Thank you! He's coming around. I think this surgery is going to be a game changer and I hope open up and free his stride. I really hope it makes the difference because Wonder loves what he does and he tries so hard. He's a wonderful horse!
I agree completely. I think the problem is the girl is young and is a very good rider for her age and is used to being able to muscle or manipulate them into doing what she wants. Her main pony is half arabian mare and typical half arab personality, not easy, quite spicy. Sensitive but not Ranja sensitive. Ranja for example would never be a good kids horse or for a nervous AA. She needs someone who is confident but also very sensitive because if someone who doesnt know how to handle her rides her in a row she becomes this spooky, nervous basket of anxiety. And she'll go from there with you to leaping side ways 5m because you lost her focus for a second, then you get her mind engaged with you and she's amazing! Like for me or Nicolai, she stops the spooky behavior and because she trusts us stops worrying and relaxes. And then there isnt an issue and she's right there.
I think the girl doesnt know how to engage the horse's mind. She isnt a bad rider at all. Ranja needs to be engaged mentally and know you're there for her. Inspire confidence in her, not every rider has that skill. Nicolai has that and his brother is an international GP jumper but he cant inspire confidence like Nicolai can. I was also teaching her mom how to use breathing control and energy to influence Ranja and how to project mental pictures. Makes a difference.
I could go on all day about how amazing Ranja is and how nice she is to work with
I love that horse. She isnt as talented as Wonder but she has an amazing mind and work ethic. She is so smart and she doesnt use her mind against you like Wonder, she doesnt bully you. She is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is so smart and tries so hard. When she threatens it's because she is asking questions or is scared, it isnt like Wonder where Wonder is like well should I respect you? Why should I respect you? **** you! But Wonder's gotten a lot better, I think he is a lot more agreeable and willing now.
SueC- Thank you! Thoughts and prayers for the surgery to go well, and for him to come out of anesthesia well. Im nervous about it. I know it is what he needs but it still makes me nervous.
Aww thank you, Magnus is a sweetheart. He's VERY curious and very mischievous but he is a good kitten. Sleep curled next to me every night
But I agree entirely!! The extra exotic brain is not fun in terms of ownership and quality of life. I also think it makes finding a "life partner" very difficult, if and when I should decide to search.
Been struggling a lot with depression and all that non sense. My thoughts basically go on about how Im a horrible person, I hate myself, assuming everyone hates me and everything I do is wrong. I cant get anything right. Im useless, ugly, stupid. Nothing I ever do is enough and I feel like anything bad is my fault. I know consciously it is not but my mind says otherwise. I start seeing paranoid scenarios and delusions.
Just gotta ride it out. Fighting it doesnt work.
Had a lesson on Wonder today, that went quite well. Unfortunately no video because I didnt have anyone to video us today. Maybe next time!
Wonder was quite good. Mads didnt understand why I rode defensively on Wonder, so I stopped riding defensively and he was a ferrari. He said I need to ride at least 20 transitions around the school of the arena. And Wonder is NOT allowed to make any decisions on his own. He said there is no coasting with this horse, if you coast he takes over. He cannot be allowed to take over, I need to ride more transitions! And anytime he even thinks about tanking, I am meant to halt and pet him. I need to bend him a lot more to the right and get him to accept the right rein better. I need to enforce it more. Also said I need to ride him with more leg, he said it's like Im scared to use too much. He said MORE. Half halt from the legs!
He said he really liked Wonder and thought he was a very high quality horse who could go very far in dressage. He liked Wonder a lot more than Ranja. I agree but I asked him why, he said because this is a better horse. Wonder has a better walk, trot, and canter. Better conformation. He's built to do this and overall a very quality horse. He said he'd have thought Wonder was a dutch or danish warmblood, not a thoroughbred.
One thing I'll say I find very different about how Danes look at a horse vs Americans. Americans like floaty, open, swooping movers that can't collect. they dont look at mechanics or what will make a high level horse. I've heard US trainers and judges say a horse could do the GP because it moves so pretty and Id look at it or my US trainer and be like that wont collect enough to move past medium (approx 3rd). Danes (at least trainers or high level riders) look at mechanics. Like I've basically had American amateurs tell me Wonder is a piece of sh!t Im wasting my time with. But trainers said no Wonder is the superior horse (to my other horse at the time), just going to take more time to show it. I think because when someone like Mads looks at a horse, he is looking at what will make a GP horse and not what will do great at low-medium level. Totally different type of horse, the difference is in the mechanics of HOW that horse moves. For an upper level horse, the ability to collect is more important than the ability to extend. A horse needs to do both but the horse's skilled for collection often take more time to develop. I think my eye has changed a lot because of being here, as well as because of Wonder. That horse has taught me an awful lot. I also talk to professionals and people who have competed internationally and I ask them questions, their opinions, what they see and think. So I can learn.
