Monday, July 21, 2014

Because I'm an Amateur

He is the best at dressing up
I've talked a lot on here about being an amateur and how that changes the way I ride, the way I dress, and the decisions I make. I've profiled other fun amateurs and attempted to share the journey for others to participate in.

And then Sunday, I got to demonstrate just exactly what that means.

All of you know that I'm quite a fan of my little bay horse. He is sweet and fun and hardworking and good to be around, and every once in a while, he can be quite a pig. Sunday's flat ride was mostly focused on warming up to jump--loose reins, forward and back, not too worried about contact or anything.

LOVE his outfit. LOVE.
He seemed just a teeeeeeny bit resistant, but I wanted to ride forward through it and not pick at him. (And yes, I guess I was full on ignoring S when she always tells me to pick little fights with him so he gives up the big ones more easily. Oops.)


The jumps were all set up a bit because I wanted to expand on Wednesday's brilliance, but I did start by trotting into a crossrail. He jumped it great with his front end, then just sort of decimated it behind.

DAYUM they look good. No stopping pics.
This from my horse that always jumps clean. Hm. Should have been a clue.

Aimed him at the next crossrail. I didn't give him the best ride ever, but it was no worse and anything else. I mean, I tipped forward at it a little, but it wasn't like I hurled myself up his neck...


I seriously almost ate it.

This wasn't going well, so we dropped the X down to rails on the ground and the sucker stopped AGAIN.

I. Was. Pissed.

Look who is jumping panels like a normal horse!
I applied a couple of artificial aids and my little bay horse leaped over it, but you could see it in every line of his body. Courage did not come to play today.*

Redheadlins coached us a little and after forward/back work, we jumped the first crossrrail without doing anything stupid. Then I marched him up to her, tossed her the reins, and watched my horse jump around the fun course I'd set.

Bam. Knees. Also jumping across.
I call it amateur privilege. Could I get him around it? Probably. Could redheadlins get some very quality work out of him without damaging my confidence and at the same time build up my horse's?

YES. That my friends, is why we pay professionals. (Ok, well I don't really "pay" her, unless you count tack as a currency.)

So off they went. She looked great, he looked great, and after the first couple of sticky fences, Courage was able to jump a complicated course with inside turns and cool panels and related distances like a total champ.

Admire cute horse. Ignore rider position. Very wtf.
And then I got back on and had a few more successful fences.

It's not a cop out--I'm working to become a better, stronger rider. That said, I believe strongly in giving my horse the best chance possible, whether that's with me (most days) or with a better rider (some days). Taking on a green horse is a huge project and I wouldn't want to go it alone. 

*Noted: Courage being a bit of a pig is a normal occurrence about once a month or so. If he felt in any way off or the behavior persists, I would certainly follow up on the physical side of things. I know this horse well enough to know that sometimes he just needs to remember he's not the alpha.


  1. They all have their moments, but it is easier to put up with when they are as cute and as talented as Courage!

  2. Playing to our strengths and knowing when to pick our battles is a never ending learning curve. It's great to have amazing friends like redheadlins on hand to help out.
    PS: ♡ the photos

  3. Having a professional or help that I respect whether that's in the saddle or on the ground is so important for us adult ammies. Or just a rider with more experience I guess in your case. Glad courage worked through the issues smoothly.

  4. Very familiar with an adorable horse being a total prig at least once a month (every third ride in my case) without physical issues being at the root. Training sometimes brings out the "I don't wanna's". You're so lucky to have friends willing to leap on and help you both through the sticky bits! :)

  5. Glad to hear that Courage having an "off day" is par for the course at this point, I think everyone is entitled to it once in a while! He's still the best at all the things, including rocking the sh*t out of cute bonnets :)

  6. I'm the same way -- sometimes it's important for me to work through things, but sometimes it's just not. And I have no problem what so ever handing the reins over to someone more capable than I!

  7. I really wish I had a Redheadlins :)

  8. Always nice to have someone help you through the sticky parts!

  9. Sometimes you just need a fresh set of...legs? Hands? butt? I miss my version of redheadlins :(

  10. I agree with you, we pay professionals to help us through the rough spots because we don't have the time/skills/patience/whatever to get through it positively for horse and rider. Glad you have Redheadlins to help when you need it!

  11. I'm with you! Not only is it helpful for the horse, but watching other riders on your pony can be very enlightening.

  12. If he was a mare and you posted this on certain TB-specific FB groups, everyone would be telling you that it's his heat cycle. I'd just like to take this moment to point out that sometimes smart green horses are just opinionated and ridiculous, and when they're in training, regularly questioning their rider is pretty normal. That said, I heart the C-rage and you are doing a great job with him. Well done Lindsey, too!

  13. I am completely with you - I deal with plenty of things on my own as an amateur but I am all about handing it over to a pro, esp when it comes to my green horse's jumping confidence!

  14. And this is where I am baking down and pulling in the pros to give wiz the rides he needs!! I've had him physically checked out and everyone has agreed- attitude problem!! He's just gotten so dang cocky. It's like they learn just enough to think they know everything and they're fit enough to be a big jerk lol. Good for you for knowing when to get off and get help... sometimes that's not always easy! He's looking great though :)

  15. Definitely not a cop out!! I was going to have a friend canter Chrome for the first time because I was totally psyching myself out, but we cantered accidentally and it was great (I realized I wasn't going to die) so I didn't. Doesn't mean I wouldn't have though lol. Good work!


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