Interesting rides from everyone this week!
Stolen - yay for a great lesson. Very great feeling to walk away from
OGP - very cool that the hubby took an interest in a ride! Sorry that your second ride was a little hairy - you wouldn't have even found me out there alone! The most I'll go on my guy alone is down the road to my neighbor's house to ride and even that I'm thinking of all the 'what ifs'
Myguy - congrats on your wins!!! That's even MORE of an accomplishment as a re-rider, IMO.
Jaslyn - I feel so uncoordinated too - and add to that a green TB and sometimes I spend an entire ride at the walk. Jumping is fun, but only if he's super relaxed, otherwise sometimes he jumps like its 4' and its a 18' crossrail.
Opus - buy what you want! If you don't let your heart rule totally, nothing wrong with starting your search in the color catagory, and narrowing down to the right temperment to fit your riding lifestyle.
I only rode once this weekend. Had a great ride yesterday, took a friend along and she rode my pony while I rode my TB. Then we switched so she could ride the TB and get a feel for him. I'm having surgery in a week and a half and I would like him to be ridden while I'm laid up (6 weeks!!) so when I DO get back to riding, he's not a total nut.
She did very well on him! He can be as easy or as complicated as you make him. But the one big thing for him is that if you brace, he braces back. So its super important to use your body to slow him down, versus pulling on the reins. Something I'm not used to at all!!! So it was good to see that she could handle that, and was not racing around on him. My pony is the same whether he's ridden once a day or once a year. he just gets lazier, which is no big deal. Once I'm allowed to ride, I'm going to start off on him.
On a really great note, I started him on Ultimate Finish this past week and call me crazy but I've noticed a difference already!!
I'm chiming in here now too because I had a really really great lesson on my horse last weekend and then this weekend it fell apart.
background: I'm 30 years old, I've owned my SFxTB mare for almost 4 years (4 years on Dec 19!), bought her as an unbroke 3.5 year old. Backed and broke her about 2 years ago (late start, I know) and kind of just tooled around wtc and a few dinky little 2' jumps. Highest I did with her last year was 2'3. Changed barns, not due to anything BO/trainer did, but I was working there PT to pay off board, plus paying money, plus working another PT job, plus going to school and it was wearing on me. Barn I moved to was one I'd boarded at before, and was the same $ I was paying at the other one, but without me having to work off board. Didn't do much with her once I moved her, other than a few rides here and there, and bareback jaunts around the farm.
A few weeks ago I decided we needed to get our butts back in gear, so I started lessoning with my BO. She's GREAT. She knows how scared I am of 'higher' jump heights, and she gently pushed me to go above and beyond what I'd been doing previously. We had a GREAT first lesson, ended up doing a grid that topped out at 2'9. My mare can get VERY lock-and-load when jumping and BO really worked with me to get her beyond that OMG JUMPS mentality. It was really, really great. I felt awesome!
Then came Saturday's lesson. I don't know if it was Mare or me, (probably me since I'd just gotten off 8 hours of work after sleeping 4 hours) but it was just not. good. She was tense, I was tense, we were fighting each other, she was lock-and-loading again. We still did a grid (ending with 2'6) and called it a day after a nice go-through on that one. But overall, I was very disappointed with myself
I have to remember that we're JUUUUUST getting back into lessoning/training, and there are bound to be good times AND bad, but it's so hard sometimes!
Yes, that's the old two-steps-forward-one-step=back phenomenon we're all so familiar with. The green mare I am working with demonstrates that on a regular basis. Her pattern seems to be that when I ask something for new or just assume she's mastered something, she gets upset or fresh and bucks/spooks/protests. Then she goes in the pasture after our ride to think it over. Almost always, she is much better behaved during our next ride and is ready to move ahead.
Welcome to the newbies. Congrats on all the showing success!
Opus - life is short - go for it!
Spacytracy - so glad you've found someone to punt for you. Hope all goes well - guess you'll have more time to write, right?
OK - so I've found out that I am crooked on my horse. I've never heard this before. But both trainers here notice. Not sure if my 25 year older/25 pound heavier bod is sitting awkwardly, but now - if I sit to "look right", I feel like I'm going to fall over on the left side.
B is doing great. Gone from a consistent walk & consistent trot, to my learning how to teach him immediate transitions, and he's picking them up very quickly. He also is doing great w/ turns on the forehand.
