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The John Wayne Courage thread

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  • The John Wayne Courage thread

    You've heard it before:" Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway"

    I wanted to start this for all of us who are struggling with fear, anxiety, nervousness...whatever you want to call it...when we ride.

    Please feel free to add your update, every time you ride if you want, in a facebook sort of way.

    I'll go first.

    Had a very nice ride that accomplished all my goals...even though I said I didn't have an agenda for this ride. I did have one.

    We rode in the school w/j/l and schooled a few transitions. I'm leery of riding along the back rail of the school despite the fact that everything is mowed and tidy; no hiding places for monsters. Then daughter and I rode around in the yard a bit. The scary part was walking along the bridle path. I don't know why that scares me but it does. Then Harry spotted a pile of pallets and junk in the tall weeds on the other side of the fence. He looked at it, tilted an ear towards it and kept right on walking. I made sure my legs were ready in case we teleported sideways. We rode about 1/2 way out to the tree line at the way back.

    It was hot but wonderful in the breeze. I was a bit nervous but concentrated on what to do if I had to "do" something. He was a star!

    Who else was brave today....even just a little bit.
    Ride like you mean it.

  • #2
    "No rider in the saddle, no horse beneath it."

    Hang your mind on that hook in the tack room you took your horse's bridle off of.

    Go ride, and ride the horse you're sitting on and not all those mental projections, baggage, anticipations and fears that keep you from enjoying yourself. Just--EXECUTE, whether in a lesson, a show, or a trail ride in the woods. Truly process the input of the horse, the teacher if any, the environment, above all THE FEEL, until you feel your horse's feet stepping on the ground as though they were your own. Let that feeling--stay--and be all that is.

    When you hang up his bridle afterward, take up your mind with all those nattering nabobs of negativity again--if you find them there. If you've done it right, in a few more rides--they'll be gone. Forever.

    Go for it!

    Comment


    • #3
      I was brave this weekend! I did a lunge lesson on my mare, who during a previous iffy training situation picked up some really naughty (challenge-the-handler, airs-above-the-ground type things) behaviors on the lunge. She's typically good for me under saddle though, and I've ridden through acrobatics on other horses, so we figured we'd probably be okay and be able to make it a positive experience. But it still takes some guts to find out, especially since she pulled some of her usual tricks when my trainer was lunging her to warm her up before I got on. I am very happy to report that once I got on she was perfectly behaved. The only non-textbook thing she did was stop completely when she was confused by one particular weird stirrupless hip-opening exercise at the trot, and I was really proud of her for choosing that response. I was also proud of me, because I am not brave and I don't like doing things when I'm not sure they will go well. But now I can do lunge lessons, so yay!

      Yay for courage!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Courage to me is, riding my horse even though someone says "omg, you are going to ride that wild beast today". (always with my casel Equi vest on though). It mentally helps me, as silly as that sounds!

        Comment


        • #5
          "If you've got the heart to ride them to it, you have the guts to ride them through it."

          I have no idea who said it, but when I get in a situation where my guts are tested, it always pops into my head and I wanted to share it!

          Comment


          • #6
            When I was younger, the horse I rode started to refuse jumps (this was before i went to dressageland). They werent nasty refusals, but I was still a newbie, so they had the same affect. Unfortunately i didnt tell anyone, and a few weeks later i went to a hunter jumper show... The horse refused the first jump but I stayed on and managed to complete the course without anymore refusals.

            Incidentaly, the horses name was John Wayne's Pilgrim...
            Tack Cleaning/All-Things-Tack nut
            ~DQ wanna-be~

            Comment


            • #7
              I was brave.. or stupid, come to think of it on Christmas Eve day two years ago.

              The hounds followed a coyote across a fast moving river and the 3 whips went in after them, mounted. Two made it across but the last one came off his mount and barely made it ashore. The horse was swept away, down the river and around the bend. We found it 3 hours later, 1/2 mile downstream in a swirling eddy, it's head resting on the bank. It was exhausted and close to death.. had given up and had that labored breathing, like the death rattle.

              There was no wading in. The bank dropped straight off into 12 foot deep water. We didn't have the strength to pull 1200 dead weight out so we ran a line behind the cantle and pulled in 2 feet up onto the edge. I hung off of a sapling over the water to pull the line off the saddle and the horse thrashed out with a hind leg and clipped me just above the kneecap, knocking me into the water. It felt like my chest was in a vise and if you've ever had that eerie feeling where your brain is telling you death is close then you'll know what I felt. I was swept about 10 feet along the bank until one of the whips extended her hand and I grabbed it at the last second. All the while the horse is thrashing about spraying 40 degree water all over everyone.

              Effing chaos I tell you.

              I had on two layers of clothing and my Blundestones had filled with water. I was a brick and swimming was out of the question. They dragged me out and I joined the battle again to pull the horse onto the bank. We got it 80% out of the water and by this time it was semi-conscious so 3 people laid on top of it to warm it up. It finally came around and stood up all wobbly, staggered out of the thicket to a trailer and we loaded her up. She made a full recover it was a small miracle.

              By then it was 5:30 and we had 30 guest coming over for Christmas Eve party.. we raced home to serve them cocktails and Beef Wellington in our socks and muddy clothes.

