Like anyone of who's paying attention in the horse community, thoughts of how to make horses accessible and relevant to newcomers is never far from my mind! Roberta Herring is a great example of someone that wasn't a "horse girl" when she was a kid, but she never let go of that dream. The dream of "someday" having horses. When she became a Team Troxler client, little did she know the commitment that Mike and I would expect of her and little did we know how well she would answer those challenges. When Roberta first contacted us, she was a 57 year old novice rider and her goal was to ride her three year old Half Arabian. We were honest and told her that if she wanted to ride a young horse she needed to learn how to ride first. That it was unrealistic and unfair to expect an untrained horse to teach an untrained rider. And being a very smart lady, Roberta understood! And so it came to pass that Roberta bought MK Highlander, a super smart, extremely well trained fourteen-year old gelding that had been in training with us his entire life and been showing since he was a three year old! And it's an absolute fact that if Roberta hadn't taken our advice and acquired Highlander (aka "the professor") Roberta would never have developed into the savvy "horse girl" that she is today! Because another fact is, while Highlander is "the professor", no one has ever called him "the saint". He is very, very well trained and very, very intelligent but these factors coupled with the fact that Roberta kept the two of them in training from 2005 to 2009 is why this partnership was successful! And, Roberta did indeed ride her "baby" Patch!
This video that Mike put together for me features Rod Stewart's Forever Young, a song that always inspires me and makes me think of Roberta. However, I confess there are certain phrases that apply equally to Highlander as he's one of those smart-ass Arabians that will never completely grow up!
Roberta and Patch