Let’s face it, if you’re anything like me it’s pretty likely that you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing with horses. Ok, so maybe that’s a little harsh on myself (I do have some idea now), but the reality is, without my awesome network of good horsey people I think I would be completely lost! And by ‘good horsey people’ I mean the amazing professionals and experts living horses day in and day out.
After a 15 year break from riding, I decided it was time to get back into my passion. I had a good job that paid well, an uneducated view of horse ownership and of course my online friend, Google. I was adamant I wanted to buy a horse RIGHT NOW. What could go wrong! So I answered an ad on Gumtree for a ‘quiet’ Thoroughbred gelding (I can sense all the horsey people here rolling their eyes). And I put the word quiet in inverted commas for a reason. The owner assured me this would be the perfect horse for me (a beginner), heck, she even had an 8 year old girl on him last week!
Off we go for my first ride in 15 years, and thinking back I’m pretty sure the horses name was something deceiving like Cinnamon, and bang! He bolts, taking me straight towards a massive ditch the size of the Grand Canyon and a fence that may as well of been a wooden throne of old, rusty nails! It’s amazing how little I remembered from my childhood riding, like how to stop a bolting horse.
Anyway, with the faint screaming behind me telling me to pull up, it was somewhere between thinking “I’m about to die” or “I’ll never walk again” that I thought it would of been really nice if I actually knew what I was doing.
It wasn’t hard to find a professional and well respected instructor, in fact it only took 1 online search and some Facebook reviews to decide that I wanted lessons from Christine Johnson. A year and a half later and I’m 3 months into horse ownership. AND I still do lessons. I would not be re-training an OTTB without an experienced instructor. Speaking from a near death experience (ok exaggeration, near miss), I can not credit professional advice and instruction enough.. don’t make the same mistake I did! There is always opportunity to learn, and learning from a professional beats Google any old day.
Photo credit; Christine Johnson
This blog is the personal opinion and experience of the author. You should always seek the advice of a professional horse riding instructor or trainer for your own specific situation or circumstance.