Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dressage Lesson and a Thought

Our scheduled dressage lesson was yesterday. I wasn't able to make it out Monday, so I intentionally arrived about 2 hours before the lesson, turned Izzy out in the arena, then took her to one of the turnouts and let her graze for an hour. I figured that since she'd had a day off, she'd be wild and need all that.

Boy was I wrong.

She trotted and cantered in the indoor, but no galloping and bucking. She was very happy and relaxed in turnout, and when I went to ride, she was so ridiculously relaxed that I could hardly get her to go. At all. I guess it's good that she's always at her worst for lessons, since we get to work on more, but sometimes I wish she'd show how well we've been doing. Silly horses.

And of course, PAB (passive-agressive bitch, from my last post) was there to ride during my lesson. She was a little bit better to ride with this time, as she does know my instructor, but that meant she spent plenty of time watching me and commenting on Izzy to Cathy. It's fine, I guess, but it's annoying. I guess it's just that when I ride, I'm focused on me and my horse and staying out of the way, instead of trying to evaluate everyone around me and buddy up to the instructor.

Funny side note: PAB's horse has relatively crappy gaits. They are improving, but it's been a long, long road. So PAB says to Cathy, "Izzy has a pretty nice canter." Cathy, unaware that I want to hit PAB in the face regardless of what she says, answers, "She has three really nice gaits."

Har har har. Izzy win.

Basically, Cathy reminded me that I need to insist with Izzy and not let her get away with saying no to me. Ok. Be more aggressive. Check.

When we were done, I hopped off, pulled off Izzy's saddle and bridle, and put on her leather halter and her oh-so-pretty cooler. I left her pretty white boots on. I stopped on the way back to the barn to talk with another boarder, and a lady I'd never seen before came up. She introduced herself, explained she was an amateur photographer, and said she'd taken some pictures of Izzy. Then she asked if she could enter the pictures in a contest.

;-) I told her she could ONLY if she also emailed them to me, which she promptly promised to do.

Sometime soon, I may have some pretty pictures to post. Yay!

Ok, now the thought: in order to deal more effectively with PAB and her kind, I need to be more willing to assert myself. Part of the reason I don't usually do that is because I'm a really quiet person, and no one can ever hear me. Thus, I have resolved to work on projecting my voice to assist in my goal of being more assertive. Also, I need to be less naive and not totally floored when PAB acts like, well, a PAB.


  1. I'm late chiming in on the PAB, but here's my two cents anyway: Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, then beat you with experience. When PAB starts her nonsense, just look at her, smile and say "Oh, I will give that suggestion all the consideration it deserves!" or giggle and say "Bless your heart....". Then walk off.

    Can't wait to see the pics of Izzy! She's so photogenic.

  2. I'm excited for the pictures!

    And also I am kind of glad to see that PAB was there to watch your awesome lesson. Good luck with the assertiveness and voice projection....just pretend she's a naughty horse who is about to step on your toe!

  3. You know, there is an alternate explanation for PAB that might be worth a look. She may just be one of those lonely people who needs someone to talk to and doesn't know how to go about it properly.

    Maybe the next time she's there, you could try a test conversation, with something like, "Barney (or whatever her horse's name is)looks like a nice boy. He really does work for you. I'm glad you're doing dressage with him. I think it's great training for every horse." or something like that. Maybe you can disarm her by bing nice first. She may think that what she says is something useful instead of critical.

    Just interesting that she spoke to your trainer during the lesson. She might be trying to establish a relationship.

    Love the comment that Izzy has "three nice gaits." As far as I'm concerned, from a dressage person, that is a high compliment!!

    Looking forward to the pictures!! Yea!!

  4. Jean--she's never married, no kids, so I'm sure that factors in. While I appreciate the need for companionship, I do not think that gives her an excuse to be rude and intrusive. It's not that she's aggressive and needs disarming; it's that for my mental health, I need to change the dynamics of our relationship so that I don't feel harassed and annoyed by her.

    That is why I'm focusing on changing my behavior instead of worrying about changing her. Thank you for offering a dissenting opinion--I do like to see both sides.

  5. I tend to call misbehaving horses (or people) "Rudolph", as they are acting, well, rude.

    Perhaps if you start singing "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" every time she says something asinine, she'll get the hint, or just think you are weird enough to just leave alone. At the very least, it will probably make you smile. =D

  6. If she was talking to your instructor while your lesson was occurring I'd be really pissed. Extremely poor manners.
    I had someone be so rude to me at the barn two years ago(a different one than where I am now) that I felt nauseous when going there. It sucks, because you pay so much money in order to feel unhappy, when it should be your happiest place. I might try telling her from my heart how it affected me and ask her to stop. She'll try to justify herself, but she may also stop and not carry a grudge. On the other hand, she may also be nuts and nothing will stop her :( Good luck.


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