Putting Taiji to the Test
Putting Taiji to the Test! . I felt that if I was going to coach others, I needed a test to prove to myself that my training methods could work. I new my methods worked for preparing a horse for a bridleless exhibition, but I wanted to validate that I could start a baby from scratch and prepare them for a major hunter competition. My mom and I discussed it. Together, we decided that I would purchase two youngsters, never handled by my family and train and prepare them for the International Hunter Futurity. The International Hunter Futurity is one of the highest paying young hunter competitions in the country. I selected this competition, because it is a stand alone regional and national competition exclusively for horses 4 and under, that is ridden in by some of the best hunter riders in our country on very well bred horses. I purchased a 2 and 3 year old out of a field in Tennessee. The three year had been backed, but the two year old had NO training. I wanted two horses, that my family hadn’t handled, because I wanted to see if “I” could prepare and train my youngsters for this competition. I had to teach the two year old everything from clipping, to loading, to work well under tack and jumping a 2’6″ course of jumps. My two year old, “HuH”, was reserve champion as a two year old (2010) and in the top ten as a three year old (2011). My three year old was in the top ten in both the three (2010) and four year old regional and national competition. This past year I was awarded the “best turn-out” award at regionals and the “youngest rider to ever compete” award at nationals. The best part was that several of the other professionals came up to me after the competition to shake my hand for a job well done! So far I would say that I passed the test. Although the test isn’t quite over, I hope that both Hercules and Huh go on to become my junior hunter or equitation mounts in the future. In addition, I have another two year old, Helios, that I will be starting for the 2013 – 2014 IHF competitions. .
The 2011 International Huner Futurity
The 2012 International Huner Futurity