Ever since I was little, I always knew I loved horses more than anything. Growing up, I didn’t know the difference between all the styles and disciplines. I just knew I wanted to ride. Working with Paige, I got more than I bargained for- in a great way.
When I first started riding with her, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I thought I was going to just get on and the horse was going to go. Quickly, I realized it wasn’t that simple and I wanted to know more. It’s one thing to have someone explain science and biology stuff to you. It’s a completely different thing to experience it and see how it works right before your eyes.
Barney started out as a horse with navicular and hock arthritis who couldn’t stay sound. Paige taught us how to apply the correct kinematics in our work to prevent further damage and stay sound. Barney has been consistently sound since we started this work and will be for many years to come.
The difference between Paige and other trainers is that her training is consistent. One thing always flows to the next and works together. She uses her engineering background to explain things in a way that is easy to understand and apply. Paige always makes learning new things fun and helps you through the more frustrating parts of riding. Once you get a basic understanding of biomechanics, the lights will go on in your head and you’ll think, “Why didn’t I do this before? This is common sense!”
Starting out, Barney didn’t even want to move forward. He wasn’t using his body the correct way to be able to carry a rider as well as himself. Teaching him how to use his body took time, but through the process, I gained his trust and respect. I started with an uncomfortable horse who didn’t want to do anything and now I have a willing partner, ready to learn with me. We still have a long way to go, and there will always be more to learn.
Like I said before, Barney used to not even want to move. Now, he loves to move and work with me because it’s finally comfortable for him to do so. There are so many things he can do now that he knows how to move his body in a way that doesn’t compromise it. It has been the highlight of my life being able to work with Barney and Paige.
Marissa E., Iowa