Equisearch Chats with Terry Myers

EquisearchStaff: Tonight Equisearch welcomes Terry Myers, a national champion Paint Horse and Pinto trainer. A 4-H judge, Terry is also currently the coach of the Ohio Wesleyan Equestrian team, which competes in both English and Western. He showed his stallion, Reckless Obsession, to many national titles, competing in western pleasure, trail, and halter. Sadly, Reckless passed away last October after suffering from EPM. He is commemorated with a model produced by Stone. A model of Reckless’ daughter, Ima Lil Reckless, is in the works.

Stormy: Sounds like a great opportunity to learn.

Stormy: Welcome Terry.

EquisearchStaff: Terry is here.

EquisearchStaff: Any questions?

Picolo: Lots. . .

Stormy: Sure how do you stop mouthy-ness?

Stormy: I have a colt gelding-at 3-who loves to lip

TerryMyers: On the bit or on the ground?

Stormy: On the ground

TerryMyers: There are a couple different ways to work on this. Number 1 is to take your time and really rub his nose and give him attention. It can be a call for attention. But, if the horse is being mean about it, there are times when you must be just as mean back to him as he’s being to you-meaning setting your parameters.

Stormy: I tried to burn him out on it or punish him, but it is a game, he won’t stop. He’s not mean, just likes to undress me.

TerryMyers: You have to decide if he’s being mean or just wants attention.

Stormy: He wants attention. He grabs my hood or shirt if he can

TerryMyers: You have to tell him that it’s not a reasonable thing to do.

Stormy: Yes, we are at the but stage.

TerryMyers: Your horse needs to know his space. You must be sure that he respects your space

Stormy: I will keep being consistent and hope. He is better than he was

Picolo: What advise to you have for kids who don’t have Quarter Horses that are always showing under Quarter Horse(ish) judges?

TerryMyers: what, more specifically do you mean? 4H?

Picolo: The horses do a lovely job but they aren’t Quarter Horses and don’t move that way. I’ve seen the problem in 4-H and open shows.

TerryMyers: If you mean Morgans and Arabians, they can work like the other horses-on a loose rein and heads dropped.

TerryMyers: As far as looks, don’t go in the ring with long manes. Don’t over bit your horse. I’ve seen Arabians in Western Pleasure classes that will beat the Quarter Horses because the judge knows what it takes to work well with those breeds.

Picolo: Glad to hear that.

TerryMyers: If the horse performs well, it shouldn’t be a problem.

TerryMyers: You have to realize that you are asking for one person’s opinion – a judge. Winning and losing isn’t everything –you have to go out and do your best and try to improve your ride every time. It’s not about the award, it’s about the competition you have with yourself to improve.

TerryMyers: The competition comes in making yourself better, not necessarily winning

Stormy: good advice

Carrie: I have a question about intercollegiate riding–can a student begin riding in the program, or do they have to be experienced competitors?

TerryMyers: Carrie – it depends on the college. Some schools are very competitive and it’s hard to get on the team. Schools around here like the University of Findlay and Otterbein College have varsity teams. They are actually trying to get NCAA backing right now. Some teams-smaller schools without equine majors–take people who have never ridden before.

Stormy: What would you think is the most important thing you can share with your students?

TerryMyers: Stormy – I try to teach my students to have fun and be safe.

Carrie: Thanks–do most students have a lot of experience?

TerryMyers: Showing horses should be fun first and competitive second

Stormy: With the current plan to add reining to the Olympics do you think the team will come from the colleges or professionals?

TerryMyers: Carrie – about 50 percent have a lot of experience

TerryMyers: Experienced in the sense that have actually competed before

Stormy: Did you work with a trainer to learn what you know?

TerryMyers: Stormy – about working with a trainer. Yes, I did. I have ridden Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians, Thoroughbreds – but I did work with a trainer.

TerryMyers: About reining- I think it will be the professionals. The Olympics are using professional basketball players, etc. It will likely be the same with riders.

Stormy: Yes I do too,about reining that is.

Picolo: Do you think reining will be accepted in the Olympics or will they just heave out all the horse sports instead?

TerryMyers: To ride Olympic quality horses, that has to be a full-time job.

Stormy: I haven’t ridden with a trainer for years but have been considering it lately

TerryMyers: As long as equestrian sports are in the Olympics, I think reining will be added. Reining is growing by leaps and bounds in Europe-especially Germany. Many countries now do have reiners.

