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Saturday, 21 March 2015

U-Turn?

It’s funny how something so small can trigger a huge chain reaction of thoughts and plans.



Last Friday I was taking a lesson at the dressage barn and my coach and I were discussing our schedules for lessons. She said something that got stuck in my brain:

I have a friend who is an eventing coach; she would probably travel to your barn for lessons. I know that’s what you’re really interested in. If your horse is sound you should go for it.”

What?! I moved away from the eventing barn. I accepted my life as a trail rider/occasional student of dressage (until the young horses are grown-ups). I didn’t think about eventing at all anymore.  I gave up. 

Apollo is sound and I’ve ridden every day in March (I suck at my plans to blog every day but I've been doing great on consistent riding and working out!). We’re slowly building up both of our fitness and getting back into a groove. Maybe we could give the eventing thing a try….again...?


Wild mane!



I sent a bunch of text messages to the one person who I knew would give it to me straight.  I wanted her opinion on what I should do with my big pony.  I told her to be honest and not to worry about sparing my feelings in her response. I respect her opinion immensely and she knows both Apollo and I quite well. I sent her walls and walls of text (I’m such a fun friend!) and then I waited for a response.

Whole family



I was expecting one of the following responses:

 “Yes, ride your horse and stop babying him you dumb ass.

Or:

 “You will ruin him, he is clearly not up to it and you have to let it go.


What she wrote back was much more helpful and although a little hard to read it was true. She essentially said I wasn’t doing him any favors by being easy on him. He needs to build fitness and have a job. He needs to be properly conditioned and likely some of his initial lameness issues at the eventing barn arose from him not having enough/proper work for a long time. She suggested really working on his conditioning and then coming to a few small jumper shows with her in May and seeing how he does. I'm trying to take everything in right now and make a realistic plan for my big pony and I.  

I am open to thoughts and opinions from blogland as well if anyone has any wisdom to send my way!

24 comments:

  1. Your friend sounds like a very good one with excellent advice! I like her idea of focusing on getting him fit and easing into a couple of jumper shows first...seems like it would be way less pressure on you both. If you're anything like me, it also sounds like a much more logical/less emotional way to get started and have fun than an 'all or nothing' type outlook.

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    1. I agree! I'm kind of an all or nothing person so this whole "wait and see" thing will be a good exercise for me :)

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  2. your friend's advice sounds good to me. Work on the conditioning and see how it goes.

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    1. So far so good! I can't wait to have my saddle back though

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  3. I also think it's a good idea to get him fit and take him to some shows. He doesn't have to huge jumps just something to get him focused on a job. The best way to judge what you should or can do with him is give it time and see how things go. There's never a rush with horses it's best to let them set their own pace.

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    1. I agree, I definitely don't to rush him and will be listening closely to what he tells me.

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  4. It sounds like a good plan. I don't think you should ever give up on what you really want to do :) as long as your horses can handle it. You won't know if you don't try and since Apollo has been sound, why not? I think the main thing is building the fitness up slowly, but I know you take good care of your horses and won't push too hard too fast.

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    1. I really want to give eventing a shot...:) We will see how it goes! So far both our fitness has really been improving in March :)

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  5. Ditto to the fitness comments, take the time to build him up and then have fun!

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    1. I think the building fitness was a step I didn't properly before so I'm definitely working hard on it now!

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  6. It's never a bad thing to keep your horse fit! And as far as shows, you have to go with your guy! Whatever makes you both happy :)! (sorry if this comment posted twice lol)

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    1. I will listen to my big pony as best as can, he will let me know what he can do :)

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  7. How fun for you! I'm happy that Apollo is staying sound. Sounds like you have a good plan in place!

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    1. Thanks! I didn't know if I'd ever have a sound horse again...so I'm pretty darn happy :)

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  8. I agree with your friend and those above. Get fit and see where it goes. Don't make any plans until you get there :)

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    1. I definitely have a smart/practical friend! It's really hard not to make plans... :)

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  9. ahhh so very exciting!! good luck getting him in tip top shape - maybe introduce a lot of ground pole exercises, which will have the added benefit of assessing his interest in hopping some sticks :)

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    1. Good idea! We do have poles and small cavellitis at my barn :) I can play with those for sure

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  10. That mohawk is spectacular!

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  11. Fantastic news and fantastic mane! That mohawk would be the envy of many a punker back in the 1980s.

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    1. Thanks! And yes he has natural wild highlights so he's pretty badass :P

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  12. I'm all for dreaming big, and not limiting yourself. So I don't think you should give up on eventing yet. But I agree with your friend, that a slow, methodical approach will be most beneficial for you and your horse and give you the information you need to decide if you both can handle eventing.

    Conditioning takes time, and you're definitely on the right track. Keep riding consistently and start asking for more on the flat. Go to some jumper shows when you feel ready and see how they go!

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    1. I'm so excited to have a sound horse that sometimes I think it overrides the practical part of my brain. We will be taking it slowly and building up a good foundation with fitness :)

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