Two days later, we went through the same routine. This time, I asked for a 20-meter trot circle to the left. He simply couldn't do it. I spent forty-five minutes doing every suppling exercise I know, but the only answer he could give was to whirl and bolt. He never got more than a step away, but he kept trying.
Once he was willing to at least walk a ten-meter figure eight, I got off and decided that I was done. Not done with the ride, but done with riding him. Right then and there, I decided to sell him.
I walked in the door at home and burst into tears. My husband was worried of course, but when I blubbered out that I had decided to sell Sydney, his response was that he had figured that out long ago.
This is the first time in more than 30 years as a horse owner that I couldn't make it work. I've sold two because they couldn't handle the work physically, endurance is hard on horses that way, but it's never been because the horse couldn't handle the job mentally.
JL and I talked about my decision at length. She feels that dressage is simply too stressful for Sydney. I worry that I am just not an educated enough rider for a horse with his high level of anxiety. JL shook her head no to that idea, but still.
In any case, don't all break-ups go that way? It's not you, it's me.
Yesterday, my best friend in the whole wide world hopped in the truck with me to make the two and a half hour drive to Clovis. Sydney will be with Sport Equine until they can find a more suitable job for him. If you've been following our journey and think that you can give it a go, contact Debbie and go see him. He truly is a sweetheart.
I am on the lookout for another horse, but my husband has suggested that I wait through the worst of the winter before buying again. So even though I am (kind of) waiting, I am keeping an ear close to the ground in case the right horse crosses my path.
So for now, it's just Speedy and me as we continue with Not-So-Speedy Dressage.