Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Buyer's Remorse

OK, OK, don't kill me for the buyer's remorse part. That phase is over, but it was seriously a problem for a while. While I know that no horse will ever be the same as Spyder, I was expecting a lot. I just wanted Denali to like me, and he wanted the same back. We both tried so hard in the beginning to impress each other, and it was weird, awkward, and somewhat sad. I am not sure if I wrote in the whole story of how getting him and then not getting him and then getting him again went down, but I can post back that story. Dom alludes to it here.

Tacking this horse up, he'd shake. Quivering, I would assure him that I wasn't going to hurt him. He was head shy, and I could hardly touch his ears. Like Dom mentioned (and posted lots of photos), he needed some help. He saw the vet, then a combo vet/dentist/chiro/acupuncturist and that seemed to help him out. He LOVED the chiro work, and the dental work corrected his sharp edges (and HUGE mouth ulcer from it rubbing). Poor guy, he was feeling better once he woke up from the sedation. That is when I got to pluck his hair for the DNA test!

He's just thrilled.
He stands well to get on, and he is such a treat hog. We had a lot of issues from the start, though. He would be weird around the barn, he'd rear out int he big ring, he'd rear and pull to the barn, and even jig back to the barn. When back at the barn, he'd shoulder out to his paddock. JERK. These were the reasons for the buyer's remorse comments. Something had to change or I wasn't sure this was the right choice.

I had a lesson with the BO and she got us going FORWARD instead of UP. UP turned into BACK before it was FORWARD, but now we're FORWARD and on! It took a few lessons to get it right, but the last 5 or so rides have been forward and no up. After the BO got us going forward, I decided to take a lesson with Danny. "The Danny Lesson" as I like to call it is always interesting. He's a level III ICP certified instructor, and boy are his lessons intimidating. I figured, what could be worse than what I've been dealing with and so it happened. I was not with it at all. I was just fearing he'd go up again and that would be the end of the lesson. He had his moments of up, but leg on and not letting go was the answer.

Nothing was right, though. I wasn't sitting right, my hip wasn't right, my leg wasn't right, and so we had to sort through that before I could start. Next step was his steering, moving him off my leg, and keeping him moving. That was all turn into the fence and push off and go. Turn into the fence, go. I always feel like a cowgirl when I take a lesson with him. I'm glad he decided to put me in the round pen, and we certainly were not even good enough to come out of it for the duration. Once we got going, it got OK, but leg, leg, and more leg was tiring! Next, to fix his head tossing and my awful hands. I rode with a crop horizontal to the ground to keep my thumbs up. I had to pull back until the horse would give. I thought I was going to get punched off the horse with his head, but I stuck with it for over 10 minutes until he gave. UGH, finally. I'm sure if it were anyone else, it would have been 2 minutes, but I finally got it together and got to push with leg and could soften when he'd give. It got nice, and we moved to trot. Lesson learned, I am out of shape, suck at riding, and I need help.

Good news is, Danny didn't hate him. I'm sure he didn't love him, but he would tell you if he hated him... so I think that means he likes him? He's just OK in his eyes, I assume. He's got potential? Either way, I'm not trying to be a competitive rider (we're no where near being ready for anything other than trailering to get out and see things). I'm just trying to get somewhere (forward and not up and maybe slower), and if the competition arises from his ability (because we know it's certainly not mine), then we'll take it from there.

Hopefully I can get back to this blog thing so that I can keep updates coming. He's gotten so much better a lot quicker than I thought. I'm glad things turned around. :) I was waiting to post this to upload videos of my struggles, but I will save that for another post.