I am helping my trainer in the search for a 3’6″ eq/hunter in the Alpharetta, Ga area (willing to travel some) for lease for the year. The horse must be at least 16.2.
Being in college makes meeting my goals a bit difficult, but I am striving to do the best that I can. Our biggest goal is to get my horse’s flatwork stronger, so that he is more responsive on course. While Corey hates flatwork and would much rather jump, everythin we do on the flat will help me out on course. The biggest challenge is coming up with exercises that keep him busy that accomplish our goal of getting him back on his haunches and being more responsive off of my leg aids. In addition to the flatwork, we have some grid exercises planned, which we will slowly decrease the distance between jumps to get him more comfortable from the deep spots (which is quite difficult, if you jam him too quickly in a bounce, he will jump it as an oxer).
Since I ride a lot of projects for my trainer, I am constantly striving to make them better horses to suit her needs. I recently accomplished a long-term goal of getting one of my favorite projects ready to be used occasionally as a school horse when she needs him.
Outside of riding, I plan on working out more to strengthen my core and increase my overall fitness level so that I am better prepared come summertime when I am riding several horses in a day.
Since I have not been able to show now that I am in college, my goals are for personal improvement, rather than victory in the show ring, but to me, that’s always been what riding is about. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of making a horse better than it was when I started working with it, so I will continue to work towards that for 2013.
I am thankful for my wonderful horse Corey who has taught as much as I’ve taught him over the last 4.5 years. Though he started out green, we’ve both learned a lot over the years and I owe him for being the rider that I’ve become. I’ve learned more about how to train a green horse than any trainer could ever teach me. It’s been a learning process for the both of us, but I can proudly say that we’ve accomplished a lot together. He’s my best friend and he’s always been there as a shoulder to cry on whenever I need it.
I am thankful for my trainer, Kelly Bates, for helping me through all of the struggles Corey and I have faced over the years. When we moved to her 3.5 years ago, we had been ditched by our old trainer who moved to Florida without warning. When the assistant who was still in town threatened my horse, who he was already afraid of, she moved up the date she was supposed to pick him to the next morning. We were a mess when she got us after all the nonsense we endured with our old trainer, but she never gave up on us and spent a lot of one-on-one time working with me to help fix my horse who loved life who no longer wanted anything to do with jumping after some horrible experiences. Not only has she helped me make Corey the horse that he’s become, she’s been incredibly supportive of my riding career. She has given me opportunities to work with her sale horses and her projects that none of my previous trainers ever thought of giving the kid whose parents couldn’t afford to give me the fanciest horses or pay to show every weekend.
I am thankful for my barn friends. When I first came to my current barn, they were all very welcoming. It was a bit intimidating, being the new kid and everyone knew my name and stayed around to watch my first lesson, but now they are family. Coming from a barn where I felt like an outsider to the girls who had owned their horses for years when I had just been a lesson kid, this was a welcome change. While we are all very competitive against one another, we are always super supportive of each and every rider at the barn. If I don’t win, one of my barn-mates better be the person with the ribbon above mine. We congratulate one another on good rounds, we dust each other off after falls.
I am thankful for my parents, who have stuck by me all these years, even with all the complaining I get every time they see a bill. I am thankful for JMR for the experiences it’s given me. For the relationships with the judges and members alike that I would’ve otherwise never had the opportunity to meet. I am thankful for all the old trainers I’ve had, the good and the bad. Each one helped get me to this point. I am thankful for all the horses I’ve ridden over the years. From the ones at the fair, to the ones at camp, to the crazy draws I’ve gotten at IEA, to my lease Santana, who I could never forget, to the horses I currently have the pleasure of riding, to the ones that I will ride in the future. Each and every one has something special to teach me and I remember fondly the ones that have past and look forward to the ones to come.