Lesson #1

21 Jan

I’ve decided to start taking dressage lessons with TB, still unsure of the frequency, but it will be either monthly or bi-weekly.

Last night was Lesson #1, and it was a “getting back to basics” lesson. She wanted to provide the foundation of her training philosophies and how she wants her horses ridden. This was exactly what I wanted, to start from the beginning and go from there, especially because I haven’ t taken a lesson in 13 years!!!

I’m going to try and summarize the main concepts from the lessons on my blog so that I can track my progress and keep tabs on what I’ve learned. Here we go:

Establish yourself as alpha on the ground – setting the expectations from the beginning on the ground during grooming will help when you’re mounted.

Tall, taller, taller – when mounted, sit up tall…and then sit up taller, and then finally, even taller.

Thighs on saddle – the inside of your thigh should lie flat against the saddle, don’t let your legs rotate outwards so that you’re using the back of your upper legs and calves to cue the horse.

Windshield wiper blade upper leg – think of your knee as the fulcrum of the windshield wiper when you’re posting at the trot. Your upper leg should go back and forth like the wiper, whereas your lower leg stays still.

Hips before shoulders – in dressage, you lead with your hips, not your shoulders.

Stabilize lower leg and sink into heels – lower leg should be still unless you’re applying an aid.

Thumbs up – thumbs on top, no piano hands

Carry yourself so the horse doesn’t have to do it for you – it is the riders’ responsibility to carry themselves evenly to allow the horse to do his job.

Hands like you’re carrying a tray – I’m not too sure about this one…gonna have to get some clarification!

Nose-to-toe for control – the quickest way to gain control if the horse acts up is to put their nose on your toe.

Figure 8 using nose-to-toe – a good exercise to get your horse to relax and pay attention to you and not what’s spooking them

Making yourself heavy, make yourself light – you have the ability to make yourself heavy or light. Imagine playing a game when you were a child where someone was trying to carry you and you made yourself heavy like a sack of potatoes. You didn’t gain any weight, you just made yourself heavy. Use this when riding too.

Downward transitions without using reins – make yourself heavy, restrict the forward movement, squeeze with your thighs.

Ninja core – Use your core to communicate with the horse. Tighten to restrict movement, loosen to encourage movement.

Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult – reward and release when the horse does what you ask, ignore when you get the wrong answer.

Ask politely, not by force/pain – always be polite when you ask your horse for something. Nurture a relationship of respect and don’t use discomfort to make them do something.

Pressure on lips, not on bars or tongue – when asking for roundness, use pressure on the lips (by lifting up on reins), not using pressure on the bars or tongue (pulling back or down).

Never pull back on reins, only upwards, or sideways – pulling back or down causes discomfort, upwards and sideways is a true ask.

Open the door – when turning, open the rein and invite the horse in with your outside leg

Half halt is the tightening of your core – it is the momentary “check” of tightening your core, not pulling back on the rein(s)

High energy horse + high energy rider = disaster

Responsibility lies with the rider to relax

Breathe

Rhythm

Plan your ride, have an end point – if you’re doing an exercise, pick where you’re going to do it and get it done by that point. Ex: if you’re going to halt at E, do what you have to do before E to make sure that you have halted when you get there. Refine as you get better.

Bring a forward horse back so that you can push them – forward horses need to relax so that you are able to ask them for more, aim to get them relaxed so that you can push for more.

Push the baby carriage – when you ask for more, let your hands move like you’re pushing a baby carriage, this allows more uninhibited movement.

Play with ring fingers, not with your hands – use only your fingers to play on the reins, not your whole hands

Lift up on the inside rein – lift up, play with fingers, lower your hands when the horse responds

Push from your inside leg to outside rein

Never stop communicating with your horse – riding is a two way communication between you and the horse. If the horses ears are both forward, he’s not listing to you.

The lesson was brilliant, I left a better rider than I started, I had a happy horse (Amber) and I cannot wait to practice tonight!

