Thursday, September 1, 2016

giving it another Gogo

Short and sweet post today, with more pictures than words. And this first photo is actually unfortunately the only relevant one, sorry. Idk why it's been so difficult to get media from these lessons at OF lately... but then again I haven't really been hounding people to take video for me since the likelihood for the ride to be ugly is.... high haha.

handsome Gogo
So backing up a couple steps, I felt really kinda blah going into our weekly OF lesson with trainer P. In some ways I'm a little burnt out on hustling up interesting horses to ride.

Schoolies are great for an easy mindless romp, but they're often not very tuned up or are very set in their own lesson horse ways. Plus I don't necessarily feel great about taking a pony who works hard for his oats and making it work that much harder...

husky alert!!! what i only briefly noted about the stephen birchall clinic was that it actually served as a bit of a blogger meet up!! 
So I was kinda vague about whether I'd be bringing a horse from our farm (maybe Krimpet?) or whether I'd need an OF horse to use. It's just frustrating bc I want to ride, and I enjoy riding all these horses. But often, the non-schoolie horses that are available for me to ride are available for a reason, ya know?

maybe the only actual group shot of the day haha - that would be Liz and Griffin!! and then Nicole and Austen watching and taking pictures!!!
Ultimately I ended up not confirming with trainer P about using one of her horses, and just hauled Brita and Wick over but without a horse for myself. Yes I wanted to ride.... but I also was just kinda worn out. And wasn't sure I wanted to ride Noel again (sweet thing tho she is!), or ride Gogo since he's still really not working at all between my rides. So I figured with my mood I would just spectate and take pictures or something.

these two were so fun to watch!! can't wait to read Liz's post about it! 
My sour little plan was foiled tho when an OF barn rat pointed out that she had already brought Gogo in for me and that he was ready and waiting. This led to a few more mental acrobatics and contortions trying to figure out what I really want here. The decision? I'll get on and flat him around seriously and with purpose, and then go from there.

lyra is skeptical of kenai haha
And that's exactly how the lesson went. As I texted Austen and Allison later on, I "flatted that fucker until he felt like one Gogo instead of two," with the added assistance of a dressage whip (snagged last minute from my trailer in a moment of clarity) applied early and firmly.

kenai and sonka got along just fine tho!
And the horse was fine. Quite nice, actually. He wasn't necessarily thrilled with being made to work, but went to work all the same. Whereas last week I could only get fleeting moments of him softening and lifting his back, this week he eventually got to a place where he would more or less hold his own self in line. MUCH better, big guy! And much more like my first ride on him.

fat cat at austen's barn!!
So I did end up jumping him around a little. Nothing crazy, tho we did tackle a couple lines, including the one that caused all the problems last week. And I'm happy to say that I didn't get jumped out of the tack once. Which was maybe a good thing bc Gogo's freer softer back meant that he was happy to throw in his little bolts. Fix one problem, uncover another, isn't that always the way?

so chubby!!
So I'm glad I rode Gogo after all. It's reassuring on a couple levels - most obviously being that yea I can actually jump this horse without getting tossed around. But also that I could make the flatwork happen and that it would in fact improve the jumping.

Small wins for sure, but that's basically all I'm working with right now. And we'll take redemption where we can find it, right?

Have you ever had to get back on a horse after some problems, when you weren't sure you could fix it? Or is that a situation where you're more likely to say 'thanks but no thanks'? Or is it shit like this that makes you happy to stick to just your well known and familiar equine partners?

26 comments:

  1. I've always been more comfortable riding the same horse(s) day in and day out -- it takes me a long time to figure them out and feel comfortable. But I will say that each horse you ride teaches you new skills, and helps you on your journey.

    I look back, and while not all of my rides were great or super fun, they did lead me to be able to be where I am today, which is where I want to be. Just some food for thought <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh yea i agree completely - all of these rides and horses have given me something. even the schoolies - noel gave me confidence, casanova showed me the value of softening to the fence. the problem children (ahem, krimpet) show me the value of reward-based training and positive reinforcement, and the trained up privately owned guys (lion, shen, gogo) have all helped me refine my aids. it definitely feels like a journey tho haha. i'm a little tired!

      Delete
  2. I have days where I just can't deal with Stinker. I'm tired and/or can't get my head on right, so I just groom him and tell him he is pretty. I also get frustrated when I'm riding lesson horses and feel like I can make progress that day but nothing actually sticks so every time I'm starting over. Basically I don't like to share...

    I'm glad you got a better ride this time around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha yea i dont' love sharing either lol, it's kinda a problem for me in my current state! but i think you also hit the nail on the head with feeling like you kinda have to start over every ride with a typical lesson horse. the same might be true for a horse that's basically out of work too...

