Hey, everyone! I just stumbled across this wonderful forum tonight and am excited to be a member. I've loved horses for as long as I can remember and have been riding English for many years. I've had my own horse for over four years now, and after much frustration and switching back and forth between bits, halters, etc. and treed saddles, treeless saddles, and bareback, I'm ready to finally get serious.
I have never been taught to ride (or handle on the ground) with the horse's best interest completely in mind, but I have never felt "right" about it either. But I have been blessed with a horse that doesn't let me get away with pushing and pulling her around like I've been taught to do. We have never been able to ride together completely without some sort of complication, and I'm sure it will make a world of difference if I learn to listen better to what she's trying to tell me. We don't have a bad horse-human relationship, and I am always greeted with forward ears and a cheerful whinny, but I don't think that we are completely listening to or respecting each other either.
I'm sure I'll be starting a thread of some sort soon, but I would love some pointers on where to start out (right now is the perfect time too, because the ground is too hard to do much riding, so I'm not tempted!) with groundwork, when the riding can begin and where to start with that, and some favorite riding cavessons. I'm always interested in what everyone's favorite bareback setups are too! Feel free to share any of your favorite helpful links with me; I would appreciate it!
Here's Crayon, my 7 1/2 year-old solid Paint (No, that is not her barn in the background. Teehee.):