I am a 25 yo female with an 8 yo TWH gelding named Jack. We are currently just trail riders but I want to expand our knowledge and skill base into classical riding - a more balanced, connected and collected ride. I want to do it right - where do I start? I've found the amount of reading on the forum to incredibly enlightening and instucting but overwhelming at the same same. Also, the suggested reading list is quite long. I live in central Alberta, can anyone recommend a tutor (so to speak) that would be 'within reach'?
To kill two birds with one stone, I have one more question. Just before Christmas, the oldest member of our herd passed away. He was 26.5 yo and was the companion to my gelding. Jack had be with him since he was 5 days old and now, although being with many other pasture mates, is without his long time friend. Jack has always been a quiet soul but now he seems silent (for lack of a better description). Do horses mourn? No process can be rushed, but is there anything that can be done to help him - lighten his mood so to speak?
Melyssa, animals certainly do mourn their companions or herdmates when one dies. However, they get over it much faster than people do. So please be careful that you do not read more into Jack's mood than is really there. Just love him and take care of him as you normally would, and he'll be fine.
As to finding a tutor within reach: yes, you're in Josh Nichol's immediate neighborhood. Go to his website http://www.joshnichol.com and you'll find his schedule, then you pick one out and you go. You will find Josh to be a most knowledgeable, thorough, and kind teacher. There are a lot of correspondents here who ride with him and they'll all tell you the same thing. In fact, when you start going to Josh's clinics, I can promise you that you'll be meeting some of the folks who regularly come here.
Let us know how your first clinic with Josh goes, and best wishes. -- Dr. Deb