|By C.W. Anderson|
When I was struggling with Izzy, I kept beating myself up. "I'm not good enough", "I'm just bad at this", "I'm too out of shape", whatever. It had to be my fault, every time. Part of selling her was letting go of that and realizing that while I have my shortcomings, she also had hers. It wasn't that I needed to just get better--it was that it was never going to work for us.
Cuna really was the one who let me see that I actually can ride and I've mostly moved on. As I was reading today, I ran across a quote that just resonated with me.
"One of the most common mistakes I see riders make is to accept total responsibility for a refusal. It is the rider’s responsibility to remember the course, compete at the appropriate level for the horse’s experience and training, approach in a rhythm and not ask for impossible angles or efforts. The rest is up to the horse. The horse’s response cannot be to say to his rider, “You blinked. I can’t jump when you blink. I can’t work under these conditions!” Oh, no. The fact that you needed three-sixteenths of an ounce more pressure with your reins or that your heels could have been down another five degrees has nothing to do with it. He knows how to jump. You arranged an obstacle in his path, and his job is to jump—first time, every time."
-god (aka Jimmy Wofford), whole article here.
|The stunning Izzy mare|
I'm going to stand on my happy horse soapbox for a minute here and just say that this sport is entirely too dangerous and expensive to not love every second. Really. Especially if you're an ammy owner type who just has one horse to ride most of the time, it's not worth it to fight it out with an animal you don't enjoy.
|Cutest horse ever. Even lets me dress him.|
Here's what I'm trying to say: we need to be the best riders we can be and not blame our horses for out shortcomings. We need to couple that with an understanding that horses aren't perfect. They have personalities. Not every horse is a match for every rider and that is ok.
Cuna is the walking definition of a schoolmaster and he understands his job. The reason I can jump a giant oxer with no reins on him is because he knows that if he's pointed at a fence, he is to jump it. When I make mistakes, he points them out to me, but he's never mean, dirty, or scary. Because Cuna holds up his end of the deal, CW Anderson's mantra rings true: it is always me, never him (usually).
If you're struggling with a horse that tests your limits as a rider and that you don't look forward to seeing every.single.day, consider that maybe, just maybe, you should look for your very own Cuna instead of blame yourself for what just won't work.
I know I'm not the only one out there who has worked through this and I love connecting with other people on this issue. Anyone else have a Cuna? Think they need one? Walking through the process now?
PS Original Cuna is not available.