My greenie is generally consistently good, but the last week has been...interesting. Head up, eyes bugged, warp speed trot, stiff as a 2x4. I'm blaming it on the weather.
So frustrating, because I started him over fences last week and was a champ--hopped over some crossrails, a verrrrry small vertical, and even did a bounce (second element was just half an X). I was so proud of him. Two days later, he was so wound up that he was running out of the trot poles. *sigh*
When I first started riding my mare she didn't want to trot at all. Two steps and then it was off to the canter (she never trotted anywheres as a foal). I'm lucky that she naturally holds her head where it should be so the head up thing was never an issue.
I can offer a story of hope for the Greenie Support Group!
I got my mare when she was 4, couldn't jump a course for the life of her or keep her lllloooonnnngggg legs under her.
Now, I've had her for 8 years, she's had 3 years off due to injury/babymaking, and she is AWESOME, totally doesn't bat an eye at anything. While we get into "girl fights" she does anything I ask of her. Wouldn't trade her for anything.
But there were days, in those first 2 years, when I just wanted to scream and sell her to the first bidder because she was impossible - stubborn, teenager-like, mare. Ohmygod, I swore I'd never deal with it again... I'll be coming back here in a year and a half when I'm dealing with the mare's filly. :P
Remember.. we do this to ourselves because when they're awesome we can grin, point and say "I did that!"
Recently, I had a week or so of my four year old being a real pill. Not bucking or anything but just saying he didn't feel like being in the program. He was not only stiff as a 2 x 4, but he discovered a fun, new and interesting evasion where he tilts his head up and in on the right rein. Like a giraffe with a sore neck. Very cute.
On those days, I am very thankful for my 25 year old who is always dying to get out and work...
When I first started riding my mare as a 3 year old, all I wanted to do was ride my other well broke horse. I would just pay my trainer to ride the greenie. Some days she was quiet and would barely trot, other days she would do the big extended trot (without me asking) I was very afraid to canter her (HUGE stride). She is now 5 and is my favorite horse to ride. This was our first year of showing over fences (2'6"). The beginning was very rough. She is very brave and thought she knew how to do it all. Needless to say, she consistently left strides out because I couldn't get her to compact her stride. It is the end of the season and she is going wonderfully, and I finally feel ready to move her up to the bigger stuff.
Just remember that your horse probably just as frustrated as you. I think it took about a year for my mare to learn what exactly I was asking of her and for her to become tolerant of my mistakes.
I'm on the same boat as everyone else. My horse is five and I just got him over the summer. We've had our good days but for some reason he HATES the indoor arena and refuses to pick up his right lead. He gets it fine outside... ugh. I can't wait until the rides get more and more consistant. I haven't jumped him yet, but he does canter over poles and can navigate trotting poles well after a try or two.
My " greenie" caused me to have a fall resulting in the first and hopefully last broken bone of my life. He went on to be the horse of a lifetime; evented through prelim., took my daughter safely over many, many jumps and to several medal finals, taught numerous riders how to navigate a course and is now my chief babysitter for my weanlings at the ripe old age of 27. He has had his moments over the years but never anything rank or dishonest. Maybe yours will be that special one too.
My greenie just had two good days in row. Unfortunately, it rained today, so I didn't get to ride. Still, it happens occasionally. If she keeps having good days, we may even get to jump before winter. Hooray!
My used-to-be-greenie is a stallion. Forget consistency, I still get a "new horse" everday.
Oh, I'm right there with my 3yo stallion!
Of course, right now he seems to be going through the everything should go in my mouth stage for the second time in his life (last time he was yearling)... Of course, this could be because I recently brought out the winter blankets again and he thinks it's fantastic to pull on the front corners, so why shouldn't he be allowed to put the leadshank, reins, towel, jacket, etc. in there too
My all-time favorite greenie move is "I can steer today but don't expect me to steer tomorrow"!!
They do grow up, tho it's pretty essential to enjoy the process as well as the end product. Not saying you should enjoy every moment of the process.
I was a member of the original BGSG with Star who is now 10. So, we survived and I have a lovely horse to show for it. A couple of times recently my trainer has commented to people that I've had Star since he was two, did most of the riding myself, and did an amazing job. Definitely helped to have a horse with a good mind, a lot of good help, and a sense of humor.
My greenie is a four year old TB mare (at least she's a bay, and not a chestnut). I've had her since February, and she's been under saddle since March. I just started her over fences this week, and thankfully that part was GREAT. I've taken her over a small crossrail (<12") or two in the past, but didn't feel like she was really ready to focus and definitely didn't really know where her legs were. She ended her first session with a ~2' crossrail, two strides to a caution-striped-plank vertical at about 2'3" with placing poles through the whole thing. She was quiet as a church mouse and the placing poles in the two stride really gave her a nice canter to jump out of. No rushing, diving, or bulging, just a quiet relaxed trot in, canter out, on soft contact with a quiet halt about six strides after.
