When I tell people I am taking lessons, I usually get one of two responses. My non-horse friends ask "but don't you train and teach now?" while my horse friends are usually excited for me and understand that working with horses is an endless learning process. For me, gaining knowledge from my peers and sometimes competitors can only make me a better trainer and competitor. Humans enjoy learning. We all benefit from the different aspects of being with horses.
Driving our family horse or pony down the road was a skill introduced to me in my teens and one that carried over until my adulthood. Combined driving is still relatively new to me. A couple years ago fate stepped in when I met Sue Rogers. I forget the exact chain of events, but she recommended that I ride one of her ponies that was in driving training. From that point on, I knew I would someday be taking lessons from Sue.
This year's resolution was to make sure I made enough time for Watson and me so we might advance out of the back yard! There have been many steps on our journey to becoming a competition pair. The first step on this endeavor was the most difficult. Selling my beloved Zenon would free up time for me to devote to Watson. Zenon has been with me his entire life, born on the original Dobush Farm in Western New York.
Zenon has so much to offer and he found the woman who would benefit from him the most. Their relationship is great and I have never had a moment of regret. That doesn't mean I don't miss him.
This winter I honed in on our health and fitness and advancing our learning. Watson and I get out on the road together at least three times a week covering anywhere from 3 to 7 miles under saddle. I jog about 16 miles a week and do light work outs.
Every other Friday, I truck Watson up to Sue Rogers for a driving lesson. Besides the "lesson" aspect of it, I also have learned that Watson isn't scared or even distracted by the snow sliding off the roof of the indoor! This is mighty impressive. Secondly, Watson has ridden in the trailer more times in the past two months than he has his entire life. The frost heaves are popping out of the road now and it really takes some patience to drive the truck and trailer. This has been a great experience with much more to follow!