I love watching my horses and riders make progress. It makes my night when someone has an “Ah-ha!” moment, or finds a new skill coming easily, or successfully rides through a demanding exercise. I love when I see the horses getting stronger, more flexible, and more coordinated. It’s each little step along the journey that makes the journey enjoyable, even as we look forward to our destination.
I’ve been working with Maddie since December. In her past, she was a racehorse for a very short time, then did some retraining for dressage and actually showed quite successfully at training level. Then she passed through a variety of owners and did more or less nothing work-wise for a considerable amount of time. I started back with the basics with her, knowing the training was in there somewhere but rusty, and that more than that she would need to develop a level of fitness that would allow her to comfortably do the things she knew how to do. She had also picked up a few bad habits I wanted to work on, like shaking her head when you picked up contact on the reins.
She made wonderful progress in a short amount of time. She’s a quick study with a desire to please and a strong work ethic. When I asked for something new, she would consider the request, attempt to give me what I wanted, and wait for the reward. As soon as she got a “Good girl!”, it was like she added the new skill to her inventory and from there forward she had it. I love the mind in this horse.
Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed working with Maddie, I already have Liam and Cava as well, so I just can’t justify keeping another horse. So with a heavy heart, I made up ads and listed Maddie for sale. Each time someone inquired, I wanted to know as much about them as they wanted to know about her. I wanted her to have the perfect home, with someone who would love and appreciate her. It was very hard, but I kept telling myself that things work out for a reason, and somehow this would too.
At the same time, Sarah is in the process of retiring her wonderful ottb, Jag, and looking for a horse to ride. She loves thoroughbreds, and is a sucker for big bays. She is a calm, confident rider with a solid handle on all the basics and a desire to start working up the levels. One night we decided to have Sarah try a lesson on Maddie, and the two immediately got along together. I couldn’t have been happier! Now they’ve had a few lessons together and are really getting to know eachother and work well as a team. It is fun to see Sarah really enjoying the horse she is riding, and I couldn’t dream of a better fit for Maddie. One thing at a time until Jag settles into retirement, but I took down all my ads as Maddie is shareboarded! Now I get the best of both worlds, watching my horse and rider progress together. Watch for these two at a show near you this summer 🙂