Friday 23 March 2018

Boot Camp Days 3&4

I seem to be on a post a day program right now...trying to distract myself from the absolutely stupid anxiety I am having re: all things new horses and first horse show of the season. It's half excitement - half feeling I'm-so-not-ready for any of it/cannot adult! 


Spent some time catching up with fave working student - she just got back from two weeks in the UK working and riding with some big names. Super fun to hear all the details, and I'm so excited for her - she's going to go back semi permanently and is 100% sure of her future career choice now. So inspiring and fun to see people work hard for their dreams and make big strides in achieving them. And, no worries, we had our big catch up on horseback, with poor Bridget struggling to keep up on the hills. It seems I've been slacking off on the hill work at home :) I finished up with a quick walking cool out in the ring, using the time to remind her that she can be rounder and still go forward, wiggling and backing off being an evasion that she reverted back to trying during our Tuesday lesson.


Another lesson. I had plenty of forward, but as we kept asking for rounder Bridget kept saying 'no'. Ughh, I get that that is where we're at...that weird spot between first and second, and that I need to be way more disciplined about insisting she stay where I put her if we want to do a nice second level test this year. We were doing OK at home, but being at EC's seems to have Bridget thinking the rules don't apply anymore. I feel like boot camp has caused a full on pony revolt...just in time for our show tomorrow. Long term, yep it's a conversation that needed to happen and we'll work through it, short term, oops, we've lost the relaxation and soft feel we had going on at home. I hope they don't mind angry llamas at first level tomorrow :) (I'm being a little dramatic - there were plenty of nice moments and B understands what we wanted...she's just not overly happy about it, but yes, she'll probably be holding a grudge and I'm not expecting any great tests. EC says to look at it as an opportunity - school her at the show as needed so she understands the rules apply the same everywhere we go).

A few years ago, we went to TBird to watch some jumper classes and I set a goal of wanting to show there one day. matter what, we're checking off a bucket list item this weekend!

Things discussed:

After the ride - I expressed concerns about how fussy and opinionated B continues to be. The opting out of work thing especially. What am I doing wrong? Will I be able to start the new pony and not end up with similar issues?

EC's opinion: Yes, some of Bridget's opinions can be attributed to the fact I am/was learning on her so she got away with a few things to start, and now the rules have changed as I have become more effective. And B is not a pony who likes that sort of thing. Although she is quiet, she is not especially forgiving under saddle, and she is always looking for the easy way out. She is also quite sensitive. Basically, "She's a pony. She does not want to work harder and has her own ideas."

Cue pep talk about how much better she continues to get, how much progress I have been making with her even on my own when she's not especially easy.

So no, she thinks there is no reason to think any of the things I am unhappy with will follow me to future projects (or cannot be fixed in the current one!) Besides, I will have help and I will have more knowledge when the time comes for starting the baby Banana (who I get to meet in 5 hours! Eeek!)


  1. I have a pony gelding and I can tell you that he is opinionated, easily distracted, and tries allllll of his tricks before he'll give good work. I can only imagine a pony mare ;) You're doing good work with her! Show jitters suck! Good luck tomorrow :)

  2. B and Emi sounds SO similar. Don't despair, we are struggling along with you.

    And I'm so excited for you to meet your new pony. I can't wait to hear more about her.

  3. Carmen is quite opinionated as well. You can do it though- you’ve come farther with B then you give yourself credit for.

  4. Omg I hope you are so so so so happy to have met the new girl, and I am sure she's lovely! Can't wait to hear more about it! And good luck this weekend! Sounds like the boot camp rides produced a lot of thoughtful introspection. Horses are hard and they all have their own idiosyncrasies, as we do too. You and B make such a good team tho!

  5. ohh bananarama meeting :) Can't wait. Sounds like boot camp has been good for you both even if not perfect. Ponies are set in their ways :) Good luck this weekend!! Llamas are cooollll :)

  6. Oh, B, stop challenging and come back to the program! Maybe a new sister will be the motivation she needs? Haha. Can't wait to hear the next installment with all the updates =)

  7. We can always take the feedback from what we learned bringing one horse along, to bring another horse along.