And I never would have even heard of her if it wasn't for a friend of mine. She knew a pony the woman had trained, and liked what she saw of her riding. She also knew the young woman from Pony Club (where I HOPE Sqwid will want to go!) I think PC is a great place for kids to learn responsibility and horsmanship.
I was pretty undecided on type of trainer, as I just wanted a good base. The plan is to put 1-2 months on her, just enough to really get her reliable; solid on transitions, whoa and steering. Have her riden, but not too much cantering as she still has growing to do. Then bring her home and keep up on her exposure to new things and places. Then later, when a little more mature and able to better hold up to a more grueling workout, send her back to get the fine tuning and finishing.
I gave a list of all things I want her to be able to do. She said most of these are what she does for all horses, but a few are new to her! I said I would do the hobble training, as I am now an "expert". lol
*excellent whoa (either off voice or seat or legs) gonna be kid's pony
*ground ties (so stops when rope hits ground, gets loose or reins are dropped)
*walk/ trot in hand (so my son can do endurance with me!)
*more responsive, quicker to move off lighter pressure
*ground driving (would eventually like her in harness for winter fun!)
*MUST be forward, HATE plugs
*a good working trot with impulsion
-willing enough to be ridden in sidepull or hack
-low jumps (to see if likes)
-head down at "eeeasy" command (so kid can halter/ bridle her)
-teach to stand, four square, without moving at "stand" command (got my gelding doing that in just 3 quick sessions) Very useful.
-stops if saddle slips
-clips (because she is a hairy yak late into spring, and for ease of roaching)
Boy, am I glad the search is over! It was hard to find the right trainer. Most of the ones I talked to were not overly fond of ponies, and had no one small to ride them. They would do a lot of ground work, but either could only do a little bit of undersaddle work because they felt they were too big, or would do lots of undersaddle work because they didn;t care if it was too much for Evil Poneh. Bah! And few were really wanting to spend the time to talk to me. They wanted me to drive out to meet them instead of simply talking on the phone (for me to even decide if the drive was worht it!)
This woman came out to meet EP, to decide if she likes her and would work with her and also to talk to me about her training ideas. I liked all that she said. She is smaller than me and so would not stress EP, and can ride more. And she likes ponies! Not many of those around!
So. Narra is off to the trainer's barn on March 1st. I'll be sure to keep you updated!