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Personal victories, big and small!

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  • #41
    Welllll, it's not really my victory but Katai finally balanced out her huge growth spurt and her withers match her buttocks!!!!

    Mine is remaining relaxed while riding green Katai the other day when she got a little crabby. We worked through it together and it was a great learning experience
    My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
    and her blog

    "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah


    • #42
      oh I was looking for a place to post this.

      I have had a wonderful AHA moment. I can give a half halt, (pay attention honey) then an aid (ok now do this) then another half halt (no stay here) and wash rinse repeat.
      What really works is holding the half halt till she lengthens or lowers her neck.

      This has taken so much tension out of our ride and she is 'willing' to be suppled, instead of resisting.



      • #43
        What a wonderful thread! I 100% agree that celebrating the good little stuff is what makes our sport worth doing day by day. You guys are all inspirations.

        Mine is that my horse and I are ready to go Training level (eventing) again after his tendon injury two years ago! We do it in two weeks (yes, I'm counting the days!).
        Taco Blog
        *T3DE 2010 Pact*


        • #44
          This is the coolest thread. Wow to all of you !
          Our great moment, as we have no trainer ( I will not go to the BO as her idea of flat work is pull the horses face in until it stays there) and dressage trainers that travel outside their barn are few and far between, last one I used was a young guy with a thick accent last fall who came out and told me that my mare's worst problem was me ( nice), so on a day like today where we had 3 no maybe even 4 decent circles at the trot, I feel blessed.
          We are going no where fast but the journey is nice and holds some magical moments.


          • #45
            This is such a great thread.

            I'm fairly new to "riding" and am having a hard time controlling my body. Last week I realized that HE doesn't fall apart, I do! I was riding by myself and felt him chewing on his bit too much. I remembered that for him that meant not enough contact (I tend to ride "loose"). Then when he wouldn't walk, I remembered to put my toes forward instead of out...aha, no spur touching him and he walks. Duh. And for each upward transition I remembered to tense my abs FIRST and sit up with my chin up. Feels so strange but works so good!

            These are minor things that most of you do without thinking. It has taken me a long time to get here...I am happy and my horse is happy.

            As Chisamba said: that's what counts.
            Ride like you mean it.


            • #46
              I started a journey 12 years ago buying a weanling. Unfortunately, that horse didn't work out as planned. In 2009 I found the best horse ever. I've spent the last three years getting him healthy including EPM. Today we completed our first dressage test together!


              • #47
                Way to go workin'onit. Congrats. THAT sounds like a cause for celebration
                Ranch of Last Resort


                • #48
                  65% at Second test 1 and 69% at First test 1 - scores towards a bronze, at May Days at Canterbury, under Ida Anderson. Won both classes with my Andi against some big WBs!


                  • #49
                    I had a lesson yesterday and a friend took some photos of my warm up. For the first time in forever, I only found two or three things to cringe over. Some of it looked pretty good. Considering.


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by mscapen View Post
                      We are going no where fast but the journey is nice and holds some magical moments.
                      Hey, good circles are difficult! So you must be getting somewhere!! And these moments we are all sharing really are magical, aren't they? And how cool that there are others that totally get that part.


                      • #51
                        The mare, for once, went lame in a very short-term way, probably due to a strong heat. All of a sudden, right lead canter was stabitty-stabitty in the back. Two days later, when the vet examined her and flexed her every which way, he could NOT get her to be off on the affected leg (RH.) But he noted her, um, hormonal state and suggested perhaps she had ovulated painfully. She's normally nearly silent in heat so now I get to monitor her cycles for a while to be sure they don't get stronger.

                        OK. Anyway, the other good part of this is that the vet ID'd the *real* problem, which is that her left hock is in the process of fusing. A bit of bute and I had a WAY better mare, because she was willing to bend that leg.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                        • #52
                          The Hamster did his very first dressage show yesterday and although we were plagued by tenseness, we pulled decent scores and I'm immensely grateful for a judge who provided excellent and fair feedback. At one point, a wind gust literally moved the long side of our arena OUT by approximately 15" or so right as we were trotting by. Luckily, he was too distracted by a million and one other things to even notice!

