Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trials and Tribulations

I haven't been here much so most of you are unaware that Prisoner has been less than perfect for jumping recently.  What!?  He is a horse so I guess I can't really complain, but for the first six months of our love affair I was more of the opinion that he was a magical unicorn.  Don't get me wrong we are still making progress and taking steps to get to the other side of the funk, but the process always seems so slow.  JUST WANNA JUMP ALL THE THINGS!  Finally on the last day of our trip we did just that.
Most favoritest picture right now
 Let us just say it was quite the process to get to this point.  Wednesday I took him for two very long hand walks, we sniffed jumps, ate grass, and walked through the water (yay Dubarrys).  Possibly I should clear up that sentence, I did not personally sniff the jumps or eat the grass, just held the lead rope while Prisoner did so.
Posing dramatically as the sun came up

Day one walkabout number 2
The lady taking the above picture is over six feet tall, sitting on an over 17hh horse, she successfully made us look like a little girl and her pony.  Anyways, that evening I hopped on and Steph rode her cute 4yo thoroughbred (not off the track) and away we went for an awesome walking trail ride.
Prisoner didn't put a foot wrong, I wasn't even fighting open space/trail riding phobias, the day was grand.
I'm free to take pictures since it looks like these guys have watching both sides of the trail covered.
The next day was Thursday and with all the Novice and Training riders in our group getting coached there was no time for both of us to ride so I stole an hour when I did lunch chores and went on another trail ride.  This time I put on the hackamore that I've been playing with (if you are guessing that it is actually Sprinklerbandit's hackamore you are correct), again he was perfect.  I couldn't stop grinning.

Looking back towards stabling 

Headed out to play in the water jump
Coming back in from the ride I had to ride through a tiny gate and go around the moving backhoe and dump truck, P-diddy did not even blink an eye.
Proof of his braveness
Friday we had a 7:30am jump school before things got crazy over at the show.  It was 50% awesome and 50% terrible.  I think there is video on someone else's phone, need to find out.  He warmed up well, trotted over logs and through the water, went over some bigger jumps like no big deal, I was thrilled.  Then we went over to the tiniest baby single riveted ditch.  The last ditch we did was at a show and he seriously drug me over it like it was the most fun jump ever.
See this is the ditch at the show, whee!
Well, not that day.  We walked around it, then we trotted a circle, got lined up and came back to the walk so he could think, then we trotted a few steps and instead of going right over he reared up and ran sideways. Gah.  He did that one more time so we went back to walking around and around it until I could feel his brain come back.  Then low and behold, over it he went, seriously Prisoner wtf.  We went over it several times and then went to go back over some jumps.  Problem, he thought he should try the rearing at jumps he had already gone over previously.  Back to the logs we went, then the bigger logs, then the coup (in the first picture) that he had already done.  Nope.  He reared up so high I may have dropped a rather loud F-bomb.  We proceeded to do other jumps and leave that one for another day.  If there is something I've found out over the last few months with Prisoner, don't turn something into a fight, he will not give up.
Day back in May that I found that out
We finished on a pretty positive note over other jumps and let me just say, this horse loves water!  Also I had him in the hackamore which has been working great for jumping at home, we are thinking that is was sensory overload for him on xc though.  Later that day I took him out for a very peaceful graze, we made our amends.
Complete bliss
Saturday evening we went for what was supposed to be another jump school.  I'd been watching xc all day at Rebecca and was pumped, we were going to rock.  I put him back in the bit (loose ring kk knockoff) and out we went.  Right off the bat I was wondering where my horse went.  He was tense and ringing his head and spooky.  Except for the few bad jumps the day before he had been bomb proof, so I was really feeling caught off guard.  I figured he would find his normal happy brain at some point so we walked on.  His horsey friend AM was a little up as well so we will just blame it on the witching hour.  Only thing is AM calmed down and had a decent work.  To let you know how off kilter Prisoner was, we were walking along when seriously out of no where we reared up straight in the air and hopped to the side.  Reason?  There was a tiny hole in front of us that apparently contained fire breathing monsters.
Horses don't give a s**t about time budgets
Let us just call that ride a total wash, one positive was we walked through water again, turns out he does that even with no brain, winning.  I was pretty upset, referred to both of us as being terrible for the ride, Steph said to not be so extreme and it just wasn't our day.  We headed back over to the show for some xc course walks and such and I held it together.  Then I drove myself back to Herron Park (where I was camping with the horses) and tried really hard to not cry.  Pretty much though by the time I got there I was convinced that I couldn't ride, ruined horses, had no talent, etc, etc, blah blah blah.  It was a dark place.  I did proceed to scroll through pictures on my phone (the perks of rarely deleting them) and caught onto a small shred of hope that I wasn't a total POS.  I went and snuggled with my horse for a few minutes before crawling into bed.  The day wasn't a total loss though, I picked up this book and forced myself to read some before I passed out for the night.
Thank you Jane Savoie!
I haven't finished it yet, but seriously guys if you are struggling with self doubt you have got to read this book!
Sunrise happiness
Sunday dawned a new day, showjumping was insane over at Rfarm, I've never seen so many rails go flying.  Roundabout 3 we went over to Herron park for the baby novice olympics, aka two girls having too much fun with their horses.  Step one put on great outfit.  Step two walk down centerline, halt, and salute for funny dressage picture.