Stormy: Yes I agree the conditioning and training must be full time

TerryMyers: Stormy- I think riding with a trainer is a good thing to do. You can learn something from everybody. Even a clock that doesn’t work is right twice a day. Get as many different sources and lessons as you can.

Stormy: Finding the trainer here in northern Michigan is difficult

Stormy: Hello Meeko

TerryMyers: Welcome Meeko, we are chatting with Terry Myers

Meeko: Thank you

Carrie:Terry, do you think reining will replace eventing in the Olympics?

TerryMyers: No, I don’t see that happening, Carrie.

Picolo: hope not

Meeko: Can I jump right in with a question?

TerryMyers: Certainly, Meeko

TerryMyers: Stormy, have you considered sending a trainer a video? Sometimes you can get them to view it and then get their response. That can work from a distance. Plus, it’s always good to watch yourself on video. You know things in your mind you can see you don’t always act out. You pick up on things that you are doing. I advise my students to do this.

Stormy: Good idea. Terry thanks. If we ever get that far I will try that

Meeko: As a 4H judge how would you handle having a handicapped child in a class…mental and physical handicap)

TerryMyers: Meeko – It would depend on the handicap.

Meeko: Say an 11-year-old boy who thinks and acts like about a 5-6 year old.

TerryMyers: My number one priority is safety to everyone in the class. If there was an issue with safety in a class, I would have to pull them in. However, if they can control their mount and perform well, they will be the same as anyone else.

TerryMyers: I don’t give special consideration-everyone’s there to be judged against the competition.

Meeko: How about showmanship. . .He can’t remember a pattern so he has to be walked through it.

TerryMyers: If the person is competitive, they have just as good a chance as anyone else.

Meeko: Competive yes..able to do like the other kids his age ….no

TerryMyers: That’s a tough call, especially since it is important for every competitor to feel successful and to constantly improve their own work. I would suggest actually going through showmanship patterns on the ground before getting on the horse. Actually going through the motions can help people who process and learn differently-handicap or no.

TerryMyers: The child needs positive support, the reward is not the ribbon but what the child is gaining in the long run.

TerryMyers: Perhaps have the child do something easier-like a rail class or halter work– to get them started.

TerryMyers: As a judge for showmanship, I try to make the pattern something that everyone could be competitive doing. I usually announce the pattern once I see what level the riders in the class can do.

Meeko: He rides pretty well. . .he just can’t keep up with the rest of the kids his age….I thought 4H could help him along

TerryMyers: When I am aware of someone in the ring with a handicap, I will give them time to make transitions and not expect them to do it as quickly

Meeko: How do you know they are handicapped if it is not obvious at first

TerryMyers: The judges are usually informed. The show steward should be notified.

Picolo: Terry, I ride a TB that has the “turn for home” jig. I’ve tried stopping, turning around and going back, shoulder-in. Any advice.

Picolo: for a trail ride, that is

TerryMyers: Picolo – Your barn sour horse: Number 1 – get your horse more supple

TerryMyers: Number 2 – you have to be able to take the horse’s face away from him (turn him)

equisearch:Picolo–will the horse go willingly away from the barn?

Picolo: Yes, willingly all the way, it’s the turn for home that sets off the jig.

TerryMyers: Then, number 3 – get to the point where you can disengage the hindquarters

Picolo: Terry, what do you mean by that?

TerryMyers: Disengage the hindquarters means a turn on the forehand. It will take more work then just trail riding

TerryMyers: It is a method that Ray Hunt has utilized.

Picolo: How do I use it on the trail?

TerryMyers: You will reach down, grab the rein and use your left hand to pull his head to the knee. Then push his hip by using your left leg. Do it the other way as well.

TerryMyers: Get to the point where you are more in control than he is. Give him something else to do so he isn’t focused on his goals.

TerryMyers: As he is walking back on the trail, take control. If he starts to jig again, repeat the exercise. It will take a lot of time and patience. Then get off and walk him the last two hundred yards or turn around and walk away from the barn

Picolo: Am I taking his head, but keeping his body marching down the trail or are we doing a 180?

TerryMyers: You’re doing a 180 on the forehand.

Picolo: OK. Got it

TerryMyers: Don’t turn around in circles, turn on the forehand

Meeko: Do you think handicapped kids have a place in showing horses in the 4H program?

TerryMyers: Meeko – yes I think they do. Very much so.

