So, part of the reason I decided to start this blog is for accountability. It’s so easy to say you’re going to do something, but at the end of the day, saying is not doing. If I write something down, it’s there in print and it’s harder to deny something to myself. Verbal statements are so much easier to deny to myself. Anyway, where am I going with this…?
Accountability. I need to set goals and stick to them.
When it comes to horses, I have 3, but only 2 are ridden. I keep saying I’m going to try and bring my mare back, but it seems her soundness issues always surface once I have the idea that I’ll get her back in work. Or she gets an abscess. Or we fear founder. Or stomach issues. Or there’s 12 feet of snow. Or something else completely ridiculous. I’m not entirely convinced something won’t happen if I put her back into work again.
But, just because the Hayley-Mare is a young retiree, doesn’t mean the other 2 are. In fact, they desperately need to work. So I need a plan for each one of them.
Subi: I think right now I just need to get 0n him consistently and make him work. If the ground is a mess or I’m not comfortable trotting/cantering because he’s decided he should be a circus horse, there is no reason that he still can’t work, hard, at the walk. Part of the issue right now is he is SO out of shape and trotting on the soft, hilly ground is super challenging and it’s easier to act stupid then to actually work. As he gets into better shape, the terrain won’t be as much of an issue. So I need to just get on him as often as possible and get his butt working. A couple years ago we worked hard on carriage and engagement and the poor horse was exhausted after a good 45 minutes at the walk. While we later moved on to the trot and canter, there’s no reason why I can’t spend a few weeks drilling this stuff again at the walk. Besides, the time in the saddle, working, even at the walk, will help me get my leg back…which brings me to the root of the problem.
I lost my leg. I didn’t ride consistently thanks to life, weather, time, work, and I lost my leg. It’s hard to be confident or trust your horse when he’s acting stupid and you have no leg. Without my leg back, I can’t stay on when he decides to act like an idiot. Then I lose confidence. Then I ride less. Then I get myself into situations where I have a horse who decides to act like a nut case thanks to lack of work…
Batts: I have 2 hard keepers in the winter and then I have Batts. Somehow he’s managed to put on even more weight in the last 2 weeks. How? I do not know, but his weight gain plus lack of fitness (in part due to weight gain) make riding him…interesting. He can have all the time off in the world and he’ll still be pretty much dead quiet. He’s got his issues, but bucking is not one of them (thankfully he doesn’t have a clue how to buck so when he tries, he more or less drops his head and if he’s lucky, gets one hoof about 6 inches off the ground). For his sake, he needs to work and he can help me get my leg back. Over the next week, I’m going to try and get on him as much as possible. Hopefully I’ll have the “track” in the woods cleared out so he and I can really work. He needs a refresher course on using his hind end and I need to do some no stirrups work. So perhaps for the next week or so, each time I work with him, we spend 10 minutes without stirrups at the trot (though with his lack of fitness, I’ll probably have to do 5 minutes and 5 minutes because at this point, I’m not sure if he can even trot for 10 minutes…). How much else I do will depend on how much huffing and puffing is going on. But we can definitely work on using his hind end and possibly some hill work at the walk?
So. I have a plan. It’s in writing. I need to stick with it.