Horse Dreams Come True

I started teaching the Knock’s several years ago.  Their dream was to trail ride as a family.  When we started, they had one young, barely broke, extremely fearful Quarter Horse.  Hardly material for group pleasure ride success!

Stormy the been-there-done-that school horse joined the family.  The flashy but fiery Tommy “followed them home” from a horse sale and left later, much better behaved but still too exuberent to trust to a family trail ride.  Saintly Molly the Mule looked to be the perfect husband horse but a vicious, aggressive tumor took her all too soon.

Through it all, Christa persevered with Ebony, the original QH filly.  Natural horsemanship techniques built her confidence and her skills in both the English and Western disciplines.  Clicker training gave her a “why” (release of pressure, “good girl” and a scritch weren’t motivation enough for her deeply introverted personality).  Christa’s horsemanship and equitation blossomed.  When we realized according to an arbitrary rule that Ebony would need to wear a curb bit and do flying lead changes (neither of which she was ready for) to show in the next Western division, we quickly taught both horse and teenager the basics of hunt seat and jumping and sent them to clean up in the English arena.

Christa and the younger Laura (matched with ever-reliable Stormy) dominated the local show circuit.  Mom Kathy tested and expanded her horsemanship with Tommy  and Molly.  Dad joined in for field trips to horse expos and Parelli Tour Stops, but “Family trail ride” lingered untouched on the goal list.

June joined the family this summer.  Not the perfect pleasure mount, but she and Kathy clicked. Extra training sessions brought her along quickly.  Most importantly, Kathy’s confidence soared.  After all this time supporting her daughters and diligently taking lessons, she had a trustworthy horse “of her own!”

At last, the stage was set for the dream to come true.

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