This is a picture of my new trainer, Melissa Roberts, at Runaway Farms in Kingston, TN. I have been searching for someone to help me get Reece ("Icy Reception") started for a while now. My main consideration was the training style and experience of the trainer, cost (obviously), and location. I had spoken to a couple of big name international event riders, both of whom are impressive rider/trainers who were kind to even offer to take on my horse, but one is in Southern Pines, NC, and the other is in Lexington, KY. And...both were out of my price range. Besides the cost, the location isn't terrible, but I would like to be involved in some of the training rides and take some lessons myself (and I don't want to be separated from Reece for an entire month!). It was important for me to find someone close enough that I wouldn't just be dropping him off, then picking him up again, having been completely removed from the situation.
So, my sister suggested I contact a local East Tennessee rider who has ridden hunter/jumpers, competed in 3-day eventing, and does primarily dressage now (focusing on retraining "problem horses" through flatwork, and starting off babies/greenies). She is eager to help me with Reece, although she insists she's not sure how much more she would be able to start him with the jumping than I might be, but I'm more concerned with his dressage just to get him going for me. I just can't put in the time that he needs for a good start. She is also going to take Eddie for the month of February and do a dressage "boot camp" with him for 4 weeks before I start my event season at the end of March. If Eddie would take dressage as seriously as he does cross-country, then we might have a bloody chance at actually winning something one day! Anyway, I'm really thrilled to have found this trainer to help me out. Reece is going to her on December 29, and Eddie on February 2. Hopefully, by next March, I will have two "new" horses, ready to get going and get out there. We'll see!