Talks and plans

Got out to the barn yesterday to have our lesson, and tacked up the pony.  Didn’t quite know how it was going to go, since what we thought was going to be temps in the 60’s again was another day of bone chilling 40’s with super winds.  But she hadn’t been ridden in two days, so regardless if I had the lesson, I needed to work her. 

Trainer came up to me and asked if I still wanted a lesson, and I said lets try it, if she’s a loony we’ll try again tomorrow.  Let me just say, how confusing is it that a month ago, my pony was rather manageable and I didn’t necessarily have to even think about stuff like that!?  Where did my horse go!?!?!

Anyways, got on and we started off talking a lot about the situation.  In my trainers own words:

  • “If you weren’t so attached to this mare, I would suggest you sell her and get something else that suits you better.  Something that isn’t quite as reactive and quick to panic, and something that has been trained correctly from the start.” 

She went on to say that she believes from her rides on Libby that she doesn’t think she’ll necessarily ever be the horse you can ride around on the buckle, or the horse you can come out for a quiet hack, she’ll always be the type you have to ride every step of the way. And she believes that its going to take months before she is really ready for any sort of move up or anything.

What I want us to be doing…

Does this give you guys some sort of an idea of how much of a terror she’s been??

She then went on to say that our new plan is that were going to act like she just came off the trailer from where ever and she’s a four year old who doesn’t know anything.  We won’t expect anything from her, and we’ll act like she knows absolutely nothing.  Were going to put her on the same plan as the horses over seas, who all start off with the same sort of training, and then if they move well enough or aren’t necessarily the scopiest they make them hunters.  If she at some point during that time decides she’d like to be a rideable pony that wants to be a hunter, then we can always go back and do that (please do that Libby).

Of course hearing this from my trainer doesn’t make me happy.  I love Libby, but my trainer has literally seen only the worst of her so far, and thats what shes basing her recommendations off of.  Which I understand.  If a relatively timid rider just moved to my barn, and the horse was a nut job, I would probably suggest the same.  But they haven’t seen the extremely quiet Libby that I need to pony kick to go, or the pony that saves my butt over fences.  So I’m hoping with our plan, Libby will get the necessary training so shes not backwards anymore, and my trainer will get to see that what Libbys been presenting us with is not her norm. 

IF, and thats a big if, Libby continues to act out and be hard to handle under saddle, then I’ll have to reconsider things, but thats really a road I don’t want to cross….

Maybe us at some point?? Who knows?!?!

Anyways, onto our lesson.  We started off with making her rideable at the trot, really getting her to engage herself and use herself, without being out of control.   She was being nice and light, and my trainer, who I’m going to refer to as K, kept complementing me on how she looked good and responsive. Yay! We did lots of changes in direction and circles to keep her thinking and then we added some trot poles.  Libby was being a rockstar compared to what shed been lately, and again K sang praises to her and me on how good she was being.  Worked the poles in with more changes in direction and gait changes and really worked Libs brain. 

We then moved onto trotting the x back and forth, continuing to engage her brain by changing direction and taking different approaches to the jump.  After giving Lib a little break we then incorporated some canter into it, cantering the long side, then coming right back down to a medium controlled trot to go over the x.  Not so easy for Lib who gets tense after canter work.  But she did awesome and we gave her a little break.  Then moved on to making a little trot course, complete with hard turns and a two stride. 

Now, our ring is on the small side, and our fencing around the ring isn’t very high, and every time we came out of that two stride, I could feel Libby locking on to that fence.  So I would panic and try to stop or turn her fast, instead of doing a nice halt in the corner.  That was my biggest problem the whole ride.  Of course, Libby was like “AHHH what did I dooooo!” and gave me away every time, but we ended on a really good note, and I think K was rather impressed.  Complemented us numerous times, so hopefully its all uphill from here!

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12 thoughts on “Talks and plans

  1. Well at least the lesson went well. I really hope going back to basics helps you guys, she's so lovely when she isn't being crazy. I think its winter of the crazy mare. Hang in there, no one should judge their horse solely based on winter shenanigans.

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  2. I agree with Lauren, getting her scoped would probably be a good investment. You never know. Sounds like you had a good lesson though, I'm sure she'll prove herself to your trainer in no time. And seeing as she's a mare she'll probably wait until the last possible second when you're ready to give up and she'll come out of the gate a rockstar and make you reconsider everything 🙂

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  3. Yay for a great lesson!

    Seems like miss Libby is a mare who was a bit spoiled before and now that she's having to work/get legit training she's protesting.. BUT you got this! And you have a great trainer! Don't give up!

    Henry was a major PITA at the beginning, my trainer told me that if he kept up his antics that I'd have to sell him and get something new. I was devastated. Thanks goodness after some rough patches, he clicked and after probably a hard year or so it started looking better and now 2.5 years into owning him- things are awesome.

    Hugs! 🙂

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  4. Hang in there! I know it's hard not to plan, but I feel like in this situation you should take it day by day. Give Libby and yourself time to relax and get acclimated to this new place and new program.

    Also, if you have Libby insured, check to see if they'd cover the cost of scoping for ulcers. You might be covered!

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  5. I agrees with scoping. It's worth it. It runs about $200. Also my vet recommended Tractguard supplement for all my guys that show and are in steady work.

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  6. I am all for trying to make it work. However, be prepared to reach that point in time when you just might have to admit you aren't a good match. And there is NOTHING wrong with that! It took me about three years to get there with my horse, who was awesome and taught me a ton but also took a lot away from me (namely my confidence). I didn't actually realize how much it wasn't working until I got to ride other horses and saw/felt that there were horses out there who would try and work with me, and not be a mount that made me pray on the way to the barn that they would be good.

    So while I have no regrets about my mare and she is still my heart horse I am also SO glad I got off her when I did. Riding is fun again and I have progressed a lot! Just something to keep in mind…

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