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Author Topic: Heart and Sol  (Read 2236 times)

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2016, 06:53:26 am »

Things for me have not been going well.

I've been struggling with feeling left out and alone. I didn't do as much riding as I wanted to this fall and that really bummed me out. I haven't been out to the barn much because I feel like I don't fit in or belong there, which just adds to my issues.

I only rode a handful of times since October and it is what it is.

In early October we had a Halloween Trick or Treat ride at my barn. Normally I do these rides by myself but this time my husband decided to join! So I rode CJ and he rode Sol. She did great. A little worked up, and a few spooks, but my husband handled it like a champ! I was super proud and happy he finally joined in me riding after all these years.






After that I did a rode ride to a apple cider farm that is held every year. Sol did fantastic as always, she's great in groups and on the dirt roads.

We did pass by some people who were target shooting; she did spook huge but recovered quickly and as the shots went on, she reacted less and less. Sol is pretty a-okay.









After this at the beginning of November I did the "turkey trot" at Waterloo with three other people.

It was very enjoyable and we ended up riding for over 6 hours, which is much much longer than we normally ride. As usual, Sol was fantastic and did amazing.

We did kind of get... attacked? by some dogs. A group of riders had two dogs off leash with them. They got off the trail into some tall grass (like, past the horses shoulders kind of tall) so we could pass. But as we went by, both the dogs jumped out of the grass at us and Sol freaked and another horse in our group kicked out at the dogs. Nobody got hurt but I was pissed off; it was rude and unleashed dogs are not allowed on State property :|

Otherwise the ride was awesome.













That was the last time I rode and I haven't ridden since. School has been really stressful as this is my last semester and I'm slated to graduate in December. So I'm trying my hardest to not fail so I can get my bachelors.

The semester is over on December 15th so one month to go and I'm done forever.

Just hoping I can make it.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 08:01:00 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

CJ, 31 year old Racking gelding
Sol, 12 year old TWH mare

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2017, 11:06:08 am »

I haven't written in awhile. With school and work, and life in general, just been busy.

I graduated in December with my bachelors in Psychology. I'm relieved, though still stressed. Relieved because I'm done with school. Stressed because now I have to find a real job that somehow makes enough to cover my student loan debt. I'm maxed out for my undergrad, which is crappy. But that's life. I was also suuuuper stressed in the final weeks as I was constantly worried about all my finals, exams, projects, etc.

But I passed and graduated!

The beginning of winter was pretty harsh for us. Cold, bitter cold weather and some snow. Now it's mild and nicer - we hit almost 70 on Saturday. I've been trying to get out of the barn more now that I have no excuse to not go.

But I find myself constantly drifting back to the idea of selling Sol.

Sometimes, I feel like I love her out of obligation. Like, if I don't, who will? I'm worried that dumping her someplace else will make her worse, and she'll end up at auction, or worse.

When I look back at what we've done together, I am proud. Considering how she was when we first purchased her to now, I'm impressed. She is a great trail horse who excels at trail riding.

But I also know her shortcomings and I question whether we can get past them. And if we can't, can I compromise with that?

Sol's strength is in group rides. Any group ride we've been in, I've had zero issues with her. She truly excels at these. The bigger the group, the better. She doesn't feed off of other horses acting silly, she instead remains calm and is always the most behaved horse on the ride. She gladly follows along anywhere in the pack and will go any direction you tell her. She crosses scary objects, like narrow bridges, happily as long as another horse goes first. Nothing phases her as long as she's with a group.

Alone? Completely different story.

Sol's biggest issue is that she has no confidence. She does so well in groups because she gets confidence from the other horses. But alone, she won't trust me. No matter how steady, calm, and insistent I am, Sol refuses to go out alone with me, and when she does, she spooks at every little thing. And not small spooks, BIG spooks where we leap sideways 6 feet. Or spin and try to take off. I also cannot get her to navigate obstacles alone, as she doesn't want to do them, gets caught on something, and panics.

The second biggest issue is trailer loading. I think it's a combination of "I don't want to do this" and probably some bad prior experience. She can be great with me all season and then one day she decides she no longer wants to load. I won't change anything, but she just decides "nope".

I can't gauge if Sol gives a shit about me, if she enjoys her time with me, if she even enjoys being a trail horse. Our best rides are group rides, but I can't always count on large groups. She has be solid alone or in small groups, and she isn't. She has to be liable for trailer loading, and she isn't. I have to feel safe with her alone, and I don't.

This Saturday I hand walked her around the bridle trail at my barn. A trail that circles the property and you're never out of sight of the barn or the 8 pastures there. Every horse can be seen from any point on the property.

I hand walked her and maybe less than 5 minutes in, a car went by and she panicked. She just didn't do a little spook in place or even a small sideways jump, she leap and then tried to take off, and when I held the lead rope to stop her, she panicked more, spun around and continued to act out.

Because of a car.

Maybe it was the warmer weather or maybe she was just feeling frisky but I felt that her reaction was completely unjustified given she has seen and has had cars past her hundreds of times. For goodness sake, she lives on this property and has been around this trail dozens and dozens of times. Why act like that?

Sol is unpredictable and nervous. And I can't fix that. But I feel guilty because when we have good rides, I'm so proud of her behavior. She's never acted out, bucked or reared silly in a group. She's never done anything to make anybody look at us and go "omg, that horse is nuts!". We've all seen those horses on the trail. She isn't that.

But she is when she's alone. And because of that, I can't ride her alone. We can't even go around the barn's trails alone. She's fine in the arena, although unhappy (less willing to move out, but has never acted up in the arena. Just would prefer to stand around instead of work).

She goes out with other people but is just as spooky and nervous. It's not just me she has these problems with - she requires an insanely brave rider who has no fear whatsoever and can handle any spook or misbehaving if you want to ride out alone.

I never know when I plan a ride if she'll go in the trailer and we can actually go. I've had to sit out numerous times because she flatly refused to load. The more you try to force, the more she resist. I've tried every approach on the days she acts like this and nothing gets her to go in.

So because of these reasons - I am again thinking of selling her. But the biggest problem is to who? How do I make sure she doesn't end up abused or at an auction? I just want her to be happy and I want to be happy. I want to have a horse I trust and feel great riding, not feel scared and questioning her attitude and behavior that day. I want a horse that seems happy to ride with me.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 07:23:52 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

CJ, 31 year old Racking gelding
Sol, 12 year old TWH mare

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2017, 07:40:17 am »

Well, I put Sol on the market for a while and had no interest.

So, I decided to take her ad off and sit on it for awhile. Maybe work on some things and revisit the idea. Might get more interest when it's warmer and nicer, people may be more interested in coming out and riding a horse. I get it, cold weather sucks.

I've been working with her and trust and we're getting good results.

I taught her not to rush over things and that she can actually fit on stuff. She always seems unsure of her body/feet/legs.



We also got her jumping, which the trainer I had sent her to for two months could not get her to jump things.

https://youtu.be/dzdUIMHOVFE

So yeah. Things are okay for now.
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

CJ, 31 year old Racking gelding
Sol, 12 year old TWH mare

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"
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