Friday, May 13, 2016

Answering the Nagging Questions

I've gotten a lot of questions about our latest round of show-fail, so here's my stab at addressing them in a more or less coherent way. I'm doing this in the most dickish way possible by interviewing myself. Questions are compiled from various sources and not exact questions from any one person.

Q) How do you feel about Courage now?
A) About the same. I've put a lot into him. I believe in him. I was disappointed and sad for a day, but failures are going to happen and I still have to move on. He's still cute, I'm still here, and we're going to figure this out.

Q) Does he have X vet problem?
A) Last I checked, vets had to actually physically check horses for problems (vs think about them on the internet) and to be a vet, they had to attend some sort of "schooling". I dunno. Never wanted to be a vet, so never looked into it. Regardless, I think medical advice needs to come from medical professionals. Either you assume that I am a good horse owner and deal with my horse responsibly or you assume that I am a shitty horse owner and don't. Either way, I generally don't take medical advice from strangers on the internet. I'd say you shouldn't either, but then I'd just be making a funny meta joke.
TRUST DR CHIWEENIE HE IS SO QUALIFIED

Q) How is this any different than the Hellmare?
A) If you've been around here long enough (YEARS), you might remember the Hellmare. She was actually remarkably physically similar to Courage if you disregard their plumbing. Well, that and the fact that she was pure evil. Courage has OPINIONZ. Izzy would actively try to kill me. I realize that might look the same to an outsider (or if I'm not writing well), but it works out to the difference between Courage letting me slide back in the tack after an incident and Izzy jamming me face-first into a rocky field because I was SLIGHTLY off balance. Intent is how they're different. Intent matters.

Q) Are you going to sell him?
A) No.  Even if I wanted to, which I don't, it would look something like this: for sale: older busted-up ex-racehorse with no professional training and no useful skills. Prone to bolting, leaping, and expressing himself. Not talented enough for pro, way too much for most ammies, doesn't take kindly to kids, not a jumper, hates trails. NO ONE BUYS THAT.

Q) Aren't you a terrible person because your training philosophy is slightly different then mine?
A) Of all the reasons I might be a terrible person, I wouldn't put this one that high on the list. YMMV.

I'm not going to sit here and lie to you and say that it's all butterflies and roses. It's not. I was really upset. Because I have a long, LONG junior career of being really terrible at shows, I can't say it's an unfamiliar feeling, which probably helped me rebound faster.
junior me would be so jealous
she couldn't even
I'll also admit that I was pretty damn jealous of the kid bopping around on the haffie pony while Courage flipped his shit, but then that ended right when the pony dirty bucked it's kid off and galloped loose through the warm up.

So here's the thing: horses are horses and from time to time, they're going to horse in ways we don't like. That's true whether you ride Valegro, Courage, my beloved Paddykins, a European Sex God, or a mule. The important thing is be sure that when you have those moments, you can deal with them.
mostly i deal by taking pictures
People with more means than myself can pay trainers to fix the bad parts, but I need to be able to ride through them. With Courage, I can (so far) handle it myself. He's athletic and can be a bit nutty, but he's never out to hurt me intentionally. I know what his range of reactions are, and I'm reasonably comfortable with them.

So yeah. I could try to get something else, but no horse is perfect and frankly, I like the the one I have.
most of the time anyways

37 comments:

  1. You do you, girl. No matter how honest someone is on their blog (which I really appreciate), it's never the FULL story. I live 2,000+ miles away and I'm not a professional rider, trainer or vet or... anything else. So I don't really know what's all going on at any point of time.

    But, I do feel like I've gotten to know you and Courage through the interwebz, and I want you both to be happy and successful. Whatever that looks like, I'm proud of you and happy for you <3

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  2. I know how much opinions on the internet mean to you (lolz) but I think Courage is an awesome horse who lucked out by getting you for an owner. Also intent matters!

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  3. In Courage's "sale ad" you would need to add, "...but great for inspiring blog content and memes that win the internet." Because seriously, I nearly choked on my toast with that first meme.

