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Horsesdontlie 09-24-2011 03:10 AM

You know its good when it hurts
As in sore muscles that is. This is long but I wanted a happy rant and cookies for anyone who reads all of it.

I have been looking for a trainer for Jake and I to start helping us get past the stage where I have hit a dead end in my 'self' training. But I had the problem of

1. No other trainers other than the BO allowed to teach on facility. (The BO is not at a level to help me.)
2. I don't have a truck to pull my horse trailer to another facility.
3. I can not find a boarding facility that I can afford and has a decent trainer.

Then as I was contemplating my problems as I was driving I turn to look at the stables that I ALWAYS stare at when I pass by. Its a beautiful facility with a large grass field with the cross countryish/show jumping set up. (embankments, ditches, hedge jumps.....ect) I have never heard of anything going on at this facility, but as I passed by I couldn't help but notice the sign that said "Boarding, lessons and training."

This place is practically a driveway before the stables I am at now. I can hand walk there...So I grabbed the number called and scheduled a tester lesson. Which...I ended up canceling because Jake went lame. He is trotting sound on soft ground now, but is more or less on stall rest with short hand walking.

I ended up deciding to try the lesson on a school horse instead. I loved the lesson, it was exactly what I needed, she pointed out that I have a horrible issue of not using my lower leg, at all. I always have distance between my calves and the horses sides. She went to explain that the root of my problems probably started here as I had no real sense of balance. She had me mostly doing a sitting trot and trying to engage the hindquarters at a walk/trot and I failed miserably. She took away my main source of balance, (which is Legs out, grip with knees and arms down) and I could barely keep myself together. :lol:

I also have been reminded why I love riding Jake and how all people who ride school horses are to be respected. The amount of leg and body control it took to get a nice moving trot felt like trying to rub my head, pat my tummy and do calculus at the same time. I was riding a very bouncy, skinny ( is wear there was nothing between my legs) TBred that took advantage of knowing that I wouldn't get after him for being slow (I knew it was my mistake that I couldn't get him to move, so the crop the trainer had me carry went unused....soon as I did it right he would step up into a moving trot....soon as I did it bad he slowed back down to a crawl). I wanted to tell her that I wasn't so inadequate on my own horse, cause she was dumbing things down for me a lot. I guess it will take time for her to learn what I know though.

My legs and stomach feel like they're going to fall off. But I really liked her (out of the other 4-5 trainers i've seen within the last year). She had a huge focus on ground work, rewarding calm but well moving behavior, slow, relaxed warm ups and basics before any jumping. I'm happy to say she sounds very good for Jake and me. =)

She also has George Morris come to the facility once a year for a clinic, I won't be participating this year in november but you bet I'm going to watch and bring a notepad!

Saddlebag 09-24-2011 09:20 AM

I hope you stay with her on the lesson horses for a while. Riding different horses is the best teacher as you learn from each one. The trainer sounds like a great one.

Horsesdontlie 09-24-2011 01:28 PM


Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 1182784)
I hope you stay with her on the lesson horses for a while. Riding different horses is the best teacher as you learn from each one. The trainer sounds like a great one.

I'll be changing it up. Until Jake is sound I will bounce between using the lesson horses and my friends mare. Then once he is, I will probably bounce between school horses and Jake. I really do want the experience of multiple horses, both horses I'm used to (Friend's mare and Jake) are very forward horses, and are sensitive to cues. Get one that needs it perfectly asked and I need a few tries.

DuffyDuck 09-28-2011 07:25 AM

Really good that you've found a trainer that works for you!
Sometimes its hard finding the right one right price, and right situation, but stick at it, I'm sure you'll learn loads :)

RedTree 09-28-2011 07:46 AM

That's awesome :D
I'm still looking for that perfect trainer for me, no one really seems to be in my area, and it would be to hard to travel for lessons.
Congrats but :D

blue eyed pony 09-28-2011 08:22 AM

I was where you are, OP. No coach (or rather, a coach who I didn't really understand/agree with), inhibiting my progress. It's so amazing when you find the right coach and you just GET something, or they really get up you about riding properly. I have pram hands and my coach is ALWAYS telling me "coffee mugs!" which means hold your hands like you're carrying two mugs of coffee, they have to be very still and no turning in/down or you spill your cuppa! S is also always up at me about getting Monty in deep to fences because he and I both like to take the long spot, but of course the long spot means more rails down and a flat jump! But we're getting there now and I find my position is so much more consistent when I can get Monty in deep.

But yeah, I was stuck with no contact, taking the long spot EVERY time, terrible hands... and when I tried to take a contact I would have WAY too much weight in the reins and my hands would just be fighting him. Now, I can go no contact, light contact or firm contact, getting in nice and deep nearly every time, and my hands are much better. Transitions off my seat, both upwards and downwards, without having to use leg or rein. My lazy horse is much more forward and actually happy to give me a decent working trot instead of it being a struggle.

A good coach makes ALL the difference.

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