T-10 Days


Fiction leaves on April 1st.

I, admittedly, haven't been riding much lately. The past few weeks just haven't been too great for me. Fiction doesn't mind, I'm sure.

I went to a PBR tour and the pickup guy was riding literally the most beautiful mare I have ever seen in my life. I would have killed to own this horse. My potato picture just doesn't do her justice.
Our ride on Monday was pretty good. We had some fantastic walk work - lots of nice halt transitions, shoulder-ins, and leg yields. We went straight from walk to canter work since he was acting all upset at the trot. He was a bit nasty - probably from being off for an entire week at that point - but he responded well. We did a lot of trot-canter transitions.

Finished the ride off with some nice trot + leg yields down the long side. Some birds were fighting outside of the arena and thoroughly spooked him, so we had to work on circling in that one area until he calmed down. Didn't take long.

I spoke with our Trainer on what she has planned for him and clarified his diet, etc. I think she's honestly going to be surprised, as it seems she's still under the impression he has his rushing problems from before winter. We solved those so hopefully she won't need to work on that during her time with him.

The guy's gelding was nice too, but I was more interested in the accessories haha.
I'll still be taking lessons on him during his training, so I can keep up with his progress. Technically I'm more advanced than he is, but I can't seem to solve his mental barriers, so that is why he's going into training. Once we're over that hump hopefully we can just gradually progress upwards.




I recently posted about how I've come to discover that while horses are an important part of my life, they are not at all the most important part. That being said, I love progressing in my riding, and I love showing. I want to be known as a good rider and to do well by my horse, even if it takes us a while. In order to do so, I need to set us both up for success.

Back when I was delusional (read: with my previous trainer), I went on shopping binges to fill gaps I felt in my riding. New breeches for shows in my show colors. New fancy air-vest. Expensive tack. Fancy bits. You name it, I probably bought it. I even fell into that Olgivy craze and bought a bunch of their saddle pads and half pad, all of which were completely useless in the long run (I don't even use a half pad anymore - no need with a properly fitted saddle).

I had some weird notion in my head that I needed these items. I needed separate show bridles and pads and clothing. I needed everything to match and look pretty. Why? Who knows. At that time I thought everything was going pretty well in our training, though I had no doubts about our inexperience. But I figured hey - if we're going to spook going into the dressage arena, at least we'll look good doing it!

And now? Well, I came to my senses. Sure, certain pieces of equipment are very helpful when it comes to riding. I know my properly fitted and maintained saddle not only helps Fiction move freely but it puts me in a nice, secure position. But outside of the essentials, nothing else matters right now. What does matter is the training, of both Fiction and myself.

We will never go anywhere without training. No amount of fancy tack or fancy clothes will get us our Bronze medal. No matter how desperately I want that $100 sparkly browband or purple Majyk Equipe boots or custom stock tie, I recognize that these are not the items that will help me succeed in progressing in my partnership with Fiction.

So as I stare forlornly at the thousands of dollars put away for Fiction's upcoming training while simultaneously yearning for a new bridle or new boots (mine aren't too far from kicking the bucket), I stop to remind myself of what really matters to me. Fiction and I could be the best dressed pair at the show, but without the training and lessons behind us we're just playing the role, not performing it.


Winter Accomplishments


I know the winter isn't over yet, but it sure feels like it is. Trainer will be back for lessons starting March 18th and then Fiction will be leaving for two months of training at the beginning of April. This winter basically blinked past me. I didn't get too much riding in (lost shoe = one week of lost riding; perpetually battling a cold virus; accutane meds combined w/ no sunlight = complete exhaustion), but some serious accomplishments were made nonetheless.

Here is a list of things Fiction can now do that he couldn't handle at the beginning of the winter:

    • Poles. He no longer bolts through them or freaks out approaching them. He still eyeballs them warily, but we're getting to the point that they are nbd.
    • The canter. We can canter down the long side without blasting full speed. We can adjust the canter - collected, working, and, well, extended is another story unfortunately.
    • Trot transitions - 50% there. He no longer throws his face up as high as possible when asking for the transition, but he still does tense up.
    • Consistency - he remains relatively consistent in frame/relaxation at the trot, even down the long sides.
    • Warmups - warming up takes significantly less time. We can hop right into work with little effort.

So, while he's a bit out of shape and a little chubby (much preferred over too-thin), we've managed a lot this winter. Enough to be proud of, anyways.