We're not at the canter yet, and the vet came out Saturday for a recheck after she first saw him 2 months ago. Of course being asked to canter so she could watch sent him from OTTB to OTSB ("do you want me to trot this fast?") and then back to ON track TB but we held it together. She said his muscle tone has improved dramatically, and everything else we have in place seems to be working. He will be fine to begin work on the canter as his training moves forward. Learned where he still needs some flexibility, and some neat massage maneuvers (didn't know those years ago!) and other ground work to do with him.
The most fun this week is that I was also told to help his back by alternating mounting on both sides. Ha Ha!! Ever tried it? Are you kidding me? I waited until today, when no one was around. Actually getting on was ok. But I try to dismount on the mounting block. I got half way off, and got my left foot stuck on the cantle, then found myself on the mounting block backwards. Don't ask! He didn't move a muscle, and I am so grateful that he was such a good boy - honestly, I can now almost compare him to Trigger! And also glad no one with a video camera was present or I'd have to pay some big $$. Fun!
Last edited by CVPeg; Nov. 21, 2011 at 08:21 PM.
I am crooked too. A trainer taught me to think of my inside hip moving towards the fence rail each time I post to help straighten me out. It works, but I think the real issue is an old hip injury from a skiiing accident many years ago.
Glad you had a good ride, during winter those rides mean a lot to me.
spacytracey glad you have someone to ride him! Good luck with your surgery and recovery...I hope it goes very very well.
Opus, lots of quarter horses don't look like western quarter horses and DO come in palomino. Look the Appendix route and racing breds, lots of them tend to be hunter-y.
CVPeg and Stolen Virtue count me in on the crookedness. I'm all wonky from years of injuries and then sitting in an office chair (and I tend to sit crookedly there too). My spine had some...um...interesting shapes on my xrays. Yikes!
ohrebecca and Dewey - yep, the ups and downs....gah!
CVpeg, mounting and dismounting from both sides is a very useful skill. And for a person who's not trained to do it, very awkward at first and good for a few laughs! I'd have someone to hold the horse, no matter how calm he is, if you're trying this for the first time or three. That person could also help you get unstuck if you end up stuck!
(My mare does both sides for mounting and dismounting. I usually mount from the left and dismount off the right. It took a while to get used to the latter. Next thing is to get a helper and practice mounting from the right.)
Good horse story: my BO had a 10 year old boy at the barn. He is a "natural" rider but at the time had had few lessons. BO had to run back to the barn for something and told him to go ahead and get on the horse, a teenage, large (16.1 but built like a brick house) BTDT mare who was not always completely still at the block. The kid got on the wrong side, mare just stood there although she did turn her nose to him as he was mounting as if to ask "WTH?". I was watching from too much of a distance to get him to stop. THAT is a good schoolie.
I feel like I should get a big box of crayons and just color horses.
FUNNIEST LINE EVER!!! And an emotion I can definitely relate to!
spacytracy - so glad you are finding some pinch hitters for your TB while you are out of commission. I can't believe it is almost time for your surgery. We'll all be sending you lots of COTH "jingles" for a speedy recovery. When we are all freezing our butts off winter riding, we'll be jealous of you being in your warm house - but I know you'll be going stir crazy, wanting to be in the saddle.
OneGrayPony -- I don't envy you switching barns. Even though you know the new place is great, I can imagine it's hard to leave the old. Hope ya'll settle in quickly, and all goes well.
Opus1 -- I admit I used to be a little bit of a breed snob. But then I got Tajar -- I LOFF my quarter horse. He doesn't move anything like a western horse, he has a great brain, and he's not spooky at all. I've done some baby eventing on him, as well as hunter shows and a hunter pace (well, if you've ready my earlier post on that, it was more like 85-90% of a hunter pace - ha!), and he has always done well by me. Can he make the lines in a 3'3" class -- I don't know, maybe. Never tried that, never will. But he's perfectly capable of doing well and being competitive at the levels I aspire to (2'6" in hunters and XC, and lower level dressage). My limitations are greater than his!
We had an interesting weekend - after a disasterous lesson last Sunday when we weren't communicating well at all, we spent this weekend focusing on basics again in the round pen. It actually went really well. We got in some good sitting trot work, because I didn't have to worry about him drifting around a big arena -- he didn't have much room to drift in there! And I discovered I really have gotten sloppy with my canter departs, and we need to work on those. I admit though, it wounds the pride a little to have to step back to the round pen to practice basics. Being a re-rider sure keeps me humble.
