This is what Tia thought about schooling!




My mind is all over the place today. As I was out feeding I got thinking about how easily I lose motivation. It’s like, once my horse is fairly reliable I start dogging it with the schooling. I just don’t have the experience to know what I should really be working on and I lose my motivation. I argue with myself about this kind of stuff all the time.

On one hand, I know my horse is perfectly capable of doing what I normally do, which is trail ride. Sure, there are things we’ll encounter out there that we’ll need to work on, but it’s not like every time we go out something new comes up. Meanwhile, there are scores of things I could (and should) probably be teaching her, but I really don’t have the means. For instance, I’d love to know I can load her into a trailer with ease in case I ever want to go somewhere different to ride. But I don’t have a trailer and I don’t have any experience teaching a horse how to load. Then again, the breeder got her here, so maybe this isn’t an issue? Same with ring work. I could keep riding her down in the arena, but am I working on the right stuff? I have no way of knowing. I’m not a trainer and a few lessons aside, I’ve never had any formal schooling myself. So I worry more about teaching my horse bad habits than I worry about not doing enough schooling. After all, it’s not like I’m going to need a perfect flying lead change out on the trail. Some would argue that not teaching my horse to be anything but a good reliable trail mount is irresponsible, but if I don’t have any aspiration to show and I don’t plan on selling my horse, then what’s wrong with just having a lot of trail miles?

Sometimes I daydream about different things, like having a trailer and a horse that I know loads so I could take her to a nearby stable where we could take lessons together. Since that isn’t possible, then I daydream about boarding her there for a couple of months so I could take lessons with her. But then Bullet would be left home alone …. not that he couldn’t adjust to that, but it would be a bit chaotic for awhile. And I’m not sure how Dharla would do being moved to a new place, albeit temporary. Would she be a spook machine? Would I have to spend weeks just getting her settled in and adjusted? And I’d have to let go of all my control issues. Not that I don’t trust the place where I’d board her. I do. But I’m just a wee bit of a control freak when it comes to the care of my animals.

OK, I’m a huge control freak.

So this is the kind of stuff that rattles around in my brain as I’m picking the pasture, waiting for the horses to finish their grain.

7 thoughts on “Scattered

  1. That’s a great picture. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Do I need to quote you to you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is not irresponsible to have a great trail horse. A trail horse is what you use, what you need. A perfectly trained dressage horse won’t do you any good in your day-to-day riding. There’s nothing wrong with learning for the sake of learning, though – it’s fun for both you and for your horse. If you would go and take lessons because it’s enjoyable, and your riding would benefit, then sure, do it! If you would take lessons because you feel guilty and obligated, then don’t! Both you and Dharla will be frustrated.

    There’s nothing wrong with a trail horse doing what she – and her rider – love to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sometimes I just get confused. I’ve been riding western all my life, but I bought a sport horse. So last summer I started taking English lessons and I really enjoyed it. It’s hard to find a good western instructor nearby, so I was just happy to be taking lessons and getting a bit more formal education. I’m not by any means a bad rider. I know I have great balance, a good seat and soft hands. It’s the really fine points I don’t think I have. I mean, where I come from just staying on and running a fast pattern was really all that mattered.

      I do daydream sometimes about showing Dharla, but then I come back to reality and think about all the money and stuff that entails. But it’s fun to think about. Meanwhile, I’ll try to stay focused on making sure she’s getting lots of miles under her belt. After all, that’s what we do here. She’s come a long way in just a year!

  2. Its nice to know someone else’s brain has the same ramblings as mine! I frequently wonder if I am “wasting” a wonderful horse by not pushing and/or training to her full potential. Also, I have a daughter who is a very competitive and successful rider, which makes me feel super inferior ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • The thing I try to remind myself is that Dharla is young. I don’t have to teach her everything in a year or two and I’ve got lots of time (God willing) to try different things. I also try very hard not to get sucked into feeling “less than” others because I don’t show or compete. That’s not for everyone and it doesn’t make us inferior just because we choose not to go down that road. Your daughter’s horse is beautiful and they’re a great team. That’s what matters most, right? You just got Blu, so don’t rush it. Everything will come together for you two in due time!

      • Thank you for the encouragement. I am very happy with Blu, I am sure you can tell by my constant photos ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t really have a desire to show, but would really like to be a more competent and confident rider in general, and work into ldr endurance rides. I do recognize my good points but I am my worst critic…

  3. A control-freak, huh? I wouldn’t know what that’s like at all. NOT!

    On the trailer thing… my experience says that if your horse trusts you and you just walk up to it like its no big deal, it isn’t going to be any big deal.

    On the schooling thing… there are some books that I think Cherry Hill has put out – several of them along the lines of 101 Exercises for the _______ rider. It seems to me there is a western, english and maybe dressage version – possibly others too. The exercises go from very basic to more advanced. The main focus is on gettng good body control so you can direct any part of your horse any where you want it. I always figure that stuff comes in really handy on trails.

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