I am starting a new chapter in my life, so I think it is time to start a new journal.
I have officially moved to Denmark, it feels like home to me and I am very anxious to see Wonder again. I think the estimate is he'll come to Denmark in about 4 weeks. I have already found a stable to keep him at which is lovely. They have a good indoor and outdoor school, large boxes with windows, all day turnout, good food and a whole lot of trails. I think Wonder will be very happy. We will also have access to a dressage trainer who was on the Danish national team, so I am very excited about that and to continue our education. We will have access to a lot of excellent trainers in Denmark which I'm very excited about. I'm also happy that at the stable, the people are pretty laid back and nice, so I think Wonder will be very happy with that. He doesn't like uptight people who try to control or micromanage him but is well behaved and quite pleasant when treated with respect and fairness. He is not a warmblood, he won't tolerate what a warmblood will.
I am working on my Danish, it is quite a tricky language to learn. Sentence structure and pronunciation are different. It will be a process to learn but absolutely necessary. It also gets frustrating because a lot of my German is coming back to me, so I'll think of something in German rather than in Danish. It is also interesting because I had a DNA test and I am 70% scandinavian. The remainder is German, Dutch, some french, welsh and british and I think 1% jewish. It is interesting because I was always told Im German but it makes sense because the part of Germany my family is from was apart of Denmark for a long time before it became a part of Germany. I've also been told I don't look German, I look Scandinavian so that could be Swedish, Danish, Finnish or Norwegian *Shrugs* it doesn't really matter. But the Danes say my nature is very Danish and they can't see the German
*shrugs* I don't know.
For those who don't know me, a little background. I am a former active duty Marine. I was a computer science major and have a large variety of interests. I have studied economics, philosophy, ethics, theology, anthropology, history, physics, mathematics, psychology, neuroscience, biology, genetics, paleontology, communications, law, etc if it interests me I study it. I study things from good variety of angles to get the clearest picture I can. I have aspergers, so life has been interesting. I don't process like other people, I simply don't. I see the world in terms of senses, feeling, sensation and pictures so when I speak, write, etc I have to translate the experience to words. I feel no shame about being autistic, some people may not like me for characteristics it gives me but I've stopped caring about that. People will judge, be unfair and make judgments without bothering to try to understand or seeing what is true. People want to see what they see. They dont really care about truth or fairness or at least that has been my experience. The more educated you are, the more I think you're meant to hide it because people find it very threatening for some reason. I don't get it but that is my experience, even if you are polite, open and not rude people are threatened.
I've also struggled with depression, anxiety and ADHD. They've complicated my life but have overall made me stronger. I don't like talking or writing about it much. I feel no shame in talking about it but people hear a label and make so many preconceived, unfair notions based on a label. I've learned when you talk about those matters, people see you as the label rather than you as an individual. I think most people are lazy in their mind and so they'd rather categorize and group people quickly or try to see picture in black and white, rather than to see people as individuals or see pictures as they are. I don't process the written word in term of instruction, I'm a visual learner.
