Thursday, June 9, 2016

Brain Check

It's easy for me to be upset about my perceived lack of progress with Courage right now. Let's face it: I failed at a big goal of going to a recognized show and won't have another chance until next year. Things sometimes seem unhinged and we're slowly working through first level, which is apparently really, really hard for a Courage brain. Instead of being upset about that, I want to look at where we are relative to where we've been.
one month post track
In 2013, I didn't even have Courage until the end of July. He was a skinny, fit straight-off-the-track racehorse who had no idea what this whole new life was about. The only thing he knew for sure was that he didn't want to be a racehorse any more.
only show of 2014
In 2014, we went to our first ever event derby at crossrails. We did a walk/trot dressage test. It was a week after a disastrous jump lesson that fried both of us and Courage was not in a forgiving mood. The dressage was acceptable(ish) and we got disqualified jumping. It wasn't pretty. I didn't have a reliable go button and I did have major jumping issues.
first show of 2015
In 2015, we went to the same derby again. We dropped down to ground poles. We were coming off a couple of very rough months and I decided that either he'd pan out as a show horse or he'd go away. Again, we did a walk/trot dressage test (which was lovely) and then somewhat redeemed ourself in the jump round. We finished on a (very high) number and kicked off the season which culminated in our first-ever tri color ribbon.
third (!!) show of 2016
2016 found us once again at this particular derby. We've given up the notion of jumping competitively but we went out and put down a dressage test with cantering. Courage was probably the most rideable he's ever been at a show and while it wasn't brilliant, it was a good enough test for that day.

So. Yeah. Instead of doing ALL THE SHOWS this year like I so desperately want to, I'm staying at home and explaining dressage to Courage, step by tedious step. It's not always easy, but I like to think it's paying off. He's not just a skinny OTTB any more--he's added muscles all over the place. Together, we're building the foundation for future success.

And if I take my time now, the horse I built one ride at a time will march into the ring and lay down a test to be proud of.


  1. Oh my gosh, has he ever transformed from when you got him! He actually just keeps getting more gorgeous. damn.

  2. I mean if nothing else, holy trail transformation!

  3. one step at a time, right?

  4. He definitely LOOKS like a totally different horse now :)

  5. I always forget how *small* he was. SO used to seeing C with muscles!

  6. One of my favourite mottos is 'you can't afford the time to not take the time'

  7. Regarding goals: Not showing First Level at a rated show this year should not be counted as a failure on your part. If that's how we're going to keep track of stuff, I'm going to ALWAYS fail. Each year, I set out a plan, and each year something goes wonky. Speedy and I were going to tackle Second this fall, but womp womp. He developed that teensy tiny bow and we're back to square 1 (aka as First Level).

    I agree that it is very disappointing, but don't chalk it up to a failure. It's just how things go. Keep it in your sights, but it's not a failure to not get somewhere. Just keep inching forward. :0)

  8. Totally agree! Calm and staying in the ring is a HUGE step. Now you are well prepared for the next one! And I know how hard it is not to go to all the shows. We have such a short show season here there is pressure to cram it all in...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...