I... I don't know what I want anymore. :/
Well, I was riding X factor (dutch warmblood gelding) because I really like him and he was a challenge for me. My goal was to ride him, gain his respect, and eventually show him because he has great showing potential. I finally learned to gain control of him, had my first jumping lesson on him and things felt like they were finally getting into motion. At the same time I was asked to exercise Lollipop, which I was so happy about because I was going to be able to ride my 2 favorite horses for the price of one.
Then last lesson, because X had just came back from a show the day before, I ended up riding Lollipop in my lesson instead of exercising her afterwards. I groomed her and I never saw a horse who appreciated being brushed so much. Must have put her in a awful good mood because during the lesson she was listening so nicely, my trainer was amazed! Later on though she became a bit more like her usual self and started to slightly spook and get a bit fussy. It was taken care of and my trainer gave me good advice to help me through. She was so happy with how I rode her that she told me she wanted me to ride Lollipop from now on. That I was really good with her and she needed a rider like me and some much needed attention. I told her I had been asked by (let's call her V) to exercise Lollipop after my lessons, and asked her if she had spoken to her about it (she said she would). It happens though she didn't, she must have forgotten. My trainer said that anyways it was better I ride with her coaching me so she can help me through Lollipop's fits.
The dilemma now is:
1. I wanted to ride X in lessons AND Lollipop afterwards like planned because:
a) I wanted to keep riding X (I have improved so much on him) and continue learning to jump so in 2 years I can show him.
b) I like Lollipop (7 year old arab) she still needs training and I'd love to be the one who desensitizes her, makes her less spooky and the amazing horse she can become. I feel if I gain her trust she'll be so loyal to me.
Now if invest time and energy I could get Lollipop into jumping, but I want to show before University, because I doubt I'll have much time then. But I sort of wanted to do it on X. He's a great jumper, adores it, and I know he'll jump anything and never refuse. Lollipop, don't know how she'll take it. I also don't know if she's the best horse for me to learn how to jump on. I easily get frazzled and need a confident jumper to learn on. Lollipop is the kind of horse who easily picks up on your mood, so you better be relaxed and confident at all times with her for things to go well... something I'm not always. She'll teach me to be more confident, but...:-|
Now I am second guessing what I want. DO I still want to show? Jump? Or would I rather invest all my time and energy and finally have a bond with a her? She is the first horse where I've felt I could actually potentially have a great bond with, you know? X has a great bond with the girl that is currently showing him, and I don't know if I could ever get ours strong enough for it to be the same. This is sort of a rant, I know things will figure themselves out, but I am such a worry wart by nature and would like opinions, advice, stories, just anything. I don't know what I want anymore...:-(
I would like to ride both, but can't afford it. School is starting soon and I'll be riding once every 2 weeks in October. For a while I've been interested in one day doing Endurance racing on an Arabian, or cross country or something , and maybe she's what I've been waiting for(though it's reaally not big in Quebec, I'd have to trail to Ontario or something, which =$$)... uggggh, I know I'll figure things out eventually. Gosh I always have to think so much about stuff...
Can you run this by your instructor? Perhaps you can ride X one week and Lollipop the next, or something like that?
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Are either of the horses yours, or do you ride both for other people? If one is yours I'd say go with the one that is yours. If both or neither are, then it's still a difficult situation.
You have big aspirations for both these horses. If neither are yours, the one I'd personally go with, is the one that the owner is more happy with you showing, and doing your own thing with, and won't put any spanners in the works.
If both are yours, then maybe you should alternate lessons. Have jumping lessons with X Factor, and normal, confidence giving lessons for Lollipop. The after you've done the lesson with one, just do some exercises with the other. If either start really excelling with you, or you get a greater bond with one rather than the other, then go with that horse. Or, you could loan one out, just so that one will continue getting the training it needs, but still remain yours if you want to eventually do something with that horse.
