Tuesday, June 14, 2016

In a funk

I have not really felt like working with the horses since my lesson was canceled last week. I am self-analyzing and have come up with several possible reasons for this:

  • A) It is hot. Florida freaking sucks in summer. Why do I live here?
  • B) I am disappointed about  losing the opportunity of getting professional feedback about my work with the boys and I lost momentum.
  • C) I am missing Bodhi and the connection that we had, and feeling sorry for myself.
  • D) The world is nasty right now and I just want stay in bed and re-read Charles de Lint novels and cry.
  • E) I am leaving town on Sunday so what's the point anyways! Sigh.
  • F) All of the above.

I think it's F. I know, I am a hot mess.

I just feel like Oak and I are treading water mostly with these marginal gains, and I keep wondering am I pushing him enough? Am I doing the right things? Should it take this long to actually climb up there? Am I being a baby? Am I moving too fast? My thoughts are all over the place.

His smiley face scar says he is tough but approachable
I wish I had a regular trainer. Someone I could get out on a regular basis to help me, and give me feedback. I don't want to send him off to a trainer (though maybe I should... is that what normal people do??) because I really want the experience, but I just don't trust my judgement anymore. It was too long ago since the last time I started a horse (Bodhi 8 years ago) and Oak is different too. He has baggage.

So I guess I need to find a trainer/instructor. Not sure where to even begin looking locally. I can easily find someone to go take a dressage lesson with, but will anyone even want to help me with starting a horse? I don't even know if that is even a thing.

Where do you even find instructors/trainers? Word of mouth (I don't know a lot of local mouths)? Online? I always just use the trainers at my boarding barn, or people other boarders recommended... but now I am not boarding...

Training Log

June 11, 2016


Location: the yard
Duration: 30 mins
Activity: Hanging out, desensitization to me above him acting silly.
Observations: I made Oak hang out with me while I drank a beer sitting in the back of my truck in our yard. He was nervous but settled down mostly. He needs more practice at just hanging out and chilling out. The truck is also an excellent place to practice being above him and touching him with me feet.


Location: the yard
Duration: 20 mins
Activity: Hanging out, desensitization to me above him acting silly.
Observations: Grayson settled right down (he is spooky in the yard) and had fun hanging out with me.

June 13, 2016


Location: The paddock and the pasture
Duration: 40 mins
Activity: Wearing the western saddle, lunging outside of the round pen with the new saddle, increasing speed at the trot.
Observations: Better, but still nervous about movement associated with the saddle. Did really well lunging in the pasture. Responds better to me increasing my own energy  then just swinging the stick or rope to get him to increase speed. If I walk faster, he increases speed, if I swing something at him, he'll do it but he makes a sour face. I think it is just too much pressure for Mr. sensitive. He is backing up a lot with out asking. He thinks it is the answer for everything right now. I guess I'll take it over his stiff half step that he was offering at first.

June 14 , 2016

Location: The paddock
Duration: 20 mins
Activity: Mounting block desensitization.
Observations: He seems a little more relaxed. Marginally. He did fall asleep at one point during a break. He also gives me a horrified look when I rub him with my leg. Sigh. I dunno.


  1. Don't get down on yourself and expect too much too soon. Everything takes time. You and the horses will learn together. Just be observant about what works and what doesn't and that will be a good start. It's always best to go slow and revisit the things learned successfully. That way you always end on a good note. Eventually, you will find a trainer or someone to give you feed back. Take a day off when you need it to regroup and do something totally unhorse related to clear your mind. I find we all over think things too much instead of going with the flow. Good luck and have fun.

    1. Thank you Grey Horse. It is true I am just having one of those days I think. Over think things? Who us? :)

  2. 1. Florida does suck in the summer. I have broken out the 1.5 gal water jug for when I'm riding. It's ridiculous already.
    2. This too shall pass. It sucks when life/nature/garbage conspire to take ALL the wind out of your sails. Sometimes you need to take a step back and reassess. Is it REALLY important to get him going under saddle ASAP?
    As for training, my only advice is to talk to a LOT of people. Your dressage trainer is a good place to start to get recommendations. I have actually cold-called a bunch of trainers and the good ones are the ones who give you their time to hear you out. Those people might be able to give you some recommendations if they can't help you personally. Facebook groups are a pretty good resource for word of mouth recommendations for everything, but take them with a grain of salt, it's still Facebook.
    Most importantly, if a trainer's methods don't sit well with you, don't be afraid to fire them. You're paying them for a service, if you don't like what they're providing, find someone else.

    1. 1) It is sooo bad!
      2) I just miss having a riding horse, so no rush but I am focused on it yeah. I would like to get him riding before it is time to start wiggly butt. A long time from now but still.

      Yeah I think I need to just get out there and start looking. I agree, I think I should try out multiple trainers and see what fits with us. :)

  3. I totally get the missing of your Bodhi. I truly do. ((Hugs))) I have found that there are times when I just let myself grieve.

    Sometimes you just have to take a break.

    I also get not wanting to send the horse away. Maybe they would move faster but I couldn't do it to my heart. I found Royce through my vet (who also rides and is a great horseman). Talk to people and potential trainers. If there's a place that is close it might be worth checking out.

    B gives some very good advice too so I won't echo it.

    1. I know you can relate :( sigh. Asking my vet is great idea. Not sure why I had not thought of it! :)