My greatest fear has always existed deep in the back of mind. I never knew the exact words for it until about four months ago. I didn’t really want to post about this (and I clearly haven't until today) but I’m having a bit of a brave moment today I guess.
Memba little Henry at his trot pole show?!
I had mentioned to Coach D about breaking my nose and the trouble I was having with Henry back in June. I reached out to her for some extra help with Henry (outside of my lessons with ST, just for extra input and ideas). I suggested maybe arranging to haul him to her barn during the week instead of doing my school horse lesson.
For a little background - she has only given me one lesson on Henry (he was a bareback saint) and there was a point in time when she was somewhat interested in buying him. That didn’t work out for a number of reasons. I’ve taken lessons at her barn with school horses on and off for the past two years. I have taken a few lessons with her and Apollo at my barn but the scheduling was very tricky (I kind of need lessons to be on the weekends and she has very busy weekends).
She told me that I needed to have this new natural horsemanship trainer/cowboy-type come and ride Henry. That he would work through his issues. I was hesitant because of budget constraints and due to my recently horrible experience with RK (another natural horsemanship/cowboy-type). I said I would keep the NH’s trainer number but wasn’t quite there yet.
She sent this in a text to me (and I am paraphrasing some of this as I deleted the text):
“……Once a horse learns to buck he will never forget. You need to have NH trainer work with him. Henry is such a nice horse, it would be a shame if you ruined him.”
And I felt like someone punched me. But now I had the words. My worst fear is “ruining” my horses.
I was pretty upset about it at first. I discussed it a bit with my husband and he thought it sounded like she probably was just worried about my safety (now and in future – fair point), and that I shouldn’t take it too personally.
I continued to take lessons from her with school horses for a few more weeks but eventually decided due to some shift changes at my part-time job that I didn’t have time for school horse lessons anymore. I never responded to that portion of her text, I just re-directed to other topics and have not approached her again for further help with Henry.
Coach D is a wonderful human (who I am currently financing Mystic’s new saddle through) and I don’t think she intended to hurt my feelings. I think she said what a lot of people have probably thought.
But I would like to take a moment to respond to the idea of “ruining” my horse. A fear that I too have worried about. I am a greenish ammy with limited financial resources. I am riding green horses (mainly without saddles) and trying not to die.
That’s the only rebuttal I currently have. There are so many other things I want to say. I want to cite examples of riding green as grass baby horses with no saddles. I want to post photos of myself riding Mystic all over countryside bareback. But really I am living my rebuttal to anyone (even myself sometimes) who thinks I’m “ruining” my horses - because I am not quitting. I am determined to improve as a rider and am not going to give up.