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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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  • Originally posted by TarheelJD View Post
    He was bred from a Skipper W line in Colorado
    Oh!! He's related to the best horse I ever knew - my mom's QH that she had in the 90s. I loved that horse

    I meant to do a non-complaining post after tonight's lesson, but apparently last week's hurricane turned me into a Weather Wimp and after my rather icky drive home from work, I cancelled tonight's lesson - wind, snow, rain, and freezing temps. Ack. ANd of course I feel guilty now.

    I've been making some progress in my attempts to not jump ahead. Not as much as I'd like, but some. MY part-lease schoolie continues to be a saint and I am so thankful for his patience, and my trainer's patience! Especially on the too-frequent days when it feels like I've forgotten how to make my body do anything when I'm riding!!


    • Pancakes, you don't sound "OK" to me. Depressed is not OK! And it sounds as if you have good reason to be. So sorry to hear about the family problems and illness on top of losing your new horse.

      Can you tell us a bit about what you are looking for in a new horse?
      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


      • Aw, thanks Dewey, thanks Tarheel. I'm not OK but I'm pretending because that's how you get by. I've been in worse condition before unfortunately but now I'm on my own and have to stand on my own two feet. I had a good talk with my trainer who is also my close friend, and I feel a little better, but things aren't so great right now. I just have to get by any way I can. The depression started a while ago and it's now coming out in full force, as you can expect it would given everything going on. The horse is the catalyst but not the most serious loss in all of this.

        What I'm looking for in a new horse is something big (>16 hands) since I'm tall and have a long leg, under 11 or 12 years old (ideally under 10) since I want to have it for a while, and athletic enough/good enough of a mover to do the local hunters/eq with ability to go 3'6" (even though I probably won't be doing that ever). Color isn't really a big deal as much as overall attractiveness, and breed isn't that important either, though I have preference to solid-colored horses and WBs/appendix/QH/TBs. I'd like a TB that didn't race ideally, but I'd accept an OTTB that is super dead quiet and with clean legs. Oh, and cheap...under $6k at this point. The horse doesn't have to be finished and can be green, but it needs to be safe/sane/sound.

        Back to the search...most of the horses that I feel are reasonable are in that $10-$15k range and the ones I dream about in the $20k+. Le sigh.


        • Pancakes:

          Is it the 3'6" potential that is getting you into higher $ figures? If so, and you don't think you will ever be competing at that height, maybe you can find something for less money that isn't a 3'6" prospect?

          I adore my horse, but I would not classify him as having competitive 3'6" potential. But given my re-rider self, I don't need him to. If I can get up to doing 2'6"/2'9" competitively, I'll be thrilled, and he definitely has that in the tank.

          If you keep looking, you will find something in your budget, particularly since you are willing to take on a horse that isn't totally finished. And we'll all keep an eye out for you in our areas!

          Take care of yourself -- and know that this too shall pass. Depression sucks, but you can address it and get better. It sounds like you know that, but I figure it doesn't hurt to hear it!
          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


          • Tarheel - I was wondering what color he was! How awesome!!! I’ve never seen a dark buckskin in person, but I adore the look of them in pictures. They are quite rare, though – you’re so lucky to have him! Sounds like he was a real find!

            Jaslyn - your profile picture is awesome! Man, that horse looks like a blast to ride! How proud you must be! And you sure do ride him well.

            Pancakes - I am SO very sorry you’re going through all of this. Why does everything seem to happen all at once? {{{Pancakes}}} I will be keeping both your mom and your aunt in my thoughts and prayers over the next few days. I hope your mom gets power back soon and that your aunt heals quickly. It’s even worse that you are so emotionally wrung out *and* having to work overnights *and* feeling ill. I wish I could give more words of wisdom than this, but the best I can tell you is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, just as you’re doing right now. I’ve been through times like that, and the only thing you can do is keep pushing through. I don’t know if you’re a country fan at all, but situations like this remind me of that song (I think it’s by Dierks Bentley) that says, “If you’re going through hell, keep on moving. Don’t slow down – if you’re scared don’t show it. You might get out before the Devil even knows you’re there.”

            By the way, your criteria for a horse are not super restrictive. You’ll have to weed through the undesirable candidates that fit most criteria and not all… But really, you are not precluding every good horse out there by any means. You’ll be able to find your new horse – he or she might not show up right away, but remember that all good things take time.

            RolyPolyPony – I do not blame you one bit for cancelling the lesson. I know all too well that feeling of guilt at doing so, but honestly, it’s better to keep yourself safe and happy. And I’m sure your schoolie doesn’t mind one bit that he has to work a little less tonight. It’s amazing, too, that you’ve found a trainer nice enough to understand that muscle-memory is not always as strong as we’d like it to be! I hope against hope that I can find a trainer as kind when I start lessons again this Winter!
            ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

            The equine love of my life: Gabriel
            4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3


            • Thanks guys *hug*. It's true, Classyride, about that song. And just one foot in front of the other. It just all seems to happen at once.

