Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Zoe Dilemma

A strange phenomenon I've noticed since partnering with Zoebird is people telling me that they want one just like her, but nicer. 
mmm but she's so pretty
Like in those words. To my face.

It's actually a super rude thing to say no matter how you stack it up.

A different version of myself would be bugged about it. I'd think up some sassy answers that pointed out the obviously shitty nature of the comment without actually descending to their level and then I'd giggle about it while they figured out exactly what had just happened.

But see.
all smiles!
I just took my first lesson on my baby horse.
so curvy!
And if you're counting, that means aside from her initial training rides getting started, it's been all me for well over a month now.
all me looks like bareback and toodling
And not only has Zoe been a shining ray of positive energy in my life, but she's also such a game lady. Toodling bareback on a cold windy day? She's your gal. Taking a lesson and working harder than she's worked in her life? Sign her up!
lil workhorse!
Plus, I know the subtle implication of "like Zoe, but nicer" is that she just isn't fancy enough to pull down solid dressage scores.

But you know what I see?
mmhmm
I see a little mare with a walk that over-tracks several hoof prints without even trying, a jaw-dropping trot, a supple back, a developing canter, and a can-do attitude.
plus "cute as shit" should go on her CV
I mean. She's not a "10 mover" and we're not going to win for steering around a training level test, but she's going to be a force to be reckoned with in every arena we show in.
gotta try every option
And she's sharp as a tack, with a calm, willing mind. 
nose in, nose out
She never says no. She just keeps trying. She puts a smile on my face every single day.

And I guess I'm left with the question:
and sometimes she gets it right
How exactly would she be nicer? 

73 comments:

  1. Nicer? NICER? WTF. I want one just like her.

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  2. That is a super shitty thing to say. Like, I can't think of a good way to swing it. People are dumb.

    A fun, trainable horse is definitely something to be envied. I sure do.

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  3. I said "what the fuck" out loud when I read your first sentence. I cannot believe people could be so incredibly rude and mean.

    I feel like people see or hear "draft cross" and just assume heavy, dopey, poorly put together, downhill, blah blah. I know I'm biased, but I think draft xs make incredible ammy dressage horses, especially since they make such an impressive picture when compared to little baby warmbloods and TBs.

    I am so sorry people are saying that to you. I know it's little consolation, but now that my draft x and I are moving up the levels, the same people at my barn who urged me to sell her are now singing her praises every chance they get.

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    Replies
    1. Ha yeah she's my first draft x and now I'm wondering wtf I was doing the rest of my life.

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  4. People are so rude. If you love your horse and are having fun and meeting your goals then that's all that matters.

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    Replies
    1. That can be a strangely difficult concept to grasp.

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  5. I want one just like her only smooshier. OH WAIT NOT POSSIBLE!

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  6. Hmmm, a unicorn horn, a pair of wings, and the ability to fart rainbows. :P Those are the only things I can think of to make her nicer. She’s already the best smooshy nosed-cool customer-great lady horse she can be, so any changes obvi have to be on the mythical level.

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  7. I can't actually believe anyone said that. Never mind multiple people. WT Actual F is wrong with them??? I see exactly what you see, I think she's a star and you should clone her for the rest of us. Enjoy your beautiful, smart, talented steed.

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  8. Other people's kids! Seriously. I think you two look well matched, and can tell you're going to be the relaxed, harmonious pair at shows throwing down awesome work while other people are overhorsed or trying to make clashing personalities work. You can't fake a great relationship!

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  9. Wow, people are fucked up 🙄

    At any rate, I'm glad that you and Miss ZB are having so much fun and making so much progress! I think a good brain is the nicest thing a horse can have, and she's clearly got that in spades. Plus, the smooshy nose cannot be denied!

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  10. RAWR people sucks. ZB is a fab little lady and you guys are totally going to kick ass.

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  11. What a rude thing to say, that attitude drives me crazy. As a fellow lovable off breed owner, my priorities are so different from someone complaining Zoe isn't "nice", it's not even funny. She's the perfect partner for you, and I'll bet you knock their socks off in the show ring too. The cute ones get subconscious bonus points anyway, I've determined. :)

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  12. The funny thing is that all these people who think they want a 10 mover would NOT be able to actually ride those gaits at all. There are a lot of delusional people in the horse world.

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    1. Mine also! Also have fun on the trail with your 10 mover--i bet the spook-and-bolt goes to 11.

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    2. Yeah 10 evasions are 0 fun. 11s must be negative fun.

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  13. wait seriously? people (as in, MORE THAN ONE) have said that to you?

    wtf do they want??

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    Replies
    1. I think maybe they want Blueberry? Iunno. I can't ride like Charlotte so fat lot of good he would do me.