Said Wonder collects great, I showed him Wonder's piaffe (was cute Wonder was like look what I can do!). He said that's great he can piaffe, he can do the tricks but he needs to extend better. He needs more submission, more obedience. Wonder really struggles with extension. Said Wonder can collect all day but the extension is what he needs. And I said I agree, this is what I've done with him to get what I have from him. What can I do to make this better? Lots of transitions, more leg half halts.
I also think part of why his trot is SO SO hard to ride, organize and manage is because of the spermatic cord adhesion. Wonder isnt like riding a normal horse. If you ride a warmblood, a thoroughbred, an arabian, a qh, a morgan or most horses if you ride for a bigger trot you get a bigger trot without any issues. As long as you (the rider) know how to use seat, timing and half halts. On Wonder you ride for a bigger trot and dont help him organize with half halts he takes weird off or lame steps or his legs go in every direction like a scramble. It's better than it was but it's taken polls, cavaletti, hill work, and a lot of things to help him figure out how to extend his legs and there is still irregularity when he strides. Im really hoping the surgery makes it easier for him. We thought he was like a portuguese horse where it's just hard for them to extend and takes more work and a different process to get there. But I think it is something to do with the spermatic cord adhesion. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/095...4131e297d6.pdf
But Im super proud of Wonder, he really tried for me. He was mentally present, no f*ck you attitude, just hey Im here what do you want? He's really become a gentle soul. It's night and day from what he was a few months ago. He still tests, he'll still tank off and you really need to be spot on with half halts but it's a lot better. I think Mads can help us a lot.
Also found a saddle fitting service I trust to do a good job and not ruin it. They do the saddles for the top dressage riders in Denmark, so they know what they're doing and will do a good job. Again not cheap, so Im basically broke after everything.
Depression cycle is pretty bad this go around. Not as bad as I've had but at least it's not a mixed episode. I dont want to get out of bed in the mornings. I dont want to do anything. I keep joking depression is the best diet because then you dont want to eat. It just sucks out your motivation. But when Im around people or talk to others, I can put on the face I need to. I dont like sucking people into the dark hole I live in sometimes. I want people to be happy and better off for knowing me, try to help and make people laugh and smile. Friends dealing with some rough stuff, trying to help them through it. Sometimes I just listen to music, dance and get lost in it.
Trying to stay productive and do the things I need to too.
Other sort of dark joke at least Im poor, so cant afford an alcohol or drug habit
But Wonder is obsessed with cigarettes (I dont smoke). Anytime someone has cigarettes, he tries to take them from them. I keep telling him Wonder I cant afford you and your smoking habit, just have to go without. It was funny, we were asking Wonder if he wanted a cigarette and he'd nod his head
we joke he was a smoker in a former life.
Class starts Monday.
Ranja bareback. I think she goes MUCH better in a saddle. Also note her hind shoes had been taken off by her farrier and are now back on (the owners paid for shoes and the farrier didnt put them on). I find it hard to keep my leg on bareback because Im focused more on staying on
it's surprising Wonder is MUCH MUCH bouncier than Ranja but I find Ranja harder to sit on bareback. And I agree with Mads that Wonder has better trot mechanics. I think the professional would say Wonder has a better trot and the amateur would say Ranja has a better trot.
Here she is learning how to collect the trot and then I let her out. I stopped abruptly so another girl could have space. You can create a lot of different trots based on training and how a person rides. A lot of this is in the timing of the core seat half halt and leg half halt and hand and the timing between. Collection tends to create more suspension and that comes from between the timing of the leg and core half halts.
Canter needs a lot more work, she needs a lot more strength and to improve the mechanics. I was asked if I might show her because the owner's would like to breed her and dressage scores help her.
Short canter duration, she isnt so strong
Example of a horse that Americans, low level riders and judges would love to see but would never do the higher level because she cant collect. I absolutely LOVE this mare, she is sensitive, hard working and just wonderful.
Talked to a rider whose shown in Denmark her whole life, has competed high level, father is a big name etc, etc and we were talking about young horse competition and what she thought of the winners and horse's in the young horse classes and the differences in judging potential for a GP vs top young horse. She said the young horse championships will most likely be the highlight and end of their careers. Most of these young horses are pushed so hard for that competition and have to move so big and so elaborate they break down or cant collect enough to be successful at the GP. The top 5 hardly ever make it onto something else. Usually they sell for a lot of money and cant be kept sound or disappear. The horse's that might have competed in young horse championship classes might go on to an international career but it is usually not the horses in the top 5. It's the horses that needed more time to develop. Obviously there are exceptions but in general the top young horses dont become top international GP horses.