                          Things started out a little rough because it was a huge show - around 96 rides. The warm-up in the indoor was hectic trying to maneuver a tense horse around with 8+ other riders in there at a time, some of them doing upper level stuff and me not knowing which way they were going across the arena. Horse handled himself OK, but was definitely in ADD mode. For our second test, we found an empty field to warm up in and that seemed to help in getting him more forward. Additionally, I had nobody there to help coach us, which in the long run is probably a good learning experience, but a little coaching wouldn't have hurt and might have given me more confidence.

                          I'm thrilled that we scored some 7s and 8s and scored above 60% in both tests. Over the winter, I was riding only on weekends and my trainer was riding him 2x a week for me, so it wasn't until the beginning of April that I started riding 4x a week again. I figure that with only a month and a half of us working regularly together, our scores weren't bad.

                          Photos of the momentous occasion:



                          "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


                          • #53
                            Woohoo celebrate! Watching myself is painful.
                            Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
                            I had a lesson yesterday and a friend took some photos of my warm up. For the first time in forever, I only found two or three things to cringe over. Some of it looked pretty good. Considering.


                            • #54
                              Great Job everyone!!!


                              • #55
                                Everyone's stories are great to read - makes me want to go ride! Wish I had something to add right now, but we're going through some consistency issues a week before the first show of the year

                                Hopefully next week I can write about how great the show was


                                • #56
                                  I'll add! Last weekend was our first outing of the year. We hitched a ride to a local saddle club's English/Western Open show. I entered my standardbred in the W/T Division and added a couple of canter classes. We've only ever done Dressage shows- so I didn't really know how he'd do with sharing a big arena. I was pretty sure that he was going to loose his cookies because he has been awfully spooky lately (fit + boredom).

                                  Well, was I ever wrong. He settled in right away- had a couple of smalls spooks in our first 2 classes, but we still placed 3rd. Then he picked up a couple of 2nd places, and a 1st place out of 9 in the class.

                                  The next day I got a call from the show secretary informing me that we got High Point for the division! I just about fell off my chair!

                                  My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                                  • #57
                                    I loved everyone's stories. I am returning to riding after a long break. I have had every version of bad horse and lameness and then a retirement due to COPD. Not to mention the horses that I had because I couldn't afford to spend a lot and they were oh so so so unsuited for me. I had made a committment to myself to start over. To begin by taking lessons with a good trainer on their horse...for a good long time. Well, a trainer that I have worked with for years is making that happen for me. She even got a bigger school horse with me in mind (I am 5'8" and fluffy). I am going to take my first lesson next week and I am just on cloud nine. I am a little scared too but she is just the kindest person that will help me gain confidence back. Yeah!
                                    “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
                                    ? Rumi


                                    • #58
                                      I posted earlier on this thread about getting memberships in order to go to a show and try to get my bronze and Friday and today we actually made it to this show (technically shows), and now have the bronze scores in hand. Whee!

                                      It has been a very long month since my last post, because naturally the second Life heard I had sent entries in to a horseshow, Life started playing around:

                                      #1. I trailered the horse in question to the vet's clinic to get his teeth floated at the beginning of May and discovered upon arrival that he had given himself a good gash on the hock and sprayed blood all over the trailer. Cue heart attack, but it was actually much less bad than it looked so he lived in a wrap and got limited turnout for a week and then he was ok.

                                      #2. Then we trailered to the dressage trainer's place to practice in a regulation size arena and the second I went down practice centerline I fo-REALZ completely forgot how to ride and could not execute First 2 in a manner that did not have trainer composing her facial expression away from "jaw agape dismay" and fumbling around for what to say. So that was encouraging.

                                      #3. Then next lesson when we returned to the scene of the Great Forgetting How to Ride, we did remember how to ride but on the return home the truck Forgot How To Go, so we hung out in a blind curve for several hours while we attempted to get unstranded, and I envisioned the looming repair bill. Bless the boarding barn, as no fewer than the BO, two boarders, the BO's son in law, and her brother all came to help with ersatz trucks and trailers and tow vehicles and the whole etc. There was additionally the part of the evening where another boarder and I almost got arrested for a very poorly considered U-Turn but by then I was just slumped in the passenger seat in a state of I Can No Longer, Just No, so largely that went past me.

