Pictures New owner/rider check in

ycbm

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First pic is the March lockdown unbacked baby .
Second pic was taken yesterday, backed and with a fun ride and some hound exercise under his belt.
He has the most astonishing accepting temperament - whatever you ask him to do, he shrugs and gets on without it
A very lucky acquisition when I really didn't want another horse , let alone an unbroken one 😂😂
He's coming on well!
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FestiveFuzz

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So I hit the deck again 🙄 newbie has a wicked left right spook and spin that I’ve so far managed to sit but for some reason today I just came flying out the side door 🤦🏽‍♀️

Confidence is well and truly at rock bottom at the moment. We’re meant to be off to a clinic in two weeks but I’m not sure we’ve got it in us. Part of me feels it might be the making of us, but the other part of me feels like we’re just not ready.
 

ycbm

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So I hit the deck again 🙄 newbie has a wicked left right spook and spin that I’ve so far managed to sit but for some reason today I just came flying out the side door 🤦🏽‍♀️

Confidence is well and truly at rock bottom at the moment. We’re meant to be off to a clinic in two weeks but I’m not sure we’ve got it in us. Part of me feels it might be the making of us, but the other part of me feels like we’re just not ready.
That's a horrible feeling FF, sorry you're in that place.
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Annagain

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So I hit the deck again 🙄 newbie has a wicked left right spook and spin that I’ve so far managed to sit but for some reason today I just came flying out the side door 🤦🏽‍♀️

Confidence is well and truly at rock bottom at the moment. We’re meant to be off to a clinic in two weeks but I’m not sure we’ve got it in us. Part of me feels it might be the making of us, but the other part of me feels like we’re just not ready.
Oh I'm sorry to hear that FF. I know the feeling and C hasn't really even done anything wrong. What's the clnic? Could you strip it back a bit and just do basics?
 

FestiveFuzz

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Thanks for the kind words, it’s really pants. I don’t think I’d really appreciated how much my confidence was tied to M. Now I’m without him I’m realising that so much of my confidence is tied to the partnership, so ballsy with M doesn’t translate to confidence with a new horse.

The clinic is a flatwork clinic with a fairly known dressage rider so should be within our reach if I can manage to stay in the plate for more than 30 seconds. I’m tempted to message the organiser and just explain where I’m at at the moment and see if the trainer can accommodate my wobbles or if it’d be better to sit this one out until we’re a bit more together as a partnership.
 

Annagain

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Thanks for the kind words, it’s really pants. I don’t think I’d really appreciated how much my confidence was tied to M. Now I’m without him I’m realising that so much of my confidence is tied to the partnership, so ballsy with M doesn’t translate to confidence with a new horse.

The clinic is a flatwork clinic with a fairly known dressage rider so should be within our reach if I can manage to stay in the plate for more than 30 seconds. I’m tempted to message the organiser and just explain where I’m at at the moment and see if the trainer can accommodate my wobbles or if it’d be better to sit this one out until we’re a bit more together as a partnership.
I had a major wobble with Charlie a fortnight ago and sat down to write a pros and cons list about keeping him. The only cons were pig-gate (ongoing but baby steps being made - he led the last 10 metres past them yesterday!) and "He's not Monty". I'm not sure that's really his fault or a reason to sell!

I think that's a good idea re the clinic. Is it a fairly regular thing? I only ask as familiarity with an instructor really helps me to feel a bit safer and therefore more confident. The feeling of "X won't ask me to do something she knows I can't" is very comforting at the moment. Have you got a regular instructor helping you?
 

FestiveFuzz

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I had a major wobble with Charlie a fortnight ago and sat down to write a pros and cons list about keeping him. The only cons were pig-gate (ongoing but baby steps being made - he led the last 10 metres past them yesterday!) and "He's not Monty". I'm not sure that's really his fault or a reason to sell!

I think that's a good idea re the clinic. Is it a fairly regular thing? I only ask as familiarity with an instructor really helps me to feel a bit safer and therefore more confident. The feeling of "X won't ask me to do something she knows I can't" is very comforting at the moment. Have you got a regular instructor helping you?
I feel you 100%. I was actually chatting with a friend yesterday about it and came to a similar conclusion re: selling. He’s never going to be M, and in some ways that’s no bad thing as when it’s going well I think we probably look more together than I did with M. I’m just really missing that sense of knowing them inside out. Also I strongly feel it’s a case of better the devil you know, there’s going to be teething issues regardless of whether it’s with him or another horse so selling doesn’t automatically mean I won’t face these issues with someone else.

