It has taken me a long time to be ready to write this post, I was super upset when it all happened and am still very upset as I write it now (and have taken a fairly large amount of pain medication for my crippled body) … I apologize for the non-linear rambling. I hope that it sort of makes sense. :)
I mentioned here my objectives for Apollo’s 30 day visit with RK. I was so hopeful that this time with RK would be a stepping stone into riding with my husband. And at the very least I hoped that I’d come away with more tools and insights for Apollo in the future. I sold Apollo’s saddle to help pay for this training, with plans to buy a more husband/trail friendly saddle once training was complete.
In June 2017 Apollo and I celebrate 10 years together. I was also quietly planning to have some photos taken at RK’s beautiful property to commemorate this huge milestone.
And instead there is nothing. There is blank space.
None of the things I’d hoped for have happened. I would actually venture that things are worse than when I dropped Apollo off.
May was a very busy month for me. My husband and I have spent some time acreage shopping (as I shared yesterday) and also prepping our house for sale. I really trusted RK to put trail miles on Apollo and keep him busy while I worried about house buying/selling and kept my remaining herd members in work. And unfortunately that trust was misplaced.
I’ve had four visits with Apollo in May, and I don’t plan on going back. I will be sending a trailer to pick him up and I will meet it on the other side.
Anyway, those are all my feels about what has happened. Let me break down those four visits and elaborate a bit on what has gone wrong.
- Visit One (a day or two after we dropped him off)Very quick visit, just stopped in to make sure he was settling in OK. I discussed my hopes about Apollo being a husband horse. That was pretty much it.
- Visit Two (about a week after he arrived)RK told me that Apollo was not suitable as a horse for a novice. Without a ton of elaboration. He mostly just focused on how Apollo is a very difficult and dominant horse. I had mixed feelings about this, part of me felt validated that I’d had a hard time with his training…. The other part of me was like “Don’t talk shit about my horse!!”. I have never read Apollo as a dominant horse, at all. I’ve actually read him as the opposite, he isn’t confident so gets overwhelmed easily and resorts to speed when unsure what to do. Sidepass? Uhhhh… GO FAST! RK showed me some groundwork stuff he’d been doing and Apollo couldn’t handle jumping the tiny blue barrels but went into the river, because he’s random like that.
- Visit Three (about a week and half after he arrived)I rode Apollo this visit bareback and did a little W/T/C around. He was polite at the mounting block and quiet under saddle, about as good as when I had ridden him last. RK told me that Apollo can be very good but also spends a lot of time coming up with ideas on how to be bad. For example he ran through a lot of his groundwork/preflight check stuff and one day Apollo would do everything perfectly. The next day he wouldn’t do any of it. Blah blah blah RK thinks Apollo is a jerk. He said he thinks Apollo needs more time in the arena before he’s a good trail horse. I said, ok fair enough. He mentions that they will start with some trail work shortly.
- Visit Four (about three weeks after he arrived)This was my final visit and it occurred on the May long weekend (specifically on May 21st). I had asked RK if my friend C (who owns the place where Mystic lives) could trailer over and we could do a ride with Apollo just down the road and back, nothing major. He said that would be fine. I ended up having to change the date, which is my bad. I was supposed to take Henry out schooling xc on Monday (which didn’t happen after all) so I had asked to reschedule to the Sunday. I suggested 10 to RK and he came back with noon, I asked if 11 was ok as I was meeting my grandma on the other side of town at 2 and I didn’t want to have to rush. I didn’t hear back from him so I asked C to haul over closer to 11:30 so we’d be closer to his requested 12 time.I was a little early and so was C. RK was pretty upset with me. He had been planning to ride with us but had a lesson booked at 11 so couldn’t go until 12. I apologized and said we would wait. Then he told me that I couldn’t ride Apollo, that he would ride him. I was a bit surprised by that but said OK. Then he decided that he wouldn’t ride Apollo either. He spent some time telling me how bad and dangerous my horse was, peppering that with a story about another a lady who put her horse down because it had mental issues.Ok then… So when I had my quick ride in the arena… I was legit terrified. Was I too much of a numpty to realize over these past years that my horse was dangerous?? I was using a barrel to mount up and my legs were shaking so hard I was thought the barrel was going to tip over. I rode Apollo and he was hot, and it felt like no one had been riding him. But he was fine, it was a short ride before I put him back and grabbed the other random horse I was riding.RK barely spoke to me for the ride or for the rest of the time we were there. He talked to C a lot and helped her cross the river and the bridge with her horse. Which is super nice. But C is not paying him for training…so..? The horse he gave me to ride was a bit sketchy but he told me it was his best horse. I ride green baby peanuts like erryday, that horse did not feel more trained than either of my two young horses.I was upset on so many levels…Is he not riding my horse?I paid for and asked for trail miles… has Apollo even left the arena? He had been there for 3 weeks at this point.Who the fuck tells me that I can’t ride my own horse? I don’t want to screw up his training program or anything but I feel like if it wasn’t ok for C and I to ride together he could have told me that before I showed up excited to ride my horse.Why was he so grumpy at me? Yeah maybe I screwed up the scheduling a bit, but a) it was not intentional 2) I apologized 3) I am the customer, the customer who is paying a lot of money for training that is not happeningI was also super embarrassed to have that happen in front of my friend (she said she felt really bad for me and was really confused by RK’s behavior while we were there)So I almost borrowed a trailer the next day to pick up Apollo and bring him home. Then I decided to leave him for the rest of the month and pay a hauler to get him. At least RK will feed him his supplements every day and I can carry on with my ST lessons like this crap never happened. When my husband called me later to ask how my day was…. I ugly cried so hard. I am so disappointed with how this turned out.I spoke with ST about this (as Apollo and I have had some lessons with her). She said she never felt like Apollo was dangerous at all. She thinks he can be a bit rude and cheeky but he just lacks training. I told her how this all had really rattled me. This was the lesson where Henry bucked me off (perhaps my emotional state contributed to this? I’ll never know but it didn’t help to start my lesson off by almost crying about the Apollo drama).*Deep breath.* This was a really hard post for me to write because I'm still incredibly upset. I want to do the grown up thing and have a conversation with RK, but I don't think I can do that without bursting into tears. I'm not sure why I'm so emotional about it. It was really hard for me to trust someone else with Apollo and I'm really angry at myself for doing that. Thank you for reading this far into my random rambling upset post <3