It is normal that, as with everything in life, sometimes you need to push the reset button. If I have learned anything with the horses that I have had in my life it is that none of them are the same. Sure there are types and similarities but each of them is an individual. The trials and tribulations that I experienced with Houston as a young horse could not be more different than what Annie throws at me.
I am going to level with you. Coming off our last event I was defeated. I know without a doubt that Annie could be a successful event horse. She has actual springs for feet and when there’s jumping involved I’m not sure I have ever ridden a horse with more heart. She might be green but she doesn’t hesitate. When I say jump she says “how high”. Unless of course I am riding like a drunk monkey – then her self preservation comes into play. Fair enough little mare.
It wasn’t the over fences phases that had me down (though there is a lot of room for improvement there too). It was the dressage. I have never been more mentally and physically defeated by a horse on the flat than I am by Annie. I actually used to love dressage… Some days Annie is actually pretty pleasant. We will have a bobble here or there but we recover and continue about our business. Lately though we have been going 0 to 100 real quick with no reset button. At Spring Bay literally the only thing that went right was that she managed to pick up the correct gaits in generally the right place and we managed to halt and not plow down the judges booth.
I wish that I was being more dramatic but it truly was that awful. It is infuriating to feel like this horse could be winning but unless I can tame her inner giragon (giraffe x dragon) it will never happen. So with my trainer out of town… what did I do… I pouted. I did a lot of reflection about why I even bother. Dramatically I even contemplated not eventing anymore. Not wanting that to fuel Annie’s fire with my own frustrations I didn’t ride. I called the vet. Then it rained for a week.
The vet has seen Annie numerous times and before spending even more money than I already have on diagnostics for what I am pretty sure is just a bad attitude for hard work we opted to try some hormones. We’ll see where we get with that and then reevaluate. I want to do 2 doses before I make any judgments. Luckily avoiding the saddle was supported by the cruddy weather.
Yesterday I finally hopped back on and in an effort to both have fun and focus all of the energy we set up one of the exercises I learned from the Lainey Ashker clinic. We only went through maybe 3 times but it was just what we needed! It likely won’t mean anything new for our dressage work but at least we had some fun. What do you all do to reset? Anything that helps you get out of a funk (aside from gorging yourself on food and wine…)?