Sunday, May 10, 2009

All About Trainer X

TallDarkAndSpotty requested that I talk about me and how I got started in this biz... So I'll try to keep it short and not boring LOL!!!

I've lived in the Seattle are almost my whole life, with a brief stint in Houston, TX. When we moved back here we moved into a nice neighborhood and I met some girls who lived near by who took riding lessons at a local barn. This barn happened to be in the back of another housing development right next to me. So I started going there to watch when I was about really little. Soon, I'd have enough of watching and wanted lessons and my parents said "no way!" Why? Well because I was already in ballet, jazz, basketball, soccer, and softball. LOL! They knew I"d just give up riding or lose interest as I always did. Soon I only played soccer and took ballet. It was time! I knew I couldn't convince them to buy me lessons so I just went to the barn and asked the owners if I could do ANYTHING!, Groom, turn in/out, whatever I just wanted to be with the horses. I did that for a awhile and they offered me lessons in return. Pretty soon though, my remaining activities dwindled away and it was all horses all the time. The barn I worked at was also gracious enough to let me work off show clothes as they had a tack shop they owned as well. I was the luckiest girl in the world!

They soon put me in charge of the "pony from hell" Cheerios was her name and she was evil. She would strike, bite, kick, buck, and was not trained very well at all. She mine and all mine for the riding! I took to her and fell in love instantly, I rode her everyday for hours! I couldn't get enough. I eventually began competing her in all of the "A" rated hunter/jumper shows and the day I retired her from me, was the last day of one of our biggest shows and together we took home Reserve GC!!!

From there the head trainer put me in charge of tuning up all of the barn horses and soon I became the asst. trainer. I was riding and training some of the top hunter/jumpers in the area, every weekend was a show. Life was good, for now. I remember talking to him about me training full time some day and he flat out told me "You're not good enough and you'll never be good enough. You don't have the money it takes nor the talent." Ouch...

I left there shortly after and began training at another facility training their Reg. Quarter horses and Paints. One of which I ended up taking back to my old barn for a show and placed 5th out 21 in a hunter class. It was good enough for me! :) We also went to Worlds a couple times as well.

Soon though I craved my own horse and bought my beloved Raven. I moved to a few other facilities and then settled at one that was looking for a full time head trainer. And that was going to be me! I worked hard for them and proved myself and it didn't take them long to assign me the position. Soon I built MY OWN website, coat with my name, clientele, and reputation. I gave lessons and trained some rank, gnarly horses, but it all paid off.

I eventually had too big of an opertation to stay their so I moved again to my current location which is heavenly! I make sure that I am known in the horse world. Last year I took 4 of my best horses to the first Ride for the Cure ride at another local barn and raised over $500 alone. I am always at the local auction buying horses so I can find them better homes. I am always at local events and support other local reuses as well.

I'd love to find my old trainer and tell him how I'm doing, he'd probably drop over dead. I've competed and trained some high level horses, I've trained some nasty horses and saved them from the dinner table, I've trained kids horses, and family horses for people who were just so in need of some guidance. I encourage people to come out and watch me train as I have nothing to hide and they should know that. Too many trainers love to hide things from their clients. I basically took everything I learned from all the clinics and good trainers that I've trained with and put my own spin on it.

As far as my life, I don't have much of one and I like it that way. My friends are people at the barn and other horse people I know. I do have a wonderful boyfriend who completely understands my passion and dedication to the horses. Sometimes I work part/full time if business is slow. I have a great job that way. I've learned so much about this profession and a lot of hidden truths and lies exposed! You DON'T have to be a millionaire although I'm sure it helps. My parents have always been very supportive and crazy proud of me for what I do and what I've become. *Sigh* This is basically the short version I could talk for hours about this topic and all I've learned and done and I am only 27 years old. Feel free to ask more specific questions if you want :) So that's how I got here although the road was bumpy but, I just kept proving myself and asking. IT all started with a question from a little girl "Do you guys need any help?"


GoLightly said...



Funny how once the horse bug bites, we are forever and ever

For the horses.

CrashedIntoBlack said...

That's the same kinda start I got! Lol. I go to my mom's friend's barn and work there in exchange for lessons/going out on trails, and she's going to let me ride her show horse in dressage shows this year (If I get her other horse perfectly tuned.)

Yay, there's hope for me!

Too bad there are about 0 show barns near me that isn't dressage or hunter >.<

TallDarkAndSpotty said...

Thanks! I've always been haunted by that same mantra of "If I wasn't competing at a high level as a junior rider, how would I ever catch up. I'm not good enough, and I never will be!" Its encouraging to hear you have been so successful in such a short amount of time despite some discouragement along the way!
Starting my horse has been a huge confidence builder, and competing with him as he gets older should be also. I'm just still slowly working towards the goal, and hopefully I'll be in a strong position to market myself when the right opportunity comes up.

The Pale Horseman said...

27? I always thought you spoke with a much higher knowledge. You are wise beyond your years! lol.

That's some story. I love horses, but they are much more a leisure than a lifestyle at the moment. Plus here at the bottom of the UK, there is very little in the way of jobs with horses.

I think I'll just stick to small animals and continue to rescue rats... much less expensive!

kestrel said...

You're an awesome trainer, keep up the good work!
Stories like yours are such great inspiration for students of many disciplines. Too many of the "you couldn't possibly compete with US crowd" would like to keep the field to themselves by scaring off talented youngsters like yourself. Keep on proving them wrong!

kylie said...

Sounds like me....Girl Scouts, ballet (and almost every other kind of dance), basketball, soccer....then we stopped by a barn and asked the question. Same as yours, actually ;) about four and a half years ago now. Lunging, grooming, bathing, "pony from hell" was a seal bay breedstock paint mare known as the "beast" or the "black bitch". Now I have a two year old QH cross filly that I got off a feedlot in Canada (via united pegasus, a pmu/ottb rescue in CA). I've done all of her training (I worked with a WP trainer/AQHA judge for two years) and she's doing amazing....we just started showing and the judges LOVE her and tell me she's going to be amazing.
I use a surcingle and she's usually really good, but she just figured out that using her neck releases the can I get her to use the correct muscles?