      Delete
  3. #1 I'm obsessed with that fat cat and Mike took so many pictures of it when we were there in the spring #2 HUSKYTHON!!! #3 I'm SO glad you had a much better ride on Gogo this time around! I'm at the point in my life where I'm picky about what I'll sit on, and I'm likely to say "no thanks" to riding someone else's problem child if there's nothing much in it for me! I have my own little snowflake to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha it's quite the photogenic cat!!!

      and yea i hear ya about being picky. i like the problem children to a certain degree, so long as i feel like i can help them. if i feel like they're out of my league (or just plain dangerous) then yea i'm probably gonna pass. i like them the most tho when i can really truly dig in and work with them for a while, see what we're really dealing with, ya know?

      Delete
  4. I go through phases where I'll ride multiple different horses, then I get tired of it and go back to the familiar one or two that I enjoy. I know there are people that love all the riding, and all the horses but at the end of the day I think I'm one that would rather be in a long term partnership :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea 'phases' is probably a really good way to describe it. and i'm enjoying this phase in a lot of ways... but like you say, it'll be nice to go back to something more consistent!

      Delete
  5. I absolutely have reached a point where I'm in over my head but it's usually with a horse in training that I can make the call to just pull back and try a different route forward

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i believe it! it's easy to reach that point with some of these problem children too, tho luckily as basically just a catch rider on most of them i don't really have any pressure to reach any particular goal or whatever, so it's easy enough to back off when needed. doesn't always make it very fun tho!

      Delete
  6. Huskies! Love blogger meet ups.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. meeeeee too!!! esp when it involves blogger dogs lol

      Delete
  7. I think I am very different in that I just love the bond with my horse and while I do have things I want to learn and do, the entire point of my riding is to be with my horse. I can have just as much fun and have my soul refreshed by a good spa day or hand grazing as I can with riding and reaching goals. I couldn't handle being a lesson girl or even doing part leasing because I always felt bad asking a horse I just met and had no relationship with to immediately go to work for me. I'm a one horse kinda gal, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i think that's totally fair. the greatest thing about horses (imo) is that we all can enjoy them and get different types of rewards from our time with them. i definitely agree about the soul refreshment just from spending time with horses - that's just so critical to me. i tend to want a little more tho, at least at this point in my life and riding. i'd love to be the best rider i possibly can be, whatever that means.

      Delete
  8. I think the thing I love most about riding and competing is developing a partnership with my horse and finding out what we can do together. If life circumstances were different, I might sing a different tune, but as it stands, I have zero interest in bopping around on random lesson horses. An occasional schoolmaster to learn from for a specific reason, sure, but there is zero allure to just catch riding reject horses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea the random lesson horse thing really doesn't do it for me either. i mean, sure noel was a very good confidence building ride for me when i felt low, and casanova was able to really definitively show me how to fix some of my errors, but neither is a ride that i'm super intrigued to spend a lot of time on. like, it's a good 'check in' so to speak, but not something long term. the schoolmasters are maybe somewhat similar in that they're good for checking and correcting myself, but they also have a lot more to offer haha. in a weird way, it's the green problem children who are most intriguing bc they are changing and developing and all that stuff. so it's easier to get excited about riding them again and again. but of course - that's getting closer to what you said in the first place: one of the best aspects is building that partnership.

      Delete
  9. Glad you had a much better ride on Gogo this gogo around! ;) haha. And those huskies!!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. I sometimes get asked to jump on a problem horse or a out-of-work-and-coming-back horse, and I always have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it's nice to ride something different and learn from it. On the other hand, sitting through green/problem horse spooks, motorbike turns, and other weirdness gets exhausting!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to love riding lots of different horses and I rode a lot of seriously challenging ones, but now I find myself much more stuck in my ways and prefer the consistency of riding one particular mule.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not wild about riding different horses- it takes me a while to figure out how to work with them- I always feel like a total newbie on new horse!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can go both ways - largely in part due to the fact that until this year I had never leased or owned a horse, so all of my riding was riding random horses (particularly in college, thanks to IHSA shows). I love riding the lesson horses because they're all so different, and I can work on different aspects of my riding depending on which horse I'm on. However, I've definitely come to appreciate consistently riding the same horse - you progress so much more as a team that way!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gogo is certainly handsome!
    I always thing "better the devil you know" and try to avoid riding other horses, especially if they can be tricky. But you don't really grow much as a rider with that mindset.

    ReplyDelete
  15. He does have an incredibly adorable little head...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Effing one problem to the next for SURE. That's life though? And the best we can do is just keep after it. And I think you're queen of keepin' after it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm glad you had a breakthrough with Gogo sometimes times distance helps a bit in finding solutions or resolve, and yeah I think its always fix one problem uncover another lol

    ReplyDelete
  18. I kinda feel you right now. I can't ride Ries and the horses I can ride I just am not in the mood to. *le sigh*

    ReplyDelete