I always get questions about how I trained my previous horse Tucson. He was a true partner. If I could think it. He could do it. I never documented the amazing things he could do or how I trained him. So, I am starting fresh with Dino (previously called Wiley). If all goes well, Dino will grow up to become my next true partner…and hopefully a pretty nice dressage horse too. I thought I would share the journey – from the most basic training to the sophisticated movements of piaffe and passage. I’ll even share how to train some of the cool tricks just for the fun of it!
I had my previous horse Tucson for 17 years. He was considered un-trainable before I bought him. He was rejected by every trainer that tried to work him. He had a “few” issues like bucking wildly while being ridden and charging at people when they were on the ground. A whip wouldn’t stop him. He was the worst horse I have come across in 30+ years. He didn’t even last a day at his final trainer. The trainer’s quote, “I’ve never seen a horse have so little fear of humans in my life. Get that *&^%$ horse off my property now!” I heard it took all day and a lot of tranquilizers for them to get Tucson back in the trailer. They sent him directly back to the breeder. It was at the breeder where I found Tucson…as a 4 year old terror. Don’t ask me what I was thinking. I still don’t know, but it worked out in the end.
“T” was a wise horse, but completely misunderstood. He was an amazing partner and forced me to re-think the way I train horses. At this point, I can’t imagine having a bond with another horse like I had with T. T did everything. He was a jumper in his first career and won a blue ribbon at every jumper show we attended. He switched to dressage at the ripe old age of 14. By 18, he was showing at 4th level. He could piaffe and passage….bridle-less. He could even do it on command loose in the arena . T was so smart. I could teach him jumping courses of up to 8 jumps and he could remember the pattern and jump them on his own without a rider. And of course he could do just about every trick in the book. He was a “once in a lifetime” horse. I was devastated when I lost T. There will never be another Tucson. Dino will be his own man. I plan on enjoying this journey thoroughly, but it will be completely different.
I started riding as a child and have over 30 years of experience. Although I have tried many disciplines, I spent most of my horse career in jumpers and dressage. At a young age, I had the opportunity to work at a breeding facility. I was responsible for training the horses from their first day of life through their initial breaking and basic training. It was a wonderful experience and set the foundation for a lifetime of working with horses. I have always loved the challenge of working with problem horses, and thought I was pretty decent at it. That all changed when I met Tucson. Like I said before, he changed the way I think about horses. He was my greatest teacher and an inspiration.
I hope that Dino is even half the horse Tucson was. You can follow along on his journey here.
Del Mar Horse Girl
Hi Kim, I am so excited to hear about your journey with Wiley. I know you two will have a wonderful partnership.
Thx April. After having Tucson for 17 years, it is hard to start over from the very beginning, but I will enjoy the journey nonetheless!
What a wonderful blog! Happy I found you and looking forward to seeing your young horse evolve. I’m training a young mare myself and can relate to a LOT of what you’re writing. Can’t wait to see what you do with him! He looks like he’s coming along absolutely fantastic with you!
Thanks for your kind words. Dino is a super fun horse. He has been one of my favorite young horses to work with…. I am hoping to get him to FEI…Fingers crossed!!!! Good luck with your young horse too!
Rooting for you 🙂