Fri 11/7/2014 10:01 AM
John and Annie,
Just had to share how my year ended up! Thanks to everything I learned from your clinics over the years, I ended up winning National Champion at First level - in the open division against the professional trainers and a class of 22 horses, and Reserve National Champion in Training Level - again in the open division in a class of 25 horses. One of the most fun moments for me was as we were leaving the awards ceremony from winning champion, the trainer that was reserve champion behind us, told me how proud she was of her horse for winning Reserve Champ after only two years under saddle - that is when I let her know my horse had about one year under saddle 😊 We also ended up with the highest median score in the country for half-Arabians for both Training Level and First Level - which shows we had consistently high scores this year.
Now that show season is over, I have been able to spend more time with the 2 and a half year old. Because she is so young, I limit myself to riding her twice a week and keep my time short. But again, because of your training methods, she is already more trained than a lot of horses that have been under saddle for years. She has a stop with “whoa” from the walk and trot - we are just starting to canter now so haven’t worked on that “whoa” yet. Last night I added the rein back as part of the whoa - in only took a couple of times of adding the rein back to get her to do it automatically. She has pivot on the forehand, leg yield at an angle and straight sideways at the walk, leg yield at an angle at the trot, and roll backs at the walk and trot. After a total of less than 20 rides, we hit the trails for the first time and she was relaxed and forward (see attached photo). And no matter how fast we get going around at the trot (since we are just starting to canter haven't don't that at speed yet), she has game over. If you do ask her to rein back with the reins, you only need a couple of ounces of pressure.
I just seem to be so lucky, horse after horse is easy to train. Don’t know how I have managed to avoid all those other horses around me that seem to be so much more difficult to train that make such slow progress…
Thanks for making training horses so much fun for me!