Showing posts with label trainers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trainers. Show all posts

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Barn Hunting Woes

Finding a new place to board is always difficult for me. I don't know why, maybe it's just intimidating. Or maybe I'm just scared of putting my horses in a less than stellar situation. I'm also a little terrified of ending up in a barn full of dramatic dressage divas (also known as DDDs). I've been incredibly lucky in avoiding that in Albuquerque and Phoenix. The jumper barn I was at in Parker (Denver) was also fantastic.

We will be living in Aurora. See the problem?

With us getting ready to move back to Denver in just over a month, I figured that I better start getting the boarding situation figured out now. I've had trainers recommended, but none are close enough to me.

I think my requirements are pretty realistic?

1. A trainer or allowed to bring a trainer in. I'm pretty independent and don't need to be babysat, but I obviously want/need to continue my education.

2. Stalls w/ runs, paddocks w/ shed, or large turnouts. I HATE for my horses to just sit in a stall all day. I don't care if it's show season, I prefer for them to live outside as much as possible.

3. Good footing.

4. Good/safe stalls and fencing.

5. A trainer or barn manager that doesn't tolerate, and ESPECIALLY doesn't join in on, barn drama bullshit. My dressage horses are my escape, I mostly just want to be left alone or be around laid back people. #noassholes

6. A cross country course or large jumping arena (a place to go gallop). Even I get bored out of my mind being stuck in a dressage arena all of the time.

7. Knowledgeable, experienced staff.

8. Covered or indoor arena. Because I'm a huge wimp when it comes to extreme weather, plus it rains a lot in Denver.

9. Good ventilation and light if they are kept in stalls most of the day.

10. Must be within thirty minutes of us. I don't have enough time to drive further than that on an almost daily basis.

With those requirements, I have about four different options.

A. Fancy Horse Park

•Great facilities with about everything you could ever hope for.
•Home to several large shows (showing Indy at the home court would be very, very nice AKA I might actually not die).
•Did I mention it would damn near be perfect?
•About a twenty minute drive from the track.

•Cost- It would cost me about $800 more a month than I'm paying now to keep both horses there. I can do a lot of things with that money (a show a month for both horses, 8-16 lessons depending on the trainer, a couple of clinics with both horses, etc.)
•They only have one dressage trainer and about five H/J trainers. This may or may not be a good thing.
•The price might give the fiancĂ© a heart attack.
•The chances of being surrounded by high maintence DDDs increases immensely.

B. The Jumper Barn

• This place takes phenomenal care of the horses
•Offers a multiple horse discount
•I really liked the jumper trainer and have absolutely no problem taking lessons from him again
•Jumper trainer already knows Indy (he warned me when she was three that she was going to take a lot more time and patience than most horses #rightontarget).
•Great facility with all the amenities, stalls w/ runs, and turn out time in huge pastures.
•The board is more expensive, but it covers everything from grain and supplements (they have an awesome feed program) to turn out to two lessons a month.
•Zero risk of DDDs.

• I'm afraid that this place will make me want to convert to jumpers. The temptation is real.
•If I do find the time to show, I won't have a trainer there to coach me.

C. The barn I took a lesson at last year.

• I really liked the trainer.
• A super awesome lady that I know from home boards and rides there.


•The facility is also a horse rescue, which is great for the horses being rescued. However, rescue horses coming in means a large increase in the chances of diseases also coming in. It would be bad enough to have Winn and Indy get sick, but I can't risk our entire livelyhood by taking the chance that I could bring something from there back to the track.
•They have a lot of kid camps. I don't mind a few kids at the barn here and there, but when you get about thirty of those little buggers in one area, they turn into crazy gremlins running running around like a bunch of crackheads. I prefer serenity whenever possible.
•I don't necessarily love the facilities and the BM's wife chasing/running her horse around a hundred miles in the arena next to where I was taking a lesson didn't impress me. Beefs handled it fairly well, but Indy would probably plant my ass if that happened.

D. Barn that seems great, but I don't actually know much about.

•The facility looks functional and nice.
•Only twenty minutes away from the track.
•Dressage trainer and eventing trainer based there.

•I don't know anything about the place or trainer or who to ask about it.

Anyway, I'm thinking B and D are my best options right now. If anyone has any info about trainers in the Aurora/Parker, CO area please let me know.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Judge not...