Clinic tends to happen every few months from what I can see but we have weekly lessons as well. I think for us it’s probably been a bit of a perfect storm of a) me not realising how much riding fitness I’d lost over lockdown/not having a ridden horse (usually I stick to anything so finding myself going out the side door has been a bit of a surprise) b) having the horses at home and totally not realising what a confidence sap it is not having others around to buoy you up when you’re feeling crap and c) desperately needing our arena surface fixed so being stuck schooling in the paddock where there’s way more scary surprises lurking 🙈
 

Annagain

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I feel you 100%. I was actually chatting with a friend yesterday about it and came to a similar conclusion re: selling. He’s never going to be M, and in some ways that’s no bad thing as when it’s going well I think we probably look more together than I did with M. I’m just really missing that sense of knowing them inside out. Also I strongly feel it’s a case of better the devil you know, there’s going to be teething issues regardless of whether it’s with him or another horse so selling doesn’t automatically mean I won’t face these issues with someone else.

Clinic tends to happen every few months from what I can see but we have weekly lessons as well. I think for us it’s probably been a bit of a perfect storm of a) me not realising how much riding fitness I’d lost over lockdown/not having a ridden horse (usually I stick to anything so finding myself going out the side door has been a bit of a surprise) b) having the horses at home and totally not realising what a confidence sap it is not having others around to buoy you up when you’re feeling crap and c) desperately needing our arena surface fixed so being stuck schooling in the paddock where there’s way more scary surprises lurking 🙈
When I think back to when I first had Arch (I had known and ridden Monty for 5 years before I started sharing him officially so it's not the same) I do remember this feeling but it wasn't as bad (unless I've just blocked it out!) I do think there's a huge difference between 27 and 43 for doing all this though. I didn't believe people when they told me I'd lose confidence as I got older. It's so frustrating because in virtually every other way, I still feel like I did when I was 27!
 

milliepops

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FF is there any scope to move to livery while you're working through this blip? I remember feeling super lonely having horses at home when I was dealing with tricky things, definitely not alone with that. I love having my field potatoes at home but really appreciate the yard environment for the ridden ones.
 

Bernster

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Similar here in that I can be very confident on finnegan, who I’ve had 6/7 years, but it doesn’t translate to other horses. There’s no substitute for time and experience together to gain trust but, when you unpack that, that must mean ups and downs and dealing with problems. I have kind of forgotten that I had those with Finn, and I def don’t remember having wobbles with him (eta outside of jumping) but I’m sure I did!

And it’s not enough just to spend time and ride, although that’s part of it, it’s about working through and having those challenges. Getting the balance right is so tricky, too much and you spiral, too little and you may not progress. (I mean ‘you’ in the general sense, not specific to you FF.)

So I’m now assessing if I should push and work through it, or go back into our comfort zone for now. I was planning on doing more solo stuff to deal with bertie‘s separation anxiety. Ins has advised that we go back to his comfort zone and only go out in company and not to separate. Bit of a pain but luckily I have a good friend who’s happy to help us with that. Back to the drawing board planning wise but it should pay off in the future 🤞
 

Caol Ila

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I feel you 100%. I was actually chatting with a friend yesterday about it and came to a similar conclusion re: selling. He’s never going to be M, and in some ways that’s no bad thing as when it’s going well I think we probably look more together than I did with M. I’m just really missing that sense of knowing them inside out. Also I strongly feel it’s a case of better the devil you know, there’s going to be teething issues regardless of whether it’s with him or another horse so selling doesn’t automatically mean I won’t face these issues with someone else.
Yes. I have to sometimes remind myself that things were not smooth sailing with Gypsum when I first got her. It wasn't like we had this amazing bond from the beginning and were galloping bareback along the beach like something out of The Black Stallion. There were lots of glitches. But that was 21 years ago. I was 17, and I hadn't just come off a 20-year relationship with a horse, so I had different expectations.

I just have to set those expectations aside. I can't hack Foinavon solo yet (although he's happy to follow OH on foot), and I'm slowly chipping away at his arena fears by doing in-hand work when the school isn't too busy. The journey is long and slow.
 