              Tarheel, I'm not really looking at a 3'6" prospect so much as a horse with the ability to do that, athletically. I'm not going to be jumping that high. I'm looking more for a 3' prospect but I don't want a horse that doesn't have anything left in the tank at 3' or that might jump dangerously because it's around the limit of his/her ability, if that makes sense. A horse that is actively schooling around 2'6" to 2'9 is perfect for me, or even one that hasn't yet gotten to that point but has the ability. It's good to hear that you don't think my criteria are too restrictive, because lately I've been wondering. I guess it's just a matter of time. Thanks for keeping an eye out! I'm willing to travel somewhat, even though something close to home that I can go check out on a day off would be even better.


              • Classyride - that's my trainer aboard over fences.

                Pancakes - I wish I had some really profound words of wisdom to offer you as you go through this, but I don't. Just know that all of us are with you and send you big hugs on a constant basis!
                And nothing bad happened!


                • Pancakes it does seem like everything happens at once. And I work nights too and I have to say everything seems more grim when I'm tired. Being sick only makes it worse too. I love that song about when you're going through hell just keep on going. Take it one day at a time. Or one hour at a time. Or one minute at a time if that's all you can manage. And remember that we are all here for you, a soft place to land.
                  What about an older horse? Everyone wants an 8 year old but there are lots of older horses that can do what you want with lots of good years left with a little bit of maintenance. And the pricetag is usually a bit lower. Just a thought.
                  On a personal front, I had the best lesson ever today, despite the freezing cold, and being tired from staying up way too late last night. I'm feeling ever so hopeful that I may just one day soon "get it". My horse seems pretty cheery about it too.


                  • Pancakes, if you are not picky about breed, you should be able to find plenty of suitable horses in your price range especially if you are willing to either take a TB or a horse that's a bit older than your ideal. As Hazel says, there are lots of nice horses that can do what you want and are excellent confidence builders but are on the older side, like 14 or 15. These horses often have a lot of mileage left. Our trainer just picked up a horse for her program. He is a former big-eq horse, dead broke and gorgeous, a big chestnut over 17 hands tall. He jumps 2"9" to 3'. All the kids at the barn fight over him. He is about 17 years old and can't jump 3'6" anymore, so she got him free.

                    If you take a TB, you can find many available in Florida that would meet all of your criteria, including age. There are so many available, you just need to find the one that's right for you.

                    Good luck.
                    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


                    • The only problem I have with an older horse is the maintenance. Hock injections, limited mileage, limited resell value...they're things I don't necessarily want to get into for my first horse. I'm also open to a younger greener horse since I have good instruction, something that I can also grow and learn how to be a better rider with, rather than a babysitter/schoolmaster type. But I definitely understand the value of an older horse as well.


                      • wow this one is an ACTIVE thread!! Let me catch up a little
                        Pancakes, warm thoughts to you, it really is a tough time for you... hoping this will soon be behind you!


                        • Pancakes - *HUG* I hope things get better for you

                          Thanks, ClassyRide - I am so thrilled to have found this barn! I really am lucky. Which is why I feel even more guilty when I have to cancel...maybe I'll make banana bread for next week? But I am glad I cancelled last night - the weather just kept getting more and more horrible! Too early for this!!!


                          • Falling off

                            If you have a moment, please check out my latest column in which I've been chronicling my return to riding after injury.

                            Hopefully you will be able to relate!


                            Jody Jaffe


                            • Checking back in - sorry to disappear after my initial introduction! I got a part in a play and while I was still riding I was also very busy with rehearsals and the production, so no time to post.

                              Lessons have been going mostly well. After falling off while cantering in my first lesson, we worked a lot on strengthening my legs and I'm now cantering again. At first I had a death grip on the reins, but I'm learning to relax and I felt much better when I rode last night. I also am finally starting to get my diagonals again after having a really hard time seeing them at first.

                              The one area where I'm having difficulty is the return of fear, which is what made me give up riding the first time when I was a kid. I've been trotting over some small jumps, and it's been going well, but the past two lessons the horse I've been riding (not mine - I am not a horse owner yet) has been in a mood, shall we say, and has tried to take off with me a couple of times. Once he started cantering in a line towards a very high jump and I was just able to turn him at the last minute.

                              Although he's been O.K. going over jumps with me, last night, after a good start, he was being really uncooperative and I suddenly just felt like I absolutely couldn't do it anymore. I nearly cried in front of my instructor! I asked if I could just trot over a ground pole instead, and then I walked him out and took him back to the barn. I feel like it was right not to continue jumping when I didn't feel confident in my control over the horse, but at the same time I feel disappointed that after months of continuously building on my skills and having good lessons I've now had two in a row where I didn't feel in control. I'm not riding next week because my instructor is at a show, so hopefully by the week after that the horse will have got whatever's bugging him out of his system and I can get back into jumping. I'm just afraid that if he acts up again the anxiety will build, and I really don't want that to stop me from learning! Any tips?


