Most would think that a 12-year old girl and a two year old horse would not mix very well, but somehow we managed. We took it slow so Stinger’s joints would develop properly and strongly. I also wanted to make sure I was getting things right and developing a bond that I know could withstand anything. I never sent Stinger to a trainer; he never left our barn for any sort of “training” unless we were going to a clinic and learning together. If I had any questions I would call or Facebook message a good friend that had a natural horsemanship background and could answer my questions when I was stuck on something.
Growing with Stinger was the most valuable thing I believe he gave me. Letting me learn with him instead of me just teaching him. The amazing thing about horses is you will never know everything. Most things, when it comes to training at least, have no right or wrong answer. There are good ways and bad ways, but this is all through opinion. So for me, it was a little nerve racking at points. The days I would come in crying just because I felt like I was going to ruin this amazing horse that God had blessed me with, were the days I look back on and cherish the most. Oh… Don’t worry those days are still happening every so often. After a good long talk with my mom I would hit the youtube videos, read any book I could find, and talk to people that had done it before. Sooner or later my question would be answered and Stinger and I would be back on track to reaching our goals.
Through all the trial and errors, Stinger taught me to never give up. Never give up and never give in! I was blessed to have had such a kind first two-year old that never put up too much of a fuss (too much is the key word there…). He taught me that you can’t always be right and everyone makes mistakes, but he also taught me how to fix those things. He taught me patience, perseverance, leadership, trust, and so much more. Not only did he teach me these life skills, but he allowed me to learn new horse skills each and every day. Most of the techniques that are required to train a young horse are things that I had never done before. The countless Youtube videos, John Lyon’s books, Equine Affaire visits, and so much more were invaluable during our training. I believe Stinger taught me what it’s really like to have a drive for something and how to go get it. How to use my resources was a lesson I never thought a horse could teach me, but somehow he did.
Through all the lessons that Stinger taught me I was able to teach him too. Stinger is my forever horse and I could go on about him for days (just ask my boyfriend…), but I’ll stop here for now. I am truly blessed to have such a horse with the heart that Stinger does and I thank God for him every time I swing my leg over his saddle now.
And let me tell ya folks… There is no other feeling in the world then swinging your leg over the horse that you taught. It is an indescribable joy.
The Modern Equestrian