The weather was pretty warm for this time of year, which was a real gift to a cold-weather hater like me! I am dreading the winter months.
We're stepping up his training this winter -- so come next Spring, I'll be a lot poorer, but he'll be a lot smarter. I'm looking forward to seeing him progress.
Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson
Hello everyone, I'm back! My trainer says all the time that the greenies will suck the life out of you, and it's so true. Had an "eh" ride Friday, a fun ride Sunday, and a terrible ride today. The good news is, I haven't had any stops while we've been jumping for the past couple weeks, AND I haven't fallen off. (Knocking on wood).
When I started reading this thread, the upper right corner of my screen said, "You last visited, January 11 2006". As I've worked my way through all your great experiences, the idea I had of maybe, just maybe, finding a barn where I could ride a teeny bit again and maybe put the kids on a longe line has now become an obsession. So thank you for that. I think.
For background, I have a retired appendix QH hunter. Got him as a green green greenie, worked him and was able to show him in the As and even live my dream of taking him to Ocala. But about 6 months after Ocala, he came up lame in the middle of the show season (suspensory, needed 9 months off), so DH and I decided to seize the moment. So to speak. And DD1 was born the following June. I tried to go back to riding for a bit in 2006 but found that it was more frustrating to ride like cr@p once a week after riding well 3-4 days a week, 2-3 horses per day, so I gave it up. But lately I can't stop thinking about getting back to riding.
It's a stupid idea, really. I have 2 kids, 3yo and 6yo. I have a demanding job (have been on 3 continents in the last 3 weeks). My sainted husband needs this like he needs a hole in the head. But...
Naturally, I blame you all. But I can't stop coming back to read about your victories and bruises, and wish I were back in the game. Anyone want to bet how long it will take before I'm back in the saddle?
My cold medications are kicking in and I will be adrift soon, but for a moment of some clarity..... "being in the game", yes that is the name of the game when you are juggling kids (young Kids), work (actually career) and a significant other (usually non-horsey). I know the dream well, and yes the drive for perfect equitation is hampered by the need for clean clothes the next day and a nightly meal most nights for not just you but three other strangers most nights. And then there are those mom guilty things to work out while standing in line at the grocery store....
My basic "Come to Jesus" mantra about riding is that "riding makes me happy, but doing everything makes me suck at everything". I cannot give 120% at everything like before kids and so my riding is not what it was. But I have "tapes" to show my children-yes that REALLY is mommy getting that blue ribbon on that crazy (yes, but talented horse) horse before you were born.
I now have an OTTB and my children are a bit older. I am gratefull and humble and wish that I had more time. But it is still the same drive I had years ago, and I want my kids to know that their career does not have to be their passion, they can still make time for that. OK, time for drugs....
RRB, I started riding again after a 20+-year hiatus when my DD wanted riding lessons at age 8. She had been taking lessons for a year before I got back on. It came right back! I started riding a little at a time, now and then. Before long, I was exercising a horse for a college student who had gone home for the summer. Then I started working with a greenie for my daughter's coach. Three greenies later, I'm riding as well as I ever did--though I don't bounce as well!
I guess what I am trying to say is that you don't have to bite off more than you can chew. I encourage you to get back into it to the extent that you feel comfortable. Your kids will grow up all too soon (trust me on this one), and you will have plenty of time to ride more after they are grown.
RRB: I don't have kids or a hubby, but my barn is an hour from home and an hour and a half from work. And work has me switching me between day shift and night shift and my days seem to change constantly. But I put in my one little lesson a week and I'm very, very thankful for it. I'm progressing very slowly, and there are kids that started when I did who are now doing small courses while I come to grips with cantering ... but for me, it's still worth it. Just that one time a week gives me something to look forward to every week.
RRB, welcome. Unfortunately if you want anyone to talk sense into you, you have probably joined the wrong group *snort*.
In all seriousness, I do understand. I also have three children (my youngest is 10, so they are in the next age bracket up, but I remember the littles) and I own a company (so, definitely got the demanding job thing with the added pressure of us being a startup so I'm not drawing a salary yet, which isn't freaking me out at ALL.). And while it isn't wise for me to be riding 6 days a week, and it doesn't make any sense for me to spend money on my horse that I could have in a savings account, or pay for a family vacation or buy DH a car with so that he doesn't have to drive the 20 year old accord...none of it is wise...but I *have* to ride.
