For the first time in a while, I actually had my regular Thursday evening lesson.
But, being me, I have absolutely no media to add to this post so I needed to resort to a drawing. Sadly the drawing was not to scale, but… tough.
All I can say is I’m having so much fun on Ranger. Everything is just so easy. So easy. Almost too easy at this point? I don’t thing riding has every felt easy like this? I’ll get to this at the end of the post or if I don’t, maybe another post, because it is still as work day and I am at work which means, I should be, well, working. But I lack motivation and I don’t want to deal with people. After telling this to my mom last night her advice was to tell everyone “Begone Satan!” Um, not exactly what I expected to hear from my mother…
So, back to my lesson. I mostly warmed up on my own while the previous lesson finished up. I tried to work on a forward trot and lots of circle (mostly to stay out of the previous lesson’s way). Our canter was actually really nice and forward as well which was nice too. Everything just felt good. And I wasn’t a mess which was even better.
We moved on to jumping soon after and decided to focus less on height this week and more on length of course. So, trainer knocked down jumps first time in a while that she lowered jumps even though I’m pretty sure we did everything at the height they were last lesson. I’m trying not to read into these things though. Height shouldn’t matter. I jumped these jumps well Sunday so why should I care that I didn’t jump them in this lesson? Anyway, we warmed up trotting into a broken line crossrail to the outside single just focusing on a steady pace landing, halting, and staying straight. Strangely enough, we pretty nailed it the first time which raised expectations for the rest of the lesson. At this point, the other horse left the ring which usually causes Ranger change his behavior slightly, after all, his friend is leaving. It doesn’t actually matter which friend is leaving or if he’s ever met said friend before. So, with this in mind, we repeated the exercise, anticipating an increase in speed, but honestly, he stayed pretty steady so we continued on and canted up our inside single and continued on to our outside line. The single was perfect, the outside line wasn’t mostly because turned a little bit late… Surprising, right? That said, after the first attempted when I actually remembered to look ahead, the outside line was fine and right there. I think part of my issue with turning late at times is I don’t always look ahead? Or, I look too far ahead and I’m afraid I’ll turn too early and cut my corners so I turn too late. I have no idea.
Since 5 jumps wasn’t enough, after a few times we continued after the outside line and came up the other inside single. This was the single we started with last week so no big deal. I think we did this once. Then, it was continue back down the other inside single the other direction (jump 7) and up our 2 stride for our 9 jump course. I can’t remember the last time I did a 9 jump course. 8 years ago? Most of my hunter courses were 8 jumps or at times 7, but rarely ever 9. So, this was good for my brain. Even better, I didn’t get lost! Unfortunately, we only did the course once as it was pretty perfect. We might have drifted slightly in one line, but not enough to warrant redoing anything or I’d have tried to get a video. Seriously though, this was some of the best riding I feel like I’ve done in a while.
Which brings me back to my first point. Everything feels easy. Too easy. Not boring, but easy. Trainer asked me while I was untacking if had thought about buying a jumper since we all know Batty isn’t that and showed me a video of a cool big quiet looking gelding. I’m just completely not in the position to buy a horse. I mean, I have 3. And it’s fine, but man, do I want a horse. It was sort of that moment that showed me how much I want something like that. Big, quiet, easy to the jumps. But, I don’t have the funds. Forget month to month lack of funds (because that’s so not there right now either), I don’t have purchase price either, not that I know what that would be.
Which brings me to Subi. At some point, I probably do need to have a serious conversation with her about him and see if restarting him is an actual option. I’m probably way stronger of a rider to do it myself now than I was a year (or even 2 or 3) ago, but, at the same time, I do need the assistance of a trainer or facility where he can be ridden every day in the beginning. I can’t do that at home. So, if my current trainer can do that at a price I can make work, good. If not, I can send him out to someone else (I really liked the guy who taught Batty to load and I’ve seen him ride–really good all around horseman who I’d trust though I’d have to send Subi a good 6 – 8 miles from my house rather than 1.1 miles). So, I don’t know. If trainer will take him on, I might still take him to other trainer for some trailer loading lessons. Mostly to teach him to self load. Because, if I do start taking him places, I need him to self load. That’s one thing he doesn’t do.
