-“So if you’re no longer doing any work or chores at the barn, how come it’s been almost 5 hours since you left and came back?”
Recent question at home…
Well, sometimes it just takes. Longer.
That day was one of those days where I could see her sleeping when driving in. Her two sentries stood guard, two quiet drones watching over her, one hind cocked but alert.
Gray puff-ball laid in a regal pose with her head propped up on the ground. Deep sleep. Gave her a few extra minutes before finally walking out there.
She’s decided there’s no longer any reason for alarm when I go to her while laying down. Never gave her any reason in the first place. So she stayed down, of course I had to stand there for a while with the others, guarding sort of.
Carrots in bed, some mane scritches, a strange cat-like stretch-move while laying down, and she could finally be convinced to come up. That stuff takes time.
Part of the reason I have her in the first place – to enjoy her whale-like body and watch her doing strange things. And sometimes watching birds together.
At the end of riding there was an opportunity to try out a Haflinger for a few minutes. Haven’t ridden one for many years, so why turn that down?
She also needed to have her mane mutilated while icing her hinds, so we did that with scissors too.
Plus, she wouldn’t finish her grain in the stall where she stands for a while before going back out, so she needed pieces of apple rolled in the left over salt to get her to eat it.
What does it look like? Maybe an endless stream of negativity about horse sport, in just about any discipline.
Ever thought about how that shapes what you think, making your sport feel hopeless, a lost case where every one takes short cuts, or worse?
After some of the larger international dressage competitions, half of the Facebook feed seems to be about contorted necks and horses working in pain.
Heated discussions about shady training techniques.
In other disciplines – spur marks, bloody froth, draw reins, horses dying from over exertion, riding with all sorts of training gadgets, and even some temper tantrum millennial mishandling her horse in the show ring after falling off at a jump.
Should thatdecide what you think of modern horse sport? Would it change if we would mostly see good training, good riding, good showing, good horsemanship?
Just a small change of focus can really make a difference. We do what we see others do. We become what we do.
Trying really hard to not focus on bad riding over here, looking up to good riding.
Far from perfect, I’m trying. It really matters what we look at.
This site is mostly safe – not much behind the vertical stuff here. Because it shapes what we think.
If she can go like thatat a show, she’ll do really well. You know how that goes, schooling at home vs showing…
As promised, some outdoor pictures, just hanging out.
Really doesn’t matter what season it is – there’s always somewhere, or something that looks nice and alive, right?
Planning on hanging on to this great feeling she’ll offer at the end of each ride, and see where it takes us. Some nice walk-canter transitions would be really cool, but that’s far off. For now, just hanging out, and enjoying it.
After treading water for some time, things feel looser, easier, less grindy. Sure, that’s not even a word. But it is now.
I think she’s getting to where she really likes the work sometimes, feeling happy and content there. A little less “falling apart” as soon as she gets the chance.
Here’s the photobomb for this time.
Where some horses want to come too low and you have to train hard on short moments of more elevation – Valiosa has the opposite difficulty. She wants to go short and up in the neck. All the time.
It will always be the “trick” to training well with her – getting a lower, more relaxed neck, and coming over the back. We didn’t quite get there in these pictures (surprise), but the connection is so much better. See?
As long as I get a few moments like these out of each ride, I’m thrilled. Gray Mare is growing up and she can be SO much fun!
10 M Volte without hissy fits or a clamping inside calf. It’s happening!
Just because I don’t head out and compete super often.
Best to make the most of it! 🙂
And because my husband was so nice and a super star to stick around in the heat for both tests, taking so many pictures. Very sweet!
The counter canter loop – she did it well (go Gray Mare!) but I piloted just a bit too shallow, not quite hitting X. Easy to do, you just want to get back to the corner 🙂
Next up will be a post on some training issues – yes, with pictures of all the “uglies!’ Figured many of you will recognize a lot of it, and I think it’s so cool when you want to stand on the sidelines and yell out helpful hints. I’ll promise to try whatever you have to say!