                                      #4. Then after the next lesson where we both remembered how to ride and the truck (after several hundred dollars of intervening encouragement) ALSO remembered how to go, I received a phone call on the way home IN THE SAME CURVE AS BEFORE that my sale horse I co-own with a client was colicking and needed to go to Cornell, so we stepped on it home, unloaded the one horse, put the other one on in full catheter/nose tube regalia, and drove 85mph past the 18 wheelers to get to the hospital. He pulled through. My trailer lights, however, breathed their final agonal respiration so ONCE AGAIN we returned straight to the mechanic's shop and sighed a very large sigh and handed over the card.

                                      And yet, despite the fact that the horse tried to kill itself, the other horse tried to kill itself, the truck tried to kill itself, the trailer tried to kill itself, and we almost ran out of gas on the way there, we made it to the horse show grounds Thursday evening.

                                      Friday we rode Second 2, First 2, and First 1 to scores of 62.237, 65.811, and 70.517, respectively.

                                      Today we rode Second 2 and Third 1 to a 69.211 and 64.868, respectively, and then squeaked out a 61.220 at Third 2 despite the fact that I was getting verklempt and teary eyed DURING THE TEST, completely forgot what I was supposed to be doing at several points and just sort of vaguely bent the horse inwards until the reader said the next thing, and, I discovered upon reading the judges comments afterwards, even managed to spin one of our turns on the haunches in walk the wrong way around (whoooopss!) because my brain was evidently capital D done for the day.

                                      Nevertheless, my dear horse, who deserves a Horse of the Year award I personally think, gamely carried me around all six tests and kept all his try out there despite the fact that it was hard and he was tired, helped me out and stepped in with the right answer even when he could have taken the opportunity to do less. He was willing and sweet and generous with his try and always acted like part of a team. We have been on the journey together from the very first ride when we were still getting led around on the longe line so it was a very nice moment to share with him. And true to form, he basically finished the test while I was getting all misty eyed about it!

                                      So now we are home and after a very well deserved few days off for him we will go back, as always, to building our basics. The simple changes from Second 2 still need work, as do the turns on the haunches even when we ride them the right way round, and we have lots of strength building and suspension developing and lateral work improving and confirming of the connection evermore evermore in our future.

                                      However I can't think of a nicer or more willing horse to work on it with and I think after this weekend and all the work we did to prepare for it we have a better partnership than ever. He is so wonderful and I am so lucky to have him to do the journey with.
                                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                      • #59
                                        Congratulations to all who have posted here on their victories, big and small. I had a life threatening accident in Nov 2011 when my young, very green mare dumped me and I was airlifted to the hospital. It took months to be able to just get around and do the most mundane, simple tasks.

                                        I have been riding this mare for the past year. She went to a trainer to refresh what I had started and get a little more done since I wasn't in any shape to restart - which was hard to accept. She is a gorgeous mare and and talented. I bred her and two half brothers. She is very intelligent and kind, but also willful and has been a bit insecure and would try to spin and panic/run in response to anything new, different, a sudden noise, etc. I used to get sick at my stomach before I got on. But it was something I had to work through for myself. We have come a long way. She has learned to trust me and likes me (most of the time, LOL). She is extremely sensitive and can be tense, but she is starting to relax more and get round on her own. We both enjoy hitting the trails and I was so proud of her when a turkey flew up in her face last week and she whirled to run but I stopped her -- we've practiced alot of stopping and standing -- and she stood quietly and looked and walked past where the turkey flew up and relaxed back to the barn. That was a huge victory for us -- we've had a couple of turkey and deer encounters since then and she's learned to stop and look and then go on with my encouragement. Now if she will just decide to canter nicely instead of spending part of the time with her head up and trying to snatch the reins away. It's just her way of trying to gain control, but we work through it and then she canters nicely on a loose rein, round and relaxed. A work in progress, but she fascinates me and I love a sensitive even complicated horse. I just thank God that I can do as much as I can!


                                        • #60
                                          I have two-

                                          After 9 mos. off due to a tendor tear and now three months of easy work, my first guy flexed perfect. Vet set to "He's as sound as ever. Treat him like a normal horse and enjoy him!"

                                          My new horse is amazingly talented but is SO silly it's exhausting just to go all the way around the arena. The past month or so he's gotten much easier and we have made great progress. Getting lots of compliments and seems like we are finally bonding!