Friday, May 29, 2015

One Year Later

Wow guys. Its been a year. An entire year since I've been back in this godforsaken state. But also, its GOTCHA DAY for my Red Nugget!

And to think he used to race only a few short years ago.

It is truly hard to believe a year has flown by like this. Before I reflect on the last 365, I wanted to take a look at the picture of the first time I ever sat on this glorious animal. 

Instant love. I mean I had essentially already bought him before I had even ridden him, thats how much I knew I wanted this horse. I knew there was something special about him from the first time I saw him on L's profile on FB.

My absolute favorite picture
So since its been one year, I naturally look back and want to think negatively. We honestly haven't done much in the last year. When he forst got home, I worked him almost everyday. I had no job and it was summeritme. It was glorious.

A month later, he kicked the fuck out of my leg. Not only was I severely injured, but my confidence in that I had made the right choice with this horse was shattered. I wasn't supposed to ride for a few months, but I did anyways after 6 weeks.

Our biggest struggle was getting him to gain weight. The top picture is month 3, and the bottom is month 5. I wish I had been better about taking monthly confo shots, because it was truly awesome to see the changes in him. Right around November he got REALLY fat, and that was also the last time we had a really good ride until May.

We has flying changes!

We has awkward jumping!
If you've followed this blog long enough, you all know about his extreme and sudden behavior issues this winter. It made riding him impossible and frustrating and I continued to question if this horse was right for me.  Thankfully, we were able to haul to a nice arena when I had time (I was now employed), or when he would get on the trailer...which was a whole 'nother issue.

Sometimes he was lovely out on our farm, but in general, I think I rode him maybe a handful of times over the winter...he was too dangerous. So for the majority of the winter, he just hung out, ate hay and got to be a horse.

Trails with dad

neck muscles

A rare good moment

Over winter so I didnt kill myself with non riding boredome, we worked on ground work, manners, tricks and loading in the trailer. WHen spring sprung and I dusted off ole faithful, scored some new swag from Rolex and rode out for the "first" time together, he was a whole different horse!

Bacardi was even loading on the trailer like a regular pro!

And jumping things like an actual adult horse!

Now, As I try to quantify what we've accomplished, there is nothing in terms of shows or accolades. However, when I can walk up to my horse and pet  him on the face from the front and he doesnt rear, thats a win. When I can halter him from outside his stall door, in his stall, or in a field, thats a win. When we can have a smoothe transition from trot to canter, thats a win. When he gets on the trailer, win. When he lunges like an angel, win win win. When he no longer refuses to come into the barn or stall and then explodes into the doorway, skidding out, thats a huge win. When he no longer lashes out in fear, win. When you can clean a stall with him in it, major win. When he comes when I call him, instead of bolting away, that my friends is a win. And then theres that mysterious thing, When you just "feel it". You know two souls are connected. Thats the biggest win.

So sure, we didn't do much together in terms of riding or becoming better at what we do. But we figured each other out. He was able to work through his anxiety and fear issues, and learn to trust me. Without trust, you have nothing and now, we are ready to kick some ass.

We're goin' places!


  1. I'm so happy to hear this positive praise for your relationship. Reading this, I was thinking about what might have happened if he'd ended up in the wrong hands. The tough horses are some of the best, and patience is a quality that many lack due to their own agenda. You were humble enough to set that aside and address what this talented beast needed and he'll be all the better for it. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you guys!

    1. Thank you so much. This means a lot to me :)

  2. Always good to focus on the positives. :-) Glad you are making progress.

  3. congrats on a strong finish to year one - and looking forward to seeing what's ahead of you!

  4. I forgot what a scrawny thing he was when you got him. He looks like a whole different horse now!

  5. Happy anniversary! I love this post! Good job looking at the positives. It's so weird about the weight/attitude thing. I never made the connection with B but I did discover Chrome is a jerk when he's fat and it's cold outside... Maybe it's an excess energy thing? B did used to run his heart out on the track... Jumping and dressage must seem really laid back to him after the adrenaline rush of being a racehorse. I'm probably sounding like a loon. Just thinking out loud. I'm glad he's safe to ride again. :-)