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  14. first of all: that's rude as shit. whoever said that needs to open their eyes.

    second of all: this is a subject that's been on my mind a LOT over the past year. what is "fancy"? and why is everyone so preoccupied with it? it's been on my mind since i bought a decidedly NOT fancy horse. and yet, i'm 100% convinced i can win in the dressage on this horse, "nice" or not. why? bc he's rideable. he's got so many of those qualities above that you describe of Zoe. Kindness. Patience. Gameness. Work ethic (err.... ok we're not 100% on this one lol).

    charlie lets me ride him fully, and as such he is fairly steadily developing into a very correct horse. he's not fancy, he might never be what anybody call "nice". but he can be correct and consistent and rideable -- which i'm convinced are the most important elements in actually being successful in any show environment, especially with amateurs working up the lower levels.

    my evidence for this is isabel: who IS a fancy, nice moving mare. she could and did WIN in the dressage. but..... she could also lose. often from one week to the next, depending completely on how rideable she was feeling.

    not rideable? not gonna win. rideable? then we've got something we can work with. for this reason i'm so excited that you have such a wonderful budding partnership with Zoe - with a horse who will work WITH you, everything becomes that much more attainable!!!

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    Replies
    1. This. Q is a fancy mover, but she's only half rideable due to being highly reactive. Griffin and Stan aren't super fancy, but they're rideable and you see where that's getting Grif and I! A willing partner makes a huge difference.

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    2. I mean. I just spent four freaking years on a super athletic horse who did not want to play the game and 10/10 have had more fun with Zoe in 90 days than I had in those four years together.

      so.

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  15. Wut. I think she is pretty stinking amazing. Fuck nice. Nice is wishy washy vague bull shit word. ZB is da shit

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  16. That comment to me is so ignorant. For most amateurs, we need and want something that has a good brain (tries hard, allows lots of mistakes, doesn't spook easily, etc.) that is athletic enough to help us out, but not athletic enough that we can't ride it.

    Look, I LOVE watching horses go show in the International Hunter Derbies, and they're beautiful and obviously SUPER NICE. Way nicer than anything I'd ever have... but I also wouldn't be able to RIDE THEM. So... yeah. "Nicer" doesn't mean better to this adult amateur :-/

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  17. Seriously- the people around you need to be slapped with a fish.
    Let's put aside the idea that we can't all afford 50K + horses and might not be able to ride them anyway.

    Why do we need to worry about that. I see a horse that can totally do dressage. Could she do grand prix? Probably- with the right training. Who cares?
    Carmen was returned because she 'didn't have FEI potential'. I laughed and said 'neither do I'. I actaully think that she could do higher level dressage but I still don't know that I could.

    I was at a show in august and a person I hadn't seen in literally years said 'I thought you rode puny QHs?'. REferring to my first horse who was a 15hh QH and a completely wonderful horse that I would have back in a heartbeat except that his people love him too much.

    People are f-ing nuts.

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  18. I see it's time for me to go kick somebody's ass. My carny foot feels like a hammer. You just point them out.

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  19. Zoe is amazing. I want one just like her, but with a head that fits into standard size bridles.

    You're having a lot of fun with her, and that's what really matters.

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  20. That is the kind of breed-ist, elitist crap that permeates the show world and earns upper level dressage riders that terrible reputation. I wish people would remember why they're doing it in the first place. The whole point of dressage is to demonstrate diligent, masterful, training while also allowing each horse to showcase its best possible movement. There is nothing about Zoe that would make me think she wouldn't be the NICEST at all of that.

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  21. Some people deserve to be told to go f@&k themselves. I never cease to be amazing at how rude people can be, even when they're "trying" to say something nice.

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  22. Omgggg can people just not be assholes? No, not possible in the horse world. I'm so bothered by this, like I can't even. These people probably can't ride their way to a win in a walk trot against leadliners. Fuck them. Seriously just fuck them straight to the manure pile.

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  23. How is "nicer" EVEN POSSIBLE? This is the horse dreams are made of!!!! NICER? IT DOESN'T GET BETTER THAN ZB! Ugh, Imma grab a fish too and start slapping some ignorant people. Morons. ZB has it all. And like Amanda said, most people can't AND SHOULDN'T ride a giant, bigger-moving horse. And giant bigger moving horses do not inherently have ZB's personality which, from what I've read, is the bomb.com-best ever. Like, she's a freaking unicorn of horses.

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  24. I legit keep wondering if I can find a horse like Zoe when I finally get to buy another one a few years down the road. She seems pretty freaking perfect, *especially* given how young and green she is! I love a green horse with a great mind...you can keep the greenies that are batshit crazy, tyvm. She's also fancy AF and most people would kill for a true black horse, right?! You scored big time with this girl. I just can't figure out wtf are these idiots looking for. What point are they trying to make? Are they jealous because their horses aren't as nice as ZB? Also, I agree with everyone above, they probably can't ride the $50k+ "fancy" horses anyway.

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    Replies
    1. It's so easy to forget she's a baby--she's just so level headed and straightforward to deal with.

