Monday, July 19, 2010

Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him. ~Lord Chesterfield

Yes my friends, I am in a hurry. always. But to hurry with a very large three year old? Is silly.

I think our issues are stemming from my personality and ultimately my drive to accomplish (and accomplish quickly). I have always ridden fairly aggressively through my seat and legs. I push horses up and forward. I tend to "pester" to get more energetic gaits as well (and seeing that my pony is a dead head-- I've felt the need to do a lot of this). When he gets something right, I don't let him take a beak, I ask for the next thing in the sequence. I push myself to my limits with regularity and I've pushed my horse PAST his.

I was given a supple and willing 3 year old (after 2 months with Becky) and in less than 2 weeks-- he has turned into a resistant, protesting and unhappy individual. It breaks my heart to know that it was all my fault.

But I received some inspiration in various forms in the past week. I took the week off from the barn. I had a lesson with Becky on Tuesday of last week so that she could see what was happening and begin to help me address the issues. Then, I stayed gone. I needed to clear my head and get a grip on how the situation was making me feel and to regroup and examine how I was going to progress. Solitare Mare over at A Good Horse Blog lost her partner this week. And she found the courage to get on and ride again. And look forward to new horses and new journeys in life. If she can deal with that and move on, I can reexamine what I am doing wrong with my horse, enlist the help of his trainer and begin again.

So this afternoon I headed to the barn after work with 2 boots (both left.... so I wore rain boots-- that was pleasant... NOT) and a new attitude (and bit of apprehension). I took lots of deep breaths and reminded myself to be light, soft, gentle, forgiving and every other pleasant adjective I could conjure up.

The ride wasn't great. But it wasn't worse. We had a nice forward, free feeling trot. We did some collection at the walk and lots of walk on the buckle. We did transitions and serpentines and took some rest breaks. It was OK. And I can handle OK. We have a lesson tomorrow, so lets hope for some improvement.


  1. If you can recognize a problem, you've taken the first step on the road to fixing it. Taking time and learning to have patience, particularly with a young/green horse, is so important, but it's a skill that has to be learned - I think few of us come with it built-in. Kudos for you for thinking about this and planning to work on yourself in order to help your horse.

  2. Kate took the words right out of my nouth, couldnt have said it better. Dont be hard on yourself, good for you for realizing what was up. I just try to remember that for now...every ride should be confidence building and he should be having FUN. If it's anything but that, you need to stop and rethink what you're up to. You got nothin but time chica!

  3. Wow. It's always difficult to look at ourselves honestly. You really did some deep soul searching and can now move forward. Good for you! It's fantastic that you went through this exercise now, instead of months down the road. I predict that you and Granite will be an amazing team!

  4. Greenies can be the most rewarding AND the most frustrating creatures on earth! I bought my mare as a resale project, but she was so mentally immature that pushing her to be competitive and sale-able was frying her brain. So I had to take a step back, basically we took three months of super easy walk and trot work, no more cantering, jumping, lead changes, etc... and she was five! Now, two more years down the road I think she's a lifer (hubby still thinks she's for sale ;) ). She's just as talented as she was when I got her but she's a whole lot more grown up. The hardest part was realizing when a task was getting to be too much before it became a fight. Hang in there Granite will be great! Oh, and I'm catching up and found the $5 Horseloverz sale... my checkbook does not thank you, lol!

  5. I'm so glad to hear that you have been able to take a few steps back and reevaluate the situation. Maybe Granite is the horse you envisioned him to be, but it's awesome that you see this and are taking the steps to make him into that horse - I bet with a few months of slow training, you'll see things looking much brighter.. Good Luck :)!