Horse immersion

15 Jan

It’s been awhile, so I thought I should post a little update about what I’ve been up to since the Great Corona Debacle of 2013!

I’ve immersed myself in riding out at TB’s and helping with all of the rescue horses… The best thing about being away from the Boss is the pure bliss out at TB’s! It’s strange when you know a situation is bad, but then when you’re out of it, you realize just how bad it truly was. I’m so fortunate to have found TB last spring and to have been given the opportunity to ride there.

I’ve met a tonne of like-minded people, been given the opportunity to work with loads of different horses and watch as they progress through the rehabilitation and training process.

I’ve also recruited CG to come ride with me at TBs! She stuck it out with the Boss until the fall but then had enough too. She’s now enjoying the greener pastures along with me.

I’m still working with the wonderful Amber, she was off for a few months but has been back in action for about 2 weeks now. In the meantime, I was working with a gorgeous grey mare named Rhea. She went through auction as a Perch-x, but there is definitely something fancy in there as well (guesses include Lusitano, Friesian). The thing about these horses is that even *if* there is information given at auction, most of the time the information is wrong, so it’s a bit of a guessing game.

Enough writing, time for some photos of the fun we’ve been having!!

Yes, I’m riding Amber dressed as a pirate wench…we had a costumed photo shoot on Monday!

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Goodbye Corona

10 Oct

Goodbye September 2013, and all the turmoil that came with you!

I’m both happy and sad to report that Corona has moved on to a new home, without me.

A lot has happened since my last blog, I didn’t even bother writing because things seemed to change every few days. I’m angry because it was all so unnecessary, I’m hurt because I lost my wonderful horse, I was fuming at the bullying that went on, but above all these things, I’m relieved that my Corona is now out of the Boss’ and in a good situation.

Since my last post, I agreed that the best option would be for him to go back to his previous owner. I let the Boss know this and then found out that she had lied to me, and she hadn’t actually spoken with Corona’s former owner about this. It tuned out that the owner couldn’t take him back because she had too many others to take care of. At this point, I offered to take him elsewhere, or to assist in finding him another home to solve the problem of the Boss not feeling comfortable handling him. I was outright refused both of these options by the Boss. She flatly told me that she would not let him go anywhere else because he is dangerous, and if anything were to happen to anyone that it would all come back on her and be bad for business. While I recognize that there are “dangerous” horses out there, Corona is not one of them. If he were dangerous, the Boss herself would be dead right now. If he were dangerous, how has a 76 year old woman who can barely walk looked after him for the last 3 years? If he were dangerous, how have I survived riding and showing him, taking him on hunter paces, and riding him bareback around the property for the last 3 years? If he were dangerous, why did he come to the Boss’ in the first place from a very reputable person in the horse community who has trained with Olympians? It doesn’t add up. The horse is not dangerous.

I was told that “as time permits” the previous owner and the aforementioned reputable person (we will call her CC), would try to place him, but that “nobody wants a lawn ornament”. At this point, I was going away for a week on vacation to visit my brother in California. I proceeded to get a text from the Boss that advised me to really think about what I wanted to do with my riding career because I shouldn’t waste my talent on a horse like Corona, I don’t owe him anything and he’d be better off put down. She then proceeded to reiterate that she would not pass him on unless she was guaranteed that he would be retired and never to be used, and that it’s her call to make. However, if I wanted to keep riding him at the Boss’, then I could. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with me. While away, CG emailed me to let me know that she had spoken to the Boss about it and the Boss said the same things to her. Basically, the option was to keep leasing him from the Boss and he will get put down when the Boss decides she’s done, or stop riding at the Boss’ and he will get put down immediately.

Great choice eh? What would you have done given these options?

