Tag: horses

From blogspot: Three years later

This is slightly out of order, but done intentionally. This was my first blog back after losing my pony, trainer, family unit and several friends. As I mentioned on Monday, I was way too busy my senior year of high school. This was absolutely (though unknown at the time) to avoid all of my feelings about before-mentioned stressful events! Here I expand on it some, but again it’s a laundry list – I was stuck in the over-commitment race and was unaware a finish line didn’t exist.

I’m noticing that I tend to assume past me was a know-it-all and some cocky little shit, when in reality, I had (and still) consistently gone extra lengths to avoid just that image: “not to say I’m wise or anything!” “I can be downright naive!” I was 18, of course I’m not going to be some sage! But God forbid I don’t acknowledge it and miss beating hypothetical “you” to the punch. Should I write anything confidently and then be questioned as to whether it was right/wrong (or worse, proven wrong), I can save face with written proof that I’ve already admitted I’m neither wise or all-knowing.

It’s a safety strategy, like a lot of other little habits I’ve been digging up after nearly a full year’s worth of consistent therapy.

Spoiler: The combined training event didn’t happen and following high school graduation I would go on to be Way Too Busy for three out of four years of undergrad, in spite of some maladaptive self-talk that constantly reminded me other people were doing more and I better stop complaining.

Next week (or whenever) plan on talking about the therapeutic riding totally not PATH compliant program at the barn where I worked and yet more broken wheels on my busyness.

November 4, 2011

Take two? Dos? Sixth? 29436874127? Doesn’t matter, it’s closing in on three years since I officially announced my title as an eventing wannabe (I recently learned that for three years my ‘blog’ – a.k.a. two posts – sat here grammatically incorrect as eventing wanna-be… cripes.) to the entire, ginormous world. It was a big step for a little freshman. I felt pretty good about myself. Like I had a lot of wisdom – I was hot stuff. I felt like I’d accomplished something in just writing it out; although I freely admit I talked the talk but certainly didn’t walk anything resembling a straight line on my own two feet regarding this.

Simply, if my goal was a breathalyzer test, I’d fail… miserably.

Buuut.

I’ve done a lot of growing up in nearly three years; I’ve had a lot of experiences I never would have had if I would have continued on the same path I puddled along on when I wrote those first two posts. That’s not to say I’m wise or anything; shoot I can be downright naive sometimes! Not the point, not the point…

I’m a busy senior who has immersed herself with a multitude of challenging classes – some of which I truly believe are over my head *coughcoughcalculuscoughcough* and out to take over mah lipheee – as well as a varsity sport and multiple activities/clubs/service activities to keep plenty busy. This all happened after I was forced to give up Peanut circa summer ’09. I’ve ridden every now and then, but nothing regular since. Eventing wannabe simply became rider wannabe. In fact, I went on about a ten month stint without so much as being in a barn; for someone who’s life had revolved around horses from age seven to age sixteen, that was a pretty big deal!

Ever since I stopped riding regularly, however, I’ve thought about it from time to time. How much I miss it, how happy it made me, and I’d get myself all motivated to just go out and do it.

But then something would get in the way; whether it was school, sports, family, friends (I use the last two loosely as they are never “in the way”) or even myself, something always prevented it from happening.

I’ve done some prioritizing though. Tallied up all my commitments, created check lists (ok, this is more of a work in progress) to keep myself organized, and prepared myself for a new commitment. I still have a lot of obstacles: my parents are divorced and one is unemployed, the other doing the best they can – I’m thankful for both of them; I have a job, but I have college to think about, too; I have a lot of school-related commitments – if I were to list them all it would quickly become overwhelming (to myself) and extremely boring (to a reader), because really, who likes to read, or hear, people rattling off a list of day-to-day activities?

I’ve heard, though, that writing down a goal automatically makes you more apt to go for it, and maybe, accomplish it.

So, here it goes, for better or worse: I will compete in a combined training event safely within the next two years, have no regard to score or placing, and have fun doing it!

Until then, I’ll be a wannabe, but I’ll also be a learner, so I can accomplish this lofty little goal of mine. :]

Leggo.

