Joy is hard to come by these days. By all means, grab it where you can and share it whenever you can!
Welcome back! I’m 6 years back in the saddle now, after a 15 year break, like you. Being back has brought me happiness and heartbreak, but the joy is worth the pain every single time.
The other day, my horse was flying high due to an incoming storm. And I decided that, dammit, I was riding that huge stride for once and not shutting it down. And that took ALL my courage - this mare & I have had a rough start between my injuries, her injuries and her inherent over-reactive & spooky nature.
One of my barn mates was in the ring with me who I don’t ride with normally . Our schedules just don’t mesh. It’s literally been years since she’s seen me & Ms. Mare go. Well, she stopped riding & went to the center, watching us blast around. I was afraid that barn mate might think we were out of control or was annoyed or something, so I pulled up and went in to talk to her. I try hard to always share the ring and if she needed us to knock it off, well, we could work at the walk.
Instead of being concerned, apparently she’d pulled up so she could just enjoy watching a high quality horse move. Her exact words were “I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a horse move like that in real life, just on the internet or TV.”
So yeah, been flying high on that compliment for most of this week.
And yes, there are probably hundreds of horses in my area that move as well or better than my mare but it’s still a hell of a compliment.
I just made the switch from hunters and am part-leasing a horse for the first time in my adult life. He’s a bit green and spooky, but we’ve been getting along SO well and he’s just such a smart little trier! Connection (might be misusing terms) is new to both of us, and most of our trot time has been spent working on “literally anything less than giraffe” Then yesterday he went straight for the connection as soon as we started trotting, and even got into some stretchy trot!!
I had a clinic ride on Sunday and it was wonderful. The clinician said she saw huge improvement in my riding and a corresponding improvement in my mare.
Last weekend a friend got some pics. My phone software updated to turn them into 2-3 second clips, not just photos, and it was neat seeing the baby’s canter is getting more elevation. It has felt more useful, but seeing it was great!
Labor Day 2019 was the darkest day of my equine-loving life when I discovered my heart horse, who I had seen born and owned, trained, shown, and loved for his entire 22 years, in the pasture with his right hind leg horribly broken in several places. What followed was a great upheaval in my life as I had lost an older horse (who was also greatly loved) on Christmas Eve 2017, and I was now left with my one remaining gelding on a farm that I no longer needed and wanted to care for with my two old fellas buried and gone. By October 2019, I had moved my gelding to a wonderful private dressage barn that took a few boarders, I was in the process of selling my farm (to my neighbors who had been wanting it), and was also about to buy a new (to me) house. It was a lot. I had been at my farm for 20 years, and my two best equine friends were buried there. It had been my haven, my world, and leaving it was not easy at all. I felt a chapter of my life closing, and it both scared me and made me undeniably sad.
But life goes on. My remaining gelding has become the center of my horsey world, and he is enjoying his new starring role. He’s 12 now, and I’ve had him since he was a yearling. I’ve done all of his riding and training myself, and he’s a good boy. We’ve had some rough patches since embarking on our new life away from “home” but a year later (I moved to my new house on Thanksgiving last year), we’re doing better than ever.
The farm where I board often has dressage schooling shows, some of which I’d attended long before moving out there. Not long after I moved my horse last year, they had a show. I hadn’t ridden in about three years, so obviously I didn’t even think about showing. But I led my gelding up to the arena where the show was going on and we watched our new barn mates do their tests and cheered them on. I told him then, “Maybe we’ll be ready by next year, buddy.”
Well, it’s “next year” and today we’ll be showing at that same schooling show, just as I’d hoped. We’re doing Training 1 and 2 today, and I’m so excited.
2020 has been a humdinger for sure. For me, I think it started early…on that dreadful day that I saw my dear friend and equine love of my life with a devastating injury that I knew meant I had to say goodbye to him much sooner than I’d anticipated. But I am forever grateful to have my sweet gelding, Milton. He and I have persevered through a very rough time in our lives and now we’re enjoying life. He had some really big shoes to fill for me, and he’s done it. I love him to pieces and am having so much fun with him.
With that, I better get dressed! I don’t ride until this afternoon, but I want to go watch and cheer on everyone else!
