I am very excited to have found this site. My name is Heather and I just moved to Oregon from Arizona, and before that West Virginia, and before that Pennsylvania!
I have a 16 year old Thoroughbred gelding named Steimee that I have had since he was 2, so we have really grown up together. My whole life I have been a hunter/jumper, this includes not only Steimee but the welsh pony and quarter horse I had growing up. I think for a long time I didn't even know other riding styles existed. Since moving away from home, Steimee has come with me up to Oregon and this is the first time I have him all on my own, without help from my mom and my sister. He has definitely been keeping me busy, but I love seeing him after a long day at work.
Recently, Steimee had begun being very unruly on the jump course, so much so that decided to make a huge change and start trying some dressage, so he could try to relax more and enjoy our time together. I'm not sure what happened that caused the stress on the jump course, but the last thing I wanted to do was stress him out, so I was willing to change how I rode in order to help him. We started taking some dressage lessons from a classical trained dressage coach near our barn. They went really well, but I found that I just didn't connect with the trainer and she also kept telling me to buy more equipment, bits, fancy dressage saddles, different boots, a new bridle, etc, which I really didn't have the money or need for, since I have no intention of showing.
I spent the rest of the year just practicing skills on my own and looking up training online, but we got bored pretty easily on what to work on, since I have been working with him on flat skills for about 14 years now. I am really looking to start over, however, and just work on the bond that the two of us have. I want him to be able to trust me and I want to have a happy, humane, and effective relationship. I believe that AND is the great place to work on that. I haven been reading through a lot of the step 1 topics and am excited to try them out tonight.
Steimee can sometimes be a bit stubborn and has more strength and energy than he know what to do with. I am a big nervous about trying to ride him without a bridle, but I hope that we can work up to it and really do well!