Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - Tommy Garland - Part 5

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

The whole time that Brittany was at the US National All Arabian Horse Show working, Tommy Garland had spent trying to convince her to come to work for him at his training facility on a permanent basis . He kept reiterating that her horse definitely had the look and the talent but there was that stubborn streak. Tommy was just the person to teach her enough to deal with a horse like Rhythm. Her dream of winning at nationals would be more likely to happen if she came to work for him.

All the way back to Virginia and during the final clean up from Nationals, Tommy kept on trying to get Brittany to stay. There was lots of talk and some negotiating trying to come up with a deal that would work. Listening to Tommy you would have thought there was just no other way to go.

While things might have been clear to Tommy, they weren't that clear to Brittany. Her experience working with him at nationals had made one thing crystal clear, working for Tommy she would have no time for her horse. Her dream was about that horse and her and not about working as a groom watching others show their horses. Once all the work Tommy expected to be done in connection with the nationals trip was finally finished, Brittany was on the first plane heading back home to her horse.

The one thing that was still bothering Brittany was about putting Rhythm into the curb bit. She had never done that with a horse before and didn't really know where to start. While the horse can be pushy, he also is sensitive too. Over correcting the horse can cause lots of problems with his confidence and trust. Rhythm would not be forgiving if it didn't turn out well.

Brittany was convinced that Rhythm need to go to Garlands to be put into the bridle. Working there Brittany had made friends with both the other groom and the assistant trainer. She had come to respect both of them and she felt that she could trust them. Brittany devised the following plan with the assistant trainer.

Brittany would go home and ride the horse getting him ready to put into the bridle. Once he had reached the point he was going soft and round and moving off her legs, the horse would go to Garland's. There the assistant trainer would put him into the bridle and get him comfortable with it.

Garlands would take to horse to his first show in Syracuse. Brittany and Rich would meet them there. The horse would be shown in the open by the trainer and in the amateur division by Brittany. After the show Rhythm would go back home for Brittany to continue his training. The rest of the year, Brittany would show with Garlands but her horse would be home with her.

The original timing on this plan was the horse would go to Garland's in March once Scottsdale was out of the way. Sometime over the winter that plan was changed. Tommy wouldn't guarantee room for Rhythm unless he was in the barn by January. If Rhythm was to be put into the bridle at Garlands it would have to be on Tommy's time table or it wasn't going to happen.

There are a lot of things that had happened along this way. What had started out looking like a dream come true to Rich had ended up looking more like a night mare at times to poor Dad. His daughter had been in Albuquerque sick and really hurting with those chiggers and yet working her little fanny to the bone. He was worried that maybe he shouldn't trust this new twist either.

Rich, Brittany and I had lots of conversations about the things that had happened and the fears of what lay down the road. Rich just wanted what was best for his daughter and her horse. He was already making big sacrifices for her to pursue this dream of hers and he wasn't totally convinced that going to Tommy Garland's was the way to go. He didn't want to be throwing his money away.

I guess I was the expert advisor here. No one knows Rhythm better than I. I understand his quirks and I get his temperament. I also know the Arabian horse industry pretty well. So it was my job to help Rich see what would work best for Brittany and for Rhythm. The two needed to be a team and the plan needed to make them both secure.

I called some friends who show regularly at both Scottsdale and at Nationals and have lots of connections. I asked them for names of trainers who would be suitable for this horse and his quirks. I knew a lot of the names to rule out but had no idea about the new ones that might be rising to the top. Rich needed to know what his options were.

I got a list of trainers and their locations so Rich and I could go over the pros and cons of each. We went over distance from them and costs and all of those things. And of course, there was how Brittany felt about this. With all she had seen at Nationals, Brittany was convinced that Garland's was the place for her horse. The confidence she had about that decision had to carry equal weight in this decision. It wouldn't help to make Rich feel better if Brittany felt insecure.

When all was said and done, Rich decided he was better off going with "the devil he knew" instead of the devil he had not yet met. Even though it seemed like a waste of money to be paying for training for the month of Feb when the trainers would be gone to Scottsdale, it would have to do. I assured him that this was a standard in the industry. There was no way he would be able to guarantee a place in any of the top training barns without doing the same thing. Rich agreed to send Rhythm off to Tommy Garland's training facility in January.

To be continued........

Part 6

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  1. HOw frustrating... it is nice to get an inside look at a big name. I highly commend Brittney for staying at nationals because of her dream. I very well may have left him.

  2. Good for Brittany for standing up and saying...enough already, then flying home. Good for her also, to not let her experience in Scottsdale get in the way of getting her horse where she wanted him to be. I'm pretty impressed with this whole family. Dad seems to have some weight in the decisions, daughter seems to take his suggestions under consideration and both are also taking your advice to heart. I feel like this is going to work out ok, maybe a few bumps here and there.....but it's going to be okay in the end. And everyone of you has Rfythm's best interests first.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful horses! You should be SO proud.

  4. Hi MiKael,
    If you are interested in watching a video on Rollkur, Every has a few on her blog that work, I checked them out. Below is also a video I pulled up, there are many more if you go to You Tube, and put in Rollkur, some are good and some not so good. You don’t have to publish this in the comments, just wanted to find this for you, since I think your are one of the educated trainers and take an interest in anything going on in the horse world, be it western or english.Hope you don't mind I sent it to your comments page.

  5. Brittany is probably better off with the 'devil' she already knows and trusts. To go with someone else at this point would be iffy. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Hope she and Rhythm had a nice reunion.

  6. "The known devil" ... usually pays off. Really interested to see how this all works out!

    Always love the photos of your gorgeous horses!

  7. Sheeeessshhh you have gone done it again!!!. You know patience is not one of my virtues!! Really looking forward to how this all unfolds.

    Brittany has my admiration and her Dad as well.


  8. I know it is easy to get off track and forget your own goals in the Arabian horse world. There's always someone trying to convince you to do something else. It's hard to get one's head around it all at times, but the best way to learn what you want is through both good and bad experiences.

  9. Wow this is taking some many turns. Horrraaayyy for Brittney she is willing to work for her dream.

  10. Just popping in to say really! I don't often comment, but love reading about how it's all going - and the pics are gorgeous!

  11. Just to say this story is fascinating - I have absolutely no idea about showing world so it's great to read about it :)

  12. I respect Brittany's Dads' support in her dream with Rythm.

    I hope that it work's out at the Garland barn.

    Very good reading once again =).

  13. I'm dying to know what comes next!