Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Confidence Booster

Quite by accident, I came across a horse for sale that sounded interesting, so I called the seller. The seller, whom I'll call Sir Cowboy, is a professional team roper/cowboy/trainer. Sir Cowboy trains roping horses, gives roping lessons to people as well as teaches beginning riding lessons to children and adults. He suggested I come to his ranch and take some lessons and he'd put me on this horse he has for sale.

I've taken 2 riding lessons on this roping horse and he's been a big confidence booster for me. On my 2nd lesson, I loped for the first time in 25 years. It was wonderful!

I wish this were the horse for me, but I'm trying to be wise about this next purchase. He's 15 years old and has been a performance horse. He has a big knot on his knee; looks like it might be a capped knee, but I don't have much experience with equine knee issues. He's been perfectly sound when I've ridden him. He moves nicely and is comfortable to ride. But the knee worries me and I'm afraid it will become a problem down the road. The protrusion on his knee joint feels hard, like it must be calcified, and that worries me. So I guess I'll keep looking. My farrier advised me to "ride 10, buy 1". I really have to ride 9 more horses before I recognize the right one? This is harder than finding a husband.

I think I can learn a lot from Sir Cowboy, so I will continue taking lessons from him. He is a traditional cowboy - encouraging, yet firm and won't put up with any weakness. Here are some words of wisdom Sir Cowboy has spoken during our lessons:

"I know you got hurt recently, but if you want to ride, you gotta dig down deep and be brave. You gotta control your motor (as he taps on his chest over his heart)."

"There is no such thing as 'pleasure riding'. Riding is work and if you aren't riding, then you are just hanging on."

"You are training your horse every time you ride. You keep training him until you bury him."

During lesson #2 when Sir Cowboy told me he was going to have me lope, my eyes got big and I said, "Ohhhhh, but...." He stopped me and said, "I don't want to hear that. I told you you've got to be brave...or get a bicycle."

I look forward to more lessons with Sir Cowboy. He pushes me and corrects my riding, but he also tells me when I'm doing everything right.


  1. Im sure you already know this, but heres a reminder for all of us lol (esp. me!)

    ~if I am tempted to buy any horse, then I should have him vet-checked for soundness, and over-all health before I make an offer~

    I always try to think of it as kind of like taking a used vehicle to an educated mechanic to look it over before I buy...for a small fee most reputable large animal vets will do a pre-purchase exam, and for even a larger fee lol they will do radiographs of their legs. It might seem like money wasted if I dont end up purchasing, but I know saving the worry, emotions and $$health cost in the long run saves me even more though! And i know if someone doesnt even want me to have a vet out to do a pre purchase exam on their horse for sale, then I RUN the other way..(or is it canter for you now? :)

    Sounds like in the meanwhile you are having a blast !

  2. Oh yes FeralWoman, I will definitely get a vet check on any horse I want to buy. Very wise reminder. Unfortunately, the knee on this one makes me not want to even get to the point of considering a vet check. I think my vet would tell me to run away as soon as he got his hands on that knee. I will keep looking for one without obvious problems...and then let my vet reveal the hidden secrets.

    Yes...having a blast and stretching outside of my comfort level, which is good for me.

  3. Sounds like you're having fun - which is the most important thing!

  4. Sounds like a great trainer for you! Just make sure that you feel comfortable with whatever he wants you to do. My trainer is not as direct when pushing me, but that works well for me. It is all what you feel comfortable with.

    I agree with taking your time when looking for a horse. When the right one comes along, you'll know.

  5. Sounds like a kind-hearted cowboy, who knows his horses. The roping horse may not be your forever horse, nothing wrong with loving and learning from him. Enjoy!

    Wise advice from your farrier, take your time. It will be well worth it in the long run.

  6. Oh, I just love those quotes. His personality really comes through in your post. I have to agree with his philosophy. I think you were fortunate to meet him and have this experience.

  7. Good Luck Once Upon. You can do it!

  8. I loved the quotes too! Good job on the loping, that's just awesome. We'd all hate to see you have to get a bike ;)

  9. Sir Cowboy sounds like he is doing just what you need right now. Good for you loping.

  10. Thanks All. I took my 3rd lesson on Misty and will be taking her back for lesson #4. We will go a little slower with Misty since she is not a seasoned horse like the roping horse. In fact Sir Cowboy made me get off of her when I got freaked out over a flock of geese...cuz I couldn't "control my motor." Another one of his quotes "Your emotions control their emotions."

    A good one just got away. Someone pointed me to a nice, gentle, healthy 16 year old gelding for sale. I called the seller last night. Was going to see the horse at Noon today, but it sold to the first person who looked at it at 10am. Rats. The good ones get snatched up quickly.

  11. Boy, your cowby sounds just like Dave. I'm getting my first lesson from him tomorrow.

    LOL about harder to find a horse than a husband! So true!

    And you are right. The good ones get snapped up - even in this economy.

  12. Have a great lesson Breathe. I look forward to hearing about it.

  13. Hi Once Upon! I'm so happy you are taking lessons on Misty and WITH Sir Cowboy!

    I'm really happy you are enjoying the lessons!

  14. Sir Cowboy is AWSUM!!! Is he your new guru? I feel like adopting him as MY own personal guru for heaven sake!!! I am glad you found your way to him. My horse guy Bill is a lot like that. He helps me find my way to unity with horse, heart and throws some good lessons in there too. He is an old paratrooper and while he understands fear, he is always showing me how to set it aside and push on.

  15. Sounds like you found yourself a great instructor - as evidenced by the quotes you posted. I would be uneasy about the knee too; I think (and what do I know?) it was a smart move to pass on the palomino. Don't worry, your match is out there somewhere - you'll find him/her when you're meant to :o)

  16. Sir Cowboy sounds like the one, Once Upon! I love his quotes and his attitude about your emotions. I also like that he had you get off until you felt calmer. Sometimes rider's emotions escalate until it is too late. Getting off is a way to stop the momentum! I can't wait to read more about your lessons with him.