Thursday, November 16, 2017

Training the Not-Hot Horse: Brain Problems

Fall weather is here. It's great, because I LOVE cloudy days and rain and cooler weather and pumpkin spice and hot tea and basically everything about it. 
Mirrors are amazing
Except.

After spending a good number of years on hot, reactive horses who, well, REACTED to wind and weather and things blowing around and strange noises, I'm realizing just how much baggage I drag in with me on any given night. I get tense. I spook at noises. I look for scary shadows.
ZB don't care. ZB is STONE COLD.
It's definitely a conscious process as I start to re-program myself to ride Zoebird. We've done a couple sessions in the indoor that were just groundwork or lunging, because I needed to know she'd be ok. (ZS Zoebird gives Zero Shits, obviously.) I have to remind myself to breathe, relax, look where I'm going, and just ride like it's any other day.
O HAI ZB INNA MIRROR
the great thing One of many, many great things about Zoe is that she's such a solid citizen. Gusting wind and pouring rain and creaky indoor noises and dark shadows and missing a day of turnout?

No problem.

It literally is any other day to her.
awwwww
For real. I turned her loose in the indoor (since no one else is crazy enough to ride on nights like that), and we just practiced our round pen ground work while she was foot perfect.

Then we saddled up and had a lovely ride, once I remembered to sit deep, not brace my knees, and keep breathing and moving. I mean. It was fine when I wasn't doing those things, but she isn't worried, so there's no reason for me to be.
unrelated selfie because the light is terrible at night
It sounds real weird to say I'm rebuilding my confidence on a four year old who was only backed this summer.

But I am. 

48 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah that's going on her USEF lifetime haha.

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  2. Zoëperfect! I'm glad you guys found each other.

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  3. You sure bought the right horse for you. She is darling to look at but her temperament is the thing that makes her really special. Love all these Zoe posts!

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  4. Zoe is the best. Also I am in love with that browband.

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  5. We all have baggage, but learning to drop it ala Darjeeling Limited, is so hard. But props to those that go for it! So happy for you. ZB + SB = superstars!

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  6. She just has such a sweet face <3 And is a perfect, willing, forgiving horse for you to work through your baggage. Horses like her are priceless <3

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  7. I'm forever grateful for Bobby who let me give zero shits about anything so that I keep on giving zero shits about anything my baby 4yo does. He's all, "Should I spook at that giant door about to blow off the hinges?" and I'm all, "Eh, whatever." so he's all whatever too. There aren't enough good things to be said about a good brain!

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    1. Ha yeah I keep telling myself not to wreck her. Like maybe start breathing because EVERYTHING IS FINE.

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  8. It's so hard to put away all of that baggage! Sounds like Zoe is the perfect answer to re-training your body and mind.

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  9. It's freaking me out how much she looks like Theo in some of these pictures, especially the view from her back. Uncanny!

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  10. Every night this time of year when I swing a leg over Jamp, I think how nice it might be to have a horse like Zoe. I'm glad she's working on getting that spook of you!

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    1. Yeah basically every day I'm like "where has this horse been all my life?"

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  11. Aw, Aimee! You're making progress in leaps and bounds (without all the drama of actual leaps and bounds)!

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  12. A little weird but I totally get it. My 4 year old is a little further along but is still being a confidence builder for me too. What a lovely thing to be able to say.

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    1. It's so wonderful when you can count on them. :-)

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  13. I'm going through that exact same process with Jack. Particularly jumping. I bring so much baggage to the table and freak out, and need to remind myself that he's going to jump the fence as long as I keep my leg on. But- it's a process.

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    1. Definitely a process. I didn't realize how much I had to work through in terms of letting go of past behaviors and learning to accept new ones.

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  14. Makes sense to me. A happy problem to have!

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  15. Makes total sense. I totally get you on the 'baggage' piece but you are slowing putting that to rest.

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    Replies
    1. should say "slowly". Sigh. I hate autocorrect

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    2. Auto correct is the only thing that makes me sound coherent. ;-)

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  16. It's nice having horse that gives Zero Shits and allows us to work on Us for a change.

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  17. Makes total sense. She's such a good girl. Stan has helped me lay a lot of my own baggage to rest this year and I'm becoming a much better horseperson for it. Thank god for the good eggs in the horse world.

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    1. It's such a funny problem--the tough ones teach you to be gritty, but the simple ones let you learn to relax. There's definitely a place for both.

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  18. Tell me the story of that ombre browband... 😉

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  19. New to the scene and already late to the party. My Bad!

    I'm a baby horse like ZoeBird and there's a lot of times when I give #ZeroShits too. Except when it comes to the grunting whosywhatsit pig behind the barn. That freaked me Out! Now that she took the time to walk me over there with just a halter on and I could see it, we're good. Back to giving Zero Shits.

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  20. I'm glad you have Zoe to help you build confidence. Sometimes I feel like that's all being an adult rider is... rebuilding my confidence! I miss those carefree days as a teenager when I didn't realize my own mortality lol.

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