I tried not riding and being wise. Turns out, without riding, I'm a mess. I'm unhappy. I'm grumpy. I'm cranky. And I'm resentful. Not a person that I really want to be. Riding is in my blood. It's not something that I can control, though I wish it were (it'd be a good deal cheaper). It's the only place that I actually am not fretting or worried or thinking of the million things that I'm not doing well enough. I realized that it's a form of meditation for me...my brain literally focuses 100% on riding and it's the only time that I am fully in the moment. That practice means good things for my business, for my attention to the children, for my husband. So what seems at first to be selfish, actually has many benefits to my family.
Or maybe I'm just really really really good at rationalization
See that smile? You're a mom, but you still have a right to wear that smile. It's a beautiful smile, and one that I recognize.
Maybe it doesn't mean showing at Ocala. Maybe it means taking a little old creaky thoroughbred off the track (like I have) or a little quarter horse out of retirement and dinking around. Maybe you don't take lessons as often, but you ride a lot. Maybe you start trail riding more. Maybe you learn to foxhunt like the rest of us nutty Hunting Princesses.
Welcome to the group. Now get out there and take a lesson or ride your guy (if he's willing). See the smile come back
So I had my practice ride on Friday, and it was both good and bad - bad because I didn't use my inhaler before going, which I usually do as a proactive measure when my allergies are already bothering me...and didn't bring my inhaler with me, so of course my lungs decided to go crazy right after I got on. Argh. So when my schoolie decided that instead of cantering, he was going to do a couple of little bucks, I was very bad and said "forget this, I'm not cantering" and instead did major work on trying to get circular circles. Which we had success with, but now I feel guilty about not working through it and getting the canter, especially since it was just me being grumpy and tired and unable to breathe, and not a fear issue. I'm pretty sure that that one time is not going to reinforce in his head that little bucks=not having to canter, but still. In fact, the circling was probably harder work than the canter would have been, so he was probably thinking "argh, next time I'll just canter!"
I'm really hoping I can get this out of my head for my lesson tonight so I don't ruin my lesson because I'm dwelling on one silly bad moment. I wish I were better at getting out of my head!
We ALL seem to get stuck in our head. Its an adult thing. For me, its like, I'm paying for this lesson, and I don't get to ride alot, so it better pay off.
My friend (the one who I mentioned rode my TB on Sunday) texted me on Monday after her lesson to thank me. Her Sunday ride with me, on my greenie, helped her learn to relax at HER lesson, on a green TB. What a difference just ONE extra ride can make!!
Now I've just scaled down my goals. Nice trots. A steady canter. Maybe a crossrail but no big deal.
When it's not dark & cold, and I can ride every day...sigh...I have several days a week that I work hard at my riding, either taking a lesson or working in specific goals. But I try to save at least one ride a week for goofing off and just relaxing. It's important for both your horse and for you to just have fun and enjoy your time together. Take off your saddle and ride bareback. Pretend to be a barrel racer. Practice hanging your coat on a fence post.
Now that winter's here, and I can only ride twice a week, I can't devote one of those rides to play time, but I will still devote some part of a ride to just relaxing. Riding at a barn that's full of kids helps me with that. Sometimes you just have to kick your feet out of the stirrups, swing your legs and spend some time debating the stars of the vampire movies!
So, Monday nights are lesson nights...it was a fun lesson, even though the mare was pissy (can you say coming into season?!) Our coach had us doing canter to trot transitions, trotting over poles, looping around and then trotting back over the poles in the opposite direction. She also added a grid consisting of a 2 stride to two bounces to a one stride...all designed to have us learn to adjust our horse's strides and get them listening to us. She then added bending lines and a change of lead somewhere in there and then a repeat of the entire exercise in the opposite direction.
the jumps weren't high, but the exercise was hard...both the mare and myself were puffing by the time it was over. By the end of the lesson, the mare was listening better, and I was using my legs to turn her, instead of an opening or leading rein. I love my coach because she always makes the lessons interesting, and it's not always just hunter courses, but lots of gymnastics, flatwork and "thinking" exercises.
As for the pissy mare...she mellowed as the lesson went on, especially once we started jumping...she earned her peppermints at the end!