I purchased Liam on July 31 (my husband’s birthday, you can see that horses come first in my life), 2011 as a 7 year old. It was very interesting trying horses because I stopped riding for years and was very out of shape. Liam was off the track and sitting in a field since he was 5 years old. He maybe had 10 rides in the 2 years of being off the track before I bought him. When I tried him he was literally a fire breathing dragon to ride, but I felt his beautiful uphill canter and new I had to have him. Most people would have probably passed on him, but not me. Our first fall/winter together we didn’t train that much, we just got to know one another.
I mostly took him on long trail rides and hunter paces to get his brain together. I really learned a ton about him and I let him tell me what made him happy. I found out that he hated being in a stall. He lived out in a huge field with a herd before I bought him. In a stall he would literally stall walk and weave the entire time and was just generally miserable. He would get really nerves if another horse was taken out of any stall in the barn, even if everyone else was inside. I didn’t know what to do at this point. I knew he had to live out 24/7 with a herd, but didn’t know of a place around that offered that in central/north New Jersey. I finally found the barn I am boarding at now and have been happily there since March 2012. Liam really settled in there and became a fat and happy horse, still not quit, but I wouldn’t have it that way anyway.
In April 2012 we started taking weekly lessons with the assistant trainer at a huge well know east coast training barn around the corner from where I am boarding. I was a little embarrassed at first to bring my firery hot thoroughbred over there with all the floating beautiful warmbloods, but a friend talked me into it, and it couldn’t have worked out any better.
Unfortunately, Liam bruised his foot shortly after I started working with the assistant trainer. I think it was exactly 4 lessons after starting with the trainer. While diagnosing the bruised foot by blocking the hoof, the bad patient that Liam is flipped over while being twitch with me at the end of the twitch putting me in the hospital and making himself even more sore. We both finally recovered from all of that and went back to taking lessons in September 2012.
Liam came back very full of himself and started bucking me off after jumps. He didn’t buck because of pain, trust me, I wanted it to be pain related, that I could fix, but he bucked because he was very excited and exuberant about jumping. I had to give the reins over the trainer at this point, which I have never done with any other horse ever. I was the one that people tossed the reins at as a junior, but I guess I am older now and need to learn my limitations. I trailered Liam over to the assistant trainer once a week for almost 11 months for pro-rides/lessons. I say pro-rides/lessons because at first it would only be the trainer riding, but after a while the trainer would start Liam and I would get on and finish.
Liam started to show with the assistant trainer in June 2013 and went to four shows last year. One show with the assistant trainer riding and three with me riding. We competed in the 2’3” jumpers and Liam was proving that he could be an excellent show jumper.
Chris (husband) and Liam hanging out at a show from
summer 2013. Our first show solo with hubby as my "coach".
This year we have parted ways with the assistant trainer, for no other reason than I don’t fit into her schedule anymore because of my work schedule. I do hope to meet up with her for a few lessons when our schedules mesh. I can’t thank her enough for getting Liam and I to be the DIY’ers that we are today. I will be working with an old friend this year when I can, but will mostly be on my own.
This 2014 show year is going to be an adventure and I can’t wait for it to get started with aspirations of getting to the low adult jumpers with Liam.