|He's the best at... something... |
After my less-than-stunning crossrails debut at the derby, I thought it was perhaps in my best interests to enter the clinic at the same location the next weekend.
And then shit starting hitting proverbial fans and I thought that maybe instead of me, redheadlins
could ride C-rage and all would be well. After all, we had a productive week--he gave me some of his best flatwork yet and I lunged him over a jump to help him learn how to use his back end and jump forward instead of deer leaping.
I guess we could mention that other than hopping over an X a couple of times, he hadn't actually jumped since the deer leaping incident, but eh, what did it matter for a cross rails clinic that I wasn't riding in? To be perfectly honest, I was just hoping the instructor would notice what a rock star my horse was and not let the other "crossrails" constituents hold him back. Hell, I'd probably have to turn down an obscene amount of money just to put my glorious steed back on the trailer to go home, right?
|Just rocking his fancy new OTTB pad!|
So yeah, obviously nothing went wrong with that attitude. ;-)
About that... Courage came out calm and happy. No screaming, no crack giraffe, just happy grazing and flirting with some mares. Perfect. We saddled up and lins hopped on. They warmed up great. I was super excited to watch them cruise around like badasses.
Of course, the trainer (who has never really seen Courage before) had him start on the same exercise as every body else--walking through ground poles.
And it sort of all fell apart. C-rage was just not keeping it together. There was flailing and leaping and pissing off and general unpleasantness to the point that the clinician got on and rode around for a good 10-15 minutes. He was able to get through the poles eventually, but my horse was checked.the hell.out.
Ok, well, he's never been the best at poles. No worries. Linds gets back on and they proceed to a tiny little log. I was back to being all pride and confidence because I have jumped little logs and he is totally brilliant at them.
Welllll... We're working on not rushing/flailing/panicking/leaping/etc, so the instructor has lins doing some simple figure eights in front of the log to get the little dude focused on her instead of freaking out. Then they go to the jump and he slams on the brakes. Hard.
Well, ok, kind of surprised him, whatever. Try again. BRAKES AND REVERSE OH HAIL NAW HE AIN'T GOING THERE.
|Before the wheels came off|
What? The instructor ends up putting him in a halter on a lunge line and having Lindsey get off. And yeah, instead of blowing away his fans with how brilliant he is, Courage got to lunge over jumps, then take a break, then lunge, then stand.
It was the right call--he was able to stand quietly with me in between sessions and watch the other riders go and figure out that he didn't need to have a massive brain melt session. It was incredibly educational to watch the other trainer work with him. Courage was able to walk off that course calmer and happier than he walked on and I have some great homework to really help him improve his mental game and learn to use himself so he can be successful in the future.
The instructor was very positive about him and the two of them really seemed to communicate well. I actually think the lesson was money well spent.
And really, it all makes sense. I've been asking him to step it up to the next level and he isn't quite sure what to do, which is hard when you're an overachiever, don't I know. I think he scared himself a bit deer leaping and he just needs to back off and take things slow again while he gets life figured out and he learns not just how to get through this obstacle, but how to develop a process to get through more and future obstacles. It's a good thing, just not something that most people brag about in public.
Which I guess I just did.
It's the sort of frustrating that just makes me want to go back to the drawing board and try harder. #overachiever
Seeing a theme?
PS Yes there are pictures. Unfortunately, all of my friends seem to have developed a case of "social life", which is severe but not very contagious if you're a curmudgeon. ;-) I'll get pictures eventually.