Looking for the perfect amateur horse to train by yourself can either be a Cinderella story or a total nightmare. Believe me, I’ve seen both. Luckily, even if you end up with a horse who is Mr. Wrong as an amateur horse, you can still have a Cinderella ending.
If your current amateur horse is Mr. Wrong and you are desperate to find Mr. Right, then this story is for you.
It’s a true, not to mention truly heartwarming story, about a horse swap that helped two people, an amateur owner and a professional horse trainer, end up with the perfect horses. Here’s what happened.
The Amateur Horse Nightmare: Allison and Dolly
As soon Allison saw Dolly, a gorgeous young sorrel reining-bred mare, she fell in love. Allison bought Dolly on the spot from the man who had bred her. The man assured Allison that Dolly had just spent 6 months at a reining trainer’s barn, and could do all the right moves Allison would need to show the mare in the “Green as Grass” division. Allison had been showing an 18-year-old gelding in the same division, and was ready for a horse with a little more “oomph” in the ring.
The breeder showed her a video of the trainer showing the mare at a local reining competition. The mare was classy and had huge presence in the show ring. Her spins were smooth and low, plus she won her class. And she was pretty, really pretty.
Allison bought Dolly on the spot and took her home. Her plan was to continue training Dolly and begin showing her within a few months. That’s when the nightmare started. Dolly turned out to be spooky and more than a little fearful of all kinds of things, from tarps to cows. Allison managed to settle Dolly down at home, but the first local show was a train wreck. So much for the perfect amateur horse!
Enter the Professional
Luckily for Allison, the trainer who had trained Dolly was at the same show and had brought a number of his own horses to show and “tune up” before the next major show. This trainer, John, watched Allison and Dolly spook their way around the reining pattern like a runaway freight train, and shook his head. He knew a bad match when he saw one.
After Allison’s less-than-perfect round, John walked up to Allison, smiled, and handed her the reins of a stout 9-year-old gelding. He said, “Why don’t you hop on Jeb and warm him up a bit. If you get along with him, why don’t you go ahead and show him in one of the amateur divisions. I think you’ll feel a bit better on him.” John proceeded to explain that he had trained Dolly, and that she was definitely no amateur horse.
Jeb, on the other hand, had spent his earlier years as ranch horse, but was reining-bred. He had only been in training for four months but had learned quickly and liked to please. Allison was totally bewildered, but certainly willing to try anything after her disastrous last round on Dolly.
After a short warmup, in which Allison actually had to kick Jeb to get him going, she showed him in the lowest amateur division. Jeb performed well, not flawlessly, but well. Together, Allison and Jeb scored high enough to pull a third-place finish. She was thrilled!
The Amateur Horse Swap
That’s when John proposed that he and Allison swap horses with even money across the board. John said that Jeb wasn’t high-caliber enough to be a professional’s reining horse, but was perfect as an amateur horse. On the other hand, John had loved training Dolly, despite her sometimes skittish nature, and felt he would be able to settle her down and show her successfully.
Allison and John did end up swapping horses (after the appropriate vet checks), to the delight of both. It was the perfect solution in an economy where selling horses just isn’t happening much. Dolly, being a Water horse personality type, can still sometimes be skittish, but has settled right back into John’s program. She continues to win with him on board.
Allison and Jeb are doing just as well. It turns out that Jeb is an Earth horse personality type, a type that tries very hard to please as long as there are plenty of treats around. Allison has had to learn how to use spurs, since Jeb’s a little on the lazy side, but she loves his affectionate nature and his “try.”
So the amateur horse horror story, believe it or not, has come through with a Cinderella ending. True story.
The Moral of the Amateur Horse Story
The moral of the story, of course, is that to find the perfect amateur horse you have to look for one that suits your personality and experience. Very few amateur owners can handle the spooky personality of a Water horse, but almost any beginner can work well with an Earth horse.
Click the links below to learn more about picking the perfect amateur horse, test your current horse, or discover more about horse personality typing.
Finding the Perfect Amateur Horse You Can Train on Your Own
Horse Personality Type Test
Horse Personality Type Information
Horse Personality Type Book
Horse Personality Type Ebooks
Horse Personality Type Educational Audios
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