" We ride hard for 30 minutes for 3 seconds of perfect connected bliss" J Connors
Returning rerider here too… Every lesson it seems that something returns for a flash, like being able to feel through the seat bones or the stretch down through the heel. They are only flashes but “there it is” flashes through the mind, like a brief glimpse of a beloved friend. Just writing about it makes me smile.
We’ve had a boatload of snakes, and so I haven’t trail ridden in ages for safety. Today the youngster and I went out alone. She was certain litter and dismembered parts of cacti and trees were monsters. But would halt, watching, and her heart would pound so I felt it. I’d scratch her withers and talk, and eventually she would see it wasn’t harmful and walk on. She was less and less suspicious as we went, but her lack of spin and flee really pleases me. Once she relaxed, we both had a blast!
I feel like I’m emerging from seven years of bad luck, horse-wise. I won’t go into it all, but two years ago I ended up trading a problem horse for a gangly 2 year old. I did not want another 2 year old, and not a 17H one, but at least she would gain some value, unlike the problem horse, so I went for it. Well she is a unique individual who does not lunge or roundpen, or do much of anything she doesn’t want to do. I started her this summer, and she went through a phase of growing roots and refusing to move, rearing, kicking at my leg. Two weeks ago I was having serious thoughts about selling her, letting a pro sort it out since she has fancy bloodlines and is worth some money in today’s market.
Well, the last two days, I am cautiously optimistic that we’ve come around the corner, and she is starting to decide to work with me. Yesterday my SoloShot was running from my lesson with my older mare, so I caught some footage, and she looks SO FANCY when she starts moving out nicely. I can’t believe this is my horse!
We had an unplanned 2 week hiatus from work and back to my lesson yesterday. He floated. I felt suspension. He reached for the bit and we cantered half a figure 8 across the diagonal in both directions.
Of course I know this is all rudimentary, but this horse couldn’t maintain a trot for one full lap of the arena. He flat out refused to canter. This was just this past spring. I had visions of having another broken down pasture off for 15 years (reminiscent of my last horse). Every lesson he improves.
We’re introducing trot poles now. Just love him.
Just this thread!
Yesterday my younger horse made the ride tracker record 26 jumps while I was longeing - without a physical object involved, just pent up beans. He then proceeded to do some very nice dressage work with me including some super collecting trot! A lovely way to enjoy the last day before the ring froze up.
Well we’re down for the count with an eye issue, so he gets all of December off and then coach is off until mid-January, so I’ll probably give him that time off too, crossing my fingers the eye gets sorted. But I can still see myself floating down the long side and feel that suspension, as if he was trotting on the spongeiest of spongey footing (which he wasn’t… old school dirt arena). I’ll try to hang on to that while I’m poking him in the eyeball 20 times a day.
Do you mind a tip? Put ointment or medication on your thumb, rub forehead with the palm of your hand and put the ointment in the corner of the eye. They’ll blink it into the rest of the eye from there. My mare literally popped her face by getting her head stuck in a fence and pulling, and she’s not easy to deal with - but this made it easy.
oh, I’ll try this for sure. I was just going to update my uveitis thread.
My coach came to my place yesterday and we lessoned three horses. (a good time was had by all ) and then she reviewed my mustangs and with one exception (the lame ponymare i adopted to put into pasture only) she likes them all. She has a particular affinity for a gray and we’re working on a plan to start him. So far, he’s a one-person horse. I mean, no one else can get close! but maybe in a month or so she’ll be able to be at his head and walk backwards for his first few steps under me. She said about all the mustangs that they all know how to use their hind ends well… and that the big varnish appy has a gorgeous shoulder.
I am an eventer but we have a lovely dressage trainer come to our barn every other week. I have been riding without stirrups for about 4 months now and it has been life changing. My leg is better, my seat is more effective and my horse is responding so much better. Big smile!
We FINALLY got enough snow to cushion the frozen ground and I got to trot AND canter for the first time in weeks! My older horse wanted to go really fast (the footing isn’t that good) but he listened when I asked him to bounce his canter instead - so much fun! Younger horse didn’t get to canter but he did give me a nice big trot without rushing.
i just went through my grandmother’s jewelry box for the first time in several years and found two or three lovely long, narrow pins that might look good on a stock tie. My mare is a dapple palomino and the two with seed pearls might pair with her prettily!