Monday, May 9, 2011

Setbacks and Moving Forward

So, Eventer79 totally beat me to this post today! I had planned all about what I was going to talk about, and then I take a visit to We are Flying Solo and find this post: Today's Horse Is Not Yesterday's Horse Is Not Tomorrow's Horse.

Well, at least she did a much better job at talking about this issue than I did! I'm not that eloquent of a writer, so she said it much better than I could have. Go read it :) I think the best quote from it was that: "The one thing you can count on is that [the process of training] will never proceed in a straightforward, linear fashion." This might count as one of my favoritest blog posts ever. Well, that and Badminton Babes, haha.

That is definitely a true statement as I'm sure all horse owners know. I had this experience with Jetta this past month. She was doing fantastic, I was working on slowing down her trot and getting longer, swinging strides. She was responding very nicely. Our canter was amazing, the kind where you don't want to stop. Then she had a couple tantrums, very bad tantrums. Only two and that was it. She bucked when I put my leg on her or did anything except sit lightly on her, she rushed, she dived on the bit. She was just plain bad. I poked and prodded her all over and she was fine. No soreness. She was fine after she had her tantrum, was fine on the lungeline with or without the saddle, it didn't matter if she was in her dressage or jumping saddle. Her baby brain just decided that she was having a bad day and she wanted me to know it too.

I felt like it set us back a whole month, maybe even more. After her tantrums she was no longer reactive to my leg, but instead rushed and didn't listen to half halts, didn't want to canter or if she did she ran into them and she was really heavy in my hands. So we took some time off. I was frustrated and knew we weren't getting anywhere so one day I just decided to put the jumping hackamore on and just not care what happened. The results were amazing. We spent about a week and a half just playing around with riding in the hackamore and then went back to the bit and are slowly building back up to where we once were.

It's definitely frustrating, but like eventer79 says, JUST. KEEP. BREATHING. And it's really nice to know that you're not alone! It happens to everyone eventually. Jetta is finally relearning that trotting is not a race and that she can connect lightly with me through the bit and canter transitions aren't really all that scary. It's a process, but that's what you get when you have horses, a never ending process of both the horse and rider continually learning and re-learning.

"I just know you're not talking about me, right?"

1 comment:

  1. Good post, good thoughts. Everyone needs a good ol' speed bump now and then, right?