Well, after much deliberation and being away from the situation, I chose the second option. Walk away and accept that he was going to be put down. It was gut-wrenching. I felt so guilty giving him this death sentence. The only thing that I found comfort in was the fact that I knew it wasn’t me doing this to him. I offered everything I could have to help and the Boss outright refused. It was clear that she just wanted my money and she was bullying me, she feigned that she was doing it for me, and for awhile I believed she had good intentions. I have known the boss for 7 years now and always given her the benefit of the doubt. Enough was enough, I just couldn’t take it anymore because it was so manipulative.

On Sept 25th, I went out to the Boss’ to let her know my decision and to say goodbye to Corona. I refused to tell her to put him down, I didn’t want to ever say such a thing because I didn’t believe it was a valid option. The Boss was in the barn, and I politely said, “Like you requested, I have done a lot of thinking about what I want to do. I want you to know that today is going to be my last day out here”. The Boss was shocked. She didn’t know what to say. I proceeded to tell her that I cannot keep coming out knowing that she will be putting this horse down in two weeks, two months, or two years, or whenever she decides to get out of the business, and that my only option is to ride there under that premise or to tell her to put him down now. At first she tried to deny it, saying that that’s not how she sees it, but then she said, “Well, that’s going to be the case no matter where you ride.” I don’t think so.

She proceeded to tell me how she would be very sad if I were to leave, and that she has no problem if I wanted to continue to ride Corona there. My mind was made up however. We went for our last ride together and I said my goodbyes….again. CG was there too and helped me gather up all my things and put them into the car. I left that night feeling powerless, but confident that I had made the right decision.

The next few days were nauseating. I was just waiting to hear something from the Boss or CG telling me that he had been put down. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard from the Boss since my last night out there. I was certain I would have got another email, but I guess not. Last week, I saw a text from CG – I started to read it with a lump in my throat and then I saw, “The Boss found a home for Corona!!! Well, I suspect CC did…but he leaves on Sunday and it is a retirement home with some rescue horses!” Tears filled my eyes as I blasted CG with 100 questions that she didn’t know the answers to. I was so happy. I guess my praying paid off and the horse gods were listening. Sure enough, CG made sure she was out at the Boss’ on Sunday to load Corona to make sure there was no funny business going on. I had one more proud moment when I found out he loaded perfectly ! Later that night, the Boss sent CG a text telling her that it was a “nice place with really nice people and the other horses look to be in great condition, they even use the same vet”. For the first time in month, the overwhelming feeling of guilt and nausea subsided.

I still haven’t heard anything from the Boss, not even to let me know personally that he wasn’t put down. I tried to message CC on facebook to pass along Corona’s blankets to the new owners, but I haven’t got a response and I suspect I probably won’t get one.

I’m still very sad about the whole situation, again, just because it was so unnecessary, but like many have said before – I believe things happen for a reason.

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Living in the moment

10 Sep

What can I say except this week has been quite the emotional roller-coaster. I’m pretty sure this situation has taken me through every emotion and reaction possible – sadness, hope, sense of powerlessness, love, anger, tears, laughter, fear and everything in between.

My gut feeling was telling me that the best option for everyone involved was to see if Corona could go back to his former owner, provided that she would take good care of him. While I would love to keep him, I would be very nervous about not being able to provide the best home for him due to never actually owning a horse before. I have however, looked into boarding options, just incase, as I would be willing to take on this challenge for his sake, despite my nerves. This would also allow me to sever ties with the Boss!

Last night when I was at TB’s, I told her a bit about the situation with Corona. I also told her that I was worried and didn’t necessarily trust that the Boss wouldn’t lie to me and send him to the meat man. There must have been a guardian angel looking over Corona because TB said that she wouldn’t let that happen and that worst case, she would take him and find him a good home. The weight of the world seemed to lift off my shoulders at that point, at least temporarily.

