My husband and I own a farm and have had several horses for 40+ years now. We heard about Montross Training Center (now Montross Quarter Horses) from the local tack shop owner when our pre-teen son wanted to learn to ride. He did take lessons and learned to ride very well. Prior to going to Montross’s, I had ridden hunt seat, open jumping and was taking dressage lessons at that time. After seeing a reining demonstration at a Montross open house, I knew reining was for me and started training there as well. I purchased my first reiner (Ima Littler Springer) in 1996 from Montross’s as a two year old and began to show in amateur and open reining classes for several years. We have now had 9 different horses trained there, from weanlings to older horses, and have been very happy with the results – no matter which horse.
EXPERIENCE WITH HORSES BEFORE COMING TO MQH
Started riding when I was 11 at my husband’s grandfather’s barn – Parrish Stables in Durham, NC. Did a small amount of showing over fences, hunt seat and open jumping. Have a farm in Orange Cty where we currently have 5 of our horses at home and two horses in training with the Montross’s.
LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH RIDING
I’ve learned how to (almost) truly relax my body and mind better (not there yet, but getting close). I’ve learned how to watch my horses because they will tell you everything you are doing, whether you know you are doing something or not. Different horses let you know this in different ways. When you are in a training session, your horse is telling the trainer everything too, sometimes you wish that didn’t happen. But the main thing I’ve learned is that when you have a good ride and are “with” your horse – it is every bit as exciting as I thought it would be.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT HORSES
I think it is pretty neat that horses almost always want to please you and it is rare to find one that doesn’t. They are pretty cool because they are always honest in their reactions and every horse has an individual personality if you pay close attention. They smell wonderful and are very fun to take care of.
FAVORITE EXPERIENCE WITH HORSES AND SHOWING
I enjoyed showing reining quite a bit after getting over “the nerves”. My Mare won several State Championships in Open and Amateur Reining. Thinking about this question though, the most fun events were when I screwed up. Will never forget the time I forgot the pattern and all the “guys” at the gate started pointing directions for me. It was just a lot of fun packing up on Thursday, going to the show and then showing at 2:00 am since reining always came last! Or the time I took my reiner in a horsemanship class and not expecting to place - actually got a 4th place ribbon.
FAVORITE ASPECTS OF MQH
I know my horses get excellent care when there. John and Laura really know horses and will make the correct decisions about them when I’m not there. They are truly a one-stop shop for training both horses and people. They have trained all my babies in a kind and complete way. They have done a great job with my trained horses during the showing years. My reining mare is living evidence that their program is sound – as she completed her training from a 2yo, showed in reining, had three babies and now is completely able to begin her second career at 19 years old in dressage. I work with both John and Laura and have learned a tremendous amount from each of them.
Gotta think about this a bit, but I can honestly say whatever my next “horse” goal is, I’m sincerely hoping the Montross’s will continue to assist me as I cannot express in words what the last 18 years have meant to me in terms of my horse and riding knowledge. Since I have not been the “fastest” learner, I can truthfully say they both have an extreme amount of patience for which I am eternally grateful!