Ever feel like you know absolutely nothing?

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Ever feel like you know absolutely nothing?

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    03-15-2013, 12:56 AM
Ever feel like you know absolutely nothing?

Everybody here knows about my horses and the time and devotion I've spent into training each one. Everybody knows how much they mean to me and I don't like it when things go wrong. Well, something went wrong.

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.
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    03-15-2013, 01:34 AM
Wow! A full week of intensive lungeling lessons! I am jealous.
    03-15-2013, 02:52 AM
I didn't know how tired I could get from just walking. And then they added trotting! It's fun and very challenging.
clairegillies likes this.
    03-15-2013, 04:52 AM
Sounds like you are on the right track again with your horse, its a shame when life interferes and everything goes to 'ruins', that's a polite word I used there, not the word I want to use. I am having some of the same here, my connection with my pony is not suffering too much but the riding. Well.
Hope you will keep updating with your progress.

boots likes this.
    03-16-2013, 07:45 PM
Things took a rather drastic turn for the worse. I can take construction and I can take strictness but I do not do well or respond well to being yelled at so I blew up. I got off my horse, handed him to my sister, and stormed out. I then told my sister after she followed me to the house that I didn't want them treating me like a child. I asked for help. I didn't ask to be belittled and disrespected. One of them got it the other one didn't and now I'm really weighing the pros and cons of keeping them here until Tuesday.
I really have no motivation to work with G anymore. K understood he overstepped his bounds and changed his approach. I can't function with the good cop bad cop routine and I can only listen to one at a time not both going on about the same thing in two different voices. G doesn't understand that. I just can't see the benefit of keeping them both here so I told them to take the rest of their time to visit other friends in the area.

The focus was supposed to be on legacy. It was on legacy until today. Then they wanted to see Sammy and I clearly said he's not the one that needs work. I gave them a good lengthy background on him and how he responds and what not. I don't think they took it in at all. I rode and they started correcting me, fine. But they were asking him to do things that take a very long time for him to warm into such as a bend in his neck. He's calsified in multiple places and warming him into bending is crucial. He can do it but it's not a pull release for him. It's gentle loose rein minimal contact until he warms up and then you can ask. K got on him told me I was giving stupid excuses and either the horse could or couldn't do it. He gave me absolutely no time to explain and instead told me he was tired of the silly medical reasons and started applying pressure to get him to bend. He did it but you could see the struggle in Sammy. He looked worried he wasn't breathing right he was wobbling around in the front and basically looked scared. All this horse wants to do is take care of his rider mainly me. I'm his one and only. Sure other people can ride him but there's a direct way so he doesn't mentally shut down. Needless to say I got so upset I started crying and ran to my house. My sister had to tell them to stop and put him away because this is not a horse they understand and my directions apparently meant nothing.
So now I'm in my room with a borderline migraine wishing the day were over so they would just go do tourist stuff and I can relax and pretend this whole week never happened.