              Those damned hounds.. crossing that water like that.
              Oh, and they got the kill on the far side of the river.
              Last edited by Southern Eventer; Jun. 18, 2013, 07:50 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Holy cow, Southern Eventer! that is my worst nightmare, in deep water and not being able to get out. Courageous on the part of the whip's horse to go in the water in the first place. Amazing what they will do for us.

                Yesterday I had to have my badge of courage on. First over fences show after a bad fall last August broke several vertebrae. Had promised the SO that I would wear my safety vest when (if) I got back to jumping. So the first courageous part was wearing a safety vest in a hunter show and weathering the odd looks I would get. Then I had to actually go in the ring, pick up a canter and trust my mare to take care of me. No whimping out! She of course, was a super star and we made it safely around, albeit more of a passenger on my part. I wish I could say I felt the horse moving under me, imaging her hoof beats as Lady Eboshi eloquently stated. But I believe my brain had checked out for minute or so for the rounds.......
                “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I have to tell you all that your stories of courage and love of the sport make me teary. We all want it so much!
                  Ride like you mean it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great thread. My horse is very reactive. Very. I think HE has this kind of courage, shows it to me often. I trail ride out alone all the time. He encounters situations that obviously scare him but he goes ahead and does what I ask anyway. I am very proud of him. He has made SO much progress in the 5 years I have had him. He has taught me to have enormous amounts of patience.

                    I don't think I would have bought him if I knew then what I know now about him, but I always say it is a very good thing he ended up with me because I dont think a lot of people would put up with his issues. He has a home with me forever, God willing.
                    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Southern Eventer View Post
                      I was brave.. or stupid, come to think of it on Christmas Eve day two years ago.

                      The hounds followed a coyote across a fast moving river and the 3 whips went in after them, mounted. Two made it across but the last one came off his mount and barely made it ashore. The horse was swept away, down the river and around the bend. We found it 3 hours later, 1/2 mile downstream in a swirling eddy, it's head resting on the bank. It was exhausted and close to death.. had given up and had that labored breathing, like the death rattle.

                      There was no wading in. The bank dropped straight off into 12 foot deep water. We didn't have the strength to pull 1200 dead weight out so we ran a line behind the cantle and pulled in 2 feet up onto the edge. I hung off of a sapling over the water to pull the line off the saddle and the horse thrashed out with a hind leg and clipped me just above the kneecap, knocking me into the water. It felt like my chest was in a vise and if you've ever had that eerie feeling where your brain is telling you death is close then you'll know what I felt. I was swept about 10 feet along the bank until one of the whips extended her hand and I grabbed it at the last second. All the while the horse is thrashing about spraying 40 degree water all over everyone.

                      Effing chaos I tell you.

                      I had on two layers of clothing and my Blundestones had filled with water. I was a brick and swimming was out of the question. They dragged me out and I joined the battle again to pull the horse onto the bank. We got it 80% out of the water and by this time it was semi-conscious so 3 people laid on top of it to warm it up. It finally came around and stood up all wobbly, staggered out of the thicket to a trailer and we loaded her up. She made a full recover it was a small miracle.

                      By then it was 5:30 and we had 30 guest coming over for Christmas Eve party.. we raced home to serve them cocktails and Beef Wellington in our socks and muddy clothes.

                      Those damned hounds.. crossing that water like that.
                      Oh, and they got the kill on the far side of the river.
                      Holy SMOKES!!!! Does Rita Mae Brown know about you? This is the hunting story of the YEAR, it should be immortalized in one of her novels!

                      (Or, even better, I think you should write your own!)

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Leaving in a few minutes to have a meeting with a Morgan show trainer that I have admired and had an on/off relationship with for years depending on if I or a horse needed her expertise.

                        I'm going to break down and ask for help with showing my horse. I'm hoping we can come to an arrangement that let's me keep him at home, maybe trailer lessons a couple times a week during show season and then grooming and showing help at the shows.

                        I'm pretty much over all my fears at home...just working on expanding my boundaries there.

                        I hope it goes well.
                        Ride like you mean it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OMG - Southern Eventer - sounds like you were hunting in the Fraser River - we've had few occasions like that, but none so desperate. Last time the current took a few hounds downstream and the whip went in after them, took a total submerged ducking and then they swam/drifted down until they came to a beach like area. She had guts.

                          The river leaves undulations under the water made by the current, and if we are lucky we cross on the high parts, or upstream of them, as we cross from sandbar to sandbar. But they are still deep and the horses are almost swimming.
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Meeting went well. Trailer in lesson scheduled for Sat. A little outside my comfort zone but not totally. He's been there a couple of times before, 4 years ago.

                            And she and her grooms can help me at a show in August. Major help with the work and hand holding in the make up ring. She knows I'm working towards independence.
                            Ride like you mean it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Took horse on first serious trail ride today. Nice and windy, all three horses bobbing and jigging. Had to bail when we entered some woods and horse started backing up, fast, off the trail, downhill, into the brush. Led him part way home, jigging all the way. Most exciting ride I've had on him so far.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Oh yes, the John Wayne courage part: I have to do it again, soon, to get him used to it.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  That's one of those situations where I say I either have to do more of this or I need to quit altogether. Glad you got home safely.

                                  Originally posted by arbiter View Post
                                  Oh yes, the John Wayne courage part: I have to do it again, soon, to get him used to it.
                                  Ride like you mean it.

                                  Comment

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