my girl here. She could still do Western Pleasure, but I would absolutely love seeing her in dressage.

Gizmo 01-12-2011 09:56 PM

She is really lean and has gorgeous long legs on her. I see her as an english horse than western though. I don't think she would be good at reining because they really need a good butt for that and she doesn't, plus her legs in the back are higher, usually a reining horse is lower in the back. Possibly barrels or pole bending? Gaming stuff. She is lean, usually horses that look like her are quick. I would try her at it before you decide anything though, she may hate it. I know some horses that are really built for western gaming and stuff but absolutely hate it, they would rather do ring work.

Phantom Legacy 01-12-2011 10:01 PM

Yeah, that's my opinion too. She is definitely more English. It just sucks that I'm not. lol

LikeWoah 01-12-2011 10:08 PM

Shes not built for reining, not really much for western pleasure ethier.. Thats NOT saying she couldn't do it. I could see gaming more than anything else when it comes to western, but thats just me..

How tall is she and how old is she?

My reining horses are short and powerful, have a natural lead change, mine seem to all be slighty downhill but thats not saying thats the way they need to be.

IF shes not as tall as i seem to be thinking she looks, and shes fairly young, my thoughts could change a bit.

Also, did you vist the school? How'd you like it????

Phantom Legacy 01-12-2011 10:22 PM

Yeah, I know she's not built for reining at all, that's just what I'm going to specialize in. Most successful reining horses that I've seen are slightly downhill. It works to their advantage. I would like to try my stallion on reining, but he's not exactly built for it either. He's a QH with a halter type build, but has short and upright pasterns, so I don't use him for anything real strenuous.

As for Lera, my appy, she is going to be four years old in June and I'm not certain of her height at this moment, but she will definitely be at least 16hh when fully matured. Most all of the horses in her pedigree are.

I didn't get a chance to visit. We had everything planned and then got smacked in the face with a snow storm. So this is all site unseen. I'm going to make plans to go here soon though, and hopefully the weather cooperates. I'll get pictures and as much information as I can.

LikeWoah 01-12-2011 10:43 PM

Shes young enough to still grow into herself a good bit then.. my latest reining mare looked alot like yours at her age, and then all of the sudden filled in lol, although mine is a hand shorter..

and let me know how it goes, i've always been interested in that school!

Phantom Legacy 01-12-2011 10:46 PM

Yeah, I don't think she'll make a good reining horse, but we'll just have to see how things go down there. What's good is that she'll get training, as of right now she has no training at all...for anything. We're lucky she let us lead her when we first got her.

I'll be sure to post all the information I get on MM. It really seems like a great place, and I've heard many good things about it from people who have gone.

Phantom Legacy 01-13-2011 04:56 PM

Well I talked to Melissa, the adviser for an hour and a half about several different things. She is a very nice person. I found out a lot of new information that really makes me feel a lot better about all of this.

First, I told her about my decision to take Lera and she agreed that it was a good idea to bring her instead of Smoke at this time. She also told me that I can keep her there the entire time I'm down there, or I can get her to where I want her to be and then I can switch and bring Smoke down in her place if I choose to.
One thing that really made me happy is that Lera does not have to be trained in the same discipline that I'm taking up. So after the initial training period and everything, I'm going to get the opinions of the trainers down there to see what she would be best at. I would really like to put her in dressage, so that's most likely what I'm going to do.
Also, I don't have to stick to Western. She said that I can do a little bit of English riding or Dressage here and there to see how I like it, even though I'm still majoring in Western. She said they encourage their reiners and rodeo students to do a little bit of English because it improves their seat and posture. At the end of each 12 week period I can decide to continue in Western or I could switch to Dressage or Jumping if I so chose. If I wanted to, I could do the first quarter in Western, the second in Dressage, and the third in Jumping. The only downfall is that I won't really get the advanced training in any of those, so I can't specialize in them. Either way, she said I may start out in Western and decide that English is where I want to go and I can spend the rest of my time doing English.
Also, she said that it is a good idea to have Lera available for other students to work with instead of just myself. It will give her much more experience, turn out time, and just a lot more attention. With her nervous issues, it will help to get her used to working with more than just one person. It's also cheaper. Board is $200 a month and includes everything but vet bills and medications, which usually isn't a problem unless an injury occurs. All horses are required to have their shots and everything prepared before they get there, so that isn't really a big problem. She said they don't worm, but I am welcome to worm my horse if I would like. The reason they don't is because they do regular fecal exams and everything, but we didn't really get into that. She just said I'm welcome to if I want.
We talked so much about so many different things. Some didn't even apply to the school, it was just about my horses and my experiences and her opinion. It felt more like having a conversation with a typical horse person than talking to someone who was only interested in recruiting you to their school. It's a perfect setting for people like me who cannot handle a normal college experience. Another thing that I actually like is how the place is set up. It is not a super fancy school, which I think is great. A lot of the other colleges I looked at had less time in the saddle on fewer horses, and the college was really pretty and nice. Yeah aesthetics are nice to have, but you're paying about three times as much and it's just for the aesthetics. I would rather get a real, dirty, horse training experience than to go somewhere where everything is perfect so when you get out of there that is what you are used to and what you expect, which in reality just doesn't happen overnight. Horses are dirty, messy, and a lot of hard work. All the cleaning in the world isn't going to change that, and I would have it no other way. I am super excited about this, and I'm already talking with my parents to figure out a good day to go down and visit.


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