Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Making It Happen: Yee Haw Edition

Tension ho!
Sometimes, Courage is brilliant and perfect. Sometimes, he's a little less than that. As our partnership develops (geez, who thought I'd still be saying -that- a year in?), I'm getting more comfortable with pushing through the bad parts and riding whatever he throws my way.

I mentioned that I thought Courage would be wild Monday due to having the whole weekend off.

He wasn't.

We had a great ride with lots of quality work.

That mean, horrible happymouth mullen
So obviously, I expected that Tuesday's ride would be fun and easy and popping over little jumps and maybe a little hack around the field.

It wasn't.

I hopped on, Courage meandered around the arena until he saw his "spooky spot", and then his whole body locked on and his brain nearly left his head.

Oh the joys of a freshly-clipped fit horse on a brisk fall day.

Developing some softness in the canter
Instead of cruising around and popping over teeny jumps, we went into full on "re-install the brain" mode. So yeah, lots of transitions and bending and lateral work on ever-expanding figure eights so that by the end of the session, Courage was trotting through his favorite halloween haunt without even thinking about the potential spooks.

And then I was like "Well hell, if he's being this good, he might as well jump anyways".

So we did. We cantered around and did some skinnies and little 2' verticals and I worked on neither pushing nor pulling--just sitting chilly and letting him canter to the base in a good rhythm without jetting off after.

Well that looks good
By the end of our ride, I was really pleased. Courage didn't come out to work today, but I stepped up and insisted. He is rarely really determined to be naughty, and we were able to work through it and end on a good note.

It's not just about this particular ride--it's about him recognizing me as leader in difficult situations. Today, it was in our home arena. Next year? Hopefully we can have the same conversation in a show arena, but it will go even more smoothly because of all the time I've put in doing work like this.


  1. Yay! Go Aimee and Courage :)

  2. Great work! Sounds like an excellent ride.

  3. nice job working through it! signs of his maturity, slow and steady :) also, i like the idea of sitting 'chilly' lol - stillness is definitely a struggle for me

  4. Woohoo patience & persistence is paying off. You go girl!

  5. So fun to watch you two develop, that relationship will be developing forever, the joys of horses

  6. Ahhhh the "install your brain" rides. Always fun. Sounds like he did it though! With class, as always

  7. "As our partnership develops"'ll be saying that FOREVER - that is the beauty of horses (and, dare I say, spouses too) that our relationship is continually blossoming, especially when doing a sport that you're constantly learning and improving in together.

  8. Yup. Working through that at home is going to lead to success when you try it away. For a long time I just ignored Simon's nervous behavior and would be done, but that did us NO favors.

  9. Those rides where you work through some crap and end up with a good ride are the best, are they not?!

  10. Agree with everyone else.. I think you and your horse both learn more from the rides that don't start out perfectly but end on a good note.

  11. Yay. Usually those rids are what makes the team.

  12. Heck I've had Chrome for five years and we're still working on our mounted partnership (have only put seventy rides on him in two years so progress is slow lol). So it's not weird that you're still saying that a year later. It's all a process. :D I think you're doing great with him!

  13. The babies are so fun aren't they ;) good for you for making it happen!


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