Monday, July 20, 2009

Sometimes, you've just got to dance with the boy you came with...

I found out last Thursday that we'd be doing a group lesson on Sunday so I emailed Aubrey's dad right away to see if it would be okay to use the truck and trailer on Sunday morning. He said he was going to take it in to get serviced on Saturday, so if all was well Sunday would be fine. Saturday afternoon he let me know that the brake pads needed replacing, and Sunday morning was the only time available. I was pretty bummed out because this lesson we'd be working on lead changes, I called up my trainer to see if there would be a horse available to ride, since I'd be leaving mine at home with no truck to haul him. He said he in fact DID have a horse for me to ride... and she even knew how to turn around. That got me pretty excited, so I wasn't quite as upset that I had to leave Rem at home.

I got to the barn not really knowing what to expect. My trainer pointed out a small bay mare in one of the stalls and told me to saddle her up. She couldn't have been taller than 14.2 hands. She was very plain looking, just a regular Quarter horse. My trainer didn't know a whole lot about her, just that he'd ridden her once and she lopes nice circles and she knew how to turn around well. So, I wasn't real sure what I was getting into. I took her out to the arena and got on. It took a while for me to relax on her... probably because I'm not as young as I used to be, but once I realized how broke she was I started to have a pretty good time. The lesson went well, and at the end my trainer told me to turn her around a little... Man was that ever fun!

It turns out, he had wanted me to ride that mare to show me how much more fun it would be for me to own a broke reiner as opposed to trying so hard to make Remington into something that he may never be. The mare is for sale... but there is no way I could ever afford her, and to be honest she is reasonably priced. I'll be honest though... the most I've ever paid for a horse was $400... Anyway, for the rest of the day I was trying to think up ways to afford a horse like her, because it IS so much fun. But, at the same time... I don't think my trainer gives Rem enough credit. I am realistic about this too, I KNOW Rem has his downfalls, and he'll NEVER be able to turn around the way that mare did... But, at the same time, he just keeps progressing. I know we'll top out somewhere, but we're not to that point yet. And while I agree, when learning to ride horses or starting a new discipline, it's nice to have a broke horse to teach you. But I feel that I am a competent enough horseman to learn from and teach my horse. I may learn much faster with a broke horse, but I just don't have that kind of money laying around to go out and buy that horse. I think I could sell both Rem and Risk and have enough money to buy a finished reiner... but I can't do that. Sometimes emotional attachments suck, but I would need to choose between selling my two horses to get a finished reiner or keeping them and "dancing with the boy I came with". If I couldn't part with Rem at the auction, I'm pretty sure I'm stuck with him... and I'm okay with that.

Tonight I went out and rode him, thinking boy this is going to be nothing compared to the way that little mare felt. But much to my surprise Rem proved me wrong and turned around pretty nicely for me. I'm even feeling a little bit dizzy still. I know he'll get there. I think about how far he's come in such a short time with things like his lope departure... It wasn't pretty right up until a few weeks ago when I really started working on it. He has developed the muscles he needs to pick up his belly and lope off gracefully from a walk. I haven't worked on his spin much lately, so it's only a matter of him developing the muscles he needs to get a little quicker and more collected to just turn right around. I can feel him trying so hard to get into a rhythm and find where his feet need to go, he just needs more consistency, which I'm going to start giving him.

I guess there was a lot on my mind regarding this subject. I just can't believe riding that mare made me think so much about what it would take to get a horse like her... But then hopping on Rem tonight brought me back to my senses. I've just got to keep trucking along with him... We'll get there eventually...

ANYWAY... If you ever get the chance to go to The Melting Pot, I recommend it... but go at a time when they have a special going on, because paying full price would be ridiculous. They had a girls night out special that some friends from work invited me to. We got the cheese fondue with bread, veggies and apples for dipping. Then we had our choice of a salad, followed by chocolate fondue, with fruit and pastries for dipping! It was very good... but I'm thinking I should not have rode Remington after eating... I'm feeling a little sick now... bleh.

Well, one day down, four to go. It's just a never ending problem I have, this thing called a job... Those weekends never seem to last long enough.


Linda said...

I love the Melting Pot, but yeah, we go during Happy Hour to save money.

I think you've hit on a good point--but maybe you just need to take lessons on an experienced horse. I did that with my dressage lessons, because unless you can feel it, how in the world will you expect it or know when you get it from your own horse?

Sounds like Rem did better just from the one night you rode him after riding that mare. :)

Andrea said...

Someday you'll show that trainer just what you CAN do on your boy.

But really, does all that performance stuff matter when you love your horses and have a good bond with them? It might be nice to ride a trained horse, but I think there's definitely something better about riding a horse you know inside and out, one you've been with through thick and thin.

Anonymous said...

sounds like you at least have a nice trainer!!! my trainer actually told me that my palomino needed a bullet between the eyes... boy did I prove not only HER wrong but everyone else that thought the same thing when we went into the show arena and beat the pants off of them all!!!

Tracey said...

Jess, I've ridden a lot of broke horses...well, broke to me as Curt calls them green...and they do make you a bit envious from time to time. Riding them does give you an idea of what you're shooting for, and helps you recognize when you've got it.

What we need to realize with our mustangs is exactly what everyone else needs to come to terms with when they ride a grade horse; some horses simply are built for doing a job better than others. Most of our mustangs will do well; few of them will get noticed at top levels. But few of ANY breed make it to the top.

So just keep plugging away with Rem, and I'll keep my eye open for a mustang here who's got the spark plug you're really looking for. Lots of them out there, you know...but picking them's the hard part.