dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Fall has arrived with cooler temperatures and fresh breezes. I am, for the first time, sorry to see summer pass. The heat was helpful in keeping Carmen calmer. Now , as with most horses, fall brings an extra pep into the rides.

The last thing that Carmen and I need is more pep.

In the past week I've had a fantastic ride, a ride that was okay but I was able to salvage it and then a truly awful ride. She was not in any mood to be in the ring: she was tight, reactive, argumentative and spooky. I finally had to dismount and lunge her again. It made no difference so I settled on getting to work in hand and listening.

I felt pretty bummed after it.

However, I gave myself a talking to.
self I said, it was one ride. Things have been going in the right direction. 
When I reflected on it, I realized that she never tried to dump me or fight me. She just was really really worried and tense. Neither one of us were enjoying the work.

I then reviewed in my head the things that I might have done to make it worse and what I should do instead.

I also made some adjustments in her feed ration. (Princess is not impressed by that).
don't think I haven't noticed what you did to my feed

Today I approached my right with calm determination. It was not great. But it was fine. I made sure that I did not react to any tightness but stayed on task. She had no choice but to focus on me because I refused to focus on whatever was distracting her. I gave her space when I could and was firm where I should be. It was breezy and it was supper time. Irish was locked in the barn. It had all the conditions that could make it a terrible ride.

But it wasn't terrible. It wasn't great either. But it felt like I made some progress. Those moments when she's using her hind end and relaxed over her back are what I live for. It just feels so damn good.

Tonight I  started catching up on blogs tonight and I noticed a theme.

It was my theme- many riders were experiencing the exact same thing as me. 

The reality is that progress is seldom a straight line. Add in thinking, breathing, feeling creatures with opinions and things can really get interesting.

I instantly felt better. I am Adult Amateur rider and so very far from perfect but maybe, just maybe, I don't totally suck.


  1. LOL, you don't suck at all. And you have a mare. A wonderful mare -- but a mare nonetheless. They are tempermental. :) -- and awesome.

  2. Sometimes it is two steps forward, one step back. Cooler weather is definitely a huge factor in horse energy & reactivity. It's why I don't ride thoroughbreds!


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