Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bootcamp Begins!

I'm naturally a very driven person who tends to be a little high strung. Which, whatever. That sort of personality is why I can have a horse as an adult--self aware enough to work on my own, motivated enough to make it happen when things are hard.
and i use dik dik pics as emojis

I aspire to be honest in this space, so without saying anything negative about past four legs, let's just agree that the level of explosiveness I have dealt with in the winter especially took it's toll on me.

In a twist I hadn't thought about, I really don't ride in the indoor arena at all except in the winter after work, when I am usually alone. And the weather is bad.

Which means I'm addressing demons I'd completely forgotten about.

With a four year old.

Who has limited buttons.
sometimes you gotta gallop for SEVERAL STRIDES

That has made the past couple of weeks interesting in that WOW I did not realize how far behind the curve I am mentally.

I think the whole thing shows up in an even more ridiculous light because of how completely and utterly non-plussed Zoe is by all of it. Like. I mean. The indoor arena footing got redone. There are now dressage letters on the wall and (gasp!) a black mark where a tractor tire grazed the wall. Most other horses in work are apparently losing their shit over the offending mark.
it's over there somewhere

And has ZS Zoebird so much as batted an eye?

No.

She has not.
oh look a mildly interesting tarp billowing in gusting wind
whatevsies

What's more, I'd say she's been foot-perfect indoors, but that would be leaving out just how incredible the little lady is. Not only have her feet been perfect, but she's totally willing and on-task and just... wonderful.

I mean, I gush over her, but that's because she's pretty freaking amazing.
also totes adorbs

Anyways.

I certainly have my issues to sort through and I will, but they're the sort of thing that take time and patience and repetition, which again, is fine. It's just not the best for advancing Zoe's training, because she already understands how to toodle around on a long rein while mom remembers how to breathe.
meme via Courage Has Opinions

I was planning to stick Zoe in pro training starting next month, but our trainer had room in her schedule to start this month. It's turning out to be a great arrangement--Zoe gets competent, focused rides twice a week by my trainer. I ride on the weekends and as I have time during the week. If my brain needs to toodle or do groundwork or whatever, it's fine because I know the training is still happening.

And the less pressure is on me, the more I'm able to pull it together and actually have a good time. I'm learning that when I ask Zoe to go, she puts her little head down and just motors and you know what?
closest thing i have to riding media right now haha

It's pretty damn fun.

38 comments:

  1. Sounds like a win-win for both you and Miss ZB! 😁

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    1. Haha if she's having half as much fun as I am... ;-)

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  2. It's funny how much baggage some of us carry around -- and I'm in a very similar boat to you. Little miss Moiya has two moves: jump the jump or drive-by to the right. Both of which I can ride competently and like, are not scary. But sometimes I still get nervous like... WILL THE JUMP HAPPEN? WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON THE OTHER SIDE?!

    It just takes time to work through and repetition. There are just only so many rides in a week and I need to learn to be patient with myself.

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    1. Yup. It's amazing how simple it is to be patient with the horse and then not give ourselves the same courtesy. ;-) One step at a time.

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  3. i am the spooky one in my horse relationship. I am the one that usually jumps at stuff in the dark scary ring. LOL It is sad how much stuff lives in our head. The other day a wrapper blew by as I was walking to the truck and i did a jump sideways. OMG I am now a spooky ass horse. LOL....I am glad you are having fun with her and glad she is in training too!

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    1. Ha yeah I have a terrible spook. I'm working on it.

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  4. I absolutely love Miss ZB. She is worth her weight in gold. <3 She really is special. And I love your thoughtful plan for her.

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  5. I kind of just want to take your hands and prance around in a circle while we giggle over how awesome our baby horses are. Is that weird?

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    1. Hahaha not at all. 10/10 would participate.

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  6. Isn't it great? Duck hunters decided to go hunting on the back of the property and Theo was like 'huh, they're pretty close, oh look, everyone else is running, looks like too much work'. It's the best therapy.

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    1. Yeah totally. It's my new favorite thing. "Oh look everyone else losing their shit for no reason. They SO DUM."

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  7. Ok I read this and started laughing hysterically! As you know, our indoor footing also got redone, and the tractor also got stuck against the wall in one place, and there is also a big black tire mark on the wall there, and Connor spent about a week spooking at it nearly every time we went past. Horses! Glad ZB didn't care.

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    1. Yeah apparently 98% of the horse population sees wall tire marks as a REAL SERIOUS ISSUE.

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  8. I’ve become afraid to canter my horse. I never thought that would ever happen. But my trainer tells me to breathe, keep riding and that all will be ok. Poor Dexter has to deal with my basket case ass and is still a good boy.

    Being afraid is sucky, whether it be like my case where it’s not completely rational or your case where it’s much more rational. Either way it just sucks.

    Do you still have a saddle that fits well enough right now for ZB?

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    1. I find sorting to the bottom of seemingly irrational fears to be rather fascinating. A lot of them are grounded in very serious survival responses and we have to learn to overcome them, which is counter-intuitive.

      Ha and the saddle situation is ongoing. Good thing mare rides backback!

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    2. It is definitely interesting. I mean I’ve fallen off because of the canter twice this year, so it’s not completely irrational, but it frustrates me that I can’t just get the eff over it and be fine. If I was half as brave now as I was 10 years ago, life would be so much easier. But as such, I’m not, so sometimes my trainer has to hold my hand and tell me to just canter my horse.

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  9. Each and every step you take with Zoe is advancing your partnership and her training, even if those steps are focused on literally nothing more than being present as she puts one foot in front of the other. The great thing about old demons is that they tend to evaporate under the weight of constant attention and face time. The more I face down something that makes me.... Feel squicky inside, the more that thing loses power to make me feel squicky. Good luck and enjoy the boot camp!

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    1. So much of everything we do is about the partnership right now. We have to get to know each other, and then trust each other. 4 months isn't a very long time on that front.

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  10. Girl's getting some junk in her trunk isn't she?

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  11. This warms my heart so much. You needed Zoe so much.

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  12. I don't think it can be said enough, I'm so very glad you guys found each other

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  13. It's such a pleasure to ride horses that give Zero Shits and let us enjoy the ride while they pack us around.

    Lately I have been riding a 3y/o baby horse at the barn and last weekend we went for her first trail ride and loped around in a big, wide open hay field. While she is still a little fast, one of these days she will figue out the lazy side of life and going slow unless she is pressed to move faster...

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  14. Sounds like a perfect plan! I'm so glad Zoe is so chill about everything. And maybe just a teeny bit jealous ;)

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  15. I'm so so happy for you guys and that sounds like an amazing arrangement.

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    1. Having my trainer on site was a big part of why I felt comfortable taking a baby on. Glad she’s here to help us out.

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