Peglo

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I hadn’t ridden my old TB for 4+ years before I got my new girl so I’ve not missed the riding of an old faithful as much but I have had a few wobbles with day to day care even though T has been perfect since the day I got her. But I just know my 2 oldies and their 2 field mates so well that I’ve let the ‘not knowing her’ get on top of me a couple of times. I have to remind myself that I’m so lucky and she’s so great and to get a grip.
So I’ve had the feeling without any reason to.
Really hope you have some good rides before your clinic that you can enjoy together.

Bernster I know exactly what you mean about pushing too much or too little. Think it’s safe to say I’ve really not pushed much but seem to be having fun and bonding well. So I’m taking that as good enough for now 😁
 

Annagain

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Similar here in that I can be very confident on finnegan, who I’ve had 6/7 years, but it doesn’t translate to other horses. There’s no substitute for time and experience together to gain trust but, when you unpack that, that must mean ups and downs and dealing with problems. I have kind of forgotten that I had those with Finn, and I def don’t remember having wobbles with him (eta outside of jumping) but I’m sure I did!

And it’s not enough just to spend time and ride, although that’s part of it, it’s about working through and having those challenges. Getting the balance right is so tricky, too much and you spiral, too little and you may not progress. (I mean ‘you’ in the general sense, not specific to you FF.)

So I’m now assessing if I should push and work through it, or go back into our comfort zone for now. I was planning on doing more solo stuff to deal with bertie‘s separation anxiety. Ins has advised that we go back to his comfort zone and only go out in company and not to separate. Bit of a pain but luckily I have a good friend who’s happy to help us with that. Back to the drawing board planning wise but it should pay off in the future 🤞
I'm so lucky to have friends on the yard to ride with and two about 1/2 a mile away on different yards. Even though we haven't hacked solo as such since the Day of Pigs (I know I go on about them, they live rent free in my head at the moment! It's my issue more than C's now I think) we have hacked to meet them in different directions so we're chipping away at it. I've decided the comfort zone is the place to be for us at the moment and we're gently nibbling away at the edges to expand it.
 

Caol Ila

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I'm also nibbling slowly at the edges. Sometimes I wonder if I am too soft, staying in our comfort zone (hacking in company, either OH or other horses). But I also know that some of the issues I need to sort out were caused by a pro trainer pushing him too hard. As an ex-feral, it seems like he needs things explained with more clarity than a horse who was handled by humans as a baby. He's not stupid (pro trainer told his ex-owner he kind of was), but he's effectively learned human as a second language.
 

Annagain

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I think it's easy to forget that it's all new to the horses too and they're probably feeling a bit insecure and lacking in confidence in us as much as we are in them (without anthropomorphising too much!).

I've had someone out recently to help us with a loading issue (he was perfect for about 8 months than started being funny. I could still get him on but it wasn't as I would like it to be) and all the little cues she was picking up on that I hadn't really noticed were really interesting. She said he was looking (literally) to his friends / the field for reassurance and probably that the reason he was good to begin with was that he didn't feel settled enough not to want to leave them but now he's happy and feels like he's at home, leaving is that much more difficult.

She also thought that with him being Irish he'd probably been dealt with in a very no nonsense way and there was a bit of learned helplessness with him where he had to toe the line so didn't really think about what he was doing. With me treating him a little less forcefully, the door was ajar to making his own decisions. He started making some wrong ones and I wasn't helping him to make the right ones. Hopefully we're back on track with that now!
 

Annagain

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Sounds a very apt description!

I have had/still have all sorts of nervousness issues, but I wonder (without mixing animal references) if you've read 'The Chimp Paradox'? Some of the techniques in that book might help with dealing with the Bay (whoops, Day) of Pigs... ??
I read it a while back but more out of curiosity rather than because I thought I needed it then. I might have to re-read it now with a different perspective.
 

MrsCentaur

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Well - we're out of the honeymoon period, I think. Merry has been home for four months now and is very settled; I really think that he loves his home and loves his life, he's very confident and relaxed. Still a joy on the ground, although a bit nibbly if I keep him standing around whilst I chatter for more than ten minutes or so.

