Dreams really do come true, even when we least expect it. As a kid, I would have fainted if
someone told me I was to ride under the watchful eye of Bruce Davidson. Fast forward thirty
years, the appointment with destiny was set.
I sent my beloved Indy to Bruce to undo some 'hunter' training. It took him a day and the rest of
the time was icing on the cake. Walking into Bruce's barn and down the aisle, it was a delight
only a mama can know recognizing my gelding by the snip on his nose. And in a moment, he
recognized me. Reunited!
To see Bruce riding Indy, no gags, tiedowns, in an open field with various cross-country
obstacles was amazing enough, but then to watch a working student take my gelding over a
massive 3'6 coop and 'the log of death' with zero hesitation was even more amazing.
But the thrills were just beginning. I got to step into the irons as Bruce gave instructions and
perform as I had when I was in Pony Club many, many years ago. Trot to canter, canter to trot,
10m circles at the canter, half circle to a trot. It might not seem like much, but it was epic for
me, punctuated with "Good, good. That a girl." It lasted 10 minutes, but it was 10 minutes in
the saddle that I didn't believe that I had anymore. And then, the jumping...
As a specter of riding past whispered, 'he can't go any slower,' Bruce called for focus and
straightness and pointed me at a log. Heart in my throat, I went, legs braced for the refusal.
There wasn't the slightest hesitation, even has I got left behind. There was no yelling, no
belittling, only a "Good girl" from an Olympian, and then "now turn him around to the right and
do it again." This time, a bit more trust, and up and over. More accolades.
Now it was time for a little scarier log (not scary to Indy, but definitely to me). Again, I got left
behind...but there was only praise and encouragement to try again. Confidence trickling in, up
and over we went. Bruce repeated the lesson that had been exorcised from me, "Slow and
straight. He can trot that slow right up to a three foot fence. No faster."
And then, a dungeon of negative comments about my gelding were swept away and replaced
"If someone cannot see what a nice horse he is, they should quit."
"If you don't want him, I do. I see my next horse and you're on him."
"He has three stunning gaits and a beautiful jump."
"He's the current favorite in the barn. Everyone loves him."
"He's so well mannered. Ask him to go in the wash stall, he goes in the wash stall. Ask him to
stand in the aisle, he just stands in the aisle. We love him."
"Can he come to Florida?"
"Most people thought he was a warmblood."
"Have you hunted him? He could go tomorrow."
"Are you going to event him? He could do Novice or Training level right now. He's ready."
"He's lovely out on a hack, alone or with other horses. He's been out and galloped. Doesn't do
anything bad or wrong."
"Bring him back in the spring and we'll do some cross-country."
While I cannot say my confidence is fully restored, my faith is. I never stopped believing in my
boy, but I needed someone to coax me out of the rabbit hole where I was hiding. I never
imagined that would be someone like Bruce Davidson. I cannot thank him enough for this very
special Christmas gift! Nor can I thank Ginger Parker enough for her friendship, patience, and
"The only thing that makes a dream impossible: fear of failure."--Paulo Coelho
This New Year...for me and my beloved Indy...it really be out with the old and in with the new!
I sent my beloved Indy to Chesterland Farms, under the legendary expertise of Olympian Bruce Davidson. I miss my buddy so terribly, but it is for the best. A former trainer disliked Indy, having little to say of him in a positive way and encouraging me to sell him, especially after he dumped her.
When I buy a horse, it is a forever contract. I have never resold a horse and have no plans to ever do so. I knew my horse had what it takes and to hear Bruce Davidson say, "He's a great horse with three lovely gaits. I love him!" makes my determination to weather the storm an affirmation. I will NEVER go to a hunter barn again. Cross-training is where it's at for me!
Indy has jumped every fence on Chesterland Farm's formidible collection of logs and cross-country jumps. Bruce complimented his flatwork. All of this with zero drugs, calmers, or supplements. This is what a true horseman can do!