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  25. So awful! Forget those haters, Zoe is perfect and a perfect fit for you!

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  26. I've had a very similar experience with my little red horse. He tries hard, has really nice movement, jumps everything I point him at even when he's unsure, hacks out like a rockstar and has the cutest little face but people have told me the same thing. People just suck.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah you must be suffering through riding a horse that does his job. Sounds awful. :p

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  27. Whaaaaaaattttttttt.

    She's perfect. What is wrong with people???

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  28. Lol, nicer? I'm not sure how she could be nicer, she seems pretty fantastic to me!

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  29. Ummmmmm.....just. Ew. Ew to those comments. Ew to people who think that way. Give me a willing horse over a fancy horse any day. Also, inquiring minds want to know about those breeches? Obsessed with that color! Help a wannabe tack ho out!

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    Replies
    1. They're just grey. ;-) Rompf Champions.

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    2. Oh man I thought they were like a dusty purple color and that made me very excited haha! Still cute though!

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  30. Echoing what everyone above has said, people are sometimes just the worst. You and Miss Zoe keep doing you (love how smiley you look in your lesson)

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  31. Psh, there is nothing better than the horse you have described. Screw a "10 mover". I'd rather have a horse who has a can-do attitude, and tries their heart out for me, and constantly makes me laugh or smile. And Zoë is just that.

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  32. Um... Add wings? I mean the horn is already there it's just invisible.

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  33. oh GAWD. People have no clue. I get these types of comments, too. Yeah, ok, so my horse isn't Valegro. But at least he is safe, reliable, kind, ridable and an all around super horse. To me that is worth far more than any leg waving freak show.

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    Replies
    1. Hampersand is the reason I started looking at draft crosses. He's just so much freaking fun.

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  34. How did you refrain yourself from punching said people in the face? That is so beyond rude I can't even wrap my brain around it.

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    Replies
    1. I have an unhealthy capacity to hear shitty things and not respond. Let's not over-analyze that.

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  35. People are idiots. Having one of each (awesome horse who does anything I want and still wins occasionally) and super fancy (who is nothing but a pain in the ass). I'll take my easy going Speedy any day!

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  36. Humans. Ugh.

    I sometimes think English riders are programmed to think anything that looks like a Warmblood is faaaaancy, and if it's not a Warmblood - which draft crosses are NOT - then it's not faaaaancy. Well, or Friesians. Friesians are apparently also faaaaancy. lol

    But from the owner of two draft crosses to the owner of one - screw 'em. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oof, Reply Before Read not recommended! lol screw the people that think that way - warmbloods and Friesians not in need of the middle finger of "go away, you're being annoying."

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  37. I want one exactly like her.
    Period.
    The end.

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  38. She looks plenty "nice" to me. My favorite horses haven't been "10" (or even 9 or 8 movers). They've had good minds with gates that could be improved because they didn't lose their shit evey time I asked them for more. Whoever said this to you is either completely dense or a complete asshole. I'd take a horse like her in a heartbeat.

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  39. What the hell are people thinking *shakes head*. First Zoebird is perfect in every way. Second, you don’t find a horse that’s an 11 (gotta love Spinal Tap ;) I have yet to ever meet a horse that’s fancy and as perfect as zoebird. Everything in life is a trade off and that looks a bit different for each of us. My perfect is very much like yours. Fun, smart, cute, intelligent, and a horse where the journey is the focus and not just winning ribbons. However, we’ve done some of that and I think you guys will too ;)

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  40. People are assholes. She's a fancy pants, has a great attitude, and she's GORGEOUS! Seriously, what do they think is nicer? Some ten mover that bolts? Ugh. I'm mad on your behalf.

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  41. I think she's freaking gorgeous.

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  42. Breed bias -- it's a thing. Wait til you start getting it from judges. :|

    Anyways. Zoe is perfect. I want one just like her. Except older. And roany. And prrgante. Oh wait.

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    Replies
    1. But see, getting it from judges would mean it was worth my time to take her to a show. PARADIGM SHIFT.

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  43. I get this with my welsh cob, all the time. And I feel exactly the same way about it. Hey, random dressage show person with the comment, want to come out for a hack and some xc schooling later after our classes? Yep, didn't think so. I'd way rather have my little mare I can take everywhere and have fun on than a talented/fancy horse that's maybe not so easygoing and fun. I'm sure the perfect horse who is uber talented AND sane for all the things is out there, but I can't afford it, so I'll just be over here having fun putting some'fancy' training on my 'plain' pony :)

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    Replies
    1. Number of times I showed up at the barn alone on a cold, windy day and went for a bareback hack on my onesie with an OTTB=0.

      'nuff said

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  44. seriously, fuck those people. Zoebird is AMAZING AND PERFECT and I would like a clone pls.

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  45. Eww who says that to you? When you're rocking around the dressage and jumpr rings all smiles and they can't get their fancy mover near the judge then who made the right choice? People be whack

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