Thursday, March 19, 2015

That Escalated Quickly

We all came to blogland for different reasons, I'm assuming.

I know I came here to find other equestrians, branch out, connect, share experiences & keep an archive of my riding success and difficulties.  Its grown to be one my favorite things about my life actually. I've made real life friendships through blogging and its connected me with some intelligent, respectful, wonderful & talented people all across America (& Europe!)

Color matching on fleek
When anyone signs up for social media, they should know what they're getting into. Its open. Its social, and everyone is entitled to free speech & their opinion. I know this and express it often. One should also be aware of the possibility of disagreements or even horribly rude & abrasive backlash. Another thing I am very aware of, thanks to my snark, sarcasm and opinionated nature. I accept it and move on.

To a point.

Yesterday's post brought to light some VERY helpful tips (thank you everyone!), which I will share momentarily.

But it also brought about some fierce drama that I was not expecting, and frankly, was seriously offended by.

I'm not pointing ANYONE out, and this spanned my facebook, instagram and blog account, but by no means do I find it OK for anyone to come onto someone else's page (or PM that person) and TELL them what they NEED to do with their horse.

I welcome suggestions. Always always always. I literally ask for them sometimes because I LOVE all of my readers and value their knowledgeable help highly. The connections are a wealth of information!

What I do NOT welcome and do  not take kindly to is people telling me what I need to do with mMY horse and my life. Informing me I need a coach, or need to take him to training, or need to do this or that is slightly overstepping boundaries. I am VERY aware of those things. But it comes down to resources. I am a person who has never and most likely will never, have an abundance of free time and money to throw at a problem. Don't you think if I did, I would have already sent him to training, boarded him somewhere with better facilities or put him in more consistent work?

Yes. I would have.

Also, I believe that any rider with a pulse knows coaches are a wonderful asset. I literally said I need one in the last post. I also have stated previously that I intend to take him to bi-weekly lessons with the woman who owns the barn I was hoping to board with. Not sure how the lines got crossed or missed but I have NEVER considered myself above average or above needing coaching. I just flat out can't afford it on a regular basis. Welcome to the real world.

Money would solve a lot of problems for a lot of people. But I think it takes a little more grit and determination to solve problems with less resources available to you & I am wildly offended by anyone who thinks otherwise.

Sure, I post about frustrations on here. Thats why I blog. But I am doing the best I can with what I have available. For those who are wondering, thats about an hour and 20 minutes "free time" after a 45 minute one way commute/8 hour workday, to cram any sort of barn time in before the sun sets. Not to mention other household/life chores and activities. I have to work, really hard, to pay for my horse and I take pride in that, & I don't come here to be judged on my skill and competence as a rider, trainer and owner of a difficult horse when I dont have enough time in the day/week/month to ride my horse on a consistent 5 day basis. I think we all know how hard it is to admit difficulty or failure on a public forum, but here we all are! I shouldn't be told thats wrong. I shouldn't be shamed for my availability and I definitely shouldn't be told I'm not allowed to enjoy my horse when I can.

All of that being said, I feel like I know my horse better than anyone and I absolutely believe the field is the root issue here. Sure, there are others sprinkled about, as any OTTB would have, but I stand by the fact that it is a night and day difference between off property/road work and riding in the back field.

whew...eq NOT on fleek

For example. Today was a windy, cold and slightly rainy day & my neighbors were shooting off their ridiculously loud guns and yet I still tacked up my horse because it was day 3 out of 7 I had the time to even consider riding.

To test my theory, we set off down the road. Guns roaring, wind blowing, he took it all in stride like a champ. He was a little tense at first, but with the hint someone posted (half halting UP not back) he immediately and visibly relaxed and STAYED that way. Even when Levi scared up 3 MASSIVE scavenger birds and they flapped in his face.. he jumped a little, snorted at them and thought real hard about bolting....and didnt.

I want to believe its the footing. Plain and simple. That field just is not kosher with him anymore.

It fully explains why for SEVEN whole months, he was 100% perfection in that field and then as soon as the wet cold season rolled around it was no longer Gucci with him. Makes perfect sense to me.

I just wish I would've thought about it long before I made myself sick with anxiety worrying about ulcers, diseases, lameness, tack and a mirade of other things.

