So Frustrated - Page 2

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So Frustrated

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        04-07-2013, 07:49 PM
    It is acutally taking 12 weeks, but we ordered it a month ago. Because I'm an awkwardly proportioned person and she's an awkward horse, the saddle had to be almost custom made to fit. It's a County Competitor dressage saddle, so I won't have to ride in the jumping saddle anymore. The saddle I have now pinches more on the right than the left, but it's all I've got and I don't trust her enough to ride her bareback- she's rather unpredictable. I can't give her time off either because she's crazy after 2 days off, let alone 2 months (plus we have several shows coming up). I'm between a rock and a hard place with this saddle issue, and while I feel bad for her (and me because its too small!), we just have to keep going. I can't let her get away with this shoulder thing for any longer.
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        04-07-2013, 07:54 PM
    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."
    updownrider likes this.
        04-07-2013, 07:57 PM
    So I missed some posts in there :) So... I can turn her shoulders on the ground by just raising my hand and walking towards her - she came with excellent ground manners. I guess I can try with the whip, although the sensitive baby might get her feelings hurt.

    From a stand still I can do a complete turn on the haunches, and can manage the shoulder on straight lines at the walk. From there it just gets worse. When she's not straight, she can't push evenly, and with out that the connection is screwy and on and on and on. Somehow, my trainer has made me realize that all of our major problems stem from this shoulder!

    And I totally agree on working on something else and then coming back to the problem- it's good to clear our minds. BUT... now, in everything I do, I can't help but notice the shoulder!!!! And if I notice it, then I have to fix it- and the cycle starts again.

    I did manage to take her on a trail ride today- there's and idea- replace the frustration with nervousness (on both our parts) :)

    The thing is.. I already have a made horse, and he was only fun for a while, then I needed more of a challenge, so yes- I will stick with the baby. The training progress blog that I started over the summer was my way of journaling, but I hardly have time to be on the forum, let alone write the blog now. And also, a big part of my dislike with the blog was that I could start to see myself regressing. See that last week was great and this week not so much.... A way of coping that I found with my other horse was to just go jump something. We both liked jumping a heck of a lot more than dressage, so if things got tough- we would go jump. Problem was that I would just end up jumping all the time because dressage is no fun. Unfortunatly with eventing, you can't get to the fun stuff without dressage :( Also, the baby has lots of problems with her jumping too- I'm starting to see that we really have no "good area" unless you count being really cute
        04-07-2013, 08:51 PM
    Alright- I gave in and updated the blog. I will try to keep doing it every week as it gives me a reminder of how to work through her issues. Thanks for the reminder JustDressageIt
        04-07-2013, 09:30 PM
    Remember it's spring, and mares start coming into heat again. Can make them irritable.
        04-07-2013, 09:44 PM
    @Tiny- I just thought of that and made a thread asking a ton of stupid questions since I'm a first time mare owner. If you happen to know something about mares, the thread is in the horse health section :)
        04-07-2013, 10:17 PM
    Originally Posted by Ashsunnyeventer    
    I'm starting to see that we really have no "good area" unless you count being really cute
    Don't feel that way! I bet you know that isn't true, especially with this baby. Considering how much you appear to have accomplished, I think that you guys have more potential than you are giving yourself credit for. :)

    This is just a phase. You two will work it through together with the help of your trainer and you'll be all the better in every area for it.
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
        04-07-2013, 11:40 PM
    I thought you rode very nicely in the videos. I think you are and will be a very tidy pair. Your horse is not a machine. She is going to have some glitches. Why don't you back off of dressage for a month and do nothing but trail riding, until she is bored with that.
        04-07-2013, 11:48 PM
    1. Neither of us are confident with trails- in fact we are both nervous wrecks (I guess that could be something to work on though)
    2. I have a 1/4 hacking field to my use and that is it
    3. I have shows that I need to practice for (I'm already signed up)

    I will try to do more jumping to mix it up, and yes- we will work on trails. If it were during the winter then I would say sure leave the dressage for a month, but it's tough during show season. I'm trying to find other shows for us to do like jumper shows or hunter paces or something- get out of the ring. And yes, I realize I'm not really treating her fairly and that needs to change. When I first got her I somehow turned everything into a game becasue she got so bored. I'm trying to remember how I did that... and how I can change it to incorporate more advanced things
        04-08-2013, 01:09 AM
    Can you take a break from this stuff for a bit? My own mare is very sensitive and she has a ton of try. We can only school on certian things for short periods of time before she becomes really anticipatory (if we are getting it right), or really frustrated (if we aren't quite there yet). I have to mix it up constantly when we are schooling.

    That aside, I was wondering if you could do something else. Trail work, obstacle work, something totally different to give both of you a break and allow her to have success at something else and get your mind off of what your frustrations are. Then when you go back to schooling, you will have a more relaxed horse who is trusting you more and more, and you may have better luck.

    Also I would continue to mix it up with other activities, whether she is doing well or not, dressage is really a lot of work mentally and physically for both horse and rider. I think you both need a break periodically.

    Oops edit....sorry OP, I did not read your most recent post. Sounds like you may be going to try what I was suggesting. If you cannot do trails, try trail obstacles, like the mailbox, bridges, working within the boundaries of poles on the ground, that kind of stuff.

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