One of the first questions I asked a certain horse trainer today on the phone was this ~ "Do you use any magic carrot sticks or those wavy flaggy things or any "popular" methods at all in your training?'
I was met with silence on the other end...
"Because if you do, I really am not interested in that. I just want a good start for a ranch horse. I dont want to ride with gimmick toys. Basic gate opening/closing from the saddle, rocky creek crossings, standing ground tied, be able to look at a cow without running in the other direction, really is what I need to have..."
This time there was no silence ~ "Great! Really, whether training a colt or finishing off an older horse, I use many methods to see exactly what your horse needs in the way of communication and..." she listed a few things that let me know it was now my turn to breathe a sigh of relief.
The really big news in all of this is that I plan to switch to a western seat, and she has a few saddles to try out. I still will have him on the bit though; neck reining can come later. Right now he works off of a d-ring snaffle and thats just fine. But I will need to switch some gear around (braided reins, stuebben bridle to be put away...what should I get now? Anyone? Whats the good stuff that lasts forever with the right care?) I found I can ride anything after jumping, have ridden other friends horses in a Western saddle, and even did a weeklong western pleasure/equitation clinic once (though does there have to be so much leather between my leg and him? yikes, not a good question to ask in public unless you follow with "horses. I am talking about riding horses...")
omgosh. first it was country music, now its come to this. But you know what, my huntseat compadres? Sometimes being versatile is just as wonderful as to winning that red ribbon that you worked really really hard for, knowing next time it could be the blue...And I am actually looking forward to starting a new chapter in my lifelong riding career! So after having this "at the alter" decision, im thinkin' this ~
Darn, this is gonna work out just fine...after a 20 minute phone call and some good references, Ive hired someone who specifically trains for a good Cow Horse, competes in reining, and is a full time all the time horse trainer...So its Ranch Horse 101 at Camp for Baby, and his bus leaves next Monday morning!
and the best part about this?
She has a guffaw-let-it-out laugh just like mine :) He wont even miss me. LOL
"suuuure lady...you can train him, but I be eatin' allll summer long & gettin'big...
your hayfield stubble looks pretty good for me and my 30 or so sibs
from the other side of this range fence..."