I found out from the Boss later last night (again, through email) that her agreement with the previous owner was that if she ever doesn’t want him anymore, then his old owner gets first refusal, and if she cannot take him back, then she would try to find a suitable home for him, and if she couldn’t, then he would get put down. I never knew that this was the agreement – why wouldn’t the Boss have told me this from the get go? The Boss also told me that she won’t let me have him to take elsewhere. I’m not sure if this is because of the agreement, or because she outright refuses. I have so many unanswered questions that I know I will never get the answers to.

While I don’t know his former owner, I’m happy that she seems like a responsible horse person and had outlined this plan for him. Of course, I certainly do not want him put down, and would ask her directly if I could have him before that would happen. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will take him back…I don’t know what her situation is currently, but I’m hopeful. I’m also hopeful that if he went back, then I could stay in touch her to see how he’s doing. Even the Boss said she sees no reason why this shouldn’t be the case, which puts aside some of the paranoia I had about the Boss lying. As of now, the Boss is going to speak with the former owner to see what the current situation is, and we’re going to go from there.

I’m trying to keep my emotions in check, but it’s hard. I rode Corona the other day and bawled my eyes out pretty much the entire time. When I was catching him from the field, he cantered up to me at the gate, which he has done maybe once before. In true Corona fashion, he also bucked me off during our ride after I used my whip because he wasn’t listening…and for the very first time ever, he ran back over to me when he realized I was on the ground. It’s not that I was happy about being bucked off, but in a weird way, I was grateful I fell off because I was able to experience the utter joy I felt when he ran back to me. It know it sounds melodramatic, but I’m appreciating each moment with him just incase it’s our last because I know that day will inevitably come sooner rather than later.

Sadness, disappointment, and anger

5 Sep

I feel sick to my stomach at the state of affairs at the Boss’ and can honestly say I don’t know what to do.

We went to a show on Sunday and unfortunately, Corona was an anxious mess. I felt terrible for him because I don’t know where it came from and no matter what I tried, nothing seemed to ease his anxiety. Our first test was a complete mess and it was tough to even get him into the ring. He’s never been like that before. We improved in our second test and I was actually quite pleased given the circumstances, but all in all it was just a bad day.

The Boss was not happy. When the Boss isn’t happy, she lets you know in very childish ways (despite her being 75 yrs old!). I received an email from her on Tuesday which essentially said that she thought Corona was ruining my riding, that I was becoming a defensive and fearful rider, and that I’ve taken him as far as he’ll ever go. She acknowledged the work I’ve put into him and that it has paid off, but that he is just a nut and no amount of patience, training, love, coaching will ever change that. She then said that she’d like to send him back to his previous owner who apparently would take him back, and he’d be able to live peacefully out there. She also said that it’s not good for her business to be associated with a horse like him because it would discourage prospective coaching/training jobs (note: in the 6 years I’ve been there, there has been nobody lining up to work with her). She also mentioned that due to her age, she is not as quick as she used to be, and frankly would prefer that he wasn’t there. She proposed that she sent him back to the old owner, and that I continue to lease one of the other “good” horses at the barn.

I knew the email was coming, I received a similar one back in the winter. I wasn’t sure whether the email was asking me for my opinion, or essentially telling me that she was sending Corona back.

I truly don’t think I’ve become a fearful rider at all. In my response, I responded to each of her points and said that if she is asking for my opinion, then I would like to continue riding Corona and working with him because I feel we can still make progress. I also said that while I’m not opposed to Corona going back to his former owner if he will be cared for, I am not okay if the actual intention is to send him to a dealer or for meat (which sadly I know she wouldn’t have a problem with). To be frank, I just don’t trust her because she has promised to find homes for many of her other horses and then she decides to just either call the meat man directly, or sends them to a dealer which essentially means they’re going for meat. I also acknowledged that if she wasn’t comfortable handling him anymore, that I obviously didn’t want anyone getting hurt, but reiterated that I was under the impression that he was being well-behaved (since this is what she has told me as recently as last weekend!).