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    1. It's true. If photogenic was a trait people paid for, he'd be worth ALL THE $

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  4. LOL European Sex God had to click that link to see if you were actually talking about a horse. Love that horse though

    Either way, we have all been there. Some of us more than we like for LOOOOONG periods of timelier than we would like. (Holla)

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    1. Not proud to admit I also clicked on that link to see if maybe it went to something that wasn't a horse....

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    2. Why has no one checked me on the mule link yet?? That one's funny too.

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    3. I definitely was like "Bobby?" And hovered over the link and giggled

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    4. Maybe you should have described him as an American Sex Mule instead? That's click bait!

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    5. Hm yeah I'd click on that. wtf mules don't have sex.

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    6. It never crossed my mind that it could be something besides a horse #thisiswhyimsingle

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    7. I wasn't sure who it would be... I wanted to see if it would be Bobbie. LOL

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  5. You're doing a good job with this particular horse. He does not seem easy but he is really cute. You're doing it mostly yourself and you are not a pro, so it is going to have more ups and downs. You will work through it and end up with a nice horse (of whatever level) and improved riding and training skills. Keep your expectations reasonable, worry about the process more than the outcome, and you will be happy. Easier said than done BTW!

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  6. Do you. You're doing an amazing job with Courage and he looks incredible. You may have downs, but ups will come, too. I *totally* get the whole difference between him and "Hellmare." There's a huge difference between a horse being outright mean, and a horse being opinionated and a harder ride.

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  7. "not sure if whip, or nae nae?" --> i die haha, that's solid gold right there lol

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    Replies
    1. ^Agreed. Aimee's meme skills are awesome!

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    2. Awesome!!! Love this post and the memes!

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  8. What? You don't trust Dr. Chiweenie? Clearly your horse has ulcers, lyme disease, laminitis, shingles, HIV and the Zika viris. Interwebz vetting is so awesome, right?! Why would you go anywhere else? Seriously, it's the journey, not the destination. Take a deep breath and if when you look at Courage you smile from deep down and get that little flutter in your belly then you can know that whatever missteps you've taken together are just lessons to laugh about later. Enjoy your pony.

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  9. You definitely take good care of Courage and it shows. People mean well, but unsolicited advice can be so insulting. The funny thing is that I have a couple of friends that are vets and quite a few that are trainers and their advice when I'm having issues (and they're not there to see the horse in Question) is to talk to MY vet or MY trainer even if I ask them for advice. I'm sure we've all been guilty of giving advice when it wasn't asked for, but it's something to remember. If the pros aren't willing to do it, maybe ammies shouldn't either.

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  10. I'm one of those well-meaning people offering you unsolicited advice! I sound like an first class A-hole! Just want you and Courage to be happy and fulfilled in whichever direction you take. I admire your grit and determination and hope you can forgive my occasionally meddlesome ways :)

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  11. That's like when people tell me to sell Jetta instead of Misty. I love Misty. I really, really don't want to sell her. But I can't have two horses during vet school and NO ONE would buy Jetta. I think it would be hard to even give her away, lol.

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  12. I actually really like Courage, which is saying more than a little because he and I are completely incompatible. Even aside from my not having the skills to be a good teammate for him, the not good with kid thing is a BIG deal-breaker for me. (Would have been a really sad deal-breaker with my Shuga, too, but thankfully she is so good with them.) But you don't need my perfectly fitting horse because you aren't me.

    And you know what? He makes you happy. At least sometimes. And when he doesn't, it isn't the "Oh God, put me out of my misery now" depths of despair. And he's really coming along, even if some days he doesn't remember that. And when you/he have inevitable fail moments (who doesn't?), you/he still kick some serious butt. And I honestly don't think anyone else would have as much success with him because you "get" him. (And possibly because you have the experience to know the important difference of intent.) So it's big time #teamCourageandAimee over here.

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    1. He's actually great with kids if it's 105 and they're on a lead line and I haven't fed him any treats in the last 4 weeks and they don't try to do anything or move too quickly...

      So basically not great with kids.

