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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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  • jaslyn1701 - I can tell you the story of my life based on the horses & ponies that were in it at the time. They have the power to define certain seasons of our lives because of our relationships with them. Morbid as it may seem, sometimes I just go sit out in the farthest of our pastures where my horses and dogs are all buried and just sit with the memories. A bittersweet day to see Mojo gone but old age & all its maladies will no longer beat up on him.


    • I am happy to report that I actually rode my horse today - for the first time in two weeks. Despite the fates attempting to make me chicken out: split zipper on one boot, horse with one eye squinched shut. I thought about asking my trainer about the eye and riding, but I knew what she would say. So, I tacked up and went.

      He was pretty much the gentleman! A little get up and go, but listened when I said slow or no.

      Then we went to ride in the jump field with all the others. Gulp. For those of you who do not know me, I like my enclosures, as in riding arenas with fences. It provides a limited amount of territory for bad things to happen. So, leaving my comfort zone and heading out into the "open" was huge for me. First thing I noticed was we had our big boy walk going on. Again, he was alert but listening. So, I picked up a trot, the big boy ground covering trot. There is a space in the field where you can ride a circle with "barriers", i.e., jumps. We started out in the circle, but ended up going all the way around the outside!!! And nothing bad happened........

      Such a good boy! LOL - I have spoiled him well. He knows that after we ride, he gets turned out to graze. When it's time to put him back in the pasture, we go by my trunk and he gets his cookies, then out. Today, I had left his cookies on top of my trunk. One of my barn mates hollered at me - Finn is done. I turn around, he is at the trunk, just finishing his cookies and looking for me to take him out.

      Thank you for the comments about Mojo. Finzean, you are so right. Once the pain of loss subsides, they all occupy a special place in our hearts. And, yes, this is much more preferable than watching him go by inches and my poor trainer having to keep asking, "Is today the day?" based on his quality of life.
      And nothing bad happened!


      • Jaslyn, sounds like a great ride, your horse sounds like a character, in a good way. Glad you got to ride. (Any pics posted on here anywhere?)
        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
        ¯ Oscar Wilde


        • Paradox - that's Finn in my profie pic.

          Rode in the field again today, I may be totally crippled tomorrow. First of all, in the ring, we have a really nice really tall mounting block. It really helps for those of who are less limber than we used to be and ride 16.2h horses. In the jump field, there is just a normal size one. So, I line Finn up, go to put my left foot in the stirrup and realize there is going to be quite a reach. Ok, says, I - Finn, please stand like a statute while your mother does her impression of a monkey climbing a tree. I manage to get mounted, Finn The Wonder Horse stands still!

          Day two of the big boy gaits my just have crippled me. However, the big boy trot is so much easier to ride than the little dinky one.

          There were even thoughts of picking up the canter while we were riding around, we had the nice trot going, all it would have taken was one little squeeze and the word...... But I didn't - another day. Was talking to my trainer afterwards and made sure to thank her for the rides she put in on Finn. He seems much more confident, which helps me be more confident. Or maybe I am a bit more confident and his little antics don't bother me so much any more. Either way, we are starting to feel a connection when I ride - which is really really nice. I pay much more attention to him than I do to myself - which probably helps as well. And, as I told her, I learned not to pull - just little tweaks on the reins when I need something. Hard lesson to learn - to the OTTB, pull means go. Tweaks mean listen.

          One of those somebody should have had a camera moments: After I got off, was sitting on the mounting block watching the others finish riding. Finn was standing right next to me, on the right side. He put his head behind me, rested his nose on my left shoulder and just breathed on my neck. What a boy!

          And yes, in the midst of my naproxin induced stupor, I am still grinning.
          And nothing bad happened!


          • Way to go Jaslyn. It sounds like a great day. I LOVE that nose on the neck thing!


            • Jaslyn, your past 2 posts are awesome, Finn sounds like quite the character :-D. Its such a nice feeling when you conquer fears like riding in open spaces!

              I had my first lesson on my lease horse, Duke. It was also my 2nd time jumping him (I've decided with his owner to only jump him in lessons until further notice). Its so awesome to have lessons on a horse you're riding regularly - I can already see improvement compared to the day I tried him, though we have a long way to go and lots of "homework," mainly revolving around getting him to go STRAIGHT and work over his top line.

              Our goal is to attend a jumper show series in April (only the 2'6), so I guess I should change my username because I'm apparently heading over to H/J land for now :-D.. I am excited about this endeavor and my parents are pleased I am no longer jumping solid fences! They also decided show jumping is very exciting after watching the Brits win the Olympics....hopefully they'll find tiny fences equally exciting, haha.
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


              • Well I also finally rode my young guy and realized the ring was not ridable. Atleast I tried and tacked up and walked him around, this is going to be a long winter...