I have ridden for 17 years. I have been a working student on multiple occasions, worked with olympic riders, BHSI trainers, CDI FEI judges, GP riders, etc, etc. My background is as an eventer. I did that until I was 17 years old and stopped 10 years ago. I have also worked with natural horsemanship, saddleseat, carriage driving, reining, etc trainers because I believe being well rounded is very important as a horseman. I pride myself in my ground work and horsemanship. That is a skill I've worked very hard to develop and I feel being autistic gives me an advantage in that department because I work best with very anxious, nervous, sensitive horses. I like a VERY VERY hot horse, so my favorite breeds are thoroughbreds and saddlebreds. I get along with pure arabs but have not had good experiences with arab crosses. I work with them fine but not my favorite. I've worked with PREs, morgans, friesians and friesian crosses, a wide variety of warmbloods, drafts and draft crosses, lots of ottbs, halflingers, ponies, quarter horses, cobs, gypsey vanners, etc. I feel like I've ridden every type, maybe not true but it feels like that. Every type is a very different ride and requires a different approach and technique requiring a rider to be very adjustable and tactful. Training horses with less than ideal conformation, depending on what conformational difficulty they have requires different methods and takes time. So it annoys me when people want a perfect picture the instant you sit on a horse and dont understand that getting that correct, perfect picture takes time, especially with incorrect conformation or a different background. It is so easy with correct conformation, much harder with a non purpose bred. I spent a good amount of time breaking horses as well, have also raised babies from birth to breaking and beyond. Most the horses I worked with for many years were problem children. The horses that reared, bolted, bucked, were naughty, too hot etc and it was interesting because most horses I could fix all those problems on and never have a problem or someone would say oh this horse is SO SO hot and naughty, etc and it would try something once or twice and I'd never have a problem but someone else would get on and I'd have to start all over again with it. I'm also pretty used to riding temperamental horses and just riding through their temper tantrums. I had a mare who would get very fussy about being corrected because she thought she knew everything lol. I don't know I feel you become more humble and patient, the more horses you work with. I've ridden hundreds of horses and worked with I don't even know. I rode 6 a day for a while. I've schooled to PSG and I1, some GP but I am NOT a GP rider at all. I could never produce one by myself. I also have not shown very much due to not having much money. I pay for my horses health, happinesss and for our education. I would love to show but it is so expensive. Fortunately it is cheaper here in Denmark than in the US.
My GP prospect and ottb. He came off of the racetrack on 24 June 2017. A little background on him. He is 17h, was a classic distance horse. He didn't do well in sprints. For a long time I would say he was the hottest, most powerful I've ever ridden in my life and I've ridden some VERY nice, very powerful 18+h warmbloods. Wonder is something else. During winter and spring he needed to be ridden 2hrs a day 6 days a week. I'd have to ride him for 45min before a lesson or it was a waste of time. I had to run him into the wall at least 10x a ride for a long time because he'd just run through my core. I've strained core muscles on him. I remember in the trot he tried running off so I sat and kept my core very still and he literally took hold of the bit and pulled me up onto his neck. I also could not hold a whip when handling him at all, so did a TON of desensitization and natural horsemanship, Warrick Schiller type stuff. It helped a lot. He has come down quite a bit and is happiest around hot, like minded horses. I've put people on him where he would stand in the center of the arena and refuse to be ridden, he didn't care if they had their bronze or silver medal. He was like your thoughts and emotions aren't clear, so I simply cant. He's very sensitive. I could never tell who he would go for and who he would't. If someone doesn't have instinctual, natural feel he won't go forward. There is a mental block or he'll bolt. Can't be pressured or micromanaged but quite possibly the smartest horse I have ever ridden, trained or worked with. I've never met a horse like him and anyone whose worked with him has said the same thing. But during winter it was like trying to ride a 5 gaited saddlebred with the fireworks being shot at his butt. He was so tense, even standing next to him in the cross ties. You could feel the intensity radiate off of him. He's come down and I hope doesn't get that intense because he was quite tight and difficult to work with and I don't think I'll have that kind of time to work with him.
Fancy warmblood mare, I own her atm. I knew her since she was born, did some of the raising and broke her. This is her 3mo broke
Layla, not the easiest. She is pretty temperamental, opinionated but once she breaks through the hard stuff. She's downhill and weaker behind, so basically I'm convincing her to follow my seat, come back to me and sit a lot. She tries to take control of the ride, so a lot of it is convincing her to trust me and let me ride her. I don't hold them in this kind of collected work for a long time. Literally the length of the video then long rein and 5min walk to let the muscles relax. It is tense when training this. You would be too, it's like holding yoga poses to a deeper degree and upping the level of pose and length of time you can hold that pose. Or like being a ballerina.
She likes to grab hold of the left rein, so it's a lot of getting her to release that. I think her saddle is pinching her in the wither when she comes over her back because when her saddle was freshly fitted she didn't do that. Darn dressage horses change shape all the time. In Europe they'd just say ride though it. We have no prima donnas, she has to get over it. Half pass work starts around 2:30. Had to put a half pass on to help her supple and figure out how to use her rib cage and follow the rider, rather than take control. It also took a while to develop suspension in her trot and more will come in time.
Jimmy 15.1h half arab
15h 3yr old morgan filly