Sorry I can't be of more help. You sound just like me, I worry about stuff like this all the time. You just have to weigh up the pros and cons really. Look at it like this: Lollopop has just come into your life (if I've gathered that right) and she's pretty much a blank canvas, for whatever you want to make her. However, she needs someone she can rely on heavily for confidence (good in one way - you'll get a great bond if all goes well. However, her nervousness could shake both your nerves, putting you off riding, and her off people. Are you ready for such a sensitive horse?) X is a great horse already, and is already ready to show, which is what you want to do before uni (Lolli might not be ready to show for a very long time, it depends how sensitive she is) However, X already has another rider, and they have a great bond. Does Lolli have another constant rider? If not, you could be her sole rider, and mould her into a horse that suits you, however, like I said above, her nervousness could make or break your relationship (although, if you decide on her, then you'll have your trainers support often, which will help you get to grips with each other)
Sorry, I've gone and asked more questions rather than answering them. I hope you manage to decide, either way, you'll probably always have that "What If..." feeling. What a dilemma :-|
Thanks Holly you have helped. None of the horses are mine. Just school horses.
I know what you mean about the relationship maybe breaking and if I am actually ready for a sensitive horse... the answer to that is... I think so. My trainer is helping me with that. When she overreacts and shakes her head or slightly bolts, I sometimes tense up and scream WOAH, but my trainer is really helping me to calmly sit deep down, relax and just gently say oh-oah, oh-oah (in a soothing manner) to calm her down, or just keep her cantering. So I believe if I keep working with my trainer, I'll gain more confidence in handling her when she has a fit.
Thanks again Holly, you have helped me a little. :) And it feels nice you actually read my gigantic post. You too Ricci. I made up my mind to mention some of this to my trainer.
I was thinking of the one week this horse, another week that one, but when I start riding once every 2 weeks, I feel I wont progress as much if I ride each horse like once a month more or less.
And... although I want to ride both horses, I sort of want to concentrate on just one... anyhow I'll talk to my trainer. Gaaaah, if only I had time and money for 2 lessons a week! >:(
I know what you mean about time and money. I wish I could spend more time at my barn, but I can barely make it once a week.
I'm confused, did you say you could ride X in lessons and someone asked you to ride Lollipop after that? maybe I misread something..
if you have a real connection with Lollipop then that's a real hard decision.
I think I missed a point or something, but maybe you could have alternating lessons with Lollipop and X, and alternate who you ride after your lessons. then again maybe you can't ride X after lessons..?
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I was riding X factor, and 2-3 weeks ago, the lady who mucks stalls and exercises horses asked me if after my lessons, if I have time, if I could take Lollipop out and ride her a bit because she needs to be ridden more often. The lady (V) tries to ride her and give her exercise, but she wanted someone like me (a student who's less strong) to ride her so Lollipop get's used to obeying different types of riders. Not only those who are strong and very experienced.
My brain says: it's going to take you a while to get there, and you want to show remember? You like X and he's perfect to teach you how to jump. You finally are able to control him perfectly at a trot and in a few lesson you'll be able to do the same at the canter. He's also finally listening to you nicely. Things are going so well, why stop it all when it's in full swing.
Tug of war with my brain and my gut... ><
You're very welcome, sorry that I just ended up asking more questions.
It's a very difficult decision, but you're obviously looking or a bit of a challenge now, with wanting to show. However, you'll still get a challenge with working with Lolli, but you'll have a different result, as she probably won't be ready for showing for a long time. You'll probably get a better connection with her, being her sole rider. It sounds like X has been round the block a few times, knows his stuff, and has had plenty of riders. If you soley want the challenge of competing, go with him, as he can teach you, help you round the course Etc. I'm assuming that you haven't shown before, or often (please correct me if I'm wrong) and you need a confident horse to show you the ropes. However, if you don't have your heart set on competition, but do want a challenge, Lolli is better, as you can help her become a good riding horse. Again, I haven't really answered your question, but at the end of the day, we can only advise. You know what your heart wants to do, so just go with it. Either way, you'll have that "what if..?" feeling... unfortunately :-|
It's a time in life where I am reminded you can't always get everything you want... you have to choose. Unfortunately... I really have no clue.
This is a very hard decision. Maybe you can talk to your instructor about riding Lollipop for maybe one lesson out of every 3 or 4, and ride X for the rest of them. Because you ARE still riding lollipop after your lessons/when you can right? That may give her the more attention she needs..!
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