This post is devoted to the schoolmaster at my barn. I have a few students who are taking lessons right now on horses I have available at the barn. These riders, in particular, are either horse shopping, waiting for their young horse to develop, or are getting back into riding after some time off. That said, they are not able to ride their own personal horse at this time, and are therefore utilizing other barn owner's horses for lessons.
There is one horse, specifically, that is so special, and I wanted to write a little bit about him and the opportunity afforded to these riders. This gelding is 25 years old and has shown through fourth level. He has been owned by the same lady since she was a teenager, and he was a young horse. The gelding, Noble, was imported from Germany for the owner to grow with and show, but the match was not ideal for years. Noble was gelded late, and was not just "fresh" he could verge on unmanageable, especially for this young owner. Fast-forward to this year, Noble is 25 and quite healthy and fit. He has maintained his soundness and has not lost his desire to shy at noises in the woods or take off with his owner in the hay field. You cannot fall asleep at the wheel with this guy outside even at this stage of the game!
Noble has grown more enjoyable for his owner to ride as the years go by, and in the process, he has become an invaluable learning tool for countless other riders. This year, I have been able to utilize Noble for a few of my lesson students, a couple adult amateurs and one young rider. All these riders are at different stages of their riding. Some need affirmation in the sequence of aids for progressive transitions (i.e. trot-canter) or acute transitions (walk-canter). Others are able to play with some half pass or flying changes. Whatever the task is (as long as we are in the indoor arena) Noble is a perfect gentleman and is a complete blast to ride. Noble provides these riders with a great feeling when they are coordinated with their aids, but will still try to pull their reins out of their hands when their fingers are open. He is a perfect balance of obedience, wisdom, and wittiness. These students have all been able to benefit from the years of steadfast training Noble received from his owner.
Horses like Noble are rare in this country, and I am so thankful he has been able to teach a few of my students while being at the barn. Noble's owner recently received a job promotion and moved out of state. Noble will be moving to his new barn in October, but not before going to the region championships at third level with his owner. That's right, this guy is still fit to not just complete a third level test, but actually qualify and earn good scores! I am very appreciative to Noble's owner for sharing him with other riders who are trying to fine-tune their skills, as she has made the transition out of state to her new job. Noble a very special horse that has matured into the perfect teacher. He makes quite an impression.