"Think like a horse! As riders we worry about the past and future, but horses just live in the moment - your horse is not thinking about what spooked her before or what might spook her in the future, she is just doing her thing right now."
Need to hear this! Over & over again! Confession: When the Sea Monster came to me it was b/c of my friend going through a divorce but more than that - my friend HATED riding her b/c of how she spooked and what she'd spook at. Some of the stuff she told me about was more than legit - I'd spook hard, too! I never really saw the weird spooking until recently. It's not even like a spook - it's just like all 4 feet sort of jump backwards 2-3 INCHES all at once. Hard to explain but the Amazon has been doing this since last week...I'm sure it contributed to her bucking bronco routine on Saturday. BUT I got on today and she was fine...not 100% but part of it is the fearless d@mn deer that are always just inside the treeline & making noises. Anyway - I got on today and just couldn't shake the events of Saturday. It was an okay ride - I've got to get my core fixed - wishing I was fit like when I was 20 years old. Having that feeling of being....hmmm...compromised?? not good. I've been telling my daughter that every ride is a blank slate and to quit worrying that something bad is going to happen...I should listen to my own advice! ha!
Sounds like we're all having some ups & downs. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather at the end of this week. SO overwhelmed with various chores in trying to get spring planting done. Broilers (meat chickens) are coming end of the week and I've got 100+ tomato plants I've got to transplant. So glad spring is here!! Anyway - healing vibes and happy, quiet horses for everyone!! Off to bed - I'm beat.
"BUT I got on today and she was fine...not 100% but part of it is the fearless d@mn deer that are always just inside the treeline & making noises."
I hate that, Finzean. I had one once jump through the trees, into the arena I was riding in, and jump out the other side. Miraculously I saw it first and turned my (old) horse the other way, and she never even noticed it! Scared the daylights out of me, though, expecting an explosion.
Spooking is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. Unless they're little spooks. That's okay. I don't like those power spooks anymore. My young dutch mare was so bad with spooking and being just reactive about everything. I could walk by her stall and blow my bangs out of my eyes and she would flip her head and bonk her poor face on the top of her stall. I tried to work this horse for years and she really never got better! Classy, she reminded me of your horse Rose in that I tried and tried until she was eight, then finally said, that's is. She's not the horse for me at this point in my life. I got her as a yearling. Sold her as an eight year old. Not that you need to sell your horse, but sometimes if you decide you need to, that's okay!
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
Opus, it was great to hear from you. I had wondered what happened to you and Oliver. There is no shame in realizing you aren't as interested in riding as you once were. It costs too much not to enjoy it. It's too bad you don't have much camaraderie at your barn; for me, that is really important. I suggest visiting around at other barns and then reevaluating. You may find that taking lessons without the lease better suits you...or you may find that emotionally and mentally you've moved on from riding. If that's the case, we'll miss you, but it's OK. There are so many wonderful things in the world to experience, and they don't all involve horses.
Paradox, I'm sorry the Appendix didn't work out. I agree that it sounds as though she had too many issues. You need a horse both you and DH can ride for under $2000--is that right? It'll take awhile to find him/her, but I'm sure that horse is out there--probably an older solid citizen. Keep checking the Giveaways forum. Some amazing horses have shown up there. How is Chico doing? How's your ankle? Glad to hear about your amazing bargains! I'm glad you liked my azalea/dogwood picture. I took that one year ago just outside the entrance to our subdivision. Our summers are brutal, but late March/early April is always lovely.
Spooking: everyone is talking about spooking! Sky is Queen Spook. She has improved, but she has to look at everything, and the most ordinary things make her nervous. Yesterday it was the hose in the barn aisle and some rails that had been moved in the ring. This is why I wonder if she will ever be a horse I can take places. Maybe in ten years! I won't tell you how old I'll be then! Oh, well. Don't get me wrong: I am enjoying her, and I know she really wants to be a good girl.
CR--how wonderful of your friend to agree to work with Rose for you. I agree that a special thank-you gift for your friend will be in order. That's probably just what Rose needs. After the 30 days, you can evaluate whether it makes sense for you to keep her. She'll be more marketable if she can w-t-c under saddle. As for Velvet, I agree with whoever it was who suggested lessons for you and/or some training rides for her. At this point, your confidence needs a boost, and the quickest way to obtain that will be some lessons on a steady-Eddie type and then some lessons on Velvet. Then again, you can evaluate whether or not she is really the right horse for you.
