I have been trying to decide whether to post article pages or a blog, and have decided to try the blog format for this teaching aspect of my website. I believe it will allow for easier searching for you, and easier organization for me.
Just who am I? My name is Tina, and I am a 41 year horse addict. I have long been told my first word was "pony", much to my mother's consternation and puzzlement, as she still says she didn't know I even knew what a pony was LOL! If that's the case, I was 3 before I spoke, since that is the age she uses, which I highly doubt, but it makes for a cute story. I have, obviously, been "horse crazy" my whole life. I was a small-city kid, raised in a subdivision in semi-rural southern Michigan. I have been a voracious reader since I was young also, and the two passions combined quite well. As I grew my reading changed from C.W. Anderson, Walter Farley, and Marguerite Henry, and reading Black Beauty so many times I could quote portions of it, to more interest in non-fiction. I read every equine care book I could get my hands on, every dressage book, training book or manual, conformation studies and 'form to function' type books, hoof care...you get the idea. This is maintained to this day. Never stop learning!
Thankfully, I also had some opportunity to put what I read into practice. There was a wonderful couple who would ride their two horses through my subdivision and give kids rides for a quarter. Nowadays it would be too dangerous to do that, but people were not so sue-crazy back then, and had some comprehension of personal responsibility and that animals think and feel just as we do. That fueled my passion in the younger years. By the time I was 8 my father's best friend had a farm, and bought his daughter a dapple gray Arabian gelding, who I was head over heels in love with. They had to have a few other horses for company and the other kids, so anytime we went to visit she and I headed straight for the barn. I learned how to hold on there, as most of the 'other' horses weren't exactly broke! When I was 12 I began English riding lessons, and worked them off at the local barn. When I was 13 I began working for a very small time Thoroughbred racing stable as a part-time groom in training. When I was 19 I headed for Louisville, KY to try to get a job at Churchill Downs. I was strongly cautioned not to do that, as it is located in a rather dangerous section of Louisville once I arrived there, and not too long after found myself instead driving the carriage horses around downtown Louisville on weekend evenings. I loved that, and miss it to this day!
In the spring of 1994 I went to a pet store to get rabbit food for my Netherlands Dwarf bunny, Bugsy. I love rabbits too =) As I was leaving, I saw a flyer by the door, advertising an American Miniature horse show a few weekends later. I HAD to see that! I had not even heard of Miniatures at that time, which is so hard to imagine now! I fell in love with a tiny little black stallion, my very own 29" version of "The Black", and a couple of weeks later I brought home my very first horse-of-my-very-own, Warrior. He would have been there sooner, as we had 2 acres, but there were fences and shelters to build first. Those were two of the longest weeks of my life LOL!
I quickly learned I had A LOT to learn, despite years of reading! Reading and doing are two very different things, and although the first prepares you for the second, there are things you only understand with hands-on experience. I was given much advice...some good, some bad, and some downright dangerous. I have learned much over the years with these wonderful little horses, some of it "the hard way". I would like to spare others those same mistakes as much as possible, both horse and human. I love the little ones so much...there is nothing quite like a Mini that trusts and loves you back. My horses have also taught me many life lessons, and stood by me, sometimes quite literally, through very hard places in my life.
So, there is a bit about me, and a bit about the 'why' for this blog. I will share training tips, breeding and foaling, conformation lessons, history, care, whatever comes. If you have something you'd like me to write on, please leave a comment. All information written in this blog is my life experiences, and therefore classed officially as "anecdotal". I do not intend any of it to be taken as medical or other licensed professional advice, but as a starting point for learning. It is up to you, the reader, to ask your veterinarian or other professional about your specific animals and situations.
I aim to write twice a week, and I hope you read along, join in as you want! Here's to happy little horses!