My Favorite West Virginia Horse Trainer

It never ceases to amaze me the twists and turns life takes when you least expect it. Who would have thought that I would be where I am now? If you had told me two years ago that I’d be living in the West Virginia Panhandle, married to the best natural dressage, natural hunter-jumper, natural horsemanship trainer, and all around incredibly talented wife Kirsten, I’d have laughed at you and gone about my business.

But then, here I am. Now, I’m getting valuable hands-on experience as a natural horseman and learning to ride while learning to teach my horse curiosity, friendliness, and courage. Dolly Madison and I are taking every opportunity to ride in our large grass arena, and are frequent visitors to the pole bending/Saracen head game row where we weave in and out of the poles like champs. That is an amazing feat of horsemanship for a guy with such a late start.

I’m also really blessed to be a part of the turnout board operation. Daily walks amongst the pastures are relaxing and fun, and watching the play of horse politics at feeding time is the source of endless hours of amusement and discussion. I’ve had the opportunity to turn an open field into structured pastures, creating order out of emptiness.

I’ve been gifted with watching new horses arrive unsure and uncertain of themselves and their surroundings, and be completely transformed by the open fields, good grazing, and natural environment we have here in the wv panhandle. And I’ve been blessed by seeing horses riding through farm lanes and trails that have existed since the Civil War, on land granted before the founding of our Country. Our horses graze on the very same grass grazed on by Stuart’s, Jackson’s, and Lee’s horses. How cool is that?

But best of all, is the time I get to spend with Kirsten working with the Horses. They’re a part of our daily lives. So many major operations, the people you speak to are not the person who manages the barn, who stays up all night with the sick horses, or shovels out the barn after the horses. Here, on this farm, we’re it. We’re as close to the animals on a daily basis as possible and horsemanship and horse care is integrated fully into our daily lives. I’ve learned so much in so little time, and she is the best horsemanship teacher I’ve ever met. It’s an honor to board my own horse here, and a privilege to learn from her teaching.

And it’s a privilege to be 15 days older than she is :=) Happy Birthday, my Love!

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