In my last post I mentioned the one girl at the barn that had supposedly taken dressage lessons in her past. One of the things that has come up in discussions with her is the quality of horses we have ridden.
I have been fortunate in having ridden some really talented horses in my time at some of the different show barns I have worked at. Many of them were showing at the A rated level as well as Regionals, US Nationals and Canadian Nationals. Many of those horses had values in the 5 figure range. Her words- "I have never ridden a horse worth that much. I can't even imagine that."
Now I'm not tying to put her down or anything, because like I said, I feel that I have been fortunate to have had the opportunities in life that I have, even if I had to work for them- which I did. Like many other people, I feel like maybe my life could have or would have been better if only...... fill in the blank here. lol
But one of the things she said the other night really caught me off guard and sort of left me dumbfounded. I had just helped one of the other girls at the barn with her horse. He's fairly new and they've had him about 2 months. Like every horse on the planet, he came with some issues. His issues are very much like the majority of horses with issues, in that they are human caused.
A little backstory on the horse- The previous owner was making recommendations on spurs and choices of bits to use. Her bit suggestion was so the girl would be able to 'handle him better and be able to stop him'. Keep in mind that this horse has run off with the previous owner on several occasions. The new owner had been using a shanked bit with a twisted wire mouthpiece and some gag action to it. In fact just about every bit they own has a twisted wire mouthpiece-> similar to what the previous owner is using on her other horses.
In helping this girl with her horse- the first issue I addressed was the bit. I loaned her a simple D-ring snaffle. The changes were pretty much instant. Her horse relaxed and dropped his head. Then the other night we worked him in long lines. She had only attempted long line work a couple times before and still learning, so I worked her horse for a bit to get him moving like he should.
I have to say, He is one very, VERY fancy moving horse. At one point he had the most beautiful, effortless looking western pleasure jogs I have seen in a long time. It was a very collected, relaxed, ground covering jog that would be easy to sit as you covered the miles. Yeah, that kind of jog! It was absolutely gorgeous folks. This was not long after his owner had said "He has no jog."
So dressage girl notices the horse is a lot, LOT quieter and asks what kind of bit we're using? I tell her it's a simple D-ring snaffle. She gives me a blank stare and asks- "What is that? I don't know what that is." Honestly all I could think was- Haven't you ever opened a catalog?