The public nature of this blog requires a huge amount of consideration of other people’s perceptions. Frequently, for the sake of brevity, I simplify stories that if explained in their entirety would read more like novels. This was troubling to me when writing the blog “You had to See this One Coming...” about my true love, Nickel (Wango Tango). There have been so many people in my life (and Nickel’s) that have made such profound differences that it would be impossible to credit them all in one blog. To attempt it would be ludicrous. I offer the disclaimer that if you are one of these people, know that I appreciate you more than you know and your time will come to be heralded in my blog! Keep reading!
That said, Nickel would not be the confident, capable horse he is today without the love and training bestowed upon him by my friend Sherry Rafter. Again, in the sake of keeping things short, I will oversimplify the story. After a year in a wheelchair, due to a fall from a three year-old, I was not the best candidate to start the young horse I bought while recuperating, (brilliant, I know). In between retiring her FEI horse and waiting on a horse too young to break, Sherry stepped in and started the young, feisty, Nickel for me. She is the type of rider that always has time to brush, pick hooves and feed lots of sugar. She treated Nickel like her own and for that I will always be grateful.
I could go on and on, because in addition to her dignified friendship with Nickel she did a stellar job starting him. His scores will testify to her correct training and he is a joy to work with today because of it. Because this blog is linked to my website, Tango Dressage, I should make an attempt at an educational point in my homage to Sherry.
Anyone considering purchasing a young horse must understand that the quality of the training of a young horse dictates the quality of life the horse will lead. A horse started poorly will be sold over and over and never receive the love and appreciation he would if he was handled more capably in his youth. Likewise, a horse handled well and treated with respect learns to trust and bond with people. A horse trained without a cohesive program becomes confused and resistant to work. A horse started with correct fundamentals finds his job enjoyable and rewarding. It is the correct kind of training that has made Nickel the horse he is today. Sherry, for this I thank you, and Nickel thanks you too.