Building a Bond: “I grew up with horses. When I was young I’d ride and work with them whenever I got the chance. I’d watch them for hours, studying their body language and their interactions with each other and with me,” says nail tech and horse trainer Ruthy Carter.
I grew up with horses. When I was young I’d ride and work with them whenever I got the chance. I’d watch them for hours, studying their body language and their interactions with each other and with me. I started breaking colts when I was 13. At first it was just colts on the farm, and then when we sold the colts, word about me got out. I started taking people’s horses and working with them, teaching them the basics of accepting human interaction, and then to accept a person on their back.
Each horse is evaluated and then the groundwork begins. This includes teaching them to be led, to pick up their feet for the farrier, to stand quietly to be brushed, and to accept a saddle and bridle. Once a horse is ready, I start riding it, slowly at first, sometimes only for 10 minutes. When they give, I give. It’s not about how fast I can get them trained; it’s about doing it properly and ending each session on a good note.
My favorite thing is starting young horses. It’s easier to read their body language and they learn very quickly. There are no “bad” behaviors to correct because they have never been ridden; some have never been touched by humans. Some older horses develop problems, such as bucking, kicking, striking, lying down, rearing, or becoming hard to catch. My job is figuring out what the root problems are. Nine times out of 10 it’s the owners I end up working with! I guide them in doing what’s right for their horse.
I love the feeling of being connected to a 1,200-pound free spirit. Having horses in my life has shown me that even when all the odds are against you, anything is possible.