First it started with moving, I had to get out of the situation I was in because of threats so I put a rush on the barn and fencing on my new property. This put Legacy and the others out to pasture for a good 4 months. Sometimes people say that's good but I really literally had nowhere to ride for 4 months unless I hauled out. I tried to as much as possible but my riding went from 6 days a week to 3 times every couple weeks. Caleigh and Sam weren't effected much but Legacy was. She reverted back to an old attitude I thought I had long ago overcome. I went from scoring 36-32's in dressage/70-75's to not so great. I don't even want to recount the numbers. It was a visual battle and I was loosing my horse right before my eyes. I tried to go back to how it was before, retraining her but something between us wasn't clicking. I could bump around on her and just mess around but when it came down to being serious my horse that would do anything for me was no longer there and for once I felt helpless I had no idea how to get that back. I had judges tell me that if I was half as good as my horse maybe things would be better. I had other judges tell me my horse wasn't up to my level. All the trainers looked at was a fancy Drum horse that had gorgeous movement and found ways to enhance that through seat work but there was no team work for the both of us and we drifted apart.
Finally I had an idea and it took a lot of pride to swallow in order to make the call. Many of you know I have close connections with some pretty skilled riders. Well one of my friends is a 9th generation bareback trick rider. The show his family does has been in his line for 166 years. He was raised on a horse, he was home schooled so he could perform and be on the road. It is his life. I swallowed my pride and called him begging for help. I told him I don't know what's wrong, I don't know how to fix it, I want my horse back and I know I'm losing everything I have for confidence. He and another of my friends flew out just this past Monday and we started back at the basics.
It blew my mind. I have never been almost brought to tears by how terrible my horse was. I had to swallow the knot in my throat more than once. She blew up a storm, fought, reverted almost completely back to how she was when I bought her. She was against her rider, she was against me. I was actually scared that she was gone for good. Lucky for me these guys see my experience and although they're very hard on me they know I can do it. They reinforce their trust in me and knowing I know how to ride I just have fallen out of tune with my horse.
K (first initial of one of the guys) put it a way I could understand. Riding is like a dance. The dance is only great if there is team work. Sure there is a leader and a follower but they have to get along and understand what is being asked in order to make it a graceful elegant and seemingly effortless movement. The same goes for riding. Legacy is confused. She doesn't understand what you're asking so she takes it upon herself to be the leader. When you try to regain that it becomes a battle instead.
They started on my seat. I had lost total control of my balance and waist. My hips were locked and she bounced me up, down and all over the place. G (the other guy) explained it after he took my stirrups away and threw a mini fit about me not paying enough attention. Rock the hips, let the horse move you, don't move the horse, push her with your seat and let her your hips rock back and forth not up and down, detach them from your waist and let them find the horses rhythm. Hang your legs, don't rely on them for your balance, they are your anchor, your balance is in your hips.
Day three and I'm slowly starting to get it. They put me on Caleigh bareback and had me close my eyes and just feel her movement. We just did a couple rounds but with G lunging and K talking calmly and straight guiding me to what I should be feeling and moving I started to relax into her motion. It was different but I'm starting to understand.
After being with them in serious training for three days (I have another 6 with them!) I know I'm learning a lot that will help me massively improve myself as a rider and my horses but at the same time I feel small and stupid for letting it get this far. I know it's not all my horses fault, there's a lot of things that come into play and both of them have told me not to be so hard on myself and take all the blame. Things happen and sometimes you have to start over and it takes a lot for a person with such a prideful dominant personality to call in help for myself. They told me they only give me sh*t because they love me and know I can do it. That makes me feel a bit better. I'm extremely privileged to have the opportunity to get the training from them especially on what should be their vacation time! I couldn't ask for better trainers even if they knock me down many needed notches in order to get me back to where I need to be to help my horse.
After the training is up they'll be heading home but I'll have enough under my belt by then to work on everything on my own. I'll post pictures as well after they screen and ok the ones that have already been taken.