I was surprised the other day when I came across a picture of a horse here at Valley View that was taken when we first bought him. I couldn't believe the difference from then to now! He was skinny, had no muscle, and just looked like a regular old horse, nothing really special. Now, he is super muscled with a shiny coat and is very handsome! His rider gets compliments all the time on how beautiful he is. I had no idea that a correct riding and feeding program could transform a horse that much. I have seen horses change for the better here, sure, but that big of a difference was mind-blowing.
Hands-down, the best part of my job is watching riders and horses transform right before my eyes. Whether it's changing their bodies or mindset, it is extremely rewarding. I have worked with many students who had a fear of or weren't interested in dressage when they started at Valley View. I have seen their outlook change and have even heard exclamations of, "Hey, dressage is FUN!" When you take the pressure and bad feelings you get from riding a horse with a "force" paradigm out of the equation, dressage becomes a wonderful experience of connecting with your horse that inspires you like you never thought possible. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?