Horse Life

Some Changes. Some Nerves.

First things first. Asmar Equestrian stuff is super expensive. Like, $70 for a T-SHIRT ON THE SALES PAGE expensive. With Kastel you can search their sales for $20 sun shirts (thus why I have such a large collection). Asmar? They maaaaybe took $50 off their $200 vest. OMG.

I finally settled on these:

Capture

Capture

Capture

Those have been ordered and hopefully will arrive soon!

I’m super low on media at the moment- constant rain has kept the Cambox tucked safely in it’s case and my phone inside the barn. Pilgrim is mostly out 24/7 and unlike me, enjoys the rain. Because rain makes mud and mud is life.

While I enjoy that my horse comes galloping up to the gate to meet me, he doesn’t have to look so HAPPY with himself that he’s turned himself bay.

P1
Almost didn’t recognize ya there.
P2
What a mess 😦

Though lately it’s been harder to get him out of his stall during the day. BO sent me this yesterday and it’s easy to see the reason why.

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Loving his fan

At this time last year, we were still at the H/J barn and the stalls were tiny (10×10 maybe) and it was SO HOT in there. There were 2 outlets in the entire barn so they blew big fans down the aisle, but none of the air ever reached the horses, so it was pretty pointless. I asked a few times for him to just be out because at least he’d have a breeze, but that didn’t really happen. I absolutely LOVE the barn I board at now- I only wish I’d moved him much sooner!

RC4
If they had any openings I’d totally take up residence in of these babies myself.

We’ve been to Trainer B’s twice in the last week for him to ride P on the flat. And that’s led to a pretty big decision to change who we train with for dressage. The main reason is that both Trainer J and Trainer B are an hour away from me and time-wise, it’s typically impossible for me to get up there twice a week (this week has been stressful enough, moving things around).

The other reason is that if I have to pick between the two, it’s clear we get more accomplished at Trainer B’s. Absolutely nothing against Trainer J and her methods, because the woman definitely knows what she’s doing, but the two wildly different training methods have left me confused more than once. Trainer J always had me ride with my hands low, practically touching the saddle pad. Trainer B then tells me to raise my hands, since P tends to dive onto the forehand in downward transitions. Trainer J has me focus on moving the shoulders, Trainer B has me work the whole horse. Trainer J says bend comes from the inside leg with steady outside aids, Trainer B wants to see my outside leg keep control of the haunches. The two don’t even know each other, which is the funny part, but they’re complete opposites.

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At first I was all, “I need a dressage person as a dressage trainer!” Plus I love Trainer J. P loves Trainer J. But I don’t love the confusion that’s coming out of working with two trainers. And Trainer B isn’t exactly shabby in the dressage arena; he routinely scores in the low 20’s at the lower levels, and mid 20’s-low 30’s at the 2* level. Pretty sure that more than qualifies him to help me at BN.

6
Like when this half halt changed my life

His rides on P have been pretty cool to watch. P tends to get all sorts of strung out at the canter, but Trainer B really worked on keeping him moving upwards instead of lunging forward and you can practically see the light bulbs clicking on inside P’s head.

Snapshot 1 (4-25-2018 6-22 PM)
And it’s clear P trusts B. Always important.

He’s also quite the advocate for working slowly with P to build the muscles he needs, rather than forcing him to do something he’s not ready for. Which is really important to me because well, I want P to remain as healthy and sound as possible.

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Working on myself so I can stay sound enough to keep up with P as well.

So a big change there for us, but one I can’t see regretting.

We’re heading up there Thursday for him to hop on P for the final time before we journey to VA. And for some reason, I’m over here freaking out about it. I’m not even riding. Which is good because P’s got some stiff competition: Emily Beshear,  Laine Ashker, and Becky Holder all have horses in the same division, making me super thankful for Amateur/Rider divisions.

I was planning on packing a bottle of wine for the trip but after typing this out, I’d better make it 2. Or 3.

Wish Trainer B & P luck!

30 thoughts on “Some Changes. Some Nerves.”

  1. I totally get what you mean by being confused by different trainers. Every time I switch trainers, I feel like I have to re-learn how to ride all over again. However, it has (almost) always ended up putting more tools in my toolbox.

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  2. Sending luck and good vibes! 😀 I haven’t been able to lesson with more than one person at once very often (usually for time and budget reasons) but I can imagine it would be really tricky when methods are so different!

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  3. more wine is always a good idea says me 🙂 and P looks great. And those stalls. Wow. And your horse wow he was DIRTY LOL. 🙂 how exciting and so much media cause you wont be riding this weekend yay! I hope they arent getting the tons of rain we are getting today UGH.

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  4. oh man, i’ve always enjoyed riding with a variety of trainers bc it really helps me to have the same concepts explained in different ways. but…. the key there is “same concepts.” all the trainers i ride with have to basically agree on their core riding philosophy and want to see the same basic outcomes, with similar methods and ideas for arriving there. bc yea, i agree completely that trying to merge divergent programs often leads to confusion or frustration.

    like, sure, there’s multiple ways to skin a cat, all roads lead to rome, blah blah blah, but usually it seems to work best for us if we can kinda just pick *one* method and stick with it haha. plus, honestly trainer B’s program seems like it’s working REALLY WELL for you guys!! i hope you all have a great time in virginia this weekend!!!

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    1. Ya, if they’re on the same page it can be great to get different points of view! I’m just a bit over adjusting my riding based on who I’m in front of. And trying to get to J’s has been frustrating and unsuccessful.

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      1. ok so ….. i peeked at event entries live scoring this weekend and am STOKED to hear details on how things went in Virginia this weekend!! 😀

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  5. That can be super frustrating having confusing methods. It’s not like there’s only 1 way to skin a cat (aka dressage) and both trainers are very successful in their own right that sound pretty correct and listening to the horse vs forcing them to do it. So yeah- I totally get it! I took lessons from a pure dressage trainer a few times and while I really like her I don’t think Chimi did so back to just Annie we went. I would clinic with the pure dressage trainer any time but I think she was to dressagey for Chimi’s brain on a weekly/monthly basis. Finding the right formula for your horse is the most important thing and it sounds like you’ve made a good choice for P!

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    1. Hahaha I can totally see Chimi saying, “no thanks” to super dressage. And really, I’m the same way. Most lessons were 45 minutes of 20m circles with some diagonal crossings. Don’t get me wrong- all lessons were informative and helpful but my brain would easily get fried.

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  6. Yeah I hear you. It’s difficult when you have 2 different views competing with each other, but I’m very glad B is such a great dressage option for you guys as well. Absolutely wishing you luck!! He’ll do great 😀

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  7. Good luck!! I bet you’ll enjoy the owner gig. Sit back and enjoy watching your horse kick butt!! Your point about getting frustrated makes sense. If both trainers were telling you the same thing but in a different way I can see where that would merge really well as for me sometimes it takes a different explanation to get through my thick skull, but if I was battling two different approaches? My brain would melt.

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    1. Ha, I’m totally looking forward to playing owner! It’s a little nerve wracking, leaving him in someone else’s hands but of course it’s for the best. And ya, brain was totally melted a few times which is why the change is needed!

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