About Me

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I've been riding for 12 years, training for 8, instructing for 7. I've almost always had 'my own' horse, though Sage is the first one I've ever owned myself. The others were all either leases or training jobs. Sage has been a completely new experience for me, forcing me to learn just as much as I have to teach. I love her to pieces <3 Besides riding, I also ski semi-competitively, write, model, and love photography. I also used to act and teach clinics on outdoor survival. Right now I'm working as a Carpenter's Assistant doing finishing carpentry, but am not sure if I would like to apprentice and get my ticket in that, or make horses my full-time career, rather than just my passion.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sorry guys, this is gonna be a long one...

So, with my baby girl lame at the moment, I figured this slight lull in our training would make a good opporunity to actually start writing the blog I've been planning to track our progress!

Sage's ad was the first one I looked at to start my horse search. She was my favorite breed (Arabian X Paint), my favorite color (grey and white pinto), and within my age, height, and price range (6 years old, 15.2 hands high).

When I went to test ride her, I hadn't ridden in two years, and she hadn't been ridden in three. Gong show though it was, her owner encouraged me to spend more and more time with her (she'd already turned down 10 other potential buyers because they just 'weren't right' for Sage,) and I more than happily obliged. Our first month together was spent entirely building trust and bonding. This largely consisted of riding bareback for the majority of the time (if you don't trust your horse when you're bareback, you're pretty much screwed!). By my second visit, she was following me around like a puppy dog =) She also started to teach me things of her own, like just how intutitive and loving a horse can be. If I went to ride her on a day when I was less than content with life, she wouldn't move from the moment I got on her back. If I gave up trying to get her forward, and decided to trust her judgement and get off, she would follow me to the ends of the earth and back, making goofy faces and nuzzling me all the way until I cracked a smile. At that point, and only then, would I be allowed to get on and ride.

Sage was also almost dangerously hoof shy when I first met her. I spent a lot of time when I was out at the barn just rubbing, stroking, and handling her feet and legs without picking out her hooves or really doing anything other than touching them. By my third visit out, she would pick up her feet automatically for me when I bent down to pick them out. Now, with her hock ripped open (she got caught in a fence that was taken down during a movie shooting, and then was not re-constructed properly), she's also been getting used to water around her legs, and having assorted ointments smeared all over them every day (and believe me, this took some MAJOR getting used to). One thing that certainly made treating her wound easier though was the day we found out that half the reason she would freak out over it was because I always had someone else hold her! If I hold her, and treat her hoof at the same time, she's just as fine as any other green horse is in that situation, and sometimes will even stand perfectly still with her head down beside mine, just curiously watching to see what exactly I am doing to her. I'm still the only person who can get within three feet of her legs or hooves without her world ending.

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