Once upon a time I had a green horse. Rides were somewhat unpredictable, and some lessons I could do my best and things would still kinda suck overall because he was green.
Then I took weekly (or twice weekly) lessons for two years. I added a weekly training ride. We went to shows with the only goal being “get around”. We did more stuff at home on our non-lesson days. Slowly it started coming together.
Simon has always been a really good guy. I think you can tell from reading this blog that I’m not a superstar rider. I can’t take a hot, crazy wild horse and turn it into an on the buckle hunter. Naturally, his personality has made training him pretty easy in the grand scheme of things.
I stopped fearing falling off about two months after I got him, but still I kept thinking of him as the green horse.
This past weekend I had a lesson where we did some complicated things including the circle of death (poles) at the trot and canter, 3/4 the circle of death jumping, asking for leads over the fence, flying changes, and bending lines. It was a smidge more difficult than our normal lessons, even though all the jumps were friendly and small.
I had a fantastic time. Sure, I definitely made mistakes but we rocked the circle of death at times and he changed that lead for me over the fence and he gave me two clean (although expressive) flying changes. After our lesson, I felt like a million bucks.
I realized that it was one of the first lessons on Simon that I’ve ever had where I felt like everything that didn’t go well was 100% my fault. That’s not to say I’ve been running around blaming my horse for everything for the past two years, but I daresay he feels really damn broke at this point. If it’s something he’s done before, and I asked correctly with the correct timing… he’s going to do it more times than not.
It feels like the end of the sprint, and ahead of us is the marathon.
My horse and I have lots of things to learn and lots of things to improve on, but I think I’ll stop calling him green. I will still be calling him a nerd, because that’s a description that doesn’t go hand in hand with training!