Some things wont change


I rode my horse for the first time in 1 1/2 months yesterday. I didn't go in with any grand delusions. I know how damaged Fiction is. It takes a long time to fix a ruined horse.

Fiction was quite uppity. I don't think he gets enough outside time at the training barn & he is now quite fit, so he's a lot to handle. That will never change.

We spent the entirety of our 45 minutes lesson doing the following:

    • Walking. Extremely slow. As slow as I could get him to walk. Then, at the walk, isolating the left seatbone to push him over, followed by the application of the left leg to continue to push him. Then straighten the hips and let him walk forward. Repeat 10000000 times both directions.
    • He is not allowed to jig. Shut it down immediately.
    • Same concept at the trot - posting only. Keep the trot dialed way back. If he freaks out or bolts forward or breaks into canter, no matter the reason, shut him down immediately and return to walk.
    • Keep loop in inside rein, outside rein elastic. Keep feet flatter with weight rolled into little toes to open up the hips.

Fiction is an exceptionally sensitive horse who is also a complete brat and a bully. It may seem like I am anthropomorphizing him, but he does have a unique personality I have never encountered in another horse. 80% of the time he is relatively willing to listen and do what you ask, though he will attempt to bully his way out of it and take control. If you remind him that you're boss, for the most part he will accept it. 20% of the time he will tell you to fuck off and will require a hard reset. This is Fiction and this will never change. What will need to change, however, is how we approach our partnership moving forward.

While his personality and work ethic have not changed, there have been some clear changes in capability. He's consistent in his rhythm and his entire body works together now instead of in disjointed pieces. He feels so darn powerful - it's like riding a gigantic warmblood. Before it felt like we were just playing at dressage, whereas now he actually feels connected and through.
Trainer let me know that during my lesson I rode Fiction better than I've ever rode him before, which was a super nice compliment. However, she did discourage me from showing him this year, save maybe for a schooling show in August before I pop off to Asia. No big deal. Moving forward, our rides are to be simple repeats of the lesson combined with trail rides. No canter work at all. We'll see how it goes.


  1. Forward progress can be agonizingly slow and difficult sometimes... but I've found it's often worth it!

  2. I'm comparing side by side pictures and he looks a lot fitter! Your riding sessions sound a lot like mine, which are a repeat of let's walk calmly and collectedly and using our entire body. Now let's try and repeat at the trot. No wonder she finds every opportunity to spook that she can


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