                DD rode the older, trail only guy and was attacked by two dogs. I posted in off course, so scary, we have many loose dogs and coyotes and bobcats and have never had a problem. Apparently the dogs came up and DD and our horse thought OK hello, and then the dogs began growling, snareling and biting ! He ran off they chased him and then started growling and snareling again....So scary if it was the baby TB I would have been toast.....not a confidence booster today.

                Winter is so tough...


                • Jaslyn and Tarheel- so sorry for your barn losses That's so terrible and heart-breaking. But Jaslyn- congrats on your "big-boy" rides! That's so wonderful.

                  Trainer told me a funny Ollie anecdote. I just got him a fence-feeder so he wouldn't have to eat off the ground (he lives outside and is fed in his pasture). I thought I was being a good mom- well, it turns out he likes his bucket for more than just eating. Apparently, after he's done, he takes the feeder off the fence and runs away with it, tossing it and picking it back up and repeating. I can't imagine that it's fun to go try to find the thing after he's done playing with it, so I'm not sure this feeder use is going to last....but how funny that he plays with it He also has apparently taken to scooting the metal hay bale ring around the field when it's empty, LOL! I think I need to get him some toys.
                  Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                  • Oh, and we also jumped 3 feet again yesterday! The others riding with me said I looked nice and balanced, even if I didn't feel it (darn heel keeps coming up...). Ollie absolutely LOVES to jump bigger - I think he feels a lot more challenged.
                    Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                    • That's funny, PaintedHunter. They can be so goofy. We have to tie our fence feeders down. .

                      And you know, the minute you buy a HORSE toy, he will hate it! Feeders and hay rings are much more fun.

                      And congrats on the jumping! Awesome.
                      Last edited by ParadoxFarm; Nov. 26, 2012, 11:00 AM. Reason: Add
                      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                      ¯ Oscar Wilde


                      • Thanks

                        I am fairly certain if we tied/bungeed, etc. the feeder to the fence, he'd just rip the fence rail off, ha! He's broken more than a few fence boards already, the silly man. And about scooting the hay ring around.....yeah, that's all he needs is to develop MORE NECK MUSCLES. Have you seen his neck and head?! But you're probably right about the toys!
                        Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                        • SV - so sorry about DH's scary ride. That is one of my biggies - the attacking dogs and the OTTB lighting out for anywhere but there and leaving me as the sacrifice to the monsters.

                          PH - I can so sympathize. Finn's blanket lives in a tote when it is not on his body - otherwise it becomes a toy. At night, when the horses get brought in, Finn's halter gets put on the hook in some sort of Gordian knot - otherwise it becomes a toy. His feed pan - a toy. One of the other boarders at the barn had to tie her tack trunk to her horse's stall - he liked to see if he could flip it over.

                          We have a draft mare at the barn that likes to get IN the hay ring. When she first started doing it, we all kind of freaked out - how to get her out. Turns out she is very smart, she knows how to get in and she knows how to get out.

                          Event4 - or should we start calling you Jumper4Life now? - way to go with your rides on Duke!

                          Congrats on the 3ft jump PH!!!
                          And nothing bad happened!


                          • Jaslyn- Finn sounds like a character too! And Ollie gets HALF in the hay ring... he gets his front legs in to paw around the hay remnants, then rears himself out.
                            Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                            • Finn is a character, and I suspect I made him that way. When I bought him, he wanted nothing to do with that warm and fuzzy stuff. Don't rub my head - ewww. Don't pat me, play with me - nothing. And, if you value your life, don't touch my ears. Now, I rub his head, scratch his butt (ooooh, do it more....), and rub his ears, still can't clip em though. He especially likes it when I stick my fingers in his ears (not) and gives me the "Moooooooommmmmmm" look. I call him my dorse - sometimes he just goes where I go, no lead or anything. I think my best dorse moment was one day I was heading to the ring to watch others ride and was turning him out to graze. Took him out, dropped his lead and headed for the ring gate. He gave up grass to come with me!!!

                              We have had a few issues - he went through a very mouthy period. As in trying to parts of me in his mouth. Big no. The first time he did it, was in his stall and he got seriously growled at and smacked (turned his back as if to say, What? I didn't do nuthin). The second time was at the end of a ride, I was running up my near side stirrup and loosening the girth when he turned his head with teeth. Reins still over his neck, I grabbed under his chin and, yelling like a banshee, backed him all the way across the ring. It was so hard not to laugh at him - I am yelling and he is going backwards with the giraffe head and bugged eyeballs. Then I was done. Went and sat on the mounting block with him at the end of the reins - didn't even look at him. He snuck up, one foot at a time to put his head in my lap. I'm sowwy mom - I won't eat you any more. Any he hasn't.

