Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Not in a Program

The past few days, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be in a program.
You see, for all that I am going through with Boca, I am pretty much flying blind.
Although I have been around horses in one capacity or another for most of my life,
I was always a lesson student, a leasee, or an employee.
Now I am a horse owner, and I am responsible for making choices regarding diet, turnout, tack, treatment, etc. on my own, for the first time.
On one hand, I like educating myself and making decisions I feel comfortable with.
On the other hand, when I am chasing the underlying causes for an unwanted behavior, I am forced to rely on the kindness of strangers, and not decades of my own past experience.
Bonus points if you know where this quote comes from.
Admittedly, my few forays into being in a program with a trainer did not go well.
But right now, I am at a point that I feel like I am trying to beg, borrow, and steal information, opinions and resources from others. I admit to a small voice inside that wishes I had the framework of a program to rely on to set Boca and I up for success.
I look at those who are in good programs, with trainers that set them and their horses up for success, and I think if I ever had that opportunity and could afford it, I would jump at the chance.
For now, I will muddle through on my own, getting education and experience as best I can, and trying to make good decisions with the means that I have.


  1. -hugs- IMHO a lot of being in a good program is luck to find the right match. I've been in ... very bad programs before and I think that's way worse than going at it on your own.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head. I have been in two 'not right for me' programs since my return to riding, which is why I am currently going it alone.

      In one, I was in actual physical danger. In the second, it was very much about 'having the right things' in terms of pricey brand name stuff.

  2. I'm a firm believer of a program, koolaid and all. Some people can do it on their own successfully, but I'm not one of them.

  3. Sometimes you gotta do what works - whether it's being in a program or not. For the most part, I think being in a program benefits the majority of people, but I think finding a good one isn't as easy as it seems. Also, it's expensive. I've been doing my best taking lessons as often as possible for the past year or so and is love to do more and be in a real program, but I've got to do what works for me right now and what works for me is what k can afford...

  4. I think you know best for your horse. And a little can go a long, reprimanding, and just a nice pat saying good boy!

    A street car named desire.

  5. leasing my mare has been my first foray into working with a horse outside of the tutelage of a regular trainer and we honestly didn't start seeing real progress into i got her into a weekly lesson routine with a trainer off property.

    but there's also a middle ground. just having a go-to trainer (even if it's just for sporadic lessons) can be helpful when you need the advice of a trusted professional. in any case good luck!

  6. Blanche Dubois said that in 'A Streetcar Named Desire.' :)

    I live where getting regular lessons is darn near impossible, let alone a program. It forces you to grow and learn and figure out. It's not easy but you will end up being a much better horse person.

  7. I'm not "in a program" so much right now. I'm boarding at a VERY laid back barn where I take 1-2 lessons a month. To me, eyes on the ground are absolutely invaluable. I'm not financially willing and able to move to a fancier barn and lesson all the time, but that's also not really part of my goals. I do have relationships with several very good trainers and I go to them as needed when I get stuck with my horse.