Friday, 13 October 2017

Cheating?

I did a thing and omg I am so happy about it! Yet also feel a bit guilty, like I am skipping a step and not paying all my dues.

But wait, lets back up a bit.

I have had a pretty great year with Savvy but in the shadow of that was a horse in need of training. Shiraz.


I did put in a lot of work with her this year and as a result, she has exceptional ground manners. She can stand ground tied for grooming and saddling. I can move her around at the mounting block one foot at a time and then get on without her trying to walk off. We have got a pretty good walk/trot under saddle...and no canter.


Every time I got up the nerve to even think about trying, I just couldn't commit to asking for the canter. All I could see in my mind was how talented she is at bucking on the lunge at canter and wondered if I could actually stay in the saddle if that happened. It is silly because Savvy bucks plenty and I trained her from scratch and managed to be brave enough to get it done. But somehow this is different in my mind. Shiraz is bigger and bucks bigger. I am farther from the ground. I have enough injuries, thank you very much.

I was, however, committed to her training progressing this year -- with or without me -- so I started researching training options. I found someone who is a great fit for Shiraz (lets call her M) who is originally from Germany. She studied first dressage, then natural horsemanship as she travelled the world working at various barns, and now here she is competing in barrel racing and training horses at a local barn.

I was a bit worried terrified about trailering Shiraz over there and did not sleep at all the night before. I seem to have bad luck on 'first' outings like the time I first took Savvy to my lesson barn and ended up getting kicked in the face. She loaded fine though and I drove her over to the barn she would be spending the next few weeks at. She unloaded politely and simply looked around interested but calm (thank you Mule!).

Hello new horses!
I met with M and we took Shiraz over to the arena to show her where my horse is at currently and talk about training goals. Shiraz was on her best behaviour and M was impressed with her manners and ground work knowledge.

Then we put Shiraz in her paddock to meet some friends over the fence and I felt a rock in my stomach as the realisation hit me that I had to leave her there.

Uh, mom? What is going on? - Shiraz
I hate giving up control over how my horse is trained and cared for. Will they even tell her what a good girl she is?!! But. I think this is good timing to just get her out there, learning and experiencing and growing up a bit mentally. If all goes well, this should put her at a good training level for me to start taking her to lessons at the indoor that I took Savvy to last winter and continue solidifying w/t/c and possibly get started jumping in a few months.

So, would it be weird if I went there every day to check in on her and give her cookies?

20 comments:

  1. It's so hard to hand over the reins but it can have such huge benefits! And no it's not weird to visit on the daily with cookies :P

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    1. It really was hard for me but I think its going to be great for her.

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  2. I am actually sending Annie away for training in February. Not because I am afraid of her or she is doing bad things, but sometimes it is good to have someone make the rules more clearer and concise than I can. I think it will hugely benefit you and Shiraz!

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    1. I hope so! I have fun plans for the future with this sweet horse!

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  3. Sending Dante away was the best (I love Trainer D) I'm sure that Shiraz is in great hands!

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    1. Choosing was the scary part but I think I have a good fit for what Shiraz needs.

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  4. I just think this is sensible. If you're a little worried and have done all the base work, why not have someone really comfortable with green horses work on the canter under saddle. Seems like money well spent!

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    1. We'll see! I can't wait to see how it all goes.

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  5. Of course you must visit and give her cookies! I'm sure she's going to do great :)

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    1. Omg, I will definitely be the crazy stalking treat lady making sure my pony is safe and sound! :)

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  6. Not weird at all! Part of the learning process to observe the training process. I think it will only help your partnership to watch the progression. Find out when she will be working with her and get over there and watch. Any good trainer would welcome your commitment, dedication, and interest.

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    1. I can't wait to watch some training rides!

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  7. I think that it's a sensible choice and one that is hard on the heart. Shiraz is a great pony and she will do really well.

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    1. It was definitely the right time. I had done as much as I was comfortable with but mule is ready for more.

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  8. super late to the party here, but wanted to chime in and say that i'm super excited for you and Shiraz! yea it can be super hard for riders to cede control of certain aspects of our horse's care and training..... but then again we almost *never* regret the investment in trustworthy and knowledgeable trainers. here's hoping Shiraz has a great time off at school and that you guys can hit the ground running when she's ready!! :D

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    1. Trustworthy is the word. I don't personally know any trainers in my area that I could say I 'trust'. The fear of what they are doing when I am not there is pretty high. But being in a position of needing this step to happen I just have to hope I have made an okay choice and keep stalking daily.

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  9. I just wanted to thank you for commenting on my blog tonight. It means so much to me.

    On a different note, the last picture on your blog made me smile. The caption is perfect. She really is thinking that!

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    1. Hugs. Ya, that WTF look on her face was pretty undeniable but she's been handling it all really well. :)

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  10. It is not cheating if you look at the whole picture and do what is best for the horse. Sometimes, that is enlisting the help of a professional. THey sometimes need lessons we can not provide just like we do. I am proud of you for being brave and cantering her when you brought her home! Go you!

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  11. For the record, I think going to visit and check on her should be welcome. You care about your horse and a true professional will see that and appreciate it. They get many that are practically dumped on them and the owners do not even bother to call or learn.

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