The Iberian Experience

February 9, 2010

The First Lesson

Filed under: Uncategorized — iberianexperience @ 3:32 am

As most of you can imagine I quickly found myself in the “what now” stage of this ordeal.  Sure I could put a halter on her, walk her around and even brush her off, but that was about it. And all of these activities I executed with a fair amount of nervousness.  After all, this was a horse who was completely untrained!

Awkward suspicion basically sums up my movement around her. I had been on, around and at times under horses for fourteen years, yet to look at me with DoubleShot one would see nothing other than a novice.  Something my trainer must have noticed when she offered me this piece of advice “she’s young and clueless, but she’s not stupid and she’s not mean.”  That helped, but nothing thoroughly broke my mental barrier more than time, endless hours of time spent with her that all began with our first lesson.

One filly (rather large I might add) one round-pin and one uneasy lady.  I do not believe I have ever seen that much motion in that confined of a space in the entirety of my horse life. Forwards, backwards, sideways and frequently straight up were all directions DoubleShot took full advantage of.

The goal for this primal lesson: to get her attention.  A Baby step to be sure and an agenda that seemed lackluster and easy at first compared to the challenge of water jumps, time limits and extended trots I was used to conquering a few years back.

But this was different, this horse was different, I was different. Eventually the filly paused for a brief moment, undoubtedly to catch her breath and my trainer took advantage of this time, opened the gate and said “ok, go on in”.

Sure, I’ll go on in… no problem, except that my stomach is in my throat.  Walking towards her, however, was phenomenal.  People say that they feel small when they stand on top of a mountain, or lose themselves inside a forest, well; this was my moment to feel small.  

It’s an unfortunate side effect of our motorized society, but most of us never experience the wonder of being close to a “wild” animal. Brute power, basic instincts and boundless unpredictability all stood at stared at me.  This was the fastest and perhaps purest lesson in respect I have ever learned.

But almost unknowingly, the lesson was over… the goal accomplished. For a moment, even if that moment was evanescently brief, I had her attention.  Something that created quite the dichotomous feeling; relief that I had become her focus, but outrageously intimidated that I was in fact just that.



  1. I love yoooour blog Ms. Iberian sport horse blogger and fellow wordpress appreciater. I love wordpress too or at least better than blogspot. Of course I would love for you to see the house. Not until she is a beauty again. She is just big and ugly now. I want to meet your sport horse. What a dream come true to own her/him.

    Comment by fallsnowtimothy — February 9, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

  2. Heidi: I am not fallsnowtimothy–etc. I am her mother. I just never know how I get on these sites BUT congratulations on the horse. If that dressage pix is her, she is a beauty. Glad you are back to your love. I’ll keep up and enjoy your life from a far. Hope you two are doing well. sharon swint

    Comment by fallsnowtimothy — February 15, 2010 @ 12:37 am

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