From Endurance to Dressage
Or, in my world, the LLPOF CLub. I always tell my students to avoid being a member of the LLPOF Club, which is invariably met with nervous laughter. In reality, sometimes a lie is a good thing.
I do worry, about a lot of stuff, but I just don't let myself pick at it or follow the train of thought for more than a minute. If I let myself indulge in playing out every horrific scenario, the next thing I know, I've led myself to believe that the apocalypse is imminent which means I will be faced with deciding if I would ever consider eating one of my horses for survival.
Really. That's where my worries take me - eating my horse! I don't obsess about broken legs or colic surgery. Instead, I worry about the end of the world (with or without zombies) and having to barbecue my four-legged family - somehow the dog is excluded.
Saying I don't worry would be saying that I don't care. That happens too. Sometimes I really don't give a rat's ass about something, but most of the time, I care too much. All of which means that I have to lie to myself by saying, it will all be okay. I KNOW it's a lie because it cannot be okay when the end of the world has arrived. But strangely, the placation is consistently proven to be RIGHT a week later. No, I never remember that part, but I do accept the lie so that I don't make myself ill with the fretting.
When Speedy pulled a little butt muscle a few weeks ago, I was worried, but I suffered in silence as I tried to believe in the tenets of THE LIE. And you know what, it really turned out to be okay. Shocking, I know.
I had a lesson last night, which was totally awesome, but that's how I know Speedy is back on track. Over the weekend, I schooled him lightly at the walk and trot, but I avoided the canter work as I was worried about him being NQR. Bolting around the arena during turn out is what caused him to be ouchy, so it seemed prudent to get back to work slowly.
Because I am such a lying chicken, I waited to canter until I was with my trainer. My rationale was this: if I am riding alone, I am focused solely on what he is doing and how he feels. Every step feels wonky when you're looking at it that hard.
On the other hand, when I ride with my trainer, I am focused on what she's asking me to do and not worrying about how he feels. I just didn't tell her I was worried until part-way through the lesson. She hadn't seen a thing, but when I mentioned it to her, she had me do a few things to check him out. By the time we finished for the evening, we both agreed that he was fully sound.
Whew! The world can now continue to spin.
Money. Nothing can cause people to judge faster than knowing how much someone makes. We look at people and criticize them for having too much, or wonder what kind of poor choices they've made to have so little. Even Dr. Ramey just wrote about being "in it for the money."
Talking about our incomes makes us uncomfortable. Other than the whole being judged aspect, I don't know why that is. Revealing how much we spent on something is just as disagreeable.
It was horribly difficult to report how much I spent every month in 2012. I wrote 13 very detailed posts reporting every penny that I spent on my two horses. I did that series to hold myself accountable; I really didn't know how much I was actually spending each month. I also intended the series to be educational. Most people who don't yet show think that only the very wealthiest can afford it. I wanted to illustrate that showing horses can be done on a budget. While my intentions were good, it still felt like I was getting butt-naked each month.
I find that I am once again about to be in the awkward position of being metaphorically nude as I discuss my finances with the rest of the world. Obviously, I could just keep it to myself, but frankly, I am going to need some help in finding the right horse. Being transparent about my budget might help me make some connections that I might otherwise miss.
Doing so however, reveals an awful lot about myself that I don't necessarily need everyone to know. When we state our position so publicly, we invite criticism with judgement not far behind. Most of us love to offer advice, but when there is a dollar figure attached, the opinions can get pretty passionate.
I've already (patiently, I might add) listened to what I should do in searching for a horse. I've also been advised not to by from this type of seller, but rather from that one. I've also sought counsel from my two trainers. Their advice has been spot on which is why there is no pony suddenly filling up Sydney's recently vacated stall.
I get that readers, acquaintances, and plain old busy bodies just want to offer their two cents worth, but when you offer me that advice, please remember that I have owned quite a few horses in my lifetime and only one of them didn't quite work out. I trust my instincts, I just need help making connections to honest sellers.
I am working on a post that actually reveals what I am searching for and what I can afford to spend. If only I could just add a few details to this pony and hit print!
Yesterday was the first day that Speedy has been worked in the arena in almost two weeks. At the walk, he was fine, but when I asked for the trot, he was completely funky in his way of going. He felt stiff in the shoulders and almost lame in both front legs. Sheesh!
I got off and did a trot in hand, but I couldn't find anything specific so I chalked it up to being off the playing field for so many days. It has been nearly two weeks since he was asked to work.
After goofing off for a few minutes trying to figure out if he was lame or not, I finally tossed in the worry towel and asked him to get in front of my leg. Presto! Problem solved. All of a sudden he was balanced, and moving out really nicely.
I didin't want to over do it so we worked briefly on leg yielding, 10-meter half circles, and some trot lengthenings. I can't say they were any good, but Speedy loves trying them which gives me the giggles. We might not have had everything together, but we certainly had fun.
I untacked him in the arena, which I do quite frequently, to let him roll and get a drink. In stead of taking care of business, he found a feed pan left out from when my barn owner had turned her horse out earlier. He worked that for quite a some time while I put my tack away.
