Alright, I have made my decision: I am going to email Ella's owner to ask about working with her. My plan is to ask to be paid something, but likely not very much. If the owner doesn't want to pay me anything, I will still work with her if he allows it. I talked to Silver about it, and she told me her experiences in working with Ella when she takes her out for trims.
The last time, Ella reared once and then was fine. For a mostly untouched yearling, I'd say she's doing really well. Silver said that Ella was very easy to teach how to lead when bringing her up from the pasture. Essentially, she is a golden opportunity just sitting around waiting for someone to take notice. I'm taking notice!
I haven't ever worked with a horse this young before, so if I do I am excited about all of the things I'm going to learn. I hope I can do her justice, and not "screw her up." That was one of my hesitations before, doubting myself and being realistic that I am in no way a professional trainer. However, as I told someone the other day, I have been working with horses for 18 years, and that's almost 75% of my life. (Yes, I did the math.) I will make mistakes, ask for help, and do some things wrong.
I anticipate getting frustrated, not knowing the next step, and possibly getting hurt- either physically, emotionally, or both. I also think that each of those experiences will teach me a lot, and I don't think I can continue to grow as a horseman without stretching myself. Most days, I can handle Rocky just fine. I still have more to learn with him, but we have gotten to the point where he doesn't *have* to have more training. He could maintain exactly where he is most of the time and be totally fine.
Ella doesn't have that luxury. She gets older every day, and I don't see anything about her situation changing any time soon. This is one of those times that a horse is not in danger, neglected, or otherwise treated badly. She simply isn't worked with, has no knowledge of how to work with people or worthwhile skills. I have thought about getting involved in rescuing horses to lend a hand teaching basic manners, and this is a great opportunity for me to test my skills. Hopefully this can be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
If anyone has suggestions for things I should say in my email to Ella's owner, I'm all ears. I don't want to mislead her owner into thinking that I am 1. incompetent or 2. a professional. I'm somewhere in the middle, and I also want to be sensitive to his feelings so that I don't sound like I look down on him for not coming to the barn more often or learning the skills to train his horses himself. My goal is to be honest, tactful, and helpful.