I've always said that you can learn something from anyone when it comes to riding (or horsemanship in general), whether it is what to do or what not to do. I didn't truly understand the depth of it until I became older and matured a little. The truth is, from my teens to my mid-twenties I had the mentality that I was right and the majority of people were wrong (obviously there were still a lot of trainers and clinicians that I had a lot of respect for). I was cocky and arrogant. Riding came so easily to me that I had no tolerance for people who just couldn't figure it out. I was told how talented I was quite often and I believed it. The things they were doing wrong would seriously annoy the hell out of me. I'd wonder how they could try and fail so miserably over and over again without giving up. Why did they keep going?

Then life happened. I got older. I hurt my neck. The work at the racetrack started to take a toll. I began to hurt everywhere and was completely drained. Constantly. Riding was no longer so easy for me. I almost gave up, thinking that I will never be as good as I should be. For about three years, I got very little accomplished when it came to riding and that frustrated me even more. There were a few spurts where I would be all into it and then I just wouldn't be anymore. The frustration was an evil voice nagging that I just couldn't do it, I would never be any good. I should just throw in the towel.

I began to have a new respect for the people that I could never understand before. In the time I was having my little pity party, they advanced. Some more than others, but they all improved. I didn't. What didn't come naturally was made up for with determination, education, and consistency. I began to understand that talent was nothing without the attributes that these people possessed. They had heart. Excuses didn't come out of their mouths. These riders kept at it for all of the right reasons: the love and challenge of the sport. At the end of the day, that trumps everything.

Over time, the riders that I was so busy being annoyed at in my youth became my inspiration. If they could do it, then I could too by following their example. Riding isn't as easy for me anymore, but that doesn't mean I can't get where I want to go. Even if I fail, at least I won't look back and have regrets. It won't be because I gave up.

With that revelation, I see and hear the younger me all over the place through other people. Do this, do that people! Why can't you do this or that? Here, I will write a post on a blog or some social media site to complain about how ridiculous and annoying it is when someone doesn't/can't do this or that. Or I'll just talk very loudly about the mistakes that so many riders make hoping you will overhear and get it. Maybe if I rant and rave enough it will get through your thick skull. Ugh! This drives me crazy, that drives me crazy.

My question is: Why? Why do we even care (with the exception of someone doing something so detrimental that it's bordering on abuse)? How is it that we find someone else's mistakes so offensive? What entitles us to suddenly become a person's instructor or judge so easily? Does how someone else rides affect our own riding? No, so what's the problem? Wouldn't our time be better spent worrying about our own education towards advancement?

Now, I realize in the horse world that there are wars between people. Jealousy, fights, rivalry, etc. contribute to the nasty comments and judging. I'm not talking about those situations. What I'm referring to is when we get so upset over a person's riding when they have never done anything to us or we don't even know them. What is it that we truly find so intolerable? Why do we feel the need to profess our own expertise so badly?

I can see a professional having the right to express their opinion, but the truly good ones don't usually concern themselves with someone's skills unless they are paid to. They don't feel a need to prove their expertise or put others below them. They are where they are and they are confident in that.

Food for thought.

Monday, June 23, 2014

VCMBH: The Simple Life

Other than money, what would make your horse life simpler?

Pretty much my entire life is horses, so I'll refer to my dressage life since thay is my hobby instead of my job. I think that more than anything, living a normal life with a normal job would make my dressage life easier. How ironic that my horse related job makes riding much more complicated. You're probably thinking I'm insane and wondering how that's possible.

Moving three times a year is a pain as far as trainers go. My most consistent trainer is JL in Albuquerque. The problem with this is that I'm only there two to three months out of the year. I'm comfortable riding with JL and I have complete faith in his knowledge. His barn isn't full of a bunch of bitchy dressage queens, just nice ones. His wife also trains and they have both been absolutely wonderful to me. Finding another situation like that seems difficult and I sometimes just don't even feel like bothering to find a trainer in the other cities I temporarily reside in. I did board Indy at a jumping facility in Denver last year, and really liked the trainer there. However, he's not going to want to have to come help me at a dressage show.

JL riding my RPSI Stallion, Windtalker.

Another problem is finding a boarding facility that takes good care of the horses, has a decent facility to ride in, and that I can afford to board two to three horses at. Preferably one with a trainer.

Lastly, it's hard to plan anything. We are never sure exactly when or how many horses we're going to have in. Trying to plan something more than four or five days ahead of time gets pretty tricky. There aren't many clinics or shows that you can sign up for only four days out.

Basically, having a life with a consistent schedule and not moving every few months would definitely make my dressage life easier.

That being said, I love my job and I am very lucky to work with horses all day. I wouldn't change it.

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