Enjoy the Bad Days
Spicy and I have been plugging along at our work. Some days, he blows me away. He ignores saws and heavy machinery and the donkey next door which is apparently the spawn of Satan.
Other days the tiniest things set him off. Someone a mile away slams a trailer door and he becomes completely unhinged and unable to give me a passing thought. Those are his diva days. When he just can't even.
|I'm going to reuse this gif a lot.|
A few weeks ago, on a lovely Saturday, he gave me a ride that was the best he's ever been (I gave him five stars for the first time on the Equisense app!), and then on Monday he was so busy spooking and trying to run back to the barn I had to really work to get his attention and be able to influence him.
To be honest, I enjoyed him equally both days.
Saturday did see us jumping the roll top together, but Monday saw him working through a very persistent case of barn sourness that I actually saw the other side of. When your horse is having a true training issue, the way out is through. I find this especially true with barn sourness. The long lining has really opened up my abilities. I can work through things in a calm and controlled manner from the safety of the ground, and that safety allows me to be fair, rational, and better timed with my releases.
I'm not always the best, and neither is he, but we're both getting there together.
There's definitely an inclination in blogging to only share the victories. That I shouldn't tell you that while our training has been going miles better, it hasn't been perfect.
I'm not supposed to say, I got so mad once I chucked him back out in the field without brushing him because I couldn't even look at him. I'm not supposed to say I had to buy a new helmet a month ago because he spooked and lawn darted me into the dirt. I'm not supposed to say I was working him in hand and he bit me, and not only did he break skin but he ripped my favorite hoodie.
|It was this one. I'm still mad about it.|
I definitely shouldn't say I've wondered if I'm the right owner for him. That I've thought about if he'd be happier somewhere else, with someone else. Or if I would be happier with another horse.
But it feels dishonest not to say these things. It's not a fair representation of our journey. If you want to train your own horse, you're going to have to learn to enjoy the bad days. No, I couldn't even get on him on that Monday because he was being such a diva. But we did work through it. He finished the calm, workmanlike horse I know he can be.
Greyscale is our baseline, color the beginning of April
At the end of the day I think of one of my favorite quotes from Jimmy Wofford.
"My ideal horse is the horse I fall in love with again every morning when I see his face hanging over the stable door, looking for breakfast. If you do not like a horse the first time you see him, do not talk yourself into buying him. You will always secretly be unhappy with him, and you won't make the necessary excuses for his inevitably mistakes in the training process."
I love everything about this! It's tough to strike a balance sometimes between sounding whiny and being real when blogging, but people enjoy the journey just as much as anything else.ReplyDelete
Also it's hard to admit stuff is going to shit sometimes, because people will start offering (sometimes unhelpful) advice. But life favors the brave!Delete
i love the before and after video <3 Spicy is such a cool dude and i'm so glad y'all found each other!ReplyDelete
I watch it when I'm feeling frustrated and I'm like what is that tense chompy thing is that my horse??Delete
I really love him. Not sure what the end game is for us still but kissing his sweet nose is part of it.
lol oh Spicy is NEVER boring. Enjoy the ride (When you can) and just enjoy the cute face the other times. You guys will get there I know it!ReplyDelete
he really isn't. He challenges me every single day, it's been very interesting!Delete
Well said! And that quote is so spot on. Despite all the bad days I've had with my 3, when I see their faces across the pasture driving up the lane to the barn my inner child squeals with unadulterated delight knowing they're mine and we're on this road called life together.ReplyDelete
Such an important sentiment, and one that is so hard to embrace. I've definitely had my fair share of "not proud of myself" moments with my animals. It happens. But I think they also have had them, too. Like yesterday, when Bast tried to murder me ...ReplyDelete
Love the video! You guys are chugging along quite nicely!ReplyDelete
Honest to god, I just wrote something so very similar. It's spooky. But not in the horse way. :DReplyDelete
I think enjoying the process is so very key, no matter whether you keep him or not. And I agree with the quote about falling in love.
I really appreciate when people share their entire process and journey not just the wins and bright spots, so thank you. Also I totally agree that horse training is always going to have some bumps, so it helps to think they are cute you are having an off day. I wonder if I am attached enough to my current horses and it would be easier if I was completely gaga for them like I was Bodhi.ReplyDelete
There are blogs out there that are disingenuous but those are blogs that I am not generally attracted to because the highlight reel is not why I am here (the highlight reel is specifically for Instagram lol) sharing your process with Spicy helps us connect with you, as hopefully you in turn connect with us.ReplyDelete
I don't really read blogs that only tell the good. It's boring. We all know training horses and riding horses isn't all sunshine and roses. The real story is the days between the sunshine. I think you're doing amazing things with your horse. I'm really impressed with the change in him, and that's all on you.ReplyDelete
I love that quote, and it's so very true. I always say Rio can do no wrong, but honestly, he was a quirky pain in the ass as a younger horse. Loved him through it anyway.