Her response back to me was extremely passive aggressive and essentially said that she was just concerned that I wasn’t enjoying myself and that she just wants me to be happy. She managed to slide in some insults about how “pea-brained” Corona is and all in all the tone of the email was just ridiculous. The fact that this conversation was over email was ridiculous, but the Boss will not have it any other way (she’d done the same sort of thing with SM and CG). From her response however, it appeared that I had dodged a bullet and that Corona would stay, despite the Boss thinking it was a waste of time.

As expected, when I went out to the barn last night, the Boss didn’t say anything about the email, just carried on as if nothing had happened. It was extremely awkward. I just did my thing and left as emotions were still running quite high for me. CG sent me a text she had received randomly from the Boss that afternoon which was the icing on the cake. The text was rude, unnecessary, and hurtful, it said:

“Well, she says she loves him to death, thinks he did great in the second class at the show, etc. Doesn’t have any interest in other horses, likes the challenge of a difficult(!) horse, hasn’t become defensive, etc. Ok, end of story. Need to find someone else to come ride who likes to do stuff.”

This text hurt more than the email. It completely took parts of my response and misconstrued them, and it clearly shows a lack of respect from someone who I have bent over backwards for for the last 6 years.

I can’t do it anymore, I cannot go out there and deal with this sort of bullying behaviour to myself and to others. I don’t want to go back there ever again, I want to just wash my hands of her and move on elsewhere…but I can’t do that because of Corona. I am fearful of what she’ll do with him if I just leave. I don’t think she would send him to his former owner, I think she’d call the meatman.

I don’t know if I’m in a position to take Corona myself, either financially or knowledge-wise…in particular because leaving would not be on good terms so I couldn’t rely on the Boss to give me any moral support in any way, or be there to answer any questions I would have. The way I see it, I have three options:

1) Just get out as of now, and hope that she sends Corona to his old owners, but realize that he may not.

2) Keep my emotions in check, tell the Boss I’ve had a change of heart and that I agree with her and think it best for Corona to go back to his old owner (and make sure that this is actually the truth about where he is going). Once he’s there, then tell the Boss that I’m done with her.

3) Take a risk and ask if I can take Corona and keep him somewhere else.

I can barely talk about this without crying, I’m a total mess and feel powerless. Over the years, the Boss has done many things which I’ve disagreed with, but she has never hurt me as much as she has with this incident. I seriously have no idea what to do…I just want the horse to be safe and for me to cut all ties with the Boss.

Highest score ever!

26 Aug

I couldn’t be more pleased with Corona, even if I tried. Our show on Saturday gave us our highest score ever and we took home two third-place ribbons!

First of all, as we were loading to go to the show Corona practically ran into the trailer himself which left me with a huge grin on my face even before we left the Boss’ property. I’m so proud of how far he has come over the last few months, especially when I consider the chaos of the first show trailer loading incident. I’m actually going to do another trailer loading session with Corona at some point in the near future to see if I can get him to load and unload without me having to go into the trailer with him; I’m pretty confident he would do it, it’s just a matter of me feeling confident enough to let him without worrying about all the things that could go wrong.

Oh – I forgot to mention – when the ride times came out for the show, I nearly had a heart attack. Since the show had so many classes and riders, they were running two rings at the same time. I had visions of Corona and I being responsible for ruining others’ show experiences if he carried on the way he did at the last show. I convinced myself that the rings wouldn’t be side-by-side and that everything would be great.

Upon pulling into the venue, all of my self-convincing turned into, “oh shit”; there was only about 10 feet separating the two rings. There was also a very small warm-up ring, tents flapping in the wind, a variety of flowerpots and garden decorations, lawn chairs, strollers, and lots of bushes.

