Wednesday 21 November 2018

Making a Plan (Or Not)

If you remember, I had a fantastic lesson last week on Audrey.

Then I came home, and had a couple of fun, easy, rides on Bridget. Then one no good, very bad, terrible ride.

The no good, very bad, terrible ride came about because I let myself get frustrated when Bridget said "Enough. I am not interested, nor do I feel like working today." Rather than changing the conversation, I decided to keep pushing, and we had an awful ride.

Post ride sweaty pony. She decided forward is dumb again, so we worked until she agreed she knows how to go.

I've mentioned over and over on this blog that Bridget does not like to feel like she's working. She cooperates if it's fun or interesting. She sees no point in working too hard, and will get very resentful and sour if asked and you cannot find a way of convincing her it's fun. I can respect that somewhat, being someone who is unhappy if my job gets repetitive or is full of the tasks I don't enjoy for weeks on end. And yet, I'm an exceptionally slow learner. Logically, I know pursuing dressage with this pony is not fair to her, realistically I still go into every ride looking for small ways to improve our dressage without her realizing it.

She has a new friend and he's adorable. She makes mean faces, but she hangs out all day with him so I'm pretty sure it's love :)

The disconnect between us occurs partly because I find dressage super interesting and exciting, but Bridget very much does not. She likes trail rides, I don't mind them, but find too many per week quite boring. We're both OK with a bit of jumping, neither of us are that interested in a steady diet of it. So, there are things we can compromise on, and we do of course have a lot of fun together. With that in mind, as you all know I moved Bridget home and out of training, signed up for lessons on my coach's dressage horse Audrey, and finally, bought Sophie as a dressage prospect.

It's such a great plan!

Unfortunately, 2 years waiting for Sophie to grow feels like a long time! Plus, my lessons on Audrey, rather than satisfying my urge to learn all things dressage, only add fuel to the fire. Sometimes that enthusiasm gets away from me and I practice at home and get a wee bit frustrated with my Bridget pony (and she gets just as frustrated with me!)

Almost as frustrated as when I put her hay in a net, lol. Also, this is late afternoon and the hay on her back was there from her breakfast, which gives you an idea of the amount of activity in Bridget's daily routine when she's left to her own devices :) (Oh, and the wheelbarrow tracks are from me mucking out 24 hours earlier...and yet they remain undisturbed. Oh, Bridget.

There are a few options here and a few resources at my disposal. So, in the interest of being fair to all of us, I think I need to change tracks. Time to come up with a New, New Plan!



  1. Good luck with the new plan! I hate feeling like I have to push my horse thru the work, it’s so much easier when both parties are happy and having fun! That’s not always realistic tho, unfortunately, and part of becoming a reliable riding horse is learning that.... sometimes the horse just has to do his job even if he doesn’t feel like it. That’s part of why I went with an OTTB to be honest - esp one that wasn’t “one and done” on the track. Bc to be a racehorse you learn pretty quickly what it means to have a job and show up for work, and the “bosses” at the track are definitely a lot more strict than the typical adult ammy (like myself lol). But I still have to remind myself to be firm, and always think of Janet Foy’s quip: “he can be your little lamb 23hrs a day but for that one hour he must be your love slave!” Lol....

    1. I'm very much appreciating horses with work ethics these days. B is the worst I've ever dealt with - it never occurred to me as something to really pay attention to when shopping because all the previous horses I've owned and ridden are either motivated or have learned to be.

  2. A horse that is happy and willing to work is a lovely thing to have - I don't think horses are totally stuck in their ways though. It took Carlos a lot of cajoling and years of work to get where he was the horse I never knew I wanted.

    1. B has improved hugely - we were just discussing how she wouldn't even move under saddle, at first. Actually, step 1 was catching her - nearly impossible, lol. So, I agree, you can definitely improve and teach them. I think the trick is making it fun and I struggle with consistently convincing B it's fun.

  3. I want to thank Dr.ZAZABA for helping me with his herbs medicine that help me get pregnant within 21 days if you are out there finding it difficult to get pregnant email Dr.ZAZABA via email ( or Whatsapp him on +2348129175848 .I was 45years old when i contacted him for help i am 8months pregnant now contact him today to become a mother with your complete family..