At any moment you may experience random acts of bulging, leaning, head tilting and/or twisting, loss of steering, lack of responsiveness, sluggishness or loss of impulsion, excessive and/or sudden impulsion, possibly in combination with any of the previously mentioned side effects of being a four year old TB mare. You may also expect to experience bouts of irrational attitude, which may include but is not limited to tail swishing, ear pinning, or just plain feigning ignorance or deafness. An occasional buck and/or rear has been previously sighted but at this time is not to be expected, and definitely not tolerated.
But let me tell you: when she is good, OH MAN, is she GOOD. And the ratio of good days to bad days is getting better and better.
There are just plain days when you would swear on a stack of Bibles that Quattro's brain was made out of Twinkies. You know the kind I mean... The kind of day when there are at least 60 things higher on his priority list than listening to YOU... But I think the most depressing thing is that he's 3.5 and consensus of the "older and wiser" side of me, plus vet, plus trainer ALL think he needs another 6 months of "grow time" before we can safely start him in serious work. He's off at the trainer now being lightly started under saddle but I need to find a boarding barn w/ a bigger pasture so he can loon around over the winter and hopefully develop a bit more.
I have to try SO HARD to force myself to cancel the thought "If I had only gotten another OTTB instead, it would be nearly trained by now" and replace it with "You're sitting on the hack winner and you know it" and "he's gonna be a Really Nice Horse when he's... eight."
"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief
Boy, can I relate to the "new horse every day." My 7 yr old ottb and I have made big progress in the year we've been together, but "potential" was about all we had in the beginning. His history is murky, but now we can boast of nice simple changes and fairly balanced gaits--most days. I've always told people that I get on a different horse every day. We've worked through rooting and pulling, balky ear-pinning, bogus spooking...you name it. Now he is pleasant and fairly consistent, loving his little cross rails and verticals, looky but not spooky trail rides. We do get the giraffe-head every now and then--provoked by the weather when it first turned cold--but I'm so proud of him and pleased with our progress. At my age, I probably shouldn't have taken on a green horse, but he fell in my lap, and I couldn't be happier!
The other day one of my 4 yr. old mares (I've got two, yikes) decided that she was going to spook and bolt at our dog laying down next to the ring, not once but every time we went by him! I even made the dog get up and move somewhere else, but she still kept spooking at him. She's known the dog for a year and a half now. It was so ridiculous it was actually kind of funny! I literally got nothing done the entire ride.
I think when you have one of those days on a greenie you just have to take a deep breath and try again tomorrow!
"A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
Add me to the clique! I love, love, love my 3.5 yo hano and am having a blast with him. Smart, sweet, affectionate and really enthusiastic about everything. But its hard to put him into any kind of serious work when he's grown almost a full hand in 6 months with more to go, is losing his 3.5 yo teeth one at a time and is highly displeased about it, and turnout is minimal due to the rain starting so it is like sitting on a powder keg even after a lunge. That said, he's w/t/c, started over flower boxes and trots into little baby cross-rail grids.
I'm moving him to a new barn next week where the indoor can be turnout on muddy days, and we'll work him through the winter to have him ready for the baby greens in the spring. Aiming him for the YJC series as a 5yo, but we'll see how he feels about that next year.
i know exactly how u feel, and i know this is not something u wanna hear right now, but hang in there!!! i got a horse when she was just 4, and i was just learning how to ride. she wuld buck me off EVRY lesson, i culd nvr get lead changes, she would spook, refuse, and everything else you culd imagine, i wanted 2 live up ridinng att least 10 times. but then i started to notce a change, slowly but surely, my pony was getting better. when i wanted 2 give up every1 kept saying ittll get better, and i got so frustrated when they said that. i would say to myself "how to u know what if she nvr gets better!!!" but she did. now she wins everything, auto leads, the whole 9 yards. i leased her out to someone b cuz i got 2 big, and evry time the ponies name is called i think 2 myself "see wht happens iff u just hang in there" now i have another green pony, and i think training the first one really helped my riding b cuz i know that when people say itttll get better, they truly mean itt, and there not just saying it 2 make me feel better. so truly it does get better and soon ull b taking home all the 1st place ribbons!!!
he may hit a rail, but at least he wont break my heart <3
Inside the rider u have become is a little girl who fell in love with horses, ride for her (;