But then, as I hoped he wouldn't, Speedy gave a loud snort, launched into a bucking fit and kicked up his heels. I grabbed my halter and caught him before he could do too much racing around. He's just now back to sound so I didn't think ripping around the arena was the best idea.
My lead ropes are all quite long, so I jogged and cantered him around with a long lead rope. He enjoyed himself immensely, but all the while I was praying it wasn't too much wildness too soon.
Like I said yesterday, I can only do what I can do, the rest is out of my control. He had a lot of pent-up energy that daily walks was just not taking care of. Packing him back into his stall and paddock would have been like trying to re-cork a bottle of champagne.
After his playful shenanigans, I hand walked him for a while just to make sure nothing tightened up. When I finally tucked him away, he looked sound and happy, and the truth is, he looked really good while he was playing.
Worrying about things just doesn't do any good. If he's still sound today, we'll work, if not, we'll go back to trail riding. Things always work out in the end.
I've been writing this post in my head all week, so it was funny that Lauren, of She Moved to Texas, kind of blogged about the opposite side of the coin in her post, "What It's Like Being an Anxious Horse Owner." I am not an anxious horse owner myself, but only because I work my butt off to not be so.
I have a few years on Lauren. In fact, I probably have a few years on most bloggers. It's not like I am old per se, but I definitely don't fit the typical blogger demographic at 40 something. The older I get, the more I value the wisdom that comes with age. That's not to say that every old person has pearls of wisdom falling out of their mouths, but age does tend to bring a certain amount of erudition.
But I digress. One of the things that I have learned, especially when it comes to horses, is that worrying doesn't do any good. I call worry the what ifs? That's what worrying really is: What if this happens? What if that happens? The truth is, most of what we worry about never actually happens.
Controlling worry takes a lot of hard work and a bit of a support system. You can't just turn it off. If it were that easy, no one would need Zoloft or Zanax. For me, the solution is faith in a higher power. You can call it God, Love, the cosmos, whatever, but trusting in the blueprint of something greater than ourselves helps me to let go of the what ifs and trust that my path is being closely managed. With this mindset, I don't have to worry as I know my needs will be met.
Sounds a little out there …
Yeah, I hear you, but it helps me to let go of those debilitating what ifs like this last weak when Speedy was NQR in the hind end. After Sydney left, Speedy came up grade three lame at the trot after turn out. Instead of worrying about what to do and how long it was going to take him to heal up, I just changed my plans for the week to accommodate his level of alrightness.
Instead of schooling the trot and canter lengthenings, we did a 30 minute trail ride every day working on connection and halts. We also worked on leg yields. You can get a lot done at the walk. Each day I tested his soundness by asking for a few trot steps as we walked along the dirt road that leads back to the barn.
So here we are, Saturday morning, and I am 99.9% sure that I have a sound horse waiting for me at the barn. We did a lot of trotting around the neighborhood last night, and Speedy was rip-rearing to go. I guess my point is this: don't borrow trouble. Do what is in your power to do, and let the rest go.
Talk about a first world problem …
I have three $10.00 Reward Certificates from Dover as well as a $10.00 off promo code (CM14DTHANKS) when I spend $75.00 or more. The problem is that there is nothing that I need right now. The promo code expires at the end of November, but the certificates have a slightly longer shelf life.
I definitely do not need any more saddle pads or breeches, and I am good on bell boots and other leg wraps. My shampoos and conditioners are all new. I could maybe use some Effax leather soap, but that's not anywhere near $40.
There are two things I'd kind of like - a Goode Rider Regal Show Shirt and a new pair of Mudruckers.
The Goode Rider Regal Show Shirt runs $76.99. I love this shirt. I wouldn't have to wear a stock tie, and when coats are waived, it would be much cuter than a plain white shirt.
On the other hand, I need a new pair of Mudruckers, $74.99. I generally keep a "good" pair to wear to work on wet and rainy days or to wear to the cabin. When that pair gets a bit worn, they become my barn pair, and I get a new "nice" pair. I recently demoted my good ones to barn shoes which leaves me with nothing clean to wear on wet days. Yard duty (supervising the playground in the morning for 30 minutes), can get really cold without some warm shoes.
I do have a birthday coming up, and of course Christmas is also around the corner. There is no way my husband would buy me the Mudruckers. He hates buying stuff that is completely utilitarian. A cute shirt on the other hand is slightly more his style. I think a pair of purple boots are calling my name.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. We're currently showing Third Level for the 2020 show season. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are schooling and showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2020 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2020 Pending …
10/11 A. Newcomb (c)
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
2020 Completed …
10/26-27/19 SCEC (***)
6/20-21/20 SCEC (***)
6/29 Ulf Wadeborn (c)
7/11-12 SLO-CDS (***)
7/27 Breen-Gurley (c)
8/30 Breen-Gurley (c)
9/20 Caveletti Clinic (c)
2020 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
2 Scores/1 Judge:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
3 Scores/2 Judges:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
Score 3: 61.750% Johnson
Stuff I Read