Friday, June 08, 2007

New Lessons

With a New Instructor
Gabriel on the right with a Florida rider and her trainer in Hong Kong. Gabriel was acting as groom.

The new trainer is Gabriel Meyer. Not who I thought he might be, but a good replacement.

He has his USDF bronze and silver medals and was hoping to earn his gold, but the Grand Prix horse he was going to compete died suddenly. He as extensive experience training young horses and lots of International training behind him. He is coached by Cindy Ashoy of Canada.

He has trained horses to FEI, but not yet Grand Prix, although he has trained many of the movements. He seems very unassuming and down to earth, which I like and, I must admit, I am in total agreement with the principles he teaches.

I watched him teach a lesson to a beginning dressage rider on a nervous Andalusion mare and liked what I saw. When he was done we had a chat and drove over to the indoor arena where Pat is trying to set up the lessons so I could take a lesson on Tucker.

I am a bit perplexed with Tucker, not the lesson. For some reason, he was tossing his head and fighting the bit, something he has never done before--at least not with the consistency of last night. I am suspicious that something physical is bothering him, but I can't figure out what. It's too darn hot to ride tonight, but if I can get on him either tomorrow--I have an event and a wedding to attend--or Sunday and he is still fretting, I will call my vet. It is very out of character for him to be that unsteady.

On the plus side, Gabriel is an excellent teacher. What as really ironic is that much of what he said was expressing what I consider to be the correct "feel" the horse should give in almost the identical language I have used to explain it to riders myself. When I asked him to explain what he meant by "light" he actually began to send someone out to get a whip so he could show me how the horse was supposed to go. It stopped him and said he didn't need to show me as I had used the exact same tool myself to show people I was teaching years ago. Freaky....

At any rate, the basic principle was getting the horse to correctly step to the outside rein. When Tucker felt good to me, Gabriel was saying he was correct, so in essence, his concepts and principles so far match mine to a tee.

In between the strange head flips, Tucker was really nice, so I was pleased with the results of the lesson. The plan is to set up a clinic and bring in the local riders who are interested in finding a trainer. We'll go from there. Right now, I will be delighted to take lessons with him. If he can get us to progress at the pace Tucker is capable of, that's more than I can ever want.

Meanwhile, we will try to figure out what's going on with Chris, my other trainer. He hasn't been in contact with any of us for over a month. I don't know if he has given up on trying to make it worth his while to come down, or if there is another issue.

It is hotter than hot here today--well over 90 degrees. I am not even going to attempt to ride. The Boys are all in the barn with their fans blowing on them so they are fine.

And the tree is gone. My tree service took it away today.

It's weird, but the yard looks strange without it. Funny how you can used to something like that so fast.


  1. glad the obstruction went. and glad you've found a trainer. you'll have thought about teeth. could tucker have bitten himself? got a flybite somewhere unhelpful?

  2. Tucker's teeth were done within the last month, so it's unlikely that's the problem. I will give him a good go over probably tomorrow as today is filling up rapidly.

    Flybite, tickbite, bang or bruise. Anything like that might have made the bridle uncomfortable. I totally agree with you one that.