I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne
Think like a horse! As riders we worry about the past and future, but horses just live in the moment - your horse is not thinking about what spooked her before or what might spook her in the future, she is just doing her thing right now.
Wow. I HAVE to remember this. I've noticed I've been rather anxious about tonight's lesson - I haven't ridden since my fall at last week's lesson because I was too sore for Friday's practice ride. I've been feeling the anxiety today
I did order a vest - not really because I'm scared that every spook will lead to a fall, but because I don't bounce as well as I used - as witnessed by how sore I still am a week later! Granted, I have a really bony butt and that's what I landed on!
Wish me luck I aranged to have a lesson on Tues and 11am... The weather is supposed to be nice enough here so I don't have to look like the abondmoible snowman to be outside. I think it is to be 65... Winter is finally releasing its grip.
Of course the weatherdude is calling for storms the day before. But so far nothing on Tues.
I cant wait. I get to spend the whole day at the barn just being with the horses. Maybe I will hop on Toby but I guess Ill have to see how my balance and stuff are but the hope is. And I hope that my riding was not effected much..
RolyPP, enjoy your lesson. Take a deep breath and maybe visualize a nice fun quiet ride! Let us know how it goes.
bumknees, great on your lesson coming up too! Glad the weather is getting nicer. We all can use a break from winter! Going to be 70º here this weekend. Perfect riding weather.
Dewey, thanks for your thoughts. I think I may have a prospect to go look at. It's a TB, large boned which I like. If we agree on a pricerange, we'll see her on the 14th on the way back from Equine Affaire. It's SOMEWHAT on the way. We'll see how it goes! Yeah, I know it's tough to have such a small budget, but eventually we'll find something. I need to be patient.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
I've been busy with work and (of course) working with the horse. Our plan is do our first Starter level event this summer. Our biggest hurdle at the moment is transportation. I don't own a truck/trailer and usually go with other people. One of my friend's truck is now out of commission and since that was my usual "go to" trailer," transportation options have gotten pretty limited. I really want to get out there and show!
Paradox - are you headed to the Columbus, OH Equine Affaire? I've looking forward to going there again this year!
NJR, that's encouraging. I have decided my goal this show season is just to give Sky experience, just let her see new places and help her see that other places will not kill her. (I also hope the experience will not kill me! )
Good luck with the new program. Keep us posted!
dreamin', I don't have a trailer either. Good luck with the event. I would love to do something like that, but Sky isn't very brave, so we'll stick with staying in the ring. I'll tell you what--my dream is to go on a hunter pace. Maybe in a year or two!
I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne
Argh! And I fell off AGAIN last night. He spooked in the same spot as last week, and again, it wasn't his normal spook - it was a spook and spin this time.
I'm not sure how I'm feeling. Part of me thinks that I need to just keep riding him because that's what a rider does, but the other part is like "You do this for fun. Being anxious about what might happen with this specific horse is NOT fun. You're not trying to be a professional - stop riding him."
However, all the other schoolies are ponies. And I don't really want to leave my barn because my instructor is great. But I don't think I want to ride him any more. I'm not the bravest rider and have a lot of confidence issues, and I can see that I'm at the point where one more thing will really do my little confidence in and it'll take years to get it back.
Trying to catch up – man this is an active group! I hope I don’t forget anyone!
Thanks for the suggestions on what to do for my friend since she is so kind as to volunteer to put 30 days on Rose. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but now I have some great ideas!
Event4Life – Congrats on the great lessons! It feels *amazing* to improve, doesn’t it? How awesome it must feel to know that you’re finally getting a handle on the jumping ahead. Sounds like you’re doing quite well with this trainer – congrats! And keep having fun!
Tiger – I’m glad you found a great bit for jumping Dodger! Sometimes the bit really does make all the difference.
MillysGirl – You are spot on saying that it takes the *right* instructor to help get your confidence back with lessons. I’m trying to look into riding instructors right now and I just hope I can find one that I click with and trust.
HazelG – 5 weeks until the first show? Boy, that weather is not cooperating! Best of luck – you’ll have to keep us posted!