I'm getting a bit... frustrated, I suppose, with the lethal combination of his inexperience in the school plus my inexperience in the school. I had these visions of buying a horse and then becoming a better rider, and I expect that I probably am in some respects only all of my time is spent learning how to teach a young horse rather than developing my own skills and I'm not seeing much tangible improvement. I think I need to build time in for a weekly lesson on a schoolmaster because at the moment relatively simply things, like cantering a 20m circle on the correct leg and bent in the right direction feel frustratingly impossible.

On the bright side, he is an INCREDIBLE hack - enthusiastic, bombproof and absolutely safe in front or behind, he'll go from walk to canter with a thought and pull up just as easily regardless of what his friends are doing. So perhaps we need more of those as well, just for the sake of bonding.
 

Bernster

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Aye, I think doing lots of the things they are good at and which you both enjoy, really helps in the early stages. On the flatwork, are you able to get someone to help train and school him and have lessons? I did a weekly flatwork boot camp (ins schoolEd x1, lesson x1 a week where i could) with Finnegan in the early days as he was green in the school, and my ins currently schools Bertie every 2 weeks as he needs the help with his flatwork.
 

MrsCentaur

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@Bernster your insights are always so wise. Yes, I'm having 2x lessons/week - one private, which is super helpful, and one small group, which used to be my favourite lesson but which I'm finding tricky at the moment because our goals are now so different from the others riders'. I'm wondering whether sending M to 'pony boarding school' for a few weeks might not be a bad idea just to get him onto the right track.
 

Bernster

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And it’s easier to think about what’s not right than what is. I’m terrible for focussing on that. It keeps me motivated but it’s annoying at the same time as I don’t always remember what has improved! So there’s that element of it too.
 

splashgirl45

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i think you would be better to not worry too much about schooling and do lots of hacking over different terrain to build his muscles and general fitness. just try and enjoy building a bond with him when out and about , also try some in hand work to get him moving sideways etc and use poles to wind in and out of. maybe stay in walk in your lessons so you can get him moving off the leg and going into the corners properly. then you can really concentrate on what you are doing..its priceless to have a safe hack enjoy:):)
 

ownedbyaconnie

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Hope you don’t mind me joining in. Whilst Rosie isn’t new to me my post baby body certainly is! I haven’t ridden properly since December so I’m using this as an opportunity to strip it right back to basics. Work on the foundations for both Rosie and me.

Got our first lesson tomorrow and then early oct we have a “rider performance assessment”. They’ll look at me on and off pony and then give me a little physio session based on what they see. Can only imagine what state my body is in after being pregnant!

not a good photo but the best I have of our starting point. She looks awful 😭 but must remind myself shes had 10 months off.

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Floofball

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What a fab thread - how have I missed it!?! VERY late to the party but here’s a Hugo update 😁

Purchased in March at the height of COVID madness, unbacked rising 4yr old to be brought on by my (bloody wonderful) YO. Brought him home, got his feet sorted, had him vetted for insurance - completely clean vetting cert!
Touch wood and everything else he’s been fab so far 🤞🏻 taking everything in his stride and just being a dude.

Education begins ☺️
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And we’re up!
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Took him to his first show, inhand lightweight Hunter class - he was so well behaved all day and won his class 🥇

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Had a little summer holiday as he’d had a very busy 3 months 🥰

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Back in the swing of things now, front shoes on, getting out and about, doing arena hires and booked in for his first Intro soon 🤞🏻
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I’m just thrilled to bits with him, he’s very affectionate and sweet and I’m one very proud owner and can’t wait to see what the future brings 😎
 

MrsCentaur

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@Zuzan thank you! It felt so simple on horses that knew what they were doing, haha. It's really striking to me how significant the difference is between the riding school horses, even those that were considered to be the more complicated rides, and a horse who simply hasn't been schooled. But he is a joy and it's a privilege to have this problem, such as it is. Thank you for the exercise suggestion - I will give that a try!
 

Zuzan

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@Zuzan thank you! It felt so simple on horses that knew what they were doing, haha. It's really striking to me how significant the difference is between the riding school horses, even those that were considered to be the more complicated rides, and a horse who simply hasn't been schooled. But he is a joy and it's a privilege to have this problem, such as it is. Thank you for the exercise suggestion - I will give that a try!
Just realised I miss described the exercise ... have reported my post and asked the moderator to amend it to..

The exercise is to ride a slight curve off the long side of the track and leg yield back to the track .. as the outside fore hits the track as for canter. weird trying to write exercises down .. you over think them .. ;)
 
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