Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Pendulum

As equestrians we can all be like the swinging pendulum some times.  Maybe even a tad Bipolar-ish.  You day it's "oh my god I suck, my horse has taken ten steps back , I will never get good again, I should just retire."  Then three days later we are all like "I had the lesson of my life, my horse is amazing, we are on track for the Olympics."  Sound familiar?  

Last month when I took baby Monster to the local show to school I was feeling a little like the first scenarios.  He was just not the forward ride I enjoy.  I told trainer I was open to selling him as I think he is meant to be a hunter.  Then my favorite holiday happened (DLS) and things are changing.  Monster is back to regular work.  It's almost like starting over with his under saddle work due to the inconsistent work over the winter.  That in itself was frustrating but then we had a light bulb moment last night.  It didn't take long to get him moving softly into my hand and forward.  Yes forward in front of my leg.  And stay there!  He was better to the left than right but we were able to end with maintaining this forward trot both directions.  The light bulb hasn't gone off at the canter yet.  Key word yet. It will, I know it.  I have been focusing on this at the trot for just a week and have made so much progress.  Yes, we have only walked and trotted for a week.  Why
move on to the next gait until we are at a comfortable point at the previous one?  Last night we cantered and worked briefly on moving in front of my leg.  His head was up and he was wiggly.  Once I have him going in front of my leg I will work on head position and the wiggly stuff will also go away as he gets more comfortable.  

I ended my ride last evening with that awesome top of the world feeling we all know.  That feeling we strive for and that keeps us motivated during the darker times.  I am so proud of baby Monster.  Not only for his progress under saddle but look how grown up he looks!

I need to get a friend to help me take a proper conformation picture.  When he is on the lunge I have taught him that when stopped he must face me so he didn't understand why I was asking him to stand like this.  As you can see I backed him up too much so his front legs are too far under him.  Luxxx deserves a proper picture.  He has turned a liver chestnut color with gorgeous dapples.  He's just lovely.

What about you, do you swing on the pendulum?  Come on, fess up!


  1. Well... I have to admit that while I could never afford (and am probably not a good enough rider to ride him) I'm a little sad Luxxx is turning into a jumper. I WANTED HIM! He's so beautiful and dreamy and I just imagine floating over big hunter derby jumps.... anyways. I digress. But really, it's better if he stays with you because my dream is just that -- a dream. And he is your reality!

    Yay growing up :D

    1. Oh you could definitely ride him :)
      Jury is still out on hunter or jumper but I'm glad he's finally going forward---my legs are tired!

  2. I COMPLETELY swing on the pendulum. The other day I was ready to go show 1st level dressage and win, and the next ride I was all 'I KNOW NOTHING'. Just the nature of our sport!

  3. ooh he's looking really nice!! and yea... i'm all about swinging wildly between extremes haha.

  4. Wow he looks awesome! He has filled out a lot!

  5. I have been on both ends of the pendulum, but I actually think that that very same pendulum is part of why I love riding so much! The saying goes: "if you're not a humble person, riding horses will humble you" and I couldn't agree more! Horses can make us feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but those highs and lows make it all worth it :)

  6. Oh, yes. Definitely! I feel bad for my overly-logical boyfriend who doesn't understand the dramatic swings, but I think he is learning to just go with it ;).

    Luxxx is such a handsome man!!

  7. I often think horses make us masochistic on some level, we need the lows to recognise & enjoy the highs. Yep - riders def be cray *nod*

  8. I'm right on that pendulum with you. Recent events had me falling off and wondering if I should sell, then had a short, but great ride, then back to shenanigans yesterday that make me question everything. Sometimes it's exhausting.