Monday, May 11, 2015

Surprise! Dressage Clinic

the bad boy halter
About a month ago, I told our dressage trainer that I'd ride in a clinic this past weekend, then promptly forgot about it.

Then right when I was like "I AM SELLING THIS G******** F****** COW", I got an email with clinic times.

What the hell, right?

The clinician has seen our more um... interesting? Facebook pictures and so when it was time for our ride, she asked me about the fireworks.

I did my best to explain it.

Courage must have thought I did an insufficient job, because he gave her a solid demonstration.

when a horse takes a selfie
I rode through it (again) (and again) and we worked very very had and went way over our time and I had a few good strides here and there. In essence, the clinician thinks we have some basic training holes, so we literally dropped back to "right rein means go right" annnnnnnnd then we sort of demonstrated how fast we could run around the indoor. But I digress.

So that was upsetting.

Then came Sunday's ride.

Well no. Then I showed up for Sunday's ride and Courage was turned out and basically he galloped around his field for 15 minutes while biting, kicking, and charging at his vastly-more-cooperative herdmates.

I'm sure being tired didn't hurt
He was soaked when I finally caught him. He was a complete nut when I brought him in to the arena and the clinician was like "yeah shorten your stirrups, change your bit, and put a martingale on."

We mostly worked on my position relative to him (we are both too still--I need to move around/stay loose to encourage him to do the same). And we worked on his not turning right. And some transitions.

And none of it was mind blowing, but he stuffed most of his brain back in his head and was almost entirely reasonable. Reasonable to the point that the clinician was like "I really have no idea what your problem is", but she definitely helped make us better that day sooooo whatever that comes out to.

All of this leads me to the grand conclusion that I need more lessons. And/or I need to cancel the schooling show+sleepaway camp I scheduled for him this week. And/or I need to get over myself and get out there. And/or I have absolutely no clue.


  1. I love lessons. I want all that I can afford. At least you got something out of the clinic even if Courage wasn't perfect.

  2. I'm really glad you got this clinic in - sounds like you worked through some problems and that's always good. And more lessons are good, for ever and ever.

  3. All I'll say is ((hugs))

    Le sigh. Hang in there!

  4. Maybe a few more lessons may help you determine if this is a phase you guys can work through quickly? Or perhaps get a few more tools in the toolkit for what to do when he behaves badly?

  5. You can never have too many lessons (they are like pie!), especially with a greenie!

    If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely cancel the sleepaway camp and maybe a lot of other shows I was considering this summer. Then, I'd schedule a lot more lessons (weekly, at least, more if I could afford it) and see where we were at by the end of the summer...or even the end of next month.

    If you're still cursing him out by then, you'll probably have a much clearer plan of action RE: what you need to do for both of you to be happy.

  6. Staying soft in your body when they're being shenanigany is very hard!

  7. kinda awesome timing for the forgotten about clinic -- maybe? maybe not, idk... in any case glad you and the instructor were able to make some progress in re-installing his brain for the ride. hope it helped give you more clarity!

  8. I need more lessons in a big way but I can't afford it, so I am frustratingly slowly tackling all my/Apollo's issues. If you can afford more lessons I would go for it! :)

  9. Yeah I love lessons, I need them. Right now, I find that once a month is just right. It gives me time to try to figure out what the heck the trainer wanted me to do, and time to figure out the next set of stuff we need help with. But I'm not sure that would have been the case when Tucker was greener. I think I needed to not be left to my own devices too much back then. Glad you had two productive days, all in all. I'd rather have them demonstrate the awful crap they are pulling in front of the trainer, even though it's embarrassing, because then at least they know what you're dealing with and can help you with it.

  10. I'm so excited you got a surprise clinic in! Sounds like some of the issues were addressed. Lessons are beautiful things, I just wish my bank account would realize this and let me pay for all the lessons I need! Sadly, it just laughs in my face when I even think about doing more than 1 or 2 a month.

  11. I dunno, I think it might be fun for you to have a positive outing at sleep away camp/schooling show. And schooling shows are just that, even if you do the smallest division, you need a confidence boost and so does he. Try not to hyper-focus on the thing you know that sets him off, just chip away at it when you can and work on improving it over time. I think getting him out of the ring and doing something else might be really good for you both, Low pressure, and try to have some fun!

  12. Catching up on blogs again.. I don't have any brilliant advice that hasn't already been suggested, but just wanted to add in another voice that you know what you and your horse are going through better than any of us, and whatever decision you make will be the right one. *Hugs*

  13. I'll say it again...treat for ulcers. If you already have, let me know so I don't keep saying this.

  14. Lessons are awesome! I wish I was back in regular lessons. Ever since I stopped being a kid (and having parents pay for lessons haha), I didn't take regular lessons on Rico until Tracey. I realized that I was just too IN it, you know. Like too close to him to really be objective about training him. So I ended up relinquishing control to Tracey and it paid off a LOT.

    There's something about having a bad ride but knowing you have a lesson in a couple of days that just makes you feel better. And even now, having minor problems with the baby, I really wish I had a lesson coming up!

  15. I love lessons too! And it sounds like your dressage clinic was pretty awesome and productive, so that's a plus. It would have been awesome if she'd known the magic key to diagnose him though!

  16. Yikes, that doesn't sound like fun! At least the clinician was willing to work with you.

  17. I want to ride the C man...! Hang in there girl, you will get there.


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