I am so tired, and looking for a shoulder to cry on or a friend to commiserate with or shit someone who is on the other side and has seen the light. This will probably be a long ass post, so if you read it, thank you.
I am the late-twenties owner of a six year old OTTB. He is sweet and athletic and has bounds and bounds of potential… but he is six. And six year old OTTBs have baby brains.
After getting burned from spending a few months in a training program with a trainer who didn’t give him the attention he needed and in an environment that was altogether too stressful, said OTTB has settled into a great rhythm in a new place for the last year. He is ridden or worked with 4 times a week, usually flatting, at most jumping (not coursing, and always under 2 foot) two times a week, by me. Once in a while by my trainer, who is fabulous, but the OTTB is by no means back in a “full program.”
As an adult ammy, I make as much time as possible for this horse. I drive the 45 minutes, one way, to the barn many a week night and weekends to ride or lunge or do general groundwork, he gets body work when necessary, anything the vet calls for, he gets. The OTTB has made me a better, more confident rider. I am not afraid of his antics but my god am I tired of them.
This is a horse who has been off the track since spring of 2021, he had several months off to be a horse before coming into training. But he is still a baby and with babyhood comes moments of babiness that makes it feel like every stride forward is four back.
Sometimes we’ll be making wonderful progress, and I’ll be enthused by the potential of what could be, only to have an episode where he forgets how to turn or what brakes are, he’ll decide out of the blue that today, he must take off in a gallop after that ground pole or cross rail.
Does it ever end?
Again, I’m not afraid or nervous, or feeling like I can’t do this, but I sure as hell am tired of dealing with it. I love my trainer, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t considering just throwing him back into a full program, but I don’t want to offend my trainer, and what if a different trainer isn’t a good fit? And if I keep chipping away, how long till this iceburg starts looking like an ice swan? (Hopefully with the reward of tequila sluicing through somehow)
I just am exhausted, and want to know if it gets better or if there’s advice or if this is just–how it is. Help me, people of the internet!