                              It is only now, after a couple of years, that I think he is making the connection that the treat fairy on the ground and the rider on his back are one and the same. At least the bulb is flickering....

                              Should have clarified that the mare does the same with the hay ring - gets her front half in and owns it. But she doesn't rear out, she very carefully, since she went in on the low point, backs up and picks her giant feet up until she is out.

                              Sorry, as you can tell, I can gush for pages on the wonder my MY horse!!!!
                              And nothing bad happened!


                              • I LOVE the sound of Finn! He sounds a lot like Ollie...he too will follow me anywhere (though I suspect it's for the hope of treats), and he is VERY mouthy. he usually will just take his lip and gum at you or the nearest anything- very orally fixated. The first few weeks though, I had to carry a crop and smack him every time he tried to mouth with teeth, as it was apparent no one had enforced ground manners with him.

                                Ollie loves to play little games with me... like he will stick his head sideways between two fence rails and ask me to boop his nose. He takes his head out, and 15 seconds later puts it back and waits for the next boop.

                                Sweet as can be. And very thoughtful- when I go stirrupless, he totally flicks his ears to check on me and slows himself down without me asking. He wants to make sure I don't fall off The one time I fell and it was his fault, he was HORRIFIED.
                                Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                                • Yeah, the times I have come off Finn (not many thank goodness), he has never headed for the hills, just stands near me as if to say, ooops, that wasn't supposed to happen. The last one had to do with the invisible monster in the woods. I was doing a lesson with him, a large part of is attention was elsewhere. All of a sudden, he went one way and I didn't. Only thing I really remember was hearing my trainer yell, let go (I had a death grip on one rein). So I did and he just stood.

                                  Finn is getting there, during our out in the middle of nowhere rides where the number of bad things that can happen are endless last weekend (my terminology not his) - he was very alert but listening. Before, he would kind of ignore me and, when he got tired of my trying to get him to listen, would either lean on the bit or chew on it, or do the really fast bouncy trot that is so very hard to even attempt to ride. Last weekend was so very different. No bit chewing, no leaning. I just realized that!
                                  And nothing bad happened!


                                  • Pancakes how are you doing?


                                    • Event4Life welcome to the h/j land! The fences are just as exciting, just not as scary, haha. I'm sure your parents will approve

                                      I love reading about Ollie and Finn! They sound like such characters. It's like I know them already It's the stuff out of the saddle that makes them such wonderful creatures to own, sometimes...

                                      Well my horse search continues. I had a really good prospect lined up to go see today but because of my work schedule I couldn't go any earlier. She sold him yesterday What a bummer! There is nothing in my price range right now. Everything that is suitable for me that is what I'm looking for is $3000 above my price range. I guess I should just wait a little more until I get my 3rd quarter bonus when I can afford something nicer. It's sooooo frustrating. There are plenty of horses in the $10k range, but nothing <$8k at the moment that I can find time in my schedule to go see before it gets sold. I will just have to be patient.

                                      I rode my lease horse again this week and he was great! We jumped a course on Monday that was 2'6" and included a 3' vertical and I wasn't scared!!! I was more nervous about the 2'6" oxer. I have pictures and a video of it too which I hope to have soon. I'm working on my 2-point and jumping position more. I need to push BACK when I jump and keep my center of gravity over my saddle instead of jumping more ahead. Looking back to a year ago I'm leaps and bounds above where I was, so I'm not getting frustrated at not "getting" this position and muscle memory yet. And my confidence is increasing!

                                      The weather here is GLORIOUS. Mid 70s and sunny but a cool breeze everyday...it makes it fun and easy to go riding anytime during the day.

                                      Smartpak came through today too...my half-chaps from Tredstep broke at the zipper on one leg, and they're sending me a replacement pair today! Yay Smartpak


                                      • Thanks everyone - I am excited about this foray into HJ land, next lesson is tomorrow! I don't know if I'll ever do hunters, at least not on this horse, but am looking forward to some jumpers! Whoo!

                                        So yesterday I went to bring Duke in for our ride and he was standing in the muddiest patch of the field covered from head to toe in mud. He looked like a paint, and he's gray haha! The expression on his face was priceless. Anyway, we had a great ride very early in the morning (I had to work & had dive class afterwords), working on a lot of the stuff the trainer recommended. He doesn't like shapes very much and we had a couple of discussions regarding his outside shoulder; but we'll get there, I hope! My leg muscles were killing me after the canter - I'm trying to remind myself what a proper "working canter" should feel like! All in good time, I guess.
                                        "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                        "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


                                        • Pancakes, sounds like a awesome lesson. Good for you! Also, keep in mind that MANY people that ask 10,000 will often love to get 8,000. Just a thought. Especially if the horse has been on the market for a while.
                                          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                          ¯ Oscar Wilde