                              • Hi, all. I'm catching up this week as well. It's day 12 with the cast/immobility and I'm going crazy. I hate feeling so dependent. My husband has been good with helping me and taking over cooking duties, etc., but it's still driving me crazy. I did manage to do two deposition jobs this week (court reporting), but it wasn't easy. I had to get people to carry my equipment in for me and had to prop my leg up. But at least I was able to do it.

                                Not being with the horses has been tough, too. Though I was able to go watch my husband take a lesson last Saturday. I had him take my lesson slot rather than cancel altogether. It was fun to watch. I was the official videographer. His horse hasn't gotten off the farm too much, so it was good for him. He did well other than dead stopping and staring every time a bicyclist went by the farm. Silly boy. Weird thing is, we have tons of them go by his paddock every weekend.

                                Pancakes, hugs. Hope things turn sunny soon. Thoughts are with you. And a horse will come. You just may be in an expensive place, so may take longer. I'll keep my eyes open here in TN.

                                Classyrider, BEAUTIFUL pictures. I love each of your three pics.

                                Tarheel, love your boy as well. Even love the artsy shot. I have a favorite of Chico of just his eye. I will post it later.

                                Dachelle, hang in there. Two and a half years ago when I had two falls with one of my former horses, I lost all confidence. I ended up looking at a quarter horse at a farm where I took my mare for 30-days training. I was in a round pen riding him, and I was frightened to canter him. It was really weird, but I was really scared. And I saw the owner ride him and my husband rode him, but I got on and could hardly do it. Finally did a little and bought him. He was a great horse. He ended up laminitis so he ended up going back, but he helped me a lot. And then I started lessons again. Bingo! That was it. I have the confidence back and riding and jumping are fun again. Can't wait to get back to it when my ankle heals!
                                “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                ¯ Oscar Wilde


                                • Tarheel, check out the color of this mare:

                                  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


                                  • Dewey, she's really cute. I love the color. Seems like a great ride, too.
                                    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                    ¯ Oscar Wilde


                                    • Originally posted by Dewey View Post
                                      Tarheel, check out the color of this mare:

                                      Cool! Thanks so much for this - I would not have seen it.

                                      Dachelle -- just hang in there! I too deal with some fear issues. My horse had a bad stumble while we were cantering ground poles in summer of 2010. It scared him, because I think he was having trouble getting his balance back, and he started bucking like it was his job (my trainer couldn't believe her eyes, since he is generally so laid back). I came off after the 3rd or 4th big one! It's a miracle I stayed on as long as I did.

                                      I had fallen off before, but I had never been bucked off, and nothing in my previous existence had prepared me for the force with which I hit the ground. I ended up with a broken collar bone and lots of bruising that was worse than anything I'd ever had before. I still have a small spot on my right hip that is numb to the touch because my nerves are toast there -- but I don't even notice it much anymore.

                                      Anyway, some days I don't think about it at all and I am fine. Other days the fear creeps in, and those days are usually when my horse is giving me a little push back and acting like a brat. I did not canter him the other day becuase it was windy and he was being difficult that day and I just let the fear get the better of me. I had worked him through some difficulties getting him to go on the bit at the trot, and I decided I'd rather end the lesson on a good note than get into another battle with him at the canter. And I definitely did not want to lose a battle at the canter.

                                      Now this is all stupid, because I have cantered plenty of times now since the fall in 2010. But that day, for whatever reason, I just didn't have the confidence to go there. It is so frustrating -- especially since I really thought I had those apprehensions behind me. But I can't beat myself up about it. Everything takes time, and I guess you and I (and probably a few others) need a bit more time in order to get past our demons 100%.

                                      I highly recommend Jane Savoie's "Freedom from Fear" DVDs/CDs. The set is a little pricey, but it really helped me when I first started riding again after my bad fall. In fact, I think I will listen to them again, since I had that little slip in confidence last weekend.
                                      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


                                      • Pancakes hoping you made it through the end of the week ok and that the weekend brings you some comfort and strength.


                                        • Jody, I did read your column and can, indeed relate. Although my experience does not involve a head injury, I ride with Mr. Fear and Anxiety every single time. I have a brain geared toward OMG what if?????? I have to work really hard to ride in the now. As you can see from my sig line, that's my new mantra. A few weeks ago, it was windy, chilly, horse was being a jerk, spooked twice, but I stayed on. But, didn't realize what I had done at the time and had a total melt down, and snivled for hours. It wasn't until later that I realized, nothing bad happened.

                                          Thanks for your column!
                                          And nothing bad happened!