TerryMyers: but parents and kids have to keep perspective on what their goals are in the program. Are they out there for the good of the child? Set your expectations for the child to learn, improve, and have something to look forward to. That is what 4H is about.

Carrie: Does 4-H do all the disciplines?

TerryMyers: Yes, they do English, Western, Dressage, Saddleseat, Jumping — pick up a state rulebook and check it out. It can be different for every state.

Picolo: Can States decide what they want to offer?

Meeko: How do we make it more fair as far as competition?

TerryMyers: As far as being fair, some states have handicapped classes. They have equitation classes, trail classes, etc. Maybe that is the place to start. The disability may not affect riding like it would in other areas of learning-like in school.

TerryMyers: The point of 4H is for the child to learn, improve, and have fun.

TerryMyers: Picolo – States can decide what they want to offer. For example, in Ohio, we offer contesting, gymkhana classes.

TerryMyers: Meeko, that may be something to look into. Maybe suggest a class you think the child would be able to be successful in.

TerryMyers: Each county can offer any classes they want, but they may not be able to compete at state level.

Stormy: Or Meeko, you may have to check out the therapeutic riding school’s shows

EquisearchStaff: What state and area are you working in, Meeko?

Meeko: Michigan

TerryMyers: I have judged some 4H shows in Michigan and there are some competitive shows.

Meeko: Yes. It is extremely competitive in this area!

Stormy: Yes there are but mostly in the lower part of the state

TerryMyers: Perhaps you could talk to the extension service at the county level and check with them about adding a class.

TerryMyers: As a judge, you have to reward the best in the class. You have to make the best call you can and do what you feel is correct.

Stormy: Not an easy job

Meeko: Possibly, but the last thing a handicapped child needs is to feel “different” from the other kids …again

TerryMyers: Remember, when you go to a show, the judge’s decision is just one person’s opinion and you have to take it with a grain of salt. The goes for 4H and IHSA-any show.

TerryMyers: A good example: We showed a pleasure colt and there were four judges and we got an eighth, a first, and two thirds. That just shows how different opinions can be.

Meeko: Yes,.one judge was very compassionate and gave him a second…many others don’t use him at all…..

Stormy: I hope he keeps trying

Meeko: Our walk-trot classes have 22 sometimes

Stormy: If he is truly at about 6 mentally now. That is a big job

Meeko: Yes…and he tries soooo hard.

Stormy: I can think of very few that young who could do well in shows at that age.

TerryMyers: Meeko, that is the whole point – that he is trying. He needs support to go on with it. Maybe find a way he can have his own reward system.

Stormy: I would cheer him on!

GAMBLINJOEY: Are there any small shows in your area, we have some evening shows that are small and less competitive

TerryMyers: Rewards are important, perhaps there is a schooling show where he could find some confidence.

Meeko: Yes. . . we get a lot of chances to discuss “it’s not if you win or lose,.it’s how you play the game”

Stormy: And maybe Terry’s idea of the video taping would be good for him, too.

TerryMyers: That is true!

Meeko: I just hoped he could fit into this better and have a place to feel good about himself that he can compete and do well.

Stormy: good bye all

Stormy: Loved the site, Terry.

Stormy: Thanks Terry

TerryMyers: Thank you Equisearch for letting me be part of their chat!

TerryMyers: We are willing to come and work with people to introduce a comprehensive way to approach horsemanship. Visit the web site and think about some clinics in your area.

Stormy: Nice to meet you

Stormy: Yes, thanks Equisearch.

EquisearchStaff: Please visit Terry’s website at www.tmtrainingcenter.com Thanks so much for visiting the chat tonight!

EquisearchStaff: Terry is available for clinics, training, etc. His website has all contact information.

Meeko: God Bless you all and thanks for your ideas

Stormy: Is there a son of Reckless standing at stud?

Stormy: I have a Rabicino chestnut Arabian I would love to cross

EquisearchStaff: Stormy, there is one in PA close to Pittsburgh owned by the Smiths. If you contact Terry via E-mail, he has the other contact information.

Stormy: Thanks

Stormy: I loved the look of Reckless

EquisearchStaff: Terry has a two-year-old at his facility he will stand as a three year old.

Stormy: Ahh, that may be closer. I will have to watch for him

Stormy: Thank you for hosting.

EquisearchStaff: Thanks so much for all your input and questions tonight!

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