Possibly best back drop ever
Then it was across the fields for warm up, Steph looked back at me and I gave her a big thumbs up, my horse was feeling like himself again!  Off we went galloping around, big grin back on my face.
Can I just build a house there and never leave?
We popped around some little logs and then strung a course together.  He went right over the ditch, did a line through the water, did some new jumps.  We would land, I would kick and give my hands so we could eat up the ground.  The failure of the day before forgotten, I could finally finally imagine us at an event.
Jump into the water


Like no big deal

Best day
Lots still to work on, but success was had.  We ended on an awesome note and then just hacked around while AM did a bit more.  Get this, here we are in a massive valley walking on the buckle while his friend gallops away and towards us and past us, Prisoner never even pricked his ears.  We were just a horse and his girl triumphing over unseen ghosts of the past.


  1. Who said it? Ride the horse you have today?

    Best advice I've ever been given. We have to figure out how to put the bad rides to bed, not take it personally and move on. I mean, the horse isn't, right:)

  2. You and Prisoner are a GREAT team - every relationship has its ups and downs and he is still a baby! I'm SO happy though that you were able to recover from your bad ride and all of the awful feelings that go with it.

  3. I really needed to read this today after a not ok ride last night. This makes me feel better that maybe our next ride will be back on track :-)

  4. YES FINALLY. I get to read about your trip! It looks so pretty up there and I really wish I was able to go (maybe next time) but I know you can break through and get this talented pony to wherever you want to go. It may take a little work to get past the quirks, but aren't all the great ones a little quirky?

  5. At least you ended on a positive note! That's what's most important.

  6. Ah, I've been behind, sorry you've had issues, it happens to all of us with every horse, don't get too down and yes! Jane Savoie is awesome :)

  7. What beautiful pictures!! Sorry it's been so up and down recently - but you guys are both immensely talented , don't ever believe otherwise. You'll work through it and it'll be so worth it when you're finally out there killing it at events :D

  8. Greenie shenanigans seem more dramatic/important/oh-God-I've-ruined-him when away from home for some reason. Overall sounds like some really great times and jumps. Also I hope you share about what it was like grooming!

  9. I LOVE that book! Too bad about the bad behavior, but it sounds like there were some really positive moments to make up for the bad ones. You guys look awesome :)

  10. Mistakes / issues / speed bumps are just opportunities in disguise, right?! That first picture is AWESOME. Frame-worthy for sure. Glad your trip ended on a good note. :D

  11. Must look into that book, too many awesome bloggers are recommending it to continue not owning it...