We got our numbers at the registration desk, tacked up and took the horses to the warm-up ring before our first tests. I don’t even think the warm up ring was 20m x 40m but there were already about 8 horses in there. I just did my thing and focussed on staying calm and avoiding crashing into anyone. Corona was definitely looking at things and was hesitant at times, but he was actually quite a bit more relaxed than I had expected – I just went with it. There was a woman in there with a cute grey horse that was having a hard time calming him down, needless to say, I really felt for her as I know all too well what that feels like! Lucky for her, her coach was there so was walking her through a “calming” routine (and yes, I eavesdropped to learn a thing or two)!

Before long, I was up for Training Test 1. We had to walk past the end of the small ring (where someone was doing their test already) to the big ring where I’d be riding. I walked Corona around the outside and he spooked just before the judges booth, but carried on without too much of a fuss. The bell rang for us to start out test so I circled back to A to enter the ring. We went in and Corona felt a bit stiff, but not nearly as giraffe-like as he can be. Our halt wasn’t super, but hey, it was immobile. We continued our test and I was very pleased with how things were going! Corona was hesitating so a bit sluggish off the leg, but to be honest, I much prefer pushing him on than hanging onto his alter-ego, “Bull-in-china-shop.” He did something that is very unusual for him – we were cantering and as we were going down the long side from A to E, he broke to a trot(?!) I picked up the canter again and he picked up the wrong lead (??!!), I corrected it and we continued. We finished the test without any more indiscretions.

We had about an hour before our second test, so we parked ourselves at the end of the warm up ring so that we could watch the others in our class. There were some really excellent riders and really nice horses. There was one girl who I really felt for (a different one from the warm up ring). She was on this GORGEOUS black Hanoverian who had the floatiest movement I’ve ever seen. It was the horse’s first show and he was terrified of the judges box. He wouldn’t go near it. Aside from that, her test was mesmerizing, but due to the judges box issue, she came last in the class. On a complimentary note however – someone from the host barn offered to buy her horse right then and there!

In my opinion, my second test was on par with the first. Corona was still quite hesitant at times, but there were no major meltdowns. At one point, the judge from the other ring rang her bell for that rider, and Corona spooked and leapt forward, but to his credit, he recovered really quickly and we continued on as if nothing had happened. Our halts were much better in this test, especially our final one.

After we had untacked, we walked the horses back up to the rings to see our scores. I was shocked to see that I had come third in both classes! In my first test, I got a 57.5% which I thought was a bit low to be honest…I got a 58% in the first show of the season when Corona was a raging maniac. The girl who placed first got a 67%, the second place got a 66.4% and then there was me, and the lowest of 6 scores was a 52%. In the second test however, we got a 64.8% – the highest score we’ve ever received! The scores were all much higher in the second test, with the 1st place winner getting 67.8% and the last place out of 7 getting a score of 60.71%. I know I’m no dressage judge, but I honestly didn’t think there was THAT much of a difference between my two tests – I’m not complaining at all, it’s just interesting and I suppose, is one of the things that comes with the territory of dressage.

We let the horses graze for a while before loading up and heading home. At some point throughout the day, the Boss decided that Corona had finally figured this show thing out, and subsequently convinced me to do one more show with him. There’s one coming up this weekend, but it’s at the same venue as the last disaster so I’m not keen on going. There one the weekend after at a venue I’ve never been to, but is supposedly very nice and calm so we’ve signed up to go there on Sept 1.

Remember how I mentioned Corona broke from canter to trot in the first test and then picked up the wrong lead? Well, Murphy’s Law struck and when I rode him the other night, he was off! Not overly lame, but definitely had some head-bobbing going on a the trot. I really hope it’s nothing and all will be well. The blacksmith is coming out Monday so will be able to take a look at things if they haven’t improved by then. I didn’t feel any heat or swelling, so maybe he just was a bit sore (fingers crossed!!).

**UPDATE** – so it seems I forgot to post this blog once I wrote it – the good news is that yesterday Corona seemed MUCH better. I lunged him prior to riding to see the status and he looked fine. I tacked him up and got on and he felt 100% to the left, but still slightly off to the right. I soaked both of his front feet in an Epsom salt tub for a good half hour, then packed him hooves with poultice and wrapped them. Blacksmith is out today, I wonder if he’ll find anything?

