Preston and I have not been able to show for about 2 years now. We have had a lot of issues moving to a new state. I had issues finding a good farrier (who trims their feet), and since Preston has a clubby foot, this is really important. We have also had saddle fitting issues. I had a saddle custom made for him when I bought him, but I had used it on so many horses that it became too wide and pressed down on his withers. It was a custom made saddle, so no saddle fitter in the area would touch it.
I subscribe to the theory that if we expect our horses to be athletes, we must be athletes ourselves. Over the years I have done dance, yoga, Pilates, weights, hiking, and biking. I have never been a runner. I have always felt limited by my bad ankles, and I have never enjoyed it. Ten years ago I broke my back getting thrown off a horse, and that gave me further excuse. Even as a kid, having to run the mile for gym, I would stop and walk and was always one of the slowest runners. One of my friends said of me, "if you ever see Collette running, don't ask questions, just run that same way!"
I have been asked to expand on the way I work with young horses, so here it is. If you have anything you would like me to write about, please comment below, or send me a message! I have included a short "recipe" of the ground work I do leading up to the first ride, including the work done in the first ride or two. If you are interested in a blog pertaining to the horse's first few rides after the round pen, please let me know!
After leaving Florida, I went to work for about a month at Royal Palm Farm, for my good friends Andrew and Tiffany Palmer. I met both of them when I started working at Valhalla, and we immediately became friends. Good thing too, because they moved just 2 months after I started working there to start their own farm in Alabama. Andrew has carved out his niche eventing Trakehner stallions. He also helps owners prepare their young stallions for approvals.
I moved to Florida in August 2010 and went to Valhalla farm. My youngest sister, my Mom, and my dog came along. I took a working student position under USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist Erin Brinkman. Her mom, Jean, was the barn owner and also had her gold. Iris Eppinger was the farms other trainer, who is also a USDF gold medal recipient. There was a lot of learning to do! The position did not pay, but it did offer me housing, lessons, and a stall.
This will probably be the hardest post to write. I hate talking about myself! But I think it is important for you to have a little background on me to put my writing into context. I plan to use this blog to share some of what I have learned about horses, riding , dressage, etc. I am by no means an expert! If it means that you know everything there is to know about a subject, then I hope I never become one! I am learning every day, usually directly from the best teacher there is-the horse. I invite discussion and questions!