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Horse is horrid & I have a blast, in clinic with a Very Big Name - photo link added

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  • Horse is horrid & I have a blast, in clinic with a Very Big Name - photo link added

    Yesterday, we rode in a Linda Zang clinic. I'm no way at the level for this, but the opportunity arose, and I'd audited her clinics and like her style. So we had lots of big, well-behaved WBs, some at FEI levels, and then Training-level-aspiring me and my hot little Morgan mare Feronia.

    I'd remarked to my trainer that at the very least, even if Feronia was horrid, we'd provide some comic relief at the end of the long weekend, as we were the last pair to go.

    We provided comic relief, in spades. Feronia was horrid, worse than she has been in months and worse than the very green 4YO TB/Dutch gelding that went right before us! She took great exception to the seating gallery set up at one end of the arena, and its reflection in the mirrors, the audience, the sound system, etc. I led her up to the seating area before I got on her and asked people to come pet her, so maybe she'd calm down about it. It didn't help much. Once I was on her, she was up and looky and focused on the scary places, and ignoring me. Linda had me bring her up, and petted her. And then we went to work.

    Our big issue right now is corners. Feronia often blows through my aids and falls in. Linda had me hold the inside rein very short and set my thumb into Feronia's mane to stabilize my inside hand, and use inside leg to an opening outside rein. It worked pretty well, but when we reversed directions, Feronia decided that the tack room viewing window and the adjacent door from the barn to the indoor was OMG full of Scary Horse-Eating Monsters , especially since the dreaded seating gallery came right after that. I should note that the clinic took place where she is boarded, so she knows this arena very well.

    Linda was great! She coached me through some *very* stubborn Feronia moments, some pretty serious sideways scoots and a couple of times where she just slammed on the brakes and went sideways, backwards, any ways to get away from the scary places. We did lots and lots of tiny circles in front of the scary stuff and eventually I could feel it coming and either take her into a circle before she acted up, or prevent her from scooting in the first place.

    We went on to canter when Feronia had calmed down (sort of). This horse is a "canter Morgan" not a "trot Morgan." Linda loved Feronia's canter and told me that she would have a buyer for Feronia instantly if I ever wanted to sell her, to which I answered, NO WAY! as we flew past. And Linda tricked me into counter-canter, which I'd never done deliberately before, by telling me to canter across the diagonal and when I asked, in a panic, "What do I do when I get to the other side?" she said, "Nothing, just sit back and enjoy the ride." And Feronia's counter-canter is amazing. We did it in both directions. And then we were done...

    I was exhausted, but Feronia was barely puffing. Linda cautioned me to lean against Feronia for a few seconds after I dismounted, just to be sure I wouldn't fall over. (She's had that happen to riders in her clinics -- she works people hard.) I did that, and hugged Feronia like mad.

    Was it pretty riding? Absolutely not. Real riding? Absolutely so! A year ago I was terrified to ride this horse. I was convinced I'd made a horrible mistake by buying her. Today I was not scared at all. First I was shocked, and then I was angry (and swearing a blue streak!), and then I was just laughing at how absurd the whole situation was. Feronia is a LOT of horse, way more than I ever anticipated. But once she settles down, she's sweeeeeet to ride.

    Linda loved her And she loved the "fight" I have in me... I am far from a beautiful rider, but a big wall fell yesterday. Feronia gets the day off today

    ETA: photos here. Please excuse poor position etc.... some of it's a function of dealing with the horse being, um, not submissive at all, and chair seat is because I have old injuries and my hips just don't work that way.
    Last edited by quietann; Jun. 16, 2009, 02:06 AM.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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

  • #2
    Name change required-the mare should be called "Felonia" for behaving so feloniously.

    Congrats for biting the bullet and going to the clinic.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


    • #3
      I love working with LZ. She's a positive, fun clinician without being fake or making you think you are doing better than you really are. Lucky you to get to work with her! I'm hoping I can clinic with her again someday.
      Amateur rider, professional braider.
      Save a life, adopt a pet.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
        Name change required-the mare should be called "Felonia" for behaving so feloniously.
        She has two barn names, Ferocious (which is how she was yesterday) and Barbie because she is *exactly* what Barbie's Dream Pony would look and act like in the flesh.
        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


        • #5
          good for you and having fun! You know, I need a clinic like that, I'm a little envious actually. I'd never have the gumption to go to a BNT with high level riders and go whizzing around on my savage intro/training beast, I'd probably take myself too seriously and get all worked up. Good for you having a sense of humor, it paid dividends it sounds! And thanks for sharing the tip on the corners. I have a "trot morgan" that likes to spook and then blow through my aids in the corners too, this will be neat to try.
          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


          • #6
            I rode with a BNT on mt TB once and we spent the ENTIRE warm-up with his head between his knees. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here to type this.

            When I apologised to BNT, he laughed and said, "Ya gotta do what ya gotta do! I would hvae done the same thing if I was on him." "Oh!" I said "Would you LIKE to get on?" "Um, no thanks. You're doing JUST fine!"

            Good on you for getting stubborn instead of scared. Just what a horse like that needs.

            Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.


            • #7
              Now you have a new show name for her - "Ferocious Felony"

              Very cool to hear about your clinic experience. I'm looking forward to doing that with my boy in the coming years.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by buck22 View Post
                good for you and having fun! You know, I need a clinic like that, I'm a little envious actually. I'd never have the gumption to go to a BNT with high level riders and go whizzing around on my savage intro/training beast, I'd probably take myself too seriously and get all worked up. Good for you having a sense of humor, it paid dividends it sounds! And thanks for sharing the tip on the corners. I have a "trot morgan" that likes to spook and then blow through my aids in the corners too, this will be neat to try.
                I'd gone in with this whole long list of questions, requests for help with my position, etc... and all that flew out the window as soon as Maresy decided she was not going to behave. At that point, it became "ride the d*** horse!"

