Welcome to the Barn - 2
By trade, I am a professional human trainer. For the last 22 years I have taught U.S. Army soldiers as well as civilians, first as an officer in the Army, then as a private contractor for the a couple of defense contractors. I also trained employees at two civilian corporations as well, in the use of their computer systems and student loan regulations. In between all of that, my passion for horses and everything equine has always been foremost in my mind.
My earliest memory of horses was not such a good one. As a wee lad of 5 years old, I recall my father lifting me onto the saddle of our big black mare, Old Mare, right in front of my oldest brother. There wasn't much room for me, and I ended up painfully "aware" of the saddle horn as we rode! Needless to say, I was not thrilled with this riding thing for a while after that. My father did buy me a Shetland pony a few years later, and although he was a good companion, he had his own ideas about riding. Usually, not at all! At least I was close to the ground when he bucked me off! (Almost every time!) What did my father say each time? "Get back on that horse boy, and ride!" I did. And I got thrown again. Time and time again. Dad just kept making me get back in the saddle, no matter how much I hurt or was upset. I am glad he did. I kept at it and that Shetland pony and I finally found a happy medium for a few years.
The beast that I now have, many of you have already heard of. Bob the WonderBeast I call him, or just plain Bob for short. He is a 16 hands Appendix gelding, half Quarter Horse and half TB, who used to belong to the U.S. Army Re-enactment Cavalry Platoon at Fort Hood, Texas. He is a dark bay with a big US brand on his left shoulder. I bought him when he was 8 and he is now 19. A grand old man who usually still acts as if he were still eight! I call him the WonderBeast because you always have to wonder what he is going to do next! But I wouldn't have him any other way! An interesting thing about Bob. If he does buck, he will only buck one time that whole day. He might buck again tomorrow or he might wait until next month or longer before he bucks again. You can take it to the bank that if he does buck with you, that's it for that day and you can count on a great ride! What a personality!
Enough about me, what I want to know is what do Y'ALL want to know! One of the most often asked questions when you endeavor to do what we are about to do is, "What is the difference between English and Western riding?" With this newest edition to the New Rider web page, I hope to show that there are both differences and similarities between English and Western riding, and to provide an appreciation and basic understanding of how to ride western. Here is my first cut at topic ideas that we will be talking about over the next few weeks, and the order in which I think they should logically appear. These include:
I may change the order and I certainly hope to add more topics. That's the initial plan, but what do you want to hear about? If there are Western topics not listed here that you would like to see, send me an email at email@example.com and we will try and get them in for you. Or just let me know what you think about things in general with regards to my attempt at bringing a bit of Western flare to the English countryside (and beyond!). That's it for now. See y'all around the barn! And don't forget to 'Take a deep seat and a far away look; screw your hat down tight and nod the chute' and RIDE! Happy Trails!