No stirrups, no fears

I’ve never gotten to participate in the storied torture/tradition of No Stirrup November in my years of riding, so if being excited about it after my first lesson makes me crazy, I’ll gladly hold that title. After fretting over the microsleep at the show on Sunday, I had a great ride on Wednesday with M and then rode again on Friday with the pony club kids who were doing mounted games. In all reality, a few simple choices would have likely prevented the episode from occurring, and it does me no good to dwell on it.

On Wednesday Divine initially continued her lackadaisical demeanor from Sunday, but once she realized we were getting to do her favorite thing (canter), she was insistent on a trot speed that offered the best chance for falling into a canter. So that was slightly painful until after she had a good five minutes of trot-canter-trot transitions circling about the arena. M had an understandably more difficult time on Eli, who’s trot I would liken to a slow-motion, extra-springy pogo-stick that could quite literally bounce someone out of the tack should they start giggling (may or may not have happened in this lesson…).

Friday I was excited to do games like the egg and spoon race and whatever crazy relay they came up with, on Pretty, the 12 hand wonder/devil pony, but after my futile attempts to catch her, I was bequeathed with Rain instead. Rain is a WhoTheHellKnowsBred that most closely resembles a Dutch Harness horse. She came off the slaughter lot, learned a ton with trainer MS, was sold and then returned (but not before being almost completely soured) and has been worked intermittently since. I actually liked her a lot, but completely emphasize with M now – MS warned me that she has yet to sit her trot, and my measly attempts were met with some pinned ears from her and a quick return to posting on my part unless I wanted to eventually part ways with her. Even with a bucking fit (due to a loose girth, my fault) and a mini-meltdown from a hula-hoop (not totally unreasonable), I never felt afraid or like I was going to come off.

I mention that for two reasons. One is because when I started back riding in June after a over a year off, I was seriously questioning if I’d still have my nerve and “pick up the bike-ness” so to speak. Two is that it’s baffling to me that I can be so calm with a spooky or actively bucking horse and then terrified about some additional medical testing I’m having done this week. Objectively, I’d say that’s probably because I have a lot more experience with horses and a lot less with obscure diagnostics which I have no idea how my body will react to. And that seems… pretty obvious. But what am I trying to prove by admitting the later and building myself up with the former? Why’s that question important? I’ve got no answer to either question.

 

 

Consistent Riding

Instead of complaining about how I don’t have pictures or videos from my last lesson, I’m just appreciating how happy riding on a regular basis makes me.

It was the coldest lesson M and I have had so far this fall, but at least it wasn’t raining like the day before.  We went mudding jumping outside with M on Eli, her new love after all of two rides, and I was back on Divine for the first time since September. What I noticed was how much more attentive she was; when I first started on her in June there was much wiggling, lots of curling-into-a-ball-but-also-bracing-on-your-hands, and for extra fun, exuberant zoomies when she was feeling herself or alternatively, displeased/complaining about what was being asked.

None of that on Tuesday! Towards the end of the lesson we got to create our own course and I decided we needed redemption after a failed tight turn from earlier (my error, not hers). I think to both red-mare and I’s surprise, she nearly did a roll-back, which resulted in me completely forgetting the last jump I had in mind until after we had passed it.

Besides that, our entire lesson felt great and was a good confidence builder in preparation for the Halloween fun show on Sunday (more on that shortly).  As a bonus, once we were done with our lesson, trainer MS was gracious enough to offer me a ride on her 12.2hh Welsh gelding named River that she recently brought out to the stable from her parents farm. He’s fluffy, out of shape, and occasionally pops a back leg when he disagrees with his rider. That said, he did not feel 12.2 in the least – he’s quick and has a surprisingly large stride for a little fellow.

The jump class I’m planning on entering Sunday only goes up to 2’3″, but considering I’ve never competed over fences, I think that’s plenty to get my feet wet. Since the classes are so cheap, I’m also planning on doing an equitation class (throw back to college!) and a dressage class (never competed in this either) so we’ll see how this goes!

All of this is dependent on the weather… Today, when I went out to help clean up for the trick or treat/haunted woods event that’s going on tomorrow evening, the temperature was hovering just below 40. An hour in to de-cobwebbing stalls and there was both a steady rain and steady temp drop. As long as there’s no snow or freezing rain, I’ll hopefully keep the complaining to a minimum.

I’ve not written anything here in almost two months, and nothing devoted to riding in a whole lot longer. But here I am showing this weekend and I haven’t done that since 2015 so a little blog post ain’t no thang.