I literally do not have any other explanation for the 180* turns. 3 magical rides on the road vs 2 horrible rides in the field are pretty solid stats in my book & I'm going to close the case for now. I realize he is not perfect in any of these photos...but htey show a MUCH more relaxed way of going and he is beginning to move FORWARD again, I wish y'all could have felt the difference in his entire body. He was willing to go, his back was relaxed, he followed the bit through the contact and he was a complete joy. If that doesn't say something, I don't know what does.

Hoping to get into the lesson program around the 28th and go on a relatively steady bi-weekly basis.

All of this being said y'all, I appreciate and adore those of you who show your support. Again, I am not pointing fingers at anyone who even reads this blog and commented. Just making general statements about the treatment I received throughout social media yesterday.

Hover horse & derp dog

Peace & love y'all. I leave you with a very derp picture of  the Levi.


  1. I love your post, and agree fully with what you've said - boundaries and politeness should be a thing, even on the internet! I'd like to think they are (hopefully mostly) well meaning at least.

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  3. Only you know your pony more than anyone else. Sorry for all the pushy comments (sorry if I was one of them!). If the road works because of the footing than you parade that fancy pony down the street. He's sexy enough ahaha. No judgement here. Plus, you'll catch that one little girl's eye and make her dream of wanting to be just like you!

  4. I totally understand. I love suggestions but people often get pushy and condescending (and even mean). I never have understood it!!! There's been more than one case where I don't even talk about something because I know some of the comment I get will be less-than-delightful. Hang in there!

  5. I went back and read the comments and whoa. I think everyone is just trying to help you guys out though and they have good intentions (like me!) but yes, things could be said better or not at all. I hope for continued success, having the road to work on is better than nothing at all! Hopefully things will dry up soon too so you can play in the field again. Fingers crossed!

  6. sharing struggles and opinions and even just ideas on the internet is tough... but long story short, we're rooting for you!

  7. It is hard to put it all out there - I know - and you will always get those snarky opinionated people who are not in your boots. Only you know the whole picture!

  8. I totally understand - I'm now in a situation where I'm riding in a field too, and Apollo informed me in no uncertain terms the last time I rode that he HATES the wet, gooey footing. He bucked and kicked every time he lost his balance on the longe line. You're not alone, not at all. He was lovely in a normal arena, and he's a star everywhere else, but the mud and soft footing pisses him off.

    Hang in there. I keep telling myself this will pass, and it will for you too. Fact of weather and seasons, right?

  9. I had a feeling it might be the footing...sorry about the pile on - I like to think everyone is well intended but it can come across shitty in written word.

    I had a horse that did a 180 without corks....with corks would give you the moon. Some just don't like unsure footing...hope the good rides continue.

  10. I'm sure my comment was one of the ones that offended you, but you'll just have to choose to believe (or not) that I have your best intentions in mind. Some of the things you have said in this post lead me to think that you don't think that those of us with lesson/boarding face the same challenges as you... but I can assure you that you're not the only adult amateur with a long commute and limited financial resources. I've worked years and dedicated a lot of time, planning and funds to be able to do what I do and I won't apologize for that.

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    2. You don't have to apologize for what YOU do in your life. You made it happen and worked hard for it :) I also realize advice was given with the best intentions. I'm just saying that I am where I'm at and can't change it. Entry level pay is entry level pay. I can assume those giving me "advice" are much older and more successful. But everyone starts somewhere. Can't help that I'm a recent graduate, but I can help my horse by being attentive and doing all I can with what I hae available. That's all.

  11. My horse does the exact opposite. Fine in any arena, but as soon as we leave an arena he looses his shit. I haven't figured out how to handle it quite yet so I am sticking to arena work until someone can shed some light on my issue.

  12. Hi Monica,
    I have a feeling my comment was one of the ones that upset you. It was not my intention to offend you, and if my comments came across as anything other than well intentioned, then I am sorry for that.

    As someone who is older, reading about a young woman alone in a field, with a horse that is bolting and rearing, is very scary to me. Beyond being a training issue, it is a serious safety issue. I think what you may percieve as criticism are comments from those of us who feel that you are truly putting yourself in danger, and would hate to sit by and say nothing while a dangerous situation is unfolding.

