Jerry & Winston......very important friends in Lalga's life!
I suppose one of the exceptions is my first horse that I purchased in January. He was severely face beaten by the woman that owned him and she owns a riding school in Connecticut. I paid a ton of money for him but don't care. In 6 months of humane training this habitual biter, kicker, pawer, head tosser and refuser to give up his hoofs has calmed down to a nice pet. He's still antsy and I figure it will take another 6 months to finish his training off. I can't undo in a few months what she did in 21. He's always been trouble for his owners as he had 5 in the past 6 years. Spent the first four years of his life in N. Dakota. I'll send you some photos if you want.
Last month even though I've never done a horse show and never saw one other than 1 hour in May at a schooling show, had no idea as to what the horse's show record was, we did two shows. We entered hunt seat equitation and in 6 classes won 6 ribbons. One was a championship walk trot and we found ourselves in a three way tie for first place. The tie breaker was a figure 8 and after the three of us did it, to a thunderous applause that almost tore the house down, Winston the Wonder Appaloosa was awarded champion, with me on board. We were by far the most inexperienced team on the field. I've been riding only for 3 months and had no idea what he was going to be like. We also had no barn to sponsor us, no trainers, no instructors or anything of the sort. We did the whole thing from start to finish by ourselves.
After the awards ceremony I was confronted by the mother of the girl that got third place and she told me her daughter was balling her eyes out in their trailer. She congragulated me and was thrilled I beat her daughter. She was sick and tired of hearing the "I'm holier that God" attitude her daughther had adopted and was double thrilled that a man beat her. I was the only male that competed that day. We exchanged pleasntires and she went about her way.
What I did not tell her that shortly before, her daughter was not the only one crying in a trailer. I went into mine with Winston outside devouring a large bowl of horse biscuits and as I changed my clothes I looked at the big blue ribbon and a yellow one (we got a third in another class too) and cried my eyes out. What these ribbons meant is the humane and loving methods of training work. We had been lied to, deceived, misinformed, and almost short of being robbed by owners, trainers, instructors and the likes. I fired them all in March and decided to go it alone. Got a bunch of training tapes made by Greg Best and Sally Swift and put into practice what they said about flat work. Also got books by George Morris, Frank Madden and Anna Mullins. Well, it all worked and the ribbons were the ice breaker. Two weeks later we did a regional horse show in central Massachusetts, entered four classes and amist a huge thunder, lightning and rain storm won 4 ribbons.
In view of what type of environment Winston came from in January and how he performed at the two shows, he has been nominated for a Presidential Citation with the New England Trail Rider Association and it is expected to be handed down in a month or so. All this on the horse that was deemed impossible, stupid and dumb by his 5 prior owners. June proved it was them that those words describe.
Due to what he has taught me about horses, people and life in general Winston the Wonder Appaloosa was officially nick named The Professor on the 17 June. When you think of it, they are all professors of life. It is up to us to attend class and listen.