So the next question, am I crazy to think about bringing Subi by soon to be 20 year old gelding back into work? He’s had a year off and about 2 year of minimal work before that, but he’s generally had little to no soundness issues. Most of the time off has been because of me. I lost my confidence and with him, not having a really place to ride has really been a struggle. If I can make it work regularly hauling out for lessons and hacks, and only occasionally needing to ride at home, he could probably stay in a routine… 20 isn’t that old, right? He can still run around and buck like a 5 year old (this is where I see him aging. I no longer say 2 year old). He’s lost a lot of top line/muscle, but even in work he’s never had a great topline…
I love following your posts!
In my mind , 20 is not too old if he is what you have in your barn/field (And is physically able to do the jumping I don’t know the whole story on him..)and you can’t swing a new horse’s purchase price (Most of wish we had disposable income alas we don’t)! What do u have to lose but a bit of money to get him going? I know we all would want a really nice horse to do fun things with but sometimes we have to do with what we have! And that can be fun and cheaper too! Good luck! Happy Holidays….
Thanks! He’s never had soundness issues and time off has more been me not him. Lack of time to get in a routine really hurt us combined with lack of confidence plus mental lack of really…caring when my mare was sick followed by putting her down… I haven’t been able to get him where I need to since moving to my house. Facilities (lack of) have hurt us. But I’m hoping if I can get help restarting him and being a better, stronger rider (thank you Ranger), Subi will work. We schooled 3′ years ago and had auto changes but I’d be happy popping over 2’3″ if that’s all he’s comfortable doing. He’s on NO maintenance either so there’s plenty of places to go… But he thrives on routine and if I can’t keep that up none of this is worth it. Subi’s the love of my life as all first horses are so regardless he’s with me till the end.
But, if I win 1,000,000, I’m creating a horse fund bank account and buying a 5 figure packer just because. Because why not? And horse bills are coming from that fund!
Another blogger was riding her 25 very regularly prior to some more recent soundness issues. I don’t think I would invest a lot of money restarting him but if he had a good base before and you can afford it why not!
It’s not the riding the 20 year old it’s the restarting… to be honest, I might even be able to do it myself if I put him on full board for a month and committed to riding daily as he’s not a hard horse. It would just be easier and faster and way more successful with help. Which is why I’m leaning more towards a training board option than a “30 day restart.” What he really needs is 10 days of restarting and 20 days if training board!
following up late but i often send Remus to a ‘boot camp’ for 2-3 weeks to my trainer (When i didnt board with her). It is SO worth it she rides him each day and i get a lesson or two. I would definately try to do something to help you keep him up. Maybe schedule it right before Spring so you can keep on trucking!
Yeah, some kind of boot camp would work. Or board for a month with a week or 2 of training? Or even send him to a friends and see if her daughter could get him going again. There are a bunch of options I can explore eventually. That said, the last thing I want to do is jeopardize his health and happiness so there is a lot to think about. But, he thrives on work but is handling retirement. So I’ll do some ground work as weather allows and explore options and go from there.
I love that high feeling after a great lesson like that!! And idk about the Subi question. I think it kinda depends on exactly what kind of investment it will take to get him going. If it were me, I would start a little bit on my own. Try some basic basic ground work. Spend more time with him. See if that partnership is developing in such a way that makes him the horse you want to work with. Esp given your history with him it’s probably worth building your confidence with him first before laying out some serious cash to still find yourself not trusting him.
Circumstances have to be right. On the ground I usually trust him (or have as of late). Riding, when we have our routine down we’re good, but I need to make sure whatever I do is something I can maintain or it’s not worthwhile. We’ll see. It’s only been the last couple of years post move home that riding wise I lost trust. It got better though all the post concussion stuff that resulted from getting kicked in the head from Hayley really didn’t help things… I’m hoping just being a stronger rider now than I have been in a couple of years will help too. I love Ranger but I miss riding and jumping Subi.
Anyway, we’ll see. If I can’t figure out what’s best, he’s just going to stay in my backyard eating.