ParadoxFarm – Horse shopping can be *so* frustrating, especially when you already have a super great horse to compare the others to (ask me how I know! lol). I really feel for you. But, the right horse will come along at the right time. Hopefully it’s this Thoroughbred and your search will soon come to an end. But if it isn’t the right horse, then just keep on looking. It’ll show up for you, I promise. ….If all that is wrong with Chico is that he needs shoes to protect his soles, then you’re lucky. It could’ve been so many other, much worse things. I used to have to keep front shoes on Gabriel when I was doing lessons on him so he wouldn’t get foot sore…. Now, as far as your ankle, I’m sending you healing vibes and hoping it’s nothing bad. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to wrap the ankle, or do whatever you have to do to protect it a little. Let us know how the doctor’s visit goes.
Also, thanks you so much for sharing your story about the Dutch mare. Actually, your story speaks to me in relation to Velvet instead of Rose – I’ve had Velvet for about 4 years now. She’s a great horse, very strong and athletic, but she’s also a sensitive and kind of reactive horse. It’s so odd – you know, there are days when I ride her and she’s *fantastic* and things that I think are going to spook her, she doesn’t blink an eye at. Then there are other days when she’s just so sensitive that silly little things make her react, much like you with blowing your bangs out of your eyes. I recognized about 2 years ago that she might be too much horse for me in that way, so I put her up for sale then. But the market was SO awful that I couldn’t sell her. One “buyer” wanted me to give her away to them, which I refused to do. She could be a fantastic show horse for someone who’s just more confident than I am. Now, 2 years later, I’m back to the point yet again that I want to sell her. I feel like that in itself speaks volumes, because I am *not* someone who gives up on their critters.
Finzean – Wow, the Amazon is a one of those that vaporizes and reappears somewhere else, huh? lol I’ve known a few like that. It sounds like she really is a great mount, though, and a sweet character. Don’t worry about your core – I image it’ll get strong pretty quickly as you’re riding more.
RolyPolyPony – I am SO sorry you fell off last night. Would your instructor be willing to ride this horse before you get on next lesson to be sure it’s not going to spook at that spot? Sometimes my confidence is boosted when I see someone else ride my horse through whatever it is that's scaring her/me. Or, perhaps this is one of those things where other options should be explored. I would really hate to see you lose your confidence like I have. Part of find a lesson program that’s the right fit is clicking with the instructor, but another big part of it is having horses that you are able to trust and click with. That’s what lessoning for people like you and I are about – being able to focus on *our* riding and improving ourselves without having to worry about what the horse may do. Sounds like this horse, though a great mount in some ways, is not exactly a confidence-builder. Is finding a horse to lease an option for you at all? You may be able to find a fantastic lease horse and continue lessoning with the same instructor. ...I’m not sure what to recommend, but I wish you the best of luck in working this all out.
Bumknees – Yay!!! Have a great time at your lesson! Don’t get discouraged if your body isn’t where it used to be – that’s ok! We all go through it to some extent or another. Most importantly of all, enjoy your time with Toby.
NJR – Good luck with Iris! Let us know how it goes.
Thanks to everyone who gave advice to me regarding lessons and/or selling the mares. I am beginning the process of looking for a riding instructor. Hopefully I can find someone in my area that I can lesson with regularly who I click with and can trust. My friend’s old riding instructor is coming up on Saturday. I’m welcome to just watch, or to lesson with him if I want. From what she’s told me, it sounds like he can sometimes be pretty rough with the yelling and what-not, which is not my style. So, I may or may not lesson with him. But even if I did, he lives too far away to be a regular instructor for me. So, the search is on.
I want to give myself a couple more rides on Velvet to see whether I can feel even halfway safe on her again, but as mentioned above, I kind of feel like this is it. You know, I’ve had bad days with Gabriel and *never once* did I want to sell him. Even on his worst days, I’d put him back in the field saying, “You were a real a$$ today, but I love you. See you tomorrow.” With Velvet, I just feel completely defeated and ready to wave the white flag.
Thought I'd take a peek back as well. Been kind of a crummy winter dontchaknow, so all those plans to do spectacularly in maintaining through the winter, and then getting started early on working in the spring went right out the door!
So enjoying everyone's posts, but won't respond individually as I need to get out the door.
Just glad to see the same spirit here. I'd only checked in at the barn the past 10 days without riding - had at least kept up twice a week, then got on last night - ok, spring IS here.
But just love riding and horses so. When I check back here, know I'm with like minded friends. And yes, it can wax and wane with real life, and real life's pulls and situations.
