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My name is Megan, owner of four (three of them green) geldings and four crazy dogs. I grew up competing in hunter/jumper and AQHA shows. Now I trail ride and am training a young one to hopefully help me get back into jumping. 

Riding horses has been a way of life starting at two years old. It seems like I was placed on a horse and never looked back. You would think after almost thirty-three years of riding, training, doing farm chores and thousands of miles hauling that I’d have it all figured out. Unfortunately, horses have a way of keeping you humble, for better or for worse. 

Green Horses AKA are We Having Fun Yet?

My plans were not to own three young horses. The one older horse I have, the one I poured blood, sweat, and tears into, had to be retired at the age of 20. Tucker is trained for me to ride him, to jump him, chase cattle on etc. No one has ridden him except for myself and he rides exactly the way I want him to. He has his quirks, but after fifteen years together, I can predict every step he takes. Neither of his took his retirement lightly. Supplements and therapy have kept his arthritis manageable for me to teach my niece to lightly ride him around as she begins her horse career. 

How Much Should You Read into a Horse’s Name?

Desperate me traveled from Kansas City to Wyoming to try out a young paint horse. At the time Rowdy was lightly started with a good foundation. After trying him for thirty minutes, I came home, got my mom and the trailer and headed out to pick up my hopefully next best friend. It’s been almost two years and wow have we had some trying times. Despite the length of time, some days it doesn’t feel like we’ve made training progress. 

A good brain goes a long way, but a smart horse can cause a lot of headaches. Rowdy is aptly named. While he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, and he’s never bucked, Rowdy is disaster prone. If it can happen, it will happen to Rowdy. We took several months off due to a shoulder injury. I took a few weeks off after he fell on top of me one day practicing turns. Every day I check him for bumps, scraped and holes. If something is uncomfortable, he will stand on his back legs to protest. I’ve never owned this many bits in my life, let alone for one horse. I’ve never purchased so many halters either in such a short period of time (he loves popping the crown piece). 

He has started looking for things to spook at when we trail ride, forgetting how cantering works and doing anything to get out of work. It’s made me take a step back and acknowledge that even if he could do something in the past, young horse brains sometimes need a reset. If there’s something he keeps failing to do, clearly, I haven’t set him up successfully. 

We’ve got training to do and wet saddle pads to make. Luckily with the world on fire right now, we have nothing but time to fill these training holes. Stay tuned as we ride this one out. 

Megan Smith
Published on 2020-06-08