Horse Life

But For Real…

Despite me perhaps not working super hard between lessons, the lesson I had on Wednesday was a great one.


Not as great as the one last week, where we did 2 stride combinations over and over, and not only did P not stop at anything, HE DIDN’T CHIP ONCE. It was a miracle, I tell you. Even when Trainer B stuck the fences up to 3’3″, we didn’t chip. It was so awesome. We’re the stars of the 2 stride now.


Naturally, I have zero media of that lesson. So after we filmed the last contest video, I drug Husband off to my lesson with me to video.

Sidenote: We didn’t win! Boo. Asmar direct messaged me on IG and said that while they loved Husband’s video best of all, they couldn’t let us win 3 months in a row. They asked me a bunch of questions and are going to feature it in an “e-blast.” They’re a great company (with obviously a great sense of humor), and I’ll be doing some reviews of the clothing we won soon. 

Ok, back to the action at hand.

We spent the first half hour or so working on the flat. Trainer B is a wizard over fences for sure, but he’s definitely no slouch in the dressage arena either.

P is a pretty stiff horse, and I struggle with suppling him. But he’s also a stubborn lil guy and can be so resistant that I end up second guessing what I do, so then don’t do anything at all. Because that’s always the solution, right? So Trainer B had us w/t/c while flexing him to the right and left using my hand and leg, and moving the saddle around (not really, it was just the imagery used) with my seatbones to loosen him up.


This took FOREVER. I’m not even sure what my entire body is doing, but lap after lap of fighting him at the canter wears a person out.



Particularly in the right lead canter, P zoomed around with his head in the air and his jaw locked, and it took 3 laps for him to soften. Trainer B said to think of it like he’s got to go through the dark side to get to the light, so just because it’s not working right away, doesn’t mean I’m not asking correctly. And that each time we work on it, we’ll be stuck in the dark side for less and less time.

And then, “Well, we rarely have a triple in the arena. But here it is, so let’s do it.”


P has not always been a fan of the yellow jump- and is never a fan of when jumps are cross-rail/vertical mixes, so he had us cut in and just do the yellow one twice. P accelerated towards it and I thought, yeah! We got this.



Now, I really can’t tell you what the problem was. Trainer B said the blue jump is spooky and sure, I guess so, but P gave no indication that was the problem. My guess is that he saw that there was yet ANOTHER jump after the blue and panicked. Combinations aren’t our thing, they never have been.

Surprisingly good at bending lines, though.

For example, in our SJ round 2 weeks ago, look at how he stops at this boring, plain vertical- it was the jump into the one-stride. He’d just jumped the other 4 jumps super boldly.


And then we reapproach, and he still comes to it way insecurely.


The week before, at the great-lesson-of-which-I-have-no-media, P jumped spookier, and much bigger fences, with zero stops. I think after jumping the yellow super boldly, he saw there were two more fences and shut down. So I’m betting it has less to do with the actual fences, and more about his own confidence in combinations. I’m still not 100% confident in them either, thanks to our history, so we definitely feed off each other there.

But we eventually got through it, albeit, not very prettily. That’s what lessons are for, right? RIGHT?!

Then he sent us through the one stride, and then around to the triple the opposite way. If you have the sound on you’ll hear, “She’s not going slow anymore, that’s good.” SCORE! Self-high five.pat-yourself-on-the-back-gif-5.gif

And then one final time to boost P’s confidence. And it was pretty perfect. P likes to land and then zoom off around turns, so we worked on softening him after the jumps and having nicer downward transitions, which we nailed.

So guess who’s going to set up a new gymnastic every week to help with our collective confidence? Send me your favoritesgiphy.gif






16 thoughts on “But For Real…”

  1. P and his nopes crack me up. I mean I get how bad that must be but what great blog fodder 🙂 and then he jumps it no problem at all. what a pain 🙂

    And your hubby is the champ to do all the media. I am pretty sure Mark would get the sky and B talking and maybe a bird flying by. HA


    1. Gah, he’s sooo frustrating. It’s like he’s surprised there’s a jump there! It was his first triple, though, so in hindsight I guess we should’ve built up more slowly. He was just jumping soooo well.

      Matt and B have a grand ol’ time together, so he actually likes to go to his place. When I was working with Trainer J for dressage, he always gracefully declined to accompany me 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol this is yet another example of how P is just like Chimi!!! Chimi HATED combinations and just couldn’t figure them out when I first got him. He’s pretty good now, I just need to keep myself from freezing up!

    But on the flip side at least P isn’t just blindly jumping into something he doesn’t understand. He’s being smart and learning how to read the question and then he’s a pro 🙂 You can think of it as he has self preservation and is less likely to hurt himself jumping something he doesn’t understand 🙂 Silver lining!!!


    1. He definitely has high self preservation, and I can’t fault him for that! Good to know C hated them also, because you guys look awesome in SJ. Just another thing to work on, right? Gaaahhhh


  3. Oh P! It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this though, so I think you’ll do well! I am not jumping, so unfortunately have no exercises for you lol. One I did hear about was a large circle with cavaletti or small jumps. Maybe that will help with the turn and burn? I have no idea lol. I think you’ll come up with some great ones though that will help you two!


    1. Ahhh yes, the circle of death. P is actually really good at that sort of exercise, surprisingly. On a regular course, he just seems to think we need to cut the turns super tight. Maybe he’s trying to save time since we were so slow? 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t get me wrong- a little piece of me dies each time he stops. But there’s no point in being mad at him. I really don’t believe he does it to be bad. It’s really frustrating, though. Glad it doesn’t show!


  4. Oooh I love grids!! And love how gung ho P looks once he figured it out! One simple exercise I like a lot is actually just ground poles but feels very versatile: four poles spaced 9’-18’-9’, so bounce-one stride-bounce at canter, but the distances also work nicely at trot too


    1. Ahhh yes, we do tons of work over poles at home, and he’s great.

      It seems to be when there’s multiple fences spaced closely together that he freaks out over.

      I’m sure it comes from the fact that I used to crawl him around, and he could never make the striding work since we were so underpowered. Can’t really blame him, he was all over it once he figured it out!


  5. I second comments about you being so calm when he’s working things out. I love your position that lends you balance to deal with his stops while still staying out of his way so he can do the thing (hopefully the right thing!). That gif where he slams on the brakes especially – damn girl! So solid in the saddle despite such a sudden stop. The lesson media definitely shows a horse whose confidence is growing. Working on combinations sounds like a fantastic idea.


    1. Awww, thanks! I’ve had a lot of practice 😦

      But ya, his confidence is definitely increasing, and he’s come a long way in a fairly short time, so there’s always hope!


  6. If you are looking for cool gymnastics exercises you have got to check out Elena Kiro & Nicole-Ladina progressive training videos on – such cool exercises, I wish Dante was a bit older and less green so I could do some of them.


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