Long Time No See
After ages of a break...which sometime we need, I'm back. Sold my mare two November's ago now (sad sad time). That said, a new opportunity has presented itself in the form of a big tall handsome dark bay boy (affectionately known as my new boyfriend which my fiancé just loves... LOL...). He's been out of work (the bay, not my SO!) for a while and is pretty all over the place, but very excited about the opportunity to put him back into full time work and get things going.
I'm not sure if any of you have been through this before (I'd be surprised if nobody has experienced this before), but prior to selling my mare we were training so hard, and things were getting so frustrating that it almost became impossible to move forward. I actually felt a bit beat down...and I really lost my drive/passion for it for a little while (to be honest, this is probably part of the reason I sold her and took a break). It's funny what some time off can do. I honestly feel like a new person. I learned a lot though...and don't regret a thing.
Not sure if the same crowd of people is around from back when I was on the forum, but wanted to say hello none the less. Will be nice to be back here after a while off. I feel refreshed. :D
Do you really want to go back into the high pressure stuff? I've been "horseless" for 11 months, and go get my new horse tomorrow. I'll probably ride her out w/a neighbor this W/E, but what I plan on is a daily ride alone, most mornings w/out needing another person to accompany me. just a laid back time for the two of us to be together & get the day off to a good start. But, I've been riding for many decades & already done all the "showing/gaming" I want to do. The hardest part of my days now will be the saddling/mounting-LOL! The corral cleaning is easy-been doing it for a mighty long time. The right tools make it go quick.
I 100% think I'll get more satisfaction out of progressing at the right pace with no pressure, and improving as a team, then I ever did trying to force myself to get to the next level and being disappointed when things weren't happening how everyone thought they were supposed to. If that makes any sense at all.
I went through the same thing when my horse had a serious injury that put him out of commission for over a year and ended his jumping career. I still kept riding and was fortunate enough to have a friend who let me ride her gelding that was almost at the same level as my horse. I began teaching lessons and training horses professionally during that time as well. My passion completely died out after the first six months without my horse as my riding companion and with all the pressure of being a trainer. I came very close to retiring him once he was fully recuperated and quitting riding all together. I was fortunate enough to realize that he didn't want to be retired, and just needed a new job. I met my dressage trainer during that time, quit teaching/training, and began the process of learning a new discipline along with my horse.
Sometimes you need to get away from all that pressure and find that joy of horses again that you had when you were a little kid. Sometimes you need a new challenge to stir that passion up again. I'm glad you found the horse that inspires you to try again and gave you back that passion. Don't let yourself fall back into that same situation again. Enjoy your new companion and take each day one at a time. Also, post lots of pictures of the new guy and keep us updated on his training! :)
Thanks Bagheera! Test ride number two was last night. I hired a new coach just to see what I could get out of him and it went WONDERFULLY. I feel so renewed. And so at home being back in the saddle. It was to the point where I was actually dreaming about dressage again... which I kinda took as a sign I should probably see whats out there. I am amazed that I was so put off of it coming out of my last situation, and now I feel so great about it all - even what I learned previously.
It's really awesome. I'll keep updating for sure. I'm thrilled.
welcome back! so glad to hear you're getting back in the saddle and that things so far are going well.
sometimes when i feel like i'm overtraining or getting nowhere or my horse is getting ring sour or acting out, i just go out to the ring to ride with no time constraints - at all. i may ride for an hour, or three, depending on what my horse needs. it's mostly walking, a little trot and some transitions, and at the end a tiny bit of canter. lots of walk trot transitions and lots of stretching. and i just listen to my horse tell me when my back is hollow, or i'm weighting the right seat bone more than the left, or if i've started hovering bc i'm protecting my knee injuries, and so on.
i find that simple goals on days like that are both far more challenging and far more rewarding than going out with a time frame and a concrete plan. today we went out there with the goal of warming up at the walk, and then doing some transitions and the final goal was to trot the entire ring consistently on the bit, engaged, relaxed, soft and balanced, including one circle. it was a lot harder than it sounds when you're paying attention to not just your horse, but fine tuned into yourself and your own aids and balance and body.
to keep from getting bored or repetitive, i'd add leg to work on mini-leg yields or shoulder ins here and there, i'd work on in-gait transitions from longer to shorter strides and faster and slower. and everything i did with as little rein pressure and as soft of a contact as possible.
we ended with almost no need to canter, and the canter we got was slower and more balanced - from the halt! - than my horse has been in well, maybe ever. and leg yields on both canter leads! he's a jumper and we both tend to get so amped up that it's easy to lose sight of the focus on the little things, and making sure that we're still connected and working as a team.
not only was it a good, calm, quiet challenge, it did a great job of getting him more fit and balanced and looser - all which will help our performance in the jumper ring :)
good luck - and above all enjoy more than just the riding, but the connection and the partnership!
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