I have rethought my tagging system. Here are the new tags:
- Lessons (the teaching of humans)
- Training (the teaching of horses)
- Rant (the Roxy rants)
I originally wanted to be able to look back on each horse, but it's hard because I'm not consistently training anyone other than Roxy right now. So I feel like 99% of my posts are about her anyway. I think this will help.
When I first started learning gymkhana I rode a fantastic finished horse named Roulette. She was great, she could spin, slide stop, and she ran a great barrel pattern. This horse taught me the pattern, while Roxy was still learning it. I hope other gymkhana riders get the chance to learn like this.
Well, I recently started teaching a 19 year old girl gymkhana. She already knows how to ride, and has a pretty good foundation. She can catch, groom, tack up her own horse, and Dolly loves her, so it works out fantastic. Today I had her trotting the barrel pattern. To be honest, it was pretty sloppy. Dolly runs a really loose messy pattern if you don't really cue her and nail her to get it right. So I let the girl, Jamie, ride Roxy. I told her "Here, why don't you trot it once on Roxy so you can feel what it's like on a finished horse."
Another thing that I love about Jamie, she really understands the horses and picks up on subtleties. I had her trot Roxy a lap in both directions to get the feel, and then I had her approach the barrels. When I say Roxy is not hot, I mean she doesn't bolt, or run through the bit. She is sharp, listens to her cues well, and is very forward. She's hot when you ask for it, but settles down quickly, so I was confident that despite my galloping the pattern previously, she would trot it for Jamie. And Roxy willingly did. They turned the first barrel and Jamie instantly said "Wow!" She could actually FEEL how tight, Roxy was running the pattern. She could tell that Roxy knew it. They turned the second barrel, and it was great again! Heading to the third barrel they bannaned a little, but I think it's Jamie's cue because Dolly was doing it too. I could tell that Jamie really enjoyed Roxy, and it was so fun for me that my horse got to be the teacher.
Here's a photo of Roxy (+ long awful appy hair) and I taking a 6th place ribbon with grace.
Has anyone else had a moment where your horse got to be the teacher? Were you proud? Or were they less of a teacher and more of a tester?