Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who was your trainer?

This is a reponse to a blog on the Mugwump Chronicles today.

Who were my trainers?  I compiled a list of important people in my learning.

Anna Sewell, Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry for sure!

My neighbor Marnie who showed in the local H/J circuit and looked at me with horror every time she saw me barreling down the gravel driveway on my barefoot pony with no helmet but who tried to help me learn a little more and think a little more.

Applejack, the best pony a kid could have had.

Alicia who gave me my first job at a barn, introduced me to dressage and kept me out of at least a little bit of trouble in my teens.

Cody, my first OTTB, who taught me so much. We both managed to survive each other and even win at some smaller hunter shows. I wish I could still remember what it felt like to canter on his back. I’m glad I was able to find him such a good forever home when I couldn’t be the one.

Heather Whitney, for understanding that Cody was all I could afford and always trying to help us anyway. I’d had other trainers who I could tell looked down on me for not having the money their other students had. Heather was a friend and never bothered with those politics. She was also an extremely talented horseperson and its been a joy watching her rise to be a BN trainer.

Rhonda Bowerman, for showing me what a finely tuned WP horse looks like and for the showmanship lessons. I finally get what it takes to have a horse with good manners. I’ve heard so many horror stories about WP and paints. Rhonda’s had World Champion APHA horses and I’ve never seen anything but well built, content horses with long, long show careers come from her barn. Her assistant, Beth Wagner, for seeing everything. And for always being willing to teach me new things. I love her patience and her ability to explain what I need to do…and the kid is only 23. Humbling!

Tina Renison for her amazing work with Tax. He’s such a joy to ride these days.

All the family at Butte Star Ranch in Sutter for teaching me about how to sort cows. I got to watch a one rider and dog team sort by themselves. Amazing to get to see a real ranch dog do his job. I should have been born on a big ranch 100 years ago, I swear it.

Fugly Horse of the Day for teaching me to look at the horse world and my role in it, for helping when I got involved in a local abuse issue, and for introducing me to Mugs. Janet for teaching me the importance of respect and fairness in training. Also for giving it to me straight when I needed it and reminding me to ride like Ben. Now if I can just master my timing and feel I’ll be 20 steps ahead of where I was before I started reading this blog.

I’m also enjoying Larry Trocha’s newsletters. He’s really close to me so I’m thinking I might go down to watch one of his cow clinics next summer..

Especially to Grace and December, my girls, for teaching me mares aren’t all bad and helping me get over a lot of my fears, each in their own way.

So, any of my readers want to chime in??