Month: August 2015

Friday Five

Friday Five

How is August nearly over?! We’ve been having unseasonably cool weather, so it feels like fall has already arrived in northeastern Oklahoma! No complaints here… Here’s what’s on my radar this week: ONE Sorry, Preteens, Horses Are Mean Girls, Too While you might not expect Jezebel […]

Cross country video

Cross country video

Johnny sent along the video he got of Moe and I going cross country at the show a couple of weeks ago. It’s just the last four jumps and about a minute long, so don’t get too excited. Moe looks like he’s having fun, and […]

Making do with what you have

Making do with what you have

Periodically, I get super bummed out about my horse situation. I have two elderly horses; I fully expect them to die within the next decade, because equine lifespans top out around 30 years. Both horses show signs of age: Gina crackles like a Rice Krispie for the first 15-20 minutes of a ride and sometimes struggles to maintain her canter around tight turns. Moe has a harder time keeping weight on than ever before and has lost some of his boldness over jumps. When this mood strikes me, I usually take to browsing the local OTTB organizations or Equine Now classifieds, then feeling even more bummed because a third horse isn’t a good financial decision right now.

"HELLO HOW OLD AM I?"
“HELLO I AM NOT OLD I AM MAJESTIKICAL YOUTH HORSE”

I was whining to discussing this with Johnny a few days ago, and he pointed out that Moe and Gina aren’t dead yet, don’t seem to have any apparent soundness problems, and were probably perfectly functional for working on the whole host of riding problems I have. He basically advised me to make do with what I have (which is a whole lot more than some people have), because a new horse a) won’t fix my problems, and b) isn’t coming any time soon. (Johnny is very hot on the real talk.)

This seems like something that should have been obvious, but I was so focused on thoughts like “Oh my god, Moe is old and feeble, I can’t jump around a Training level event with him” that I didn’t stop to think if I could jump around a Training level event (the answer is no).

Here’s a short list of things I can do on Moe and Gina, despite their decrepitude:

  • Lots of two-point to help my lower leg
  • Jump gymnastics to improve my position and my eye (and improve the horses’ jumping faults)
  • Gallop sets to improve my internal clock
  • Sitting trot in dressage saddle to improve my position (maybe a little limited, because Gina’s back can only take so much flailing from me)
  • Practice lateral movements to enhance my feel for them and refine my aids

A new horse won’t magically fix my position problems or insecurities. Gina’s neurotic behavior over fences doesn’t help me much, but reliable old Moe can help me fix my eye, my leg, and my confidence. Gina has a lot to teach me a lot about dressage- maybe we’ll improve those First Level scores at the next show! There’s a lot of work I can do before my two are retired (or dead).

"You know I'm still alive, right? And like, better at dressage than you?"
“…you know I’m still alive, right? RIGHT?”

So for now, I’m putting a hold on my equine window shopping. There’s no need to hasten the demise of my horses, and there’s plenty of reasons to be glad I can make do with what I have.

Equitation evolution

Equitation evolution

As I was looking through old pictures for this post, I was struck by how many bad riding habits I’ve had over the years. It’s like I try them on for size and keep the ones I like! Spike, 1999. I’m way out of the saddle […]

Friday Five

Friday Five

Is it just me, or did this week fly by? I managed to get out and ride The G three times, make plans for a couple of shows, and get a whole, whole bunch of stuff done at work (which is always a good feeling). I […]