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  13. That's me! I read your blog in the time of Izzy. All horses bring challenges but you seem much happier now. Courage is lucky to have you and you are lucky/deserve a horse you feel safe on. Screw dem naysayers! :)

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  14. Love this! And, as a stranger on the internet, I need to say that strangers on the internet really need to mind their own business!

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  15. One bad show and all those questions? Ha ha, if there is an alternate universe where we are supposed to consider all those 'helpful' suggestions after every bad show I've totally been doing it wrong :) If it makes you feel better, right in front of the crowd at our last show my girl dramatically slid to a stop in front of a tiny jump...so she could take a giant poo. Still not selling her :)

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  16. So hilariously meme-tastic! Frustrating shows suck but you do a great job of making some giggles out of it and moving on.

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  17. Mind blown that people actually have the balls to ask you such things! Rude! I'm a broken record, but a good horse takes time. You're putting in that time. Good for you. Sure it'd great if you could sell C to the perfect home & buy a unicorn. Not reality. Just because a horse has opinions doesn't mean he won't come through for you, get trained or be a great partner! They're all individuals. Bottom line its supposed to be fun, if you're still having more fun than not, it's all good!

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  18. You're doing a great job, focus on progress and not perfection and look to The next thing. People are always going to have opinions but you can't judge a horse until you sit on it.

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  19. 1. Your answer to Q2 is priceless and I love you.

    2. I was half hoping you'd linked to Pig as the European Sex God. But, I guess "Irish Sex God" doesn't have the same ring…

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  20. Aaaah the glorious interwebz. Where people think that hiding behind a computer screen automatically elevates them to Judgey McJudger status. Actually people that have commented above me have in the past accused me of cheating and horse abuse. If that makes you feel better!

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    Replies
    1. Not the immediate above - had to mention that cause it was Austen and that it was not her!

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  21. I think you made plenty of good decisions -- all of us get to learn the hard way (at least I think it's not just me?) that horses are first & foremost Humility Installation Tools. I know I shall never forget Solo's determined & very successful campaign of making me look like a complete moron riding a bucking, spooking, bolting (of which Solo pretty much NEVER was...except for those 2 days) idiot - in front of Jim Wofford. Who had to whack my horse on the butt with his hat because Solo refused a cross-rail for the 4th time in a row. I can shake my head with much amusement now, but I was so not laughing that day, ha!

    Now I know that I just have to respect his opinions in certain areas (much easier since, well, I haven't ridden him since his tendon Dx). But I'm sure you remember our many llama days. Dressage was always his hardest phase, although my dressage trainer was right, so I'll share for you to look forward to - generally, as they develop & understand it better, there is less hate, uh, opinion-expression!

    Indeed, Solo finally began to do well when we got to eventing Training level, as the dressage test was complex enough to keep him busy & bending. Long straight lines were just temptation! We still did some occasional leaping, but when he discovered how to do a true extended trot, he LOVED it. And I've shown at First Level too, it's not quick or easy to move into for sure!

    But we remain masochistically addicted to our projects because the challenge makes the reward so fulfilling (if you don't have say, a masochistic partner with a suicide wish, sigh). "Not Eliminated" was always my primary goal, even in dressage shows -- heck, the geometry in order is half the score, so I did my best to at least include that part, LOL.

    So keep at it, dressage remains quite literally one step at a time. And it always helps me to remember that I've watched dressage medalists have meltdowns on centerline too, so horses never stop being horses! But if we're lucky, we can try again later, & we can still celebrate opportunities to hug those we love. Hang in there!

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  22. As you probably know I have been a fangirl of yours for YEARS - like from way back in the Izzy days. And I agree with you 100% - it's clear from your writing that Izzy and you were not a good match. And it's also clear that while Courage has his moments, he does not scare you ... just frustrates you ... which is what all horses do I think. haha. So keep on keeping on!

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  23. Sheesh. I think the problem is that most people are simply not good at expressing themselves through the written word. It can be quite challenging to offer a suggestion without sounding critical or judgmental. When I get those comments, I try to just shrug them off and assume the person making the comment actually had good intentions. I like your response though - you can never go wrong with humor. 😉😜

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  24. I love the self interview! and I love you and c-rage.

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