Wednesday, April 3, 2024

What a Calm Horse

Last year, my trainer, Regina, said that if you train your horse right, you should be able to put it away for the winter and start back in spring right where you left off. 

I was skeptical, but I trust and, therefore, believed her. When you think about it, it’s not much different than “what you release is what you teach.”

Yesterday, I took Tumbleweed back to the equestrian park. It was a beautiful day, 71 degrees and sunny. Lots of green grass. 

(The neighbor’s place below, on our walk)

The park was full of fresh horses and riders. Mares being silly. Geldings being distracted. In fact, I ran into many of my friends heading out for trail rides, and they all told me that their horses were full of it.  

Sarah, the trainer who started Tumbleweed, gave me that sage piece of advice in his 3 year old year. I asked her how I would know he was ready to ride. She said, when you have his full attention. If you don’t have his attention, don’t get on. 

Simple, right?

I spent the first 30 minutes doing just that. If he looked at the other horses, and he did, or if he whinnied for them, and he did, I would send him out. When he gave me his full attention, he rested. When I had his attention, I got on and rode. 

Guess what? Regina was right. Tweed took right off where we left it last November. My friend rode along with us and she just couldn’t say enough good about him. That’s a good looking horse you have there, Linda! Look how calm he is! 

Yay, Tumbleweed! 

We stood talking for a little bit and Tweed wanted to tune into her gelding, but I redirected him, and he settled right down. I told her that for right now, I want him to know it’s about him and me only.  When he’s in saddle, he doesn’t have to worry about other horses because he’s safe with me. 

He didn’t really have that concept down last year, but he does now. 

It’s going to be a fun year with Tumbleweed, and we’re off to a great start. I have to get him shod when I get back from a trip we’re taking mid-April, and I have lessons scheduled with Regina to further develop his, and my, trail skills as a team. Team is the keyword. 

I hope that by mid-May, early June, we are on the trails full time with a rock solid foundation and partnership. If we have that, we can do anything. 

Wish us luck!


  1. I'm so happy for you that your dream of raising a colt to suit you and be your partner is coming true. I'm so glad you chose him! It does take a few years to get them there, but you two are well on your way. Good job!

    1. His sire, my beloved Beamer, is like that. I could not ride him for a year and go for a ride on him and he was just as good as the last time I stepped off him. He loved getting out and seeing new sights. He was always eager to go, and on the way home slowed his steps down as if to make the ride last longer. I wish he was still able to hit the trails.

    2. That’s wonderful about Beamer. I experienced it with Cowboy, too, but that didn’t come for many years. He would walk right past the trailer and want to go back out. Tweed didn’t want to leave the park yesterday. He stood at the trailer and looked at me like, Do we have to go home? There have been big changes in him this year! It will be exciting to see how we progress and learn to trust each other.

  2. Awesome!! I think it is a rare young horse that can start where they left off after a long break. You are so tuned into and good at building trusting relationships with your horses. A solid foundation is priceless. You did/do all the right things. Good breeding, training, quality care, consistency with trust. Super happy for you! You are going to have so much fun living life together with Tumbleweed. Well deserved. Let the trail adventures begin!!

    1. Thank you. We have definitely taken the slow road, but I really wanted to let him mature and not push him too far, too fast. Too many of my friends have had serious injuries on the trails. It’s a risk we take, but I have to have that feeling of partnership before I accept the risk. Until then, I’m perfectly happy with our baby steps.

      It is so different this year, but I can’t pinpoint which of the many changes led to that difference. Time and natural maturity? The loss of the other two geldings? Taking the bubble wrap off? Being the only gelding in a seriously cranky mare herd? Ha! All of the above?

  3. That’s wonderful. You have worked so hard to build this partnership and it’s paying off.

    1. Thank you. So far, so good! The partnership is off to a great start this year. Tumbleweed seems ready for it, and just more grown up. He had a baby personality for a long time, but he seems much more in control of himself and his body this year.

    2. Speaking of which, I had a friend share an article a few years ago that argued for starting them no younger than 5. I read it after I had already started Tweed at 2. 😂

    3. 5 seems a bit much. In my opinion, what is important is how they are started and how much work is expected. For me, 5 is when we get more serious.


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