Back to reality

All good things must come to an end, thats how the saying goes right?  Had a super relaxing time at home with my family, but reality calls, so back to Gainesville I go.

Drove up Friday morning, and hit a ton of traffic.  Didn’t think I was going to get to see Libby, but was able to make it out there.  It was FREEZING 20 degrees colder then it was in South Florida, and I didn’t dress for the weather at all.  Thankfully my friend A, whose family also owns the barn and lives on property, went and grabbed me a coat to warm my bones. 

Got Libby all tacked up, in the Myler bit we’ve been using, and the German Martingale, and got on.  I’d been told by my trainer, K,  and A that she was a bit of a monster under saddle while I’d been gone, and in that ride she proved them right.  Spooking at everything, inconsistent everywhere, and she decided she had no steering.  I was getting so frustrated that I just walk/trotted, and got off at a decently good point.  Bad po po.

Libby the past few days…

Ended up staying the night so we could drive to Tampa the next morning to cheer on our friend and barnmate at her Quarter Horse show.  This was my first real experience at a breed show!! I was super excited to venture into a different show world. 

Quarter horse circuit

I don’t understand the judging, one swap is penalized much more heavily then eight chips, and I don’t like the training methods some of those trainers use, ‘bumping’ and head tying at night, or the point system, but it was fun to watch the rounds, and see some nice Quarter horses.  Some of those horses could fit right in on the A circuit, and one of them had the most beautiful extended trot I’ve seen. 

All in all we had fun.  A had some trouble in the beginning, but had an awesome comeback at the end, so we were all proud of her!

Headed back to ride fast before it got dark, and before it got any colder.  Tacked Lib up in the other rig we have for her, a smooth corkscrew full cheek with draw reins, and again the monster was out.  Much better then the day before but still a monster.  I did canter her a little bit, and she was falling off her right lead which worried me a bit, but I think it mostly had to do with the fact that she was all over the place.  Spoke with my trainer and we made some plans:

Since Libby has decided that for the time being, shes going to be a hot spooky touchy horse, were going to change our whole riding plan for her.  If you can believe it, right now, I’m going to ride her like a jumper, and we’ll see if that helps anything. The problem with her is that when you don’t make her do anything, and just allow her to trail her hind end, shes nice and quiet.  But I can’t continue to ride her like that, because thats what gets us into trouble at shows.  She gets nervous, I get nervous, and she starts to lean and run through my hands.  I obviously can’t pic up that weight, and no snaffle or hunter legal bit has enough leverage for me when she starts doing that. 

So for right now, its all about strengthening her hind end, and if that means we have to ride her jumper style for a while to do it, then oh well.  I want her correct, even if it means a slight discipline change.

Sunday the sun was out! It was a nice balmy 70 degrees, with no cloud in the sky.  Tacked Libby up in the full cheek gag, with a figure eight noseband, and ear puffs.  And wouldn’t you know, she was AWESOME! Light, not too spooky, and responsive.  I was so happy to feel my horse back.  Her canter still needs improving, but its feeling so much better, and her trot has come a long way as well.  I’m going to have my trainer video me hopefully so you guys can see how far her canter has come along.  It feels drastically different, much bouncier, but you can feel her power now.  worked her for a good 40 minutes, working in circles and serpentines and lots of gait changes.  She was good and sweaty by the time we finished.  Gave her lots of cookies, a much needed bath, and turned her back out. 

Monday got out to the barn to have a lesson.  Tacked her up and the skies started to open up.  So we headed inside for a bit to see if it would blow over.  LOL Nope.  Not only did it continue raining, but it went from 68 degrees to 46 in a matter of 20 minutes.  No way was I going to ride in that.  Put Libs blanket on, and we ran errands instead. 

Tuesday the high was 38 so no way was I going to even attempt to ride.  Yea I know people up north are dealing with worse, but I’m a Florida girl through and through and thats just way to cold for me!

Lesson today hopefully! I’ll report back of course tonight!

And good luck to everyone down south! WEF 2014 officially starts today!!

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20 thoughts on “Back to reality

  1. Sounds like you have a good plan in place for Libby!! And being a New Englander, 40-50 degrees is probably my faaaavorite temperature to ride in. Up here we ride as long as we have double digits or there wouldn't be a whole lot happening from November-March 😉

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  2. Hope that the plan works for you guys. I would kill to experience your kind of freezing over the freezing I've had the past few days. That said I do understand from living in Fl that when it gets that cold for you guys it probably seems like the 0 we had for 2 days. Stay warm!

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  3. My friend showed AQHA in high school I was always jealous. They all had super expensive horses. the constant bumping on the face drives me crazy too. 🙂 glad you finally got a decent ride on lib. The spider photo cracked me up that is me, too! 🙂

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  4. Love the upbeat voice in this post! You now have hope and a trainer leading you with Libby and it's awesome!

    Great things for you guys in 2014 – even with rain and cold weather lol

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  5. Sigh, I guess its just life with mares isn't it? I hope riding jumper for awhile, gets her where she needs to be. Do you find she is consistently less spooky with the ear puffs? I'm willing to try anything to get us through winter lol.

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  6. Shes a weird one, sometimes the earpuffs make her a little less coordinated and out of sync but right now they're really helping. Shes still spooky with golf carts, or things in the distance, but at least with the POMS she kind of keeps her focus with the wind.

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