We have all been watching the news late at night and some story comes on about some mother or father that, duct taped their child to a bed or beat them or even or some other wackiness that is out there these days. Any human being is allowed the freedom to reproduce whether they have any buisness raising another human or not. But truth is most parents are good, hard working, well intending people. Doing the best they can with what they have and know. They love their children and want the best for them. Even the best people have raised some loser children. When you have a baby they don't send you home with an owners manual. You aren't given lessons on how to raise a healthy, well adjusted child. You are sent home with a human life in your hands and it is pretty much learn on the fly. So in all reality no matter how prepared you think you are and how many books you have read or how good your intentions your first child is just a guinea pig. Though you are at a great advantage if you taught by example in your life. When it comes down to it the first one, you don't have a clue, though you can read books, ask people for advice and even have some fantastic role models but at the end of the day it is you who is responsible for making every decision and you are equally responsible for the consequences.
Likewise any old idiot can own a horse. Here is one video that proves that fact.
.Any old idiot can own a horse and there are those that are cruel and evil people. But alot or dare I say most horse owners are good well intending people that love horses and just want to have them a part of their lives. But for one reason or another it is not too long before they have a disaster on thier hands. They may want the best for their horse. They may try their hardest but if they aren't educated correctly or have ever had hands on experience the whole situation can go south quickly.
Thankfully in my up bringing I had instilled in me proper basic horsemanship and horse ownership. but even still diving head first into an entirely new dicipline as a re-riding adult put a whole new element to the situation. Then add onto that that I had never personally trained a horse from square one. I had worked with problem horses and even successfully in some cases. But training from ground up I had never done. One big thing I have learned and practice on a regular basis is that good horseownership does not mean you have all the right answers or do all the right things but it is having the wsidom that when you don't know the answer to a problem when you need to go and find some help. It is more about being willing to be taught than it is to be perfectly educated and already know 'everything'. You need to be teachable, flexible, patient with your horse and yourself and above all you need to trust your gut.
Trusting my gut was probably the hardest thing for me to do. It is hard when you are with a trainer who is suppossed to know more than you to stand up for your horse and stand your ground but I now know it is essential to trust that feeling in my gut and to never feel bad for standing up for my horse. After all he gives me everthing he has it is the least I can do.
So like my first child was somewhat of a guinea pig in my parenting abilities so also was Steady my guinea pig in my abilities as a horse trainer. Thankfully he too has been a patient and forgiving horse because I have made many mistakes and too many time not trusted my gut. We have grown together and I couldn't have asked for a better horse to deal with me and my mistakes.
All that to say that I again am planning to try my hand at training a horse from the ground up. This time it will be with a young untrained haflinger. I don't know if any of my early readers remember Lily the haffy my dad bought from a friend of mine. I know the life this baby has had and I am very grateful for that. She came to me as a completely untrained 2 year old. The previous owners had not done any training with her but had turned her into a sweet and friendly horse. I had her for nearly a year and got her first halter broke, then taught her to lunge, by the time she was almost 3 I had ridden her undersaddle about 3 times only to give her the ground work for saddling and riding. I was very proud of the progress she had made and what a calm level headed horse she had turned out to be. I then had to give her to may dad because I could not justify paying to feed a horse that I didn't need any more. Since then I have been saddened at the idea of all the potential this little mare had and that I feared would be completely wasted.
During a recent trip to my parents I decided to see what Lily remembered. It had been a year since anyone had done anything except feed the mare. So I would have been happy if I were able to get on with out her throwing a fit. I not only got on but also rode her around my parent property that was buzzing with business that day. We went within 30 ft of a roaring bonfire with about 20 ft flames. She was confronted with nearly 10 children running up to her, a few were riding razor scooters all around us one had a large ball that he thew and it proceeded to roll, hit her in the legs and her response was to put her head down and try to pick up the ball with her teeth. We then rode around the patrures where her herd mates of 4 high strunk thoroughbreds raced and galloped wildly past us over and over again. She had just one moment of 'shit I am going back to the barn' spin when confronted with the raging bonfire. I quickly got her turned back and moving forward with little issue. When the horses were galloping that mad she was a little 'up' but was easily held back and we just walked. We went through woods where she had to step over logs and branches and where I had to lay on her neck to avoid branches. Needless to say she exceeded my expectations and handled all of it in such good minded strides. I then gave about an hours worth of pony rides on her with not a bad step. We were walking around my brother in laws back yard with all those children I spoke of earlier running around and jumping on the trampoline. She amazed me and I was so proud of her.
That started my mind and heart once again saddened that this little ponies potential will never be attained hanging out in the pasture at my dads house the rest of her life. So I have come to the decision that Lily will be coming to our farm next spring! I have great plans for her. I plan to start her under saddle and have hopes that by next fall she will be my daughters pony club pony. With my end goal having her competing in eventing and with in the next year or two have her as my daughters event pony!! I am excited about all of the training and experience I will giving her. I see next summer/fall season me taking both Lily and Steady to a few a events. And best of all lucky for Lily I got out alot of my big mistakes out on Steady so she has that much better of a future ahead of her!