    1. I fully uderstand where ou are coming from and you have a beautiful delivery full of tact :) always appreciated.
      I know I suffer from lack of real fear sometimes and have never actually been scared...even though I should have been. I was always more frustrated as to the WHY of it all. Safe to say we won't be riding in the field for a long time! Otherwise he is great!
      Thank you for your concern!

    2. I honestly felt terrible thinking I may have hurt your feelings. I get your struggle, I really do. I had nothing in my 20's - not a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. I lived paycheck to paycheck and was so broke I literally raided my roommate's laundry coins and searched the couch cushions at times. it is only now that I am older that I have some breathing room.

      As someone who is knocking on 40's door (gasp) my attitudes towards riding have changed drastically from when I was younger. I've been overfaced on a horse I was riding, and it was truly terrible.

      I wish you and B the very best on your journey and will continue to read and enjoy your blog, as I have been doing for years.

    3. Lump me into the category of rider on an unpredictable beast in a field alone. I too may lack a healthy fear but then again fear will never dictate my behavior. When I'm riding in my feild my horse goes bonkers and throws a massive fit like he is prone to do is there a chance I could fall and get seriously injured? Absolutely. Is there just as good of a chance of me being hurt on my steady eddie in a dressage arena with 20 people watching. Absolutely. Horses are dangerous. Period. Almost all the bad accidents I know of have been off people on their Steady Eddies. Monica is beyond a capable rider and just because some one is uncomfortable with a situation they would feel dangerous in does not make the situation dangerous. Also with excellent capable riders they know when the line needs to be drawn and they will draw it. But I horse being an asshole in a feild is no big or strange or unmanageable situation for a rider like Monica. I'm sure for parelli lovers every where it is a death sentence.

  13. So excited for you to have some success with him, seems like such a nice horse when he isn't melting down. The internet is such a strange place, I wish everyone could just be friendly:) Love following your journey and am over here rooting for you!

  14. I am so sorry if you felt like my comment was telling you what to do/or condescending about your situation. I really didn't mean to criticize, and I am really sorry if you felt like I was, or if I offended you.

    I am glad that you have had another good ride on Bacardi and feel like you have an answer for his behavior. Like I said yesterday, I do admire your bravery for sticking it out when things got rough. You have to trust your instincts, and I think you how to do that. I really wish both Bacardi and yourself all the best experiences together on your journey!

    bonita of A Riding Habit

  15. Oh and Monica steady has the same feelings of insecure footing. There is much drama if his tootsies slide in the least. You and me are in the same po azz horse training boat. Riding in a field gettin shit done. Cause that's how bassasses roll.

  16. I don't know about elsewhere but I think all of the offensive comments on the blog were purely out of fear for your safety. Seeing what he actually does with you is scary. I don't know what was said anywhere else.

    I feel you on the money situation though. I really feel like I need lessons, but even though I could afford the lesson at this point I can't afford to fix my trailer to even get him there. Then if I save and fix my trailer I probably won't be able to afford lessons for a while again. Being broke sucks! I, at least, understand where all of your frustration is coming from and I'm not judging you. *hugs*

    That is bizarre about the field. I actually forgot about that aspect once I commented on your last post so I forgot to mention that my horse is worse in the field than on the road, but worse for him is a walk in the park compared to what B is throwing at you. Also the field I'm riding in is the one he lives in so I think his misbehavior is pure boredom with his surroundings and because he gets to do what he wants when he wants out there everyday and thinks it should be the same under saddle. Is the field you're riding in part of his pasture or completely separate? That doesn't help with anything, except just to say a lot of horses are bad about riding in the field they live in. I'm glad he's okay on the road. Maybe stick to roadwork until the field dries? I'm so baffled by why muddy footy would flip him out so bad?? Anyway we are rooting for you!!

    1. We ride in our neighbors field! So it def not his pasture haha

  17. Well there goes that theory darn it lol. I hope you can figure out what the deal is. How does he act if you ride in his pasture? Maybe he's the opposite and would like it lol.

    1. I've never tried it for several reasons haha. Bad footing/ fear of that exact behavior

    2. I don't blame you on that one!!! My pasture is the only place I have to ride except for the roads so when it's not muddy that's what I do. He's actually getting a lot better about it. I had to do a lot of one rein stops before he finally realized he had to just walk when I said walk, but steering and consistent tempo are still things we were working on before it got too muddy to ride out there. If everything would just dry up things would be so much easier for all of us!!


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