Barn breakups are bad. Notoriously bad. Most of us have to go through one at least once in our lives. There is drama. Sadness. Bad feelings. When you make the decision to move on from your farrier, your trainer, your barn… it’s just ugly. It’s why I’ve been gone for a bit. I had to fire Trainer Cowboy. I had to fire him as both a farrier and a trainer and we still work at the same barn. Awkward.
But I have to go way back… to last June 2015. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I was given the very great opportunity to buy an absolutely beautiful American Warmblood. Six year old bay gelding, huge pedigree, trained to third level dressage. And broken. Pushed too hard too soon from the get-go. He literally had a mental and physical breakdown and his owner wanted to be rid of him. His owner had paid $30K for him. I did not. In fact it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that people can and will pay that much for a horse. However I had faith that the two of us would be able to move forward together and put our ugly pasts behind us. I’ll give Casey his very own post soon detailing all of his history, but Trainer Cowboy and I had an ongoing disagreement about what bit he should be ridden in and HOW he should be ridden. He told me to stop using my leg aids in my half-halts. To use only my hands. There is NO dressage trainer that would ever utter those words. Clearly he doesn’t understand what a half-halt is. He should read my blog.
My horse. I won. He lost. End of story. Except, of course, it’s not.
Here’s the thing. Our animals, whether they be cats or dogs or horses or alpacas, depend on us. They depend on us to do right by them, to fight for them. Trainer Cowboy clearly believes that he knows more than I do. And in many things he does. And sometimes I know more than Trainer Cowboy. So I brought in another professional for a second opinion. A professional that Trainer Cowboy knew and respected. And that professional said I was right. Awkward.