But good to read everyone's stories. Happy spring riding!
How can there be so many currents in such a little puddle? National Velvet
Paradox....LOL at "somewhat on the way"....how many times have I been down "that road" - take a snack!
CR - the core is getting stronger as the Amazon likes a deep & wide ride, hold yourself up & back and whatever you do don't start creeping up her neck or leaning forward! It's interpreted as a request for an unauthorized dismount!! Hahaha
I don't have time to respond to everyone, but Roly sorry to hear about your fall - that was me a few weeks ago. I hadn't hit the dirt in quite awhile and then came off twice in one week - same thing too - spook in the same place both times. Had me pretty wigged out, then figured out I was so worried about my position, had just started hunt seat again, that I was forgetting to ride! So hard not to get tense in that same area, took a few rides and some humming to work thru that. Maybe you could do some groundwork in the problem spot?
Had an OK ride on Tues night, switched bits and what a difference. Got my thinking cap on and decided to try something outside the box. Dodger works so much better when a curb chain is used - so, I rigged up the figure 8 (which he seems to prefer) with a loose ring double jointed happy mouth bit and added a curb strap. He was brilliant, just like the Pelham. My trainer asked what I'd done, took a look and wondered outloud if I could show using this! We'll see how he goes tonight.
"I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy
dreaminOTTB, good luck with your show/trial schedule! That's exciting. Hopefully your ride will turn up. And YES, going to Columbus for EA! Are you going??
RolyPolyPony, sorry for your fall. Maybe this is just me, but sometimes I think a break from that certain horse is good. Get on another safe sane mount. That's all that helped me when I fell off my mare twice. If you can talk yourself into getting back on, great. But if you don't feel confident, the horse may feel it and it is not always a good match. Not to say you won't want to get on later. But if you don't feel it, don't feel bad about your decision. Like I've mentioned here a few times, I had to take lessons on really safe school horses after my falls. And then I bought a QH who was a saint. Then I found Chico and we've been great ever since. Take your time deciding what you need to do.
Classy, I totally hear you. And I sometimes feel guilty when I tell people that sometimes it actually IS better to move on. I don't want to tell people to quit, but I am just thinking of my own experience. I just knew that horse was not going to be right for me. I did send her to training for 30 days and took my lessons on her last summer. But she never did feel quite right for me. Then we brought her home and she reared (in a spook) with my husband and flipped over. From then on I knew I didn't need that. I just can't enjoy riding if I'm constantly on my toes so to speak. Sold her and the new owner is going to breed her. (not sure that is a good idea or bad, but we were upfront with her regarding her reactiveness and rearing.) But I guess what I'm saying is that if you DO decide to sell either of the horses, do NOT feel guilty about it. If that ends up being your decision, be happy that you are doing what is right for you, and in the long run, what is right for your horses (whatever that may be!). Good luck with it. Maybe things will turn around and you will find them easier to deal with and work with. If not, it's okay. Find something you LOVE to work with. Every time I handle Chico, I can't help but say, I love this horse. And I'll be honest, it's been YEARS since I've said that about any horse. Maybe that's why I'm having trouble finding another one!
CVPeg, good to see you checking in!
Finzean, I guess somewhat on the way makes me feel better, haha!!
TigerHorse, awesome on the bit discovery! I think I need to put a curb chain on my elevator bit when I'm jumping. Sometimes Chico gets strong between fences. He's funny, on corners, if I'm not keeping on him he will trot. But when I take a line, look out! We would NOT do well in the hunter ring!
Hey, all, the trainer and owner of the TB and I have agreed on a price range! Yay! So we will look at her on the 14th when we are on our way back from EA in OH. Wish us luck. She seems really nice. Fingers are definitely crossed.
Well, since I took video of the Appendix we tried out, I may as well post it here. The clips are out of order. I did it wrong. The first rider is my trainer and the second rider is my husband. My husband rode first, and she was jiggy. And that part where she's acting really stupid, turns out she flipped the bit over in her mouth. Not sure how you do it, but once fixed she was okay again. Weird. Then the trainer rode her and she was good for him. But he's a professional, and makes it look SO easy. Plus she was a little more tired by then. haha. But we passing on her and still looking, as you know. No video of me, though. No one took video while I was riding. It was raining out, and miserable. But don't the trees look pretty?? Spring is definitely coming!