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It’s about time for an update

14 Aug

A lot has happened in my happy horse world over the last two weeks, and just when I thought things were under control!

First up – Amber. I had been riding Amber one evening and we had a fabulous ride. After we’d finished, I went to go and see TB to give her a progress update. We got chatting a bit and she asked me how my showing was going with Corona. I mentioned to her that my show season with him was over because I just didn’t think it was doing us any good. She then said, “Well, I’m sorry to hear that…actually I’m not really that sorry because I have a proposition for you! What if you took Amber instead?” I hadn’t ever really considered doing this, mostly because I only ride her once a week at the moment due to my Corona commitments. TB mentioned that she would give me free trailering, but I’d pay the entry fees. Seems fair to me. I told her I’d look at the schedule and see if there were any shows that might work.

She then proceeded to ask me what my plans were in the fall and about the details of my lease with Corona. I mentioned to her that Corona is pretty much like my own horse as I’m the only one who rides him, and that come the fall, the plan was that CG and I would take our horses from the Boss’ and they’d live out at CG’s hobby farm. Upon hearing this, she eluded to this foiling a plan that she was mulling over for me involving something with Amber. She wouldn’t tell me the details, apparently because she didn’t want to butt-in on my Corona plans. She then proceeded to tell me that at some point she wanted to give me a lesson on her horse (who is trained to 4th level dressage) as a thankyou for my work with Amber. Sweet! I’m still wondering what that proposition was though!

Murphy’s Law – Amber has been lame since this conversation. Horses! First TB thought it was an abscess, now it looks like maybe she had some stone bruising, so she got shoes on Monday. Hopefully she’ll recover quickly as I was planning on entering us in a show on September 2.

Next up – Corona.

I cannot say anything bad about Corona, he has been a wonderful and solid equine citizen. We’re still plugging away at our training and I’ve been allowed to take him up to the back hay field to work on our “hacking”. After I told the Boss about being done with showing for the year, a remarkable thing happened. She encouraged me to do one more show. I was somewhat dumbfounded as she normally looks for any excuse to try to get me to let her get rid of Corona. Don’t get me wrong, she still told me how he is an awful horse and I’m essentially wasting my time on an arsehole that gives me little in return, but at the same time, she encouraged me to try again. What has been even more interesting is that over the last week, she has given me suggestions about things I could try in the show ring if things start to go hairy. With this in mind, we’re going to another show on Saturday at the barn where Corona was born! I’m going there and looking at it as a training opportunity and nothing more. If Corona starts to melt down in the ring, I’m just going to stop him or do some transititions instead of trying to ride through it like I’ve been doing. I’m actually pretty excited about it to be honest.

Lastly – Plans thwarted.

CG told me last week that she and her husband are going to sell the farm. There are many valid reasons for this but I don’t want to post their business on here even if I only use code names! To be honest, part of me wondered if our plan was ever going to come to fruition, as I picked up on little red flags here and there along the way. CG also has decided that Roller is not the horse for her, but will ride him until a new home can be found for him. Oh – this reminds me – I don’t think I ever mentioned that as of about 6 weeks ago, SM gave up her lease on Ember and no longer rides.

I’m not quite sure what to make of all this. On one hand, I’ve very grateful CG & husband have had these realizations now before we set up shop at their place. On the other, I was looking forward to getting rid of the drama that comes with the Boss’ including the copius negative comments about Corona! As of right now, no decisions need to be made, we can carry on status quo, but I’m definitely going to think about what I want and how best to do that. Perfect scenario? I take Corona to TBs…her board is rather expensive however and I don’t think I’d be comfortable paying that much at the moment. I’ve been wondering if I could work something out with her, but I think I’ll sit tight for the moment and weigh my options.

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