I'm incredibly disappointed. I tried my hardest. When I was critiqued I took it. When my position was critised I took it. When they had to be rough with legacy, fine! But then they told me I was giving Sammy excused to be bad. Don't EVER tell me I don't know my horse. DON'T EVER tell me he's resisting a que because he's being disobedient. He is NOT a horse for everybody and anybody and I know him inside and out better than the best horseman out there I don't care who it is. I know when he's scared I see his signs when he begins to shut down. Down to the way he blinks I can see when there is a problem. So DON'T test me when it's about Sam.
K ended up telling me even though he did what he was asking and he could tell he was responding he knew he was nervous. He stopped.
I think I'll go back to regular trainers after this. If I go back to trainers.
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    03-16-2013, 07:56 PM
Now with legacy we are getting better at working together. I'm learning a lot from K not so much from G. G has no experience in the event world so be can't relate to my 20 years of training compared to his. K was never in the event work but he has worked with horses and riders and trainers in that so he has more of an open idea of what we need to correct with me and where my habits are coming from. He goes about correcting my horse and myself as a team. G attacks me as a rider and instead of being informative and instructing he turns it to judgmental and "you have no idea what you're doing."
If one were to stay I'd prefer it be K. At least he's taking into consideration what got me to where I am and the direction I want to go and how to fix me to get me there. I think G is more geared towards this is what a bareback rider needs let's get her there when in fact I need a better seat at the trot for dressage, I need to quiet my hands, I need to relax my upper body and I need to get it all working together so I'm not tipping off my horse, yanking on her mouth and sending her mixed signals. K gets it G doesn't.
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    03-17-2013, 09:24 PM
I feel like I know nothing ever time I talk to any friend who has horses. Every single one of them knows things that had never occurred to me. SO much to learn. I hope that I sometimes teach them something I know too. Every new horse I work with teaches me something new. I often wonder just how little I really know. I mean, do I know 10% of what I should? 50%? More? Am I getting there? How far away am I?
Sometime I take a refresher-lesson just to knock down any bad habits that inevitably form. Every time, I learn something very basic - something I should have known for 40 years by now.
I don't know that I ever feel like I know nothing, but I get reminded every time I'm near a horse that I sure don't know everything!
drafts4ever likes this.
    03-17-2013, 10:37 PM
I love learning new things and I never claim to know everything when it comes to horses but I feel like this week was a bust compared to what it was supposed to be. They came up on their vacation as we had previously talked about. I paid for their plane tickets to fly them in and the agreement was we would train in the mornings and then do whatever afterwards. They partied 24/7 and I'm not exaggerating. On the plus side they drank all the alcohol I wasn't going to touch and had just sitting in my freezer. On the downside they did this while they were trying to train me, before, after, and all night. I wouldn't have minded after training and all night but when I'm trying to learn and I saved up funds to get the training from them I feel a bit used, let down and I know I didn't learn nearly as much as I could have. I learned how to better my seat and how to move with my horse. I gathered enough to work on my main issues but there was no progress towards anything greater because it was all yelling and instead of constructive criticism I was told to get off my horse and give up. That's not the people I thought I knew and who I thought I was flying in to work with. I was belittled and hurt. That's not the attitude of the K and G I know.
To top this I also know they were dealing with a rotten business exchange back home so most of their drinking was trying to drown the BS they were dealing with and it noticeably effected the quality of their vacation and my training. A lot of it was angry and not an effective method. I was looking for guidance and boot camp training tell me what I need to do to fix this. The first 4 days were just fine other than some unnecessary rude remarks here and there but as soon as Saturday hit things went down hill fast. Needless to say I'm very disappointed.
    03-19-2013, 11:27 PM
So the guys headed home today. The last two days were much better. I found out some reasoning behind their attitudes and it's understandable why they were so pent up. Stupid show business and family issues stuff. This was supposed to be their vacation and they couldn't get away from text message and phone calls about upcoming performances and then family issues and drama drove them nuts. If they didn't answer the calls they would lose potential acts and opportunities but when they did answer the calls it was business related but a lot of complaining and problems that were impossible to deal with while they were across country from the issue. So after figuring that stuff out I let some of their words go. I explained more in detail about Sammy and after sitting and listening they apologized for being so quick to assume things.
Today and yesterday were great for learning. It was beautiful out as well so I could leave the barn lights off and use natural lighting. We worked more on my seat and they cracked a couple semi inappropriate jokes but they were funny in the moment. We worked on my attention and communication skill and completely reformated my vocab for my commands. There's a lot of little changes that will help me improve massively and I'm happy they were able to come help me.
Today after my riding lesson they packed up, cleaned up my house for me which was awesome, detailed my barn...again awesome and then we headed out for lunch on the water front before saying goodbye at the airport. Overall one bad day out of 8 training days is really good. I enjoyed their company and I'll miss em but they're planning on coming back this year and hosting some clinics so I'll get to see them again before I fly out there for a visit. Pictures to come!
clairegillies likes this.
    03-20-2013, 03:55 AM
That is so good that you got your upsets with them resolved.


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