A lot of changing life circumstances have put me in an unenviable position! One was losing my perfect school master, another was horse shopping in a difficult market, and the third was moving away from my trainer and “horse community” just as I acquired a new horse.
At first the third part seemed like it had a silver lining. My new horse and trainer turned out not to get along (though she picked him!) and I was quickly losing confidence in their relationship. Every training ride, I seemed to get back a different horse (in a bad way). I loved my trainer, but our relationship was a lot different when I had a goldie oldie I never needed her to get on. If I hadn’t moved, I probably would have needed to leave anyway.
When I moved, it was all really fast and I didn’t immediately put the horse in a program. I have not been cantering, certainly not jumping. Mostly I would say I have been spending all this time maintaining where the horse was, and maybe settling him down somewhat because by the time I left my trainer, he was wound up so tight you couldn’t get on without someone holding him. He’s at least better about that now but is still green and needs a training program.
So now I’m at the point where I really want to get him in a program with somebody and eventually take real lessons. I checked a few barns out, audited lessons, and got really excited about one option. But now I’m second-guessing that decision. The program is small. I met two other riders, only really talked to one. I’ve probably spent 4 hours in total talking to the trainer. It’s not a show barn, more of a colt starting place, but that’s the level I think the horse needs now that I know him better. Unfortunately it also means there’s not a lot of video, not a lot of “made” horses I can see from this trainer, basically not a lot of information to go on that this is the right fit or this person is who she says she is.
I feel like I was very naive in my relationship with my previous trainer. Now I am having a deja vu feeling that I am lining myself up for another “trust fall” exercise, and it is quite the act of faith to believe this new trainer will catch me.
I do love the horse and really believe we are a match with the right guidance, but I am worried I’m making the wrong choice. Even if other people sing the trainer’s praises, I’ve now realized that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work out for my horse. But if I don’t have at least that to go on, it just feels like such a shot in the dark! It’s very stressful to have a green horse and know its education depends on you making good choices.