Thursday, January 27, 2011

Riding Angst

Riding was a no go today.

I think I am getting sick, sore throat, coughing, sneezing & achy...yeeahhh. So I slept a bunch after class. Till like 8 om...then played WOW (world of warcraft) like a nerd, lol. Brandon got me playing a few days ago and it is the most addictive game ever...anyways.

I feel like a failure this week :(

Jump refusals. Dressage resistance. Bucking fits. And not being able to make it out to ride as often as I would like. Class is really kicking my lilly white ass right now. I feel like I am drowning in homework, not to mention bill-time-of-the month is right around the corner

With all of that loveliness I feel all this anxiety about Yankee and I's progression right now...

Like its nonexistent and we are going backwards. I get such high's some days, but IMMEDIATELY after we have a week of hatefullness. It is most discouraging.

The way we are going I feel like I will never even finish an event this summer, let alone do well and place well in chance of AEC's. We both have major issues with stadium after last summer....(successfully crashed through 3 courses consecutively-3 separate events. Crashing meaning every fence knocked over or run through and having to withdraw or live with a horrid score going to XC) and it is most difficult to stop being anxious..

As for dressage, some days are glorious, brilliant collection, extensions, transitions, side passes, flying changes and not even 2 days later we can't hold ourselves together enough to execute a nice canter transition.

Do any of you have blah days (or weeks) in my case and feel you will never get out of this rut? What do you do? Take more lessons? Take a break? School even more?

I'm at a loss right now.

So I bought some bell boots on Ebay.

I have a wicked hoarding problem with boots. Woof boots, polos, galloping boots, open-front boots, bell boots, etc. I have a vast collection (consisting of more or less, 20 pairs) for Yankee and he rarely wears the same pair in a week. It's bad. I need help.


  1. Um... so which boots do you like the best? As in, if I were to buy one pair of boots for my horse to do XC in, which would you recommend? I'm kind of leery of boots because it seems to me the heat they create is almost worse than the protective qualities they offer. So I haven't bought anything and use old open front neoprene boots which I'm not crazy about.

    I wish I had some advice for you. Assuming there are no physical issues,the only thing I can think of is changing things up completely- only because it sounds from your description like he might have some anxiety issues. He's anxious, but he still wants to please you. So things go well for a while, but the pressure slowly builds, and then he just can't hold it together anymore. Quit everything you're doing and try cow penning. Or just trail ride. Or ride western on a loose rein. Play with him. Teach him a trick. Do something that he doesn't have any emotional attachment to and chill out and bond for awhile.

    I could be totally, totally way off here. Just my thoughts. :)

  2. Albigears, I know you didn't ask me, but I love my Premier Equine XC boots. Lightweight, vented, way more reasonable than the other vented XC boots like Dalmars. SmartPak carries them.

    As far as the frustration...when I'm in a rut like that, the absolute first thing I look at is physical issues. Chiro? Teeth? Back soreness from saddle fit? Getting too much grain and not enough hay? Ulcers?

    If I can rule that stuff out, I give myself and my horse a break. A week completely off with all-day turnout, maybe. Or a few weeks of completely letting myself off the hook and going on some long hacks, some ridiculously easy dressage (like, walk and trot around the arena for 15 minutes), do some silly things like make an obstacle course for ground work in the arena.

    I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Lately all I ever post about is how awesome McKinna is, but believe me, I have gone through many many ruts like you're describing.

    Honestly, between you being sick and drowning in homework (definitely understand that one!), maybe it would be best if you just took a week or two off. Can you kick Yankee out in a pasture for a little while, then start fresh when you're both feeling better?

    Good luck with it, either way.

  3. A third vote for time off. You just described my whole month of December. We weren't clicking and I didn't feel like trying. Solution: we borrowed a western saddle and piddled around doing absolutely nothing. For a whole month. Izzy didn't really mind and I now feel ready to actually do some work with her. The best thing: she's come back totally fabulous and better than ever.

    Good luck and take care of yourself.

  4. I think everyone goes through those weeks of less than stellar performance and it's really depressing. I know I definitely do! Time off is good - just go hang with your pony. When I was having a frustrating time I just went out and groomed for an hour and took a bareback jaunt around outside. Don't worry it'll get better :)

  5. I came over to sneak a peak and you give me this terribly depressing post! I'm sorry things aren't working out for you. :(

    I don't often have bad days any more, but I used to. We had things to do in order to progress... and sometimes the agenda didn't sit well with the horse I was on. All I can advise is breathe and listen to your horse and what HE needs. Maybe he's not fit enough to do what you're asking? Ulcers? Tired? Unmotivated? Lots of breaks and lots of pats make my boys try hard and relax. They don't understand progress and goals, so I don't think he's trying to sabotage you ;). (not yet at least!)

    Whatever you do, remember why you love riding and relax! They are called slumps because eventually we find a way back out. :)

  6. I kinda have the same problem with polos and I'm sure if there were more boots and bell boots that would FIT Klein she'd have them too. I mean I have polos with poker chips, jolly rancher logos, etc...etc... She is always stylin'

    I agree with the others. I'd take a break and just go on some hacks. That will be a relaxing mental and physical break. Go on some bareback rides too, just mess around, go sight seeing. I mean, you have until May right? So just chill for a little bit. Sometimes you get so concentrated on training for a specific goal it turns into what you are experiencing. Yankee won't forget those beautiful half passes and transitions for a long time. So if he has a break from some of that stuff, they definitely will not go away anytime soon.

    What is his boarding situation? Is he stalled up most of the day or turned out? I'd find some turn out for him with some buddies if he isn't already in that situation.

    Good luck! Sorry you're having a rough time lately. Hope it gets better soon!

  7. awwww thanks guys!You all are so encouraging :D
    As for health issues, he gets meds for uclers in his smartpak so I dont think that is it. He gets plenty of hay (I sometimes 'sneak' him more after feeding hours. saddle fit could be part of the problem since I had to switch to using his old jump saddle again, but I only have 1 dressage saddle. Its CAIR panels though and it is fit to him. Maybe the air leaked...
    Unfortunately, getting a western saddle is out of question. He really hates them. Same for hacking, all he wants to do is run and we end up fighting. I think he could be getting bored. Winter riding is not his thing, riding in arenas all the time. I try to get out but I have class till 4 and by then I have to wait for the barn staff to feed (@4) and let him digest. So I usually end up going out around 530-6.
    As for boarding situation. He has a large stall, small gravel paddock and then a grass pasture attached to that. He gets day turnout and night stall. He is used to being stalled half the day and enjoys it actually. He knows the routine of out in day in at night or vice versa in summer. The barn owner likes to keep everyone but broodamres and babies separate since they are like elite event horses and she doesn't want them to fight. He is right next to everyone though.
    I think I have decided to take a week or so off, since I am sick anyways, and then start back up with trick training. He LOVES it! Then start back with easy stuff :)
    ok wow, long post, for boots, I LOVE my woof boots. You can get them anywhere. STL, Dover, Bit of Britian, etc. I also love my open front boots, I will try to figure out where I got them from. I think I will do a post about boots actually.
    Anyways thank you guys so much, I feel better now!

  8. I have known Ozzy for nine years and have owned him for almost four. To this day, he frequently frustrates me to the point of tears. Blah days, weeks, months are normal. I like to look at some of the things we've accomplished over the years. This is a horse who was MEAN and who I got as a weekend trail horse. We've completed 50's and jumped cross country. So what if he randomly refuses a cross rail he's seen a million times? He's STILL doing more than anyone expected. Horseback riding is a challenge. That's why we take pride in it. Just keep pushing. This too will pass.