Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of discussion about the problems with American show hunters: they’re too slow, they’re all drugged up, they are prepped and lunged to death, there are too many divisions and too many horse shows. And critics say that all of this combines to create awful animal welfare situations and terrible riders! I’m not here to refute every point, in fact some of it I wholeheartedly agree with. But some of these points fall far from the mark, and I’m here to defend “dumbing down” show hunters.
Lauren at She Moved to Texas started an informal blog hop about the other four-legged furbabies we all love: our dogs. I didn’t grow up with dogs, in fact, I grew up with cats. But I’ve always loved dogs (well, animals in general really) and my husband did grow up with dogs. So when we struck out on our own, it was a no-brainer to bring a little ball of fluff into our lives.
Horses and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly — almost all horse people are also dog people. I’ve always loved dogs, but I didn’t become a dog owner until I was an adult; growing up in the city my family always had cats. Our first dog, Rocky, was just about the easiest puppy you could ever have, while Kona (our new labradoodle) is much more of your typical puppy, From puppy #1 to puppy #2, we learned a lot, and one thing we did differently with Kona was immediately enroll her in puppy preschool, where we learned some great tips on desensitizing your puppy.
I’ve been bitten by the clinic bug. This winter, I participated in my first clinic ever, with local hunter trainer and judge Scott DeHelian and had a wonderful experience. Some of the things I learned, I’ve been working on all winter and spring! So when our barn manager set up a clinic with one of her former college instructors, I signed up. A relatively cheap lesson with no travel required sounds like a win-win to me!
You may have noticed on the blog or through my social media channels, but in case you missed it — I’ve started a mailing list! The Fly On Over email newsletter will go out twice a month (bi-weekly) on Friday. You won’t get spammed and I’ll never give out your personal information (pinky promise!).