An Ode to Our Equine Trainers

Do you remember the  horse that taught you so much?  Maybe he belonged to a friend or neighbor, maybe he was a lesson horse at a barn you went to, or perhaps he was the first horse you ever owned.  These horses, our equine trainers, played a unique role; they set the foundation for who we have become as horse-people. 

They taught us the meaning of respect.  They gently made us responsible for our actions.  They even improved how we communicate.  Through their generosity, these horses endured our clumsy pursuit of balance in the saddle, our requests of them that weren’t clear even to us and countless experiences that are on our ‘first’ list (my first canter, my first jump, my first show).

 They showed us the joy of accomplishment and humbled us just when we needed it.  They started us on a path to learning and our lives wouldn’t be the same without them.

Perhaps you are still enjoying your equine trainer, or maybe your education has surpassed their abilities.   Maybe they have passed onto greener pastures, but you will always remember them for what they brought to your life and how they shaped who you are today.  So this is an ode to those horses who have given us so much and asked for so little in return.  Thank you for all you have done for us.  We are forever in your debt. 

Farewell to Widgy, my equine trainer: May 1982 – June 2010

2 Replies to “An Ode to Our Equine Trainers”

  1. My first horse was 2-1/2 year old quarter horse gelding when I got him back in the early 70’s. He was my trainer even though he was not trained when I got him. I read everything I could find and then put that to work with. I learned what worked and what didn’t. When I was in my late teens I was working as a groom on a local Arabian horse farm. Everything I learned from the trainer I tried on him including driving a buggy. He enjoyed pole bending and pulling a buggy besides trail riding. Once I started having kids, he trained my kids. He was with me until 1992 when I was forced to sell him to a riding school due to a divorce. Rusty Valent is still missed to this day by my daughter and myself.

  2. Awwww, RIP, Widgey. From the dates posted you just recently lost your Equine Trainer. May he/she be now grazing in the pasture just over the Rainbow Bridge.

    My Briahna was born in 1982 also, but she is still with me. She’s a fun, smart little fleabitten grey Arab mare and she has taught me more in our 10 years together than all the other horses I owned or rode. She is patient when she needs me to understand and very impatient when she’s figured I should know it already!! LOL!!! Bri will know when it’s a neighbor child feeding her a treat and take it gently with her lips and not take any fingers in the process. She will let them hang on her legs, not moving because she knows not to step on them.

    But when we go for a trail ride, she lets me know she wants to flag that tail and stretch her legs in a gallop down the trail, but will walk calmly with a younger green horse that needs a little confidence, because she’s “been there, done that” so many times.

    She has been my horse, my friend, my pet, my psychiatrist and my cookie monster. I see each day with her now as a gift, knowing in the not to far away future, she too will be crossing that bridge to pastures that are forever green. I will miss that “Hi Mom!!” whinny, but will remember fondly all the lessons she taught me.

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