Thursday, August 14, 2014

Where We're At, OTTB-Style

The coolest thing I've done lately. Look at him jump across!
I've been avoiding writing training posts because there is really nothing exciting about saying "well this week we started with trotting 20 meter circles in a consistent rhythm, then added in some bending. The next day we practiced doing some correct bend and counter bend. After that, we added in moving off both legs in correct and counter bend."

It's a little more interesting if I add "the moving-off-the-leg was a total shit show, but we ended up working through it". But yeah, still not super interesting. It's putting a basic foundation on a green horse and it's fully as dull to write about as it is critical to future success.

So instead, let's look at some fun videos of what we've been working on lately.

Super exciting flat work (I kid, it's boring as hell but it is an accurate reflection of where we're at):


  Courage does some wee baby jumping with me:



Courage does flying changes (first post-track!) and jumps with Lindsey up:



And then our jump video playing with a zig zag cross rails pattern:


See, I look at those videos and I have a hard time getting excited because all I see are things to work on and improve. I have to circle back around and remind myself that this is what our flat work looked like a year ago:



And this is some early "course work":


Build that neck!

So yes. It's easy for me to get hung up on how Courage isn't a finished show horse and everything we do leaves a lot to be desired, but I love these little progress checks to remind me that a year ago, my horse was fresh off the track and knew literally nothing. Our 20m circles are boring, sure, but he's balanced enough to do them now.

We maybe aren't jumping big giant jumps and blowing away our competition, but his courses are more complex. He understands the questions. He's balanced through the turns. He's learning and growing and improving and that is the whole freaking point.

21 comments:

  1. Wow - I was really impressed. I think you may be being super hard on yourself. I watched the first video and saw a nice soft quiet horse, staying in rhythm before and after the fence, landing on the correct lead, doing a very adequate simple change and a nice bending line. Overall the impression was very pleasant and more than enough to do well at the local shows where I am.

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  2. You got it, we just want pictures and video! No reading ;)

    Don't look at far you you have to go, look at how far you've come!

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  3. Love to watch the progress, you may feel is it boring and slow, but in just a matter of weeks he progresses leaps and bounds. He is so fancy and such a great learner, keep trying to see the big picture and don't get too hung up on nit picky things.

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  4. SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT! Courage is a completely different horse than he was a year ago, and that's all thanks to you. Yes, you're not jumping big giant jumps (yet), but like you said, he understands the questions now and doesn't lose his sh*t when he's asked to do something more complex. There is such an incredible difference between the "now" and the "then" videos, and it shows off the hard work and baby-stepping your way through training! There is A LOT to be proud of here :)

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  5. Don't sell yourself short - you guys are doing awesome! The best thing I noticed is your really nice even pace around the ring, and his ability to find a spot to all the fences. That is such a great thing to have come naturally to a horse - my Parker is the same and his style reminds me a lot of him. For being off the track a year - you have done a lot with him!

    Some people like to fast track off the track but I personally do not see the need. Parker is 2 years off the track and just now jumping 2'6 courses. I think taking your time and doing it right from the start will not only leave you with a much better horse in the long run, he will also be sounder.

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  6. It's so hard to see improvements in our horses day after day. It's so nice that you have this video footage in the "archives" to look back and compare to, because it's so important in helping us see just how far our horses have come.

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  7. Green horse progress can be boring to others, but so exciting to their person. I can STILL remember the first time Bobby was able to canter a 20m circle without falling on his giant face--biggest celebration ever!

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  8. I get it. I always pick out what I'm doing wrong, but then I think about how much fun it is and how much we've improved. You guys look AWESOME! And you're just going to get better and better. Keep it up! He looks like a lot of fun.

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  9. I think you both look awesome and have made major improvement! Working with a green horse is not easy and certainly doesn't happen quickly. Keep it up!

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  10. Slow and steady builds a confident team, a sound and happy horse, and a great program. :)

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  11. Y'all look great! Courage is adorable :)

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  12. Coming from someone with a VERRY unbalanced baby who barely can do 20m circles, I see your progress and applaude you!

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  13. Personally I find progress posts informative and interesting because I can compare methods, strategies, struggles, and solutions. After all, thinking about how to best progress myself and Hemie is the majority of my horse life since we, too, are far from "finished."

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  14. Well I think you guys look fab!! I've heard more than once that it takes a year to rebuild muscle and balance from a horse straight off the track. Maybe even longer. When I see you guys I see major progress and a super future! Love reading your posts!

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  15. You guys are looking great and it's easy to see how nice this partnership is going to turn out :D

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  16. It's so funny how hard we are on ourselves- I was watching these videos and thinking "what a cute little guy, he has such a nice forward stride and loves to jump!" When he figures out all of his footwork, he's going to be awesome. You're doing a great job with him.

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  17. So much improvement! You have come so far with him :)

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  18. he looks freaking amazing! As do you of course! I love how quiet your upper body is in that first video! You stay away and super patient with him and I'm so incredibly jealous, I'm going to try to emulate you!

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  19. I love progress posts!! Wow I got waaaaay behind on reading blogs, but I'm trying to get caught up. Please don't be mad if I don't comment on every post like I normally do. :)

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