• Kathy Troxler

How Lisa Lost Her Horse


Recently Facebook brought up a "memory" for me! A picture GJR Double O Seven and Lisa's daughter, not too long after Lisa bought "Bond"-for herself. I don't think it took very much time for Lisa to "lose" Bond, but if you gotta let them go, having them end up making this kind of match with your daugher is the best way to do it! The picture on the left is from this year at the East Coast Championship who where they were Champions in the Sport Horse Under Saddle Walk/Trot 10&Under class.

The picture on the left is from this year at the East Coast Championship where they were Champions in the Sport Horse Under Saddle Walk/Trot 10&Under class. The picture on the right shows the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

There are several reasons Bond was able to be a great horse for Lisa AND take on the responsibilty of carrying a very young rider while still a young horse himself.

GJR Double O Seven and his dam, GJR Dakar Honky Tonk

One is that Bond has a great disposition. The other is that Lisa had provided excellent instruction for her daughter!

And the third reason is training. Bond was brought up like a "Team Troxler" horse. By that I mean that he was handled a lot when he was a foal. He learned very early on how to submit correctly to pressure and to not feel threatened by it.

We've received been receiving some very nice compliments from some of "our" horses that are doing great with their new owners. Quite a few of these horses are now star trail horses! The fact is that all these horses,both show horses and trail horses had been ridden outside. However, the majority of their training time had been spent schooling in the arena. It doesn't matter if a horse is a "trail prospect" or a "show prospect" we train them the same way. They all work in side reins in the round pen and they all long line, both in the arena and outside in the woods and fields. That's because while desensitizing (and I don't like that word!) is important, it is NOT the most important component in training a safe horse. Obedience is. Because (honestly folks!!) you cannot expose your horse to every single wierd, shiney, loud or flappy thing that you are going to encounter in the big wide world.

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What you CAN do is develop a "riding language" that tells the horse how to respond under a threat situation and then PRACTICE the response in increasingly challenging situations.

The video below is a great demonstration. Mike had trailered Bond to a show simply to have a chance to work him in a strange arena and check out how well the "training would hold". The plan was to school him Friday and Saturday night, after classes were over. In each session, I started the session in the long lines. Yep, it's no secret that with a horse this "green" I do long lining first and if I'm happy with the way the horse has "answered the questions" put to him, then Mike gets a "green light" to ride. This is a system that has evolved over the 30 years we have trained together and it works great for us. Each of us has complete respect for the talents of the other!

Standing next to the thundering bass and screaming guitars of a rock band...like a "rock star"!

What we hadn't anticipated was that Saturday night the was an exhibitor party and it was IN the arena. We had thought that with everyone else at the party, we'd have a nice quiet session with Bond and maybe one or two other like minded trainers. What we got was exactly "not" that. I was 99.9 percent sure Bond was going to "ace" this schooling session...right up until the band started. The live band was set up right next to the rail. As Bond's trainer, I had a very big decision to make. I try to never "set up" a horse to fail. This was extremely loud! Finished show horses, would have found this level of noise difficult. At least, the ones that didn't have their ear plugs in. Since I don't have (and have never owned) ear plugs, if I did this right, it was an invaluable OPPORTUNITY to add a very positive experience to Bond's resume.

I have never been more proud of a horse than I was of Bond at that moment! Except for when his new owner, Lisa, sends up pictures like these! So, disregard the "offered for sale" message at the end of the video! I think he's got a home for a long, long time!

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Mike and Kathy Troxler
    (719) 660-3718 
email: kathytroxler@gmail.com