Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tokens and Trainer Rides and Making Good Decisions


yay release!
At the show barn I used to work at, we sometimes talked about the concept of tokens in relation to horses. There are so many horses who are willing to be good most of the time, but they all have a limit. You pull on their face or bounce on their back or catch them with spurs 97 times, but then the 98th time, you are out of tokens and your usual saint of a horse leaves your ass in the grass.

So. From time to time, we'd put trainer rides on client horses that were almost "out of tokens" in terms of dealing with normal ammy things.

demon right hand
It's not that the owners were bad people or scary riders or anything horrible. It's just that we work hard and sacrifice and love our horses too much to be really objective in all our dealings with them, so occasionally, someone needs to make sure all is well.

With that in mind, I'm the one who has jumped Courage the last few weeks. He's been great and I'm riding pretty well right now. For the most part, I'm giving good releases and riding forward to the jumps.

I find it helps to pull more with the right hand more
Except when I'm not. Sometimes I don't quite give with my right hand and then Courage hits it and he can do that a few times without getting mad, but not for too long.

Because then this happens.

It's a fascinating combination of flailing and dolphin leaping that's actually exceptionally easy to ride, but it tells me that Courage isn't happy. Also that I'm not riding great.



Cha ching goes the token!
In light of recent success, I was eager to hop on and go another round, but I decided to stick redheadlins on again this week so she could put some tokens back in the bank. Courage is still green (a shade lighter than neon, I hope) and even if he wasn't, it's only fair to him to make sure that his job still makes sense to him.

It's just bringing along a green horse, ammy-style.


18 comments:

  1. That is a bit how I feel with Sydney, things usually go along really well, but every so often I need somebody to put a few more tokens back in the bank so she can go back to dealing with my ammy mistakes.

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  2. Ya'll are doing so good!! Love the thought... now if only I had someone to ride my girl that was better than me. :P

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  3. Haha, I like the tokens concept!

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  4. My trainer uses that expression too, although usually when a horse is being pokey and slow, haha

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  5. This is why I had weekly training rides on Simon for a year and a half :)

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  6. One of the things I loved about a previous barn - trainer rides once a month!

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  7. I never heard that metaphor before but I like it. And it is so true!

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  8. Love that way of explaining it! Smart move on your part. Plus the added benefit of watching a great rider and mentally working on your own stuff.

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  9. I think a tag-team approach to green horses is a good thing :) You and Lins have a good plan!

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  10. I love the tokens idea! It's so true :)

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  11. My trainer got on Loki a few lessons ago and the difference before and after was amazing. While I'm totally envious of her skills I'm also very grateful to utilize them. Courage is growing up super fast!

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  12. I like this tokens analogy! You guys are doing great!

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  13. I wouldn't mind having M put some rides on Mo but she's like "nah, you're fine." She apparently only gets on when the horse is really about to kill someone. Heh.

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  14. Look at those knees! I love the picture of him over the cross rail.

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  15. I like the token analogy and I'm a big believer in getting tokens back in the bank!

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