Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Welcome to working with young, green horses. You're going to go through cycles of "OMG that was an amazing ride!" and "holy $%^& that was awful." It's part of the process.
A couple of weeks ago, I was even (ashamedly) seriously considering listing Ronan and looking at other horses for sale. I had bad ride after bad ride, it seemed like Ronan just didn't have the heart or will that I wanted.. for a couple of weeks, I sent texts to my fiance saying "well, that was another crappy ride." I talked to friends and family and had the saddle fitter back out. Honestly I think what helped the most was the saddle fitter saying "Wow. You've done a fantastic job, he looks great. His muscling has changed completely since I saw you last."
Anyways, it seemed like just as quickly as we lost our groove, we got it back. Last Monday I texted Rich saying "I had a fantastic ride!" The rides since then have all been great. It seemed like all of a sudden, Ronan "got it" and understood what I was asking.
That's how it goes. Good and bad. Having things go amazing one ride and fall apart the next, or even within the same session.
So - you have to decide if you, as a rider, WANT to go through this. Frustration is part and parcel of bringing along a green (or even less trained) horse to where you want it.
It's not a shameful thing if you decide that you want a "made" horse, or one with more training - that is YOUR prerogative, and nobody should judge you if you do decide to go that route... OR you stick with it and learn coping skills for those frustrating rides.
If you decide to keep on with your green horse, you need to learn more or better coping skills. Learn what to do on those days where you get frustrated and cannot seem to "get it" - maybe that means that you go back to an easy skill and end on a good note.
A suggestion I do have (that I need to start doing myself) is keep a journal. Keep track of your rides, as well as your horse's and YOUR mental state/what's going on in your lives. My "awful" rides happen to fall on days where I'm exceedingly stressed - coincidence? I think not. So those days I need to take a step back for myself and think "OK, Allie - you're being a twit, what's going on? Okay so clearly you're in a 'mood' today and it's not fair to Ronan that you get frustrated at him for not doing [movement] 100% correctly. Go back to a stretchy trot and call it a day. Maybe pick up some wine on your way home."
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com