Pro Rides

Great news- June had her teeth floated, veterinarian found a couple of sharp points, filed them down, and in the two rides she has had since, the head tossing and rearing have ceased.

I hopped on her Sunday, not knowing what to expect, as she hadn’t been ridden since having her teeth done. I haven’t ridden her since Sarah started putting some training rides on her except for my lesson last Tuesday- where she was not feeling her best. Therefore, I hadn’t really been able to feel the work Sarah has put into her.

I went into this ride with a plan. I wanted to continue what we had started in my lesson last week and ride her as if there was no issue. If the head tossing started again, I would call it a day. But until that time, I’d be riding her as a training ride, not a plod around and see what happens ride.

From the moment I got on her back I was asking things of her. Go forward, bend, no running through your outside shoulder. I tried to remember everything Sarah has been working on. We had a really lovely ride. She tried a few antics to evade work but they were very short lived. She was so light in the bridle, so responsive to my aids and she had come so far in her connection and ability to do what was being asked. She honestly felt like she had been ridden by a pro for a month, not 4 times.

Totally unrelated we had a “free jump” day and June may have sailed over this 3’7oxer.

When I started the journey with June, I was hung up on me starting her. I wanted the journey to be about me and June, even if that meant we went slow and spent longer working through things. I didn’t want to put her into training with a pro, and felt like, with regular instruction, I could get June going how I wanted.

And then we had the Gary Mittleider clinic. And I felt frustrated and like I was in way over my head.

Pretending to enjoy ourselves

And in retrospect, maybe that clinic was a blessing. Because it made me realize that I can still have this journey with June be ours, even if a pro does put some rides on her. Helping me through issues doesn’t make June any less “a horse I started.” And, quite honestly, for a horse like June, having someone show her exactly what is expected is really good for her. My confusion led to her confusion. My inability to get her to do what I was asking led to her thinking it was ok to be heavy in the bridle or take over during rides.

So much fun but requires me not letting her take over

After just a few times of having Sarah ride her, I’m in a spot where we can move forward instead of work on the same issues. June is less confused, I have more confidence, and I now have a horse who I know is capable of what is being asked.

So, all in all, I’m happy I have an incredible friend and talented trainer to help me in this process. Someone who can hop on my horse and work through some of the kinks. I’m thankful that I’m not letting pride get in the way of doing what Is best for both June and I. I’m hopeful I can continue to enjoy this process no matter who is in the saddle.

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11 thoughts on “Pro Rides

  1. Good for you to put away your ego a bit and change directions. That is hard to do and I am sure our partnership with her will be even stronger because of it. I’m currently muddling through on my own though it isn’t through a wish to start anything on my own. I’, trying to find a trainer as awesome as yours and ugh thats hard.

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  2. Emily says:

    Sounds like you got a lot out of those pro rides! I NEVER had pro rides on any horses until I had May, but it has made a huge difference in our ability to get over (or around or through) various roadblocks.

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  3. I am a huge audio/visual learner, so when I’d have a problem with a horse I was riding and ask the pro to hop on it was absolutely huge for me to watch them ride, see how the horse was reacting from the ground, and asking them what they were doing and why, and it opened up so much understanding for me. As good as it is sometimes for you to muddle through an issue (cause once you get it right – lightbulb lol), I feel that having a pro ride and picking their brain is invaluable. I’m glad that Sarah has helped so much, and that you’ve been able to work with June with more confidence!

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  4. Niamh O'Connell says:

    Amean. This “June is less confused, I have more confidence, and I now have a horse who I know is capable of what is being asked.” — is exactly why I’ve had pros on my horse.

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  5. Emma says:

    that free jump video made me so happy ❤ she looks incredible!! and i'm so glad this process of having your trainer put some rides on is working so well !

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  6. L. Williams says:

    Your trainer does sound lovely and no one should ever feel weird or ashamed in asking for help. You are an extremely capable rider and I’m glad your recognize your own strengths!

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  7. KC Scott says:

    Glad the tooth floating seems to have made a difference! P has become increasingly fussy in the bridle lately, then your post flashed in my mind… and I realized it’s been over a year since he’s had his teeth done #fail

    I personally love me some pro rides and while at first my ego took a little bit of a hit (it sorta sucks to see your horse go SO WELL with someone else), I started looking at them as an incredibly useful learning tool. Because I could see in real-time how P responded to certain cues or a specific way of riding an exercise. To me, watching my trainer ride P is just as helpful as a lesson where I ride.

    You & June are going to do great things and I’m so glad you have Sara to help you along!

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  8. Wonderful to see the progress made!

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  9. Liz says:

    Yes! This is such great news. You’re so lucky to have a friend and trainer like Sarah.

    I am finding that having a pro do some rides to discern that the horse is capable of the thing to be so very settling. Then it becomes my issue that things don’t work and that’s infinitely easier for my brain to wrap around and approach than questioning if the horse just cannot.

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  10. ” Because it made me realize that I can still have this journey with June be ours, even if a pro does put some rides on her. Helping me through issues doesn’t make June any less “a horse I started.” ”

    YUP! Exactly how I felt after sending Annie away for training ❤ Good for you

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  11. Jess says:

    I am in a bit of the same position! I have a trainer helping me with my guy. I just don’t have the time or really, the experience with a young horse to realistically do it ALL myself. It doesn’t make you any less of a rider or trainer to get some help. I’d rather have someone help me get through a sticking point faster, and end up less frustrated in the long run.

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