Friday, June 5, 2015

Finders Keepers

my little man
Courage and I have had some difficulties this past month/spring/fall/year/etc. After his infamous non-loading-incident, I was beyond frustrated. I felt like I'd put over a year of my life into this horse and all I'd succeeded in was making him go backwards in training.

When he came to me, the one thing he did know how to do was get on trailers.

Anyways. I was too frustrated to see straight and there were certainly credible threats of dog food and double deckers to Canada.

adorable even when he's naughty. and tired.
But. I told Courage (and a few trusted friends) that if Courage and I weren't have fun by the end of May, he was gone. I was done fighting with him and I wanted to actually have fun.

JenJ pointed out that my goals needed to be more specific than that.

I said that by the end of the month, I wanted him to hack quietly around the property, jumps small courses without being an asshole, and give me more good rides than bad rides. And I don't know, I had to want to do it again, because right then, I really didn't.

this was fun
So.

I started hacking Courage outside the arena almost every day. I learned to growl at him a little and kick him forward when he wanted to be naughty and I learned that if I do that, he really isn't that bad or dramatic.

I started setting jumps up and incorporating them into our routine more regularly. I learned that Courage is still a fun, kickass jumper who oozes talent.

this picture makes me happy
I kept a tally of every ride for the rest of the month. I learned that while I had two determinedly bad rides with very few redeeming characteristics, the rest were actually average to good.

It was rather serendipitous that our first show was the last day of the month. I did my best to set him up for success by hauling in a day early, but the point was, Courage showed me what he was capable of, and I fell in love with him all over again.

He isn't the easiest and he never will be, but he's the horse that still gives me the confidence to just keep on trucking in the hard times. I love seeing his gorgeous blaze face every day and I look forward to where the future takes us.

19 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that things have turned around for you and Courage. Horses and riding isn't always full of fun / easy times, but as adult amateurs where this is our hobby, it certainly needs to be fun more often than not. It's a really tough balance to strike, IMO.

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  2. Yay! I think you did the right thing by actually keeping track of it. Sometimes a bad ride can over shadow many many good rides. I'm glad you're finding the way and still having fun.

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  3. all of your goals and objectives for what you want in your horse sound really great - and i am so happy Courage rose to the occasion!

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  4. So happy y'all are doing better!

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  5. :) this makes me happy! What you want out of him is totally reasonable and it's great he stepped up to the plate. Such is life with green beans!

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  6. Kudos to you for doing the work to get to this point! You did a ton of homework to get here. You asked yourself if he was the right horse for you. You reviewed your program to see what changes you could make to give yourself a happier horse. You set a timeline to make a decision. You kept a written log of your rides to give yourself real data on how things were actually going.

    You did this. Give yourself (and Courage) a huge pat on the back! I'm so happy for you!!!

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  7. I'm happy to hear things have turned around :)

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  8. You know, sometimes it's important to keep a tally or some kind of record of your rides because the bad ones really do stand out in your mind more than the average or good ones, and it can make you feel like you're struggling more than you actually are. That's a good tip to remember for all of us. And yeah I love that gorgeous blaze face too.

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  9. Yay!! Good news. Glad you had a deadline date (some of the best advice I've taken away from your blog), and that you were so proactive about making changes to help set you both up for success. And Courage is just so darn cute and talented, I was rooting for him to get it together and be a good boy for you!

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  10. I really like how you always have such a positive attitude about everything. Good for you!

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  11. I hope every time you guys hit a bump in the road, you come back and read this post. You have done more for him than some might have! Keep kicking ass out there.

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  12. Glad to hear you guys are back on track! Babies are tough!

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