                Morgans are huge fun in a small package. Linda Zang really likes them and recommends them to people who want smaller, "hotter" horses. I didn't want quite *this* hot, but it's what I have.
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


                • #9
                  Hurrah for you and Ferocious Felonia!

                  You give the rest of us courage to take our hot little sirens out without the paperbag over our faces! I am working up the courage to follow in your footsteps with my little trak mare. I loved your writing of the story. Please keep us posted! I bet there are some great stories about her..
                  Intermediate Riding Skills


                  • #10
                    What a great story...made my day !
                    www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                    "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                    Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                    • #11
                      Speechless. Just speechless.

                      I am so proud of you.


                      • #12
                        I was thinking of "My pretty pony" rather than Barbie's dream pony. Didn't My Pretty Pony come with mane and tail brush?

                        Your horse is beautiful. What kind of horse is this "angel"? Great story, also.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Kaluna View Post
                          I was thinking of "My pretty pony" rather than Barbie's dream pony. Didn't My Pretty Pony come with mane and tail brush?

                          Your horse is beautiful. What kind of horse is this "angel"? Great story, also.
                          Maybe you are thinking of My Little Pony toys? Oddly enough, to maintain her long mane and tail, I don't ever use a brush; I finger-pick them.

                          She is beautiful and she knows it... it's very easy to spoil her, I have to resist it. She has a regal, dominant, somewhat standoffish personality, especially now that she's had 11 months in a real dressage barn to develop her diva-ness. (She lived her first 10 years out in a pasture 24/7 with other horses.) Except when there's the possibility of getting fed, and then she turns into a goof.

                          She's a Morgan. 15 hands and 900 pounds of the USA's best kept secret breed. She was bred for "sport" rather than saddleseat/fancy stuff, though she has a Park Harness champion grand-dam and a fair amount of Saddlebred in her pedigree, and it certainly shows at times. I point folks to http://www.sportmorgan.com/ for more info; her breeders, Mythic Morgans, are listed there.

                          I bought her last March with the intention of eventing her, and we had a very rough start as she is much more horse than I bargained for. I had to quit jumping after a very bad fall off another horse, so we've switched to dressage. I don't know how far we will go -- I am clearly the limiting factor here -- but we're having fun with it in the meantime.
                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


                          • #14
                            Lucky you. I used to ride at her barn... I wish I could ride with her now.
                            ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
                            *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
                            *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
                            My Facebook


                            • #15
                              Oh. My.

                              Her entire personality, from your ride to her diva-ness to her food weakness, sounds just like my Lipizzaner, Fionna. Her Majesty, Queen Fionna, that is

                              Awesome job, quietann. I hope I can do as well as you did when the time comes for me to brave a clinic like that.

                              She is a beautiful girl, to.

                              Lovely braid job! I can *never* get a weave to look as nice as yours. Any tips?

                              Mad Mare™ Studio
                              Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.


                              • #16
                                Nice job!
                                I rode with Linda on Saturday. She worked us HARD, too! I was dripping with sweat when our ride was over. We got SO much out of it, though; I would love to ride with her again.


                                • #17
                                  I used to clinic with a BNT occassionally. She loved my horse, that sort of intimidated me. I felt pressured to develop the horse to the potential she saw in him. One early morning we met in the warmup of a very big show. My horse was being an absolute ass, leaping, lunging and scooting with twisting bucks to break things up a little. I was afraid he was going to toss me but I couldn't quit in front of her. I ended up scratching my ride and working the horse for about an hour til he was soft and submissive. BNT came up to as I was getting off (voluntarily ) and said that was some of the better riding she had seen it a while. Knowing that I could pull that off, she was going put it to me a bit more in our next lesson and she did

                                  Nobody ever wants to be in a situation like this but it is one of the absolute best things for your riding partnership, particularly with a "sensitive" horse. Working through the tough spots under pressure gives you so much confidence. That is absolutely crucial with a smart and sensitive ride. They need your confidence to develop their own.

                                  Good for you!

                                  Thanks for posting the the pics. I really enjoyed them
                                  See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                                  • #18
                                    Thanks for the story.

                                    Now I don't feel so bad about my schooling show, wherein my horse confused the event with a rodeo and thought of anything and everything bad that he could do and did it, in a large way -- leaping, spinning, bolting (full-speed gallop clear across the diagonal), balking, bracing, gaping. He was worse than he's been in eight years. At the end of the second test I heaved a big sigh and said, "Yee-ha!" Oddly, we got 8s on the free walk.


                                    • #19
                                      I loved your Story! You could be a writer I think we can all probably relate in one way or another but you put it into words so well.

                                      Thanks for the share!!


                                      • #20
                                        Love your clinic account, quietann. Congratulations on your ride and what you learned. Your mare is gorgeous, and you look great on her.

                                        You make me feel better about my recent decision to send in my entry for an upcoming show, TL-2 and TL-4 bravely marked. It's just a schooling show, but the last time I attempted to show the red menace in dressage, he was a bug-eyed beast on fire.

                                        But we made it all the way through the test, with me still in the saddle and the metal side down. And, like you, I know we made some real progress that day. As a friend at the show told me later, if you can get on him and ride him through that, you can do anything.

                                        Here's to our walls -- may they keep on tumbling down.
                                        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                        the best day in ten years,
                                        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."