In the comments to one of my earlier posts, Christina asked "...how did you learn to do what you're doing? You mentioned a DVD?"
I started to reply in the comments, but the reply started to take on a life of it's own, so I'll make a post out of it.
I'm using DVD's that are produced by an Aussie named Clinton Anderson. Of all the DVD's (and there are a lot of them on the market) put out by all the "Big Name Trainers", I have found that his are the ones that make the most sense to me. He explains everything in detail, while demonstrating it at the same time. In them, he is using a BLM Mustang that was just taken out of the wild, and had no previous human contact. His techniques work with that horse. And the bottom line for me is that I've been able to take his methods, put them into use, and get the desired results. It just takes me a little longer, since this is a first for me.
I took a lot of riding lessons when I first started out, but now I've hit a brick wall, so to speak, in my learning. Therefore I opted to go the route of starting a young horse in order to expand my knowledge. Part of this decision is related to my learning style. I learn best by watching something once or twice, then doing it myself until I have it figured out. I just have to take greater care, because it is much harder to undo a mistake with horse training.
The easy route, of course, would be to pay a trainer, but that is such a crap shoot, not to mention it can get rather spendy. I've discovered there are a lot of folks who hang out a shingle that says "Horse Trainer", whose only qualifications seems to be "I've been riding horses for X number of years...". Well, whoopee-doo, I've been licensed to operate a motor vehicle for 26 years, but that doesn't necessarily qualify me to be a driving instructor.
The goals for me are to become a better rider, and have a horse that is trained to ride the way I ride. I don't have any false expectations that this is going to be easy, or that I will be a wiz horse trainer when I'm done. But I'm an open book, and the Gingerbread Horse is smart, responsive, and most importantly willing.
The current short term goal is to have her saddled, and start riding her by next weekend.