That's great. Love that hop.
But I always think that to participate, one should have "arrived" somewhere, you know? Like JenS had Connor from when he was a teeny baby and now he's showing recognized. And Carly knew Bobby as the muleish baby, but now he's a muleish dressage horse who has moves and stuff.
I thought about doing a progression of fails, but people think I'm down on myself or my horse or something when I get too involved with that.
Or I can do this:
I've been chatting with Emma lately, and she reminded me that I have this giant backlog of text and image-based media called a "blog" in which I can actually check up on my progress from year to year.
So I looked.
Here's Courage in February of 2016:
|rope halter tells me this was a subpar day|
|tack tells me i need to be better about taking conformation shots|
What a before and after doesn't show is the ugly we went through to get here.
|when he decided he was uncatchable|
|when we started bolting every diagonal in every test|
|when biting Lindsey was the best plan|
|when we opted out of cantering|
And while yes, I can definitely tell you that Courage is improving on the whole, we're far from "arrived" and the struggle actually is real.
But thanks to that giant media backlog, I can review stuff like this. Here's Courage in January all animated and prancing. Look at his slack topline. Look at his leg movement. Look at the quality of the canter. There's some nice moments in there, sure, but this is about as animated as he's ever been so that's the absolute nicest you'd ever see at that time.
But hey! There are magic phones in the future (aka now) too, so I took another video the other day. I was just videoing some free lunging to catch his movement right now, but then he got "wild" and I was laughing too much to stop. Regardless. Here's current Courage:
Now maybe I'm a little too obsessive for most of y'all here, but I see a different horse. One whose normal trot is hella better (and the animated trot at the end is pretty damn fancy). I see a horse who canters in an entirely different way. I see a horse learning to use his body and not just careening around with his back totally stiff.
And one thing I know for sure about Courage is that he has to learn how to do things on his own before he can start to offer it under saddle.
|didn't have this last year|
So yeah. We're in a hard place in training and no one who watches us is like "mind.blown. olympics are calling and only you will do."
But we're trending in the right direction, taking small, incremental steps, and what the hell. I believe in the little guy. I believe in us.
|this is old style courage bucking. it fixes nothing. the kicking out is new this year.|
|uhhhhh yeah don't overthink that|