A pretty consistent fact of training horses is that no horse has a linear progression in their training. Peaks and valleys come with the territory. Easy to say this, but occasionally hard to accept in day to day life. You can quickly find yourself questioning your true calling, wondering what other ways you can use your skills as a horseperson in the ‘real world’ as you are clearly ill equipped for training horses. In case you’re wondering, braiding tourists hair in Jamaica seems like a good way to profit from all those early morning mane braiding sessions. I may or may not have looked into the cost of a flight. But because I am a rational person who loves my job, and eventually the valleys turn back into peaks, I’ve avoided actually purchasing a ticket. This year it has also been thanks in large part to a horse called Noodle.
Noodle, or Broadway Act as he’s known in more formal situations, is a six year old thoroughbred Steplin bought towards the end of 2014 for resale. He is beautiful and very quiet, a quick turnover sale seemed like a no-brainer. But as my plans for 2015 started to form and I realized my competition horses were dwindling, I decided to keep Noodle. Noodle has an incredible work-ethic, and in a barn full of divas he became my most dedicated pupil. In 2015 he went from novice to his first CCI at Virginia Horse Trials, simply because he showed up every day ready to absorb whatever I wanted him to learn that day. That is a very rare and special trait. On the days when the rest of my charges seemed intent on doing their best giraffe impersonations and that flight to Jamaica starts looking pretty good, Noodle stayed eager to please and happy to help me keep my head above water. Noodle has moved back to his rightful spot on the sale list (apparently being an adult means paying bills) and while it will be sad to see him go I know he’ll carry that attitude onto his new partnership. He’s got heart, and that’s something I had nothing to do with teaching him.