Then there was this past Tuesday. I prepped--I had a decent-but-quiet ride Sunday and then went for a nice toodle Monday. No pressure. No pushing. At no point did I even pick up the reins. Just 25 minutes of hacking on the buckle, then eat cookies.
I showed up for my Tuesday lesson. I had enlisted Alyssa to gather media. My mind was clear and calm. I caught my horse out of the field. I tacked up.
And I got on tense horse who did not show up to play.
|yup again. except because trotting. at home. in a straight line.|
I've been struggling with this relationship (again) lately. I'm putting everything I can into it. I've changed trainers. Barns. Disciplines. I've backed off, started over, consulted pros, read and researched. I'm doing the absolute best I can.
I've put almost two years into this horse in his present discipline. I've done over three years in total. We quit jumping, because he didn't like it. We left good trainers, because he didn't like them. We quit going to shows, because he wasn't coping.
And three years later, it feels like he's less reliable than he was straight off the track.
Now, I know Dr. Chiweenie and his cohorts Dr. Google and Dr. Internet are sitting over there screaming HE HAS ULCERS AND KISSING SPINES AND BAD CHI AND AND AND AND because trust me, not only do they comment here, but they also feel obliged to email me personally about how they are eminently qualified to diagnose actual medical conditions via computer. (They're the Dr. Phil AND Judge Judy, but of vet med.) But ok.
Let's say I have 3-5k just sitting around to dump into this horse via various vet methods.
Why the hell would I do it.
Honestly, at this point, it sure seems like it would make more sense to buy a 3-5k horse that could, you know, be ridden regularly. Go to shows and not completely lose his shit. Actually try for me occasionally.
It's not like I'm trying to get to the world championships of something. Hell, I don't care if I go to the regional championships.
But I don't think it's unreasonable to want to go to a goddamn local schooling show and have a horse I can actually ride. I don't think it's nuts to expect that a horse living in it's ideal situation plus part time pro training to w/t/c around an arena a few days a week. I really don't. I think 99% of horses ought to be able to do that most of the time.
I don't know why mine can't. I'm seriously questioning why he's mine in the first place. My trainer never, ever gives up on anyone and that's a great feature about her, but this is her livelihood. It's my hobby. That I do for fun. And maybe, if I stick it out and I don't know, spend the winter attending natural horsemanship clinics, I'll not only be able to ride my horse occasionally, but I'll also be the next freaking Tom Dorrance.
|you can call me the wild stallion tamer|
Or maybe I'm trying to force a situation that's never going to work. Maybe I'm putting years I'll never get back into a horse that isn't going to come around. Maybe it isn't meant to be. Maybe the reason I feel like I dump my heart and soul into this and get nothing back is because I'm missing the really obvious clues that this is never going to be a thing and maybe we'd all be better served if I moved on.
I don't have any answers right now.
I know I don't believe in making decisions in the heat of the moment. I know that the fail photos I have plastered all over the internet would definitely be an impediment to selling. Come to think of it, this blog probably wouldn't help either.
|uh so if the whole thing disappears overnight, you know why|
I'm at a loss, guys. It's not one bad ride or one missed lesson. It's not one bad show or one more stupid bolt. It's consistent. He's reliably unreliable for me.
And frankly, I'm not sure why I'm here right now. It isn't fun. It isn't working. I'm learning a lot about how to manage a thousand pound diva that doesn't want to play, but I'm really not advancing my individual skill set in terms of moving up any level in any discipline and we're rapidly reaching the end of my willingness to put this much in to a situation and get nothing back.
|unless you counting lost shit. we have that in spades.|
Maybe he needs to go to shows and do nothing but hand walk for the next five years. Maybe he just needs a change of scenery and a new person to thrive. Maybe if I stick it out another six months, I'll have a second level horse schooling third.
Or maybe someone else will. And maybe they'll show up with him and beat me and my stupid new project horse I got off a feedlot somewhere at the third level championships.
But I'll go home and know that I have a partner who shows up to work.
Honestly, that's all I want. The ability to work towards a goal with a reasonable expectation that we can achieve it.
Is that so unreasonable?
PS I was obviously very emotional when I wrote this. I debated not posting it because it's quite raw, but what the hell. I specialize in being honest and this is/was honestly how I feel right now. So. Either that makes me a whiny bitch or I guess it's relateable that we all struggle sometimes.