August 15, 2017

Doing the Impossible

I've always appreciated bloggers who tell it like it is and don't sugar coat things.  And I have to think all of the abject positivity from this blog this summer has to be a little annoying.

I promise I will always tell it like it is, and I am.  Things are just good.

We are doing things that were impossible six months ago.  Repeating exercises that made me cry last winter like they are no big deal.

Like last night.  When he was good and on my aids, we did 3 strides counter canter, 1 stride trot, 3 strides canter, 1 stride trot, 3 strides counter canter, 1 stride trot, rinse and repeat all the way down the quarter line - entirely with my seat.  No pulling on the reins at all, just a nice consistent contact.

We were so close to figuring things out at Pony Cup, but still missing a few pieces.

Last winter my trainer had me do something similar, and I cried.  I didn't know that I wasn't able to bring my horse down from the canter because I couldn't get the "stop" message across to him when I was clamping down on him with my thighs, inadvertently sending him forward into my hands, and thinking he was  "running through me."  Now I know - he never was running through me.  Or if it felt like he was, he never wanted to be.

August of 2013.

You couldn't have explained that to me before this summer.  I would have listened, but I couldn't have understood, because riding felt one way to me and I didn't know anything different.

This blog has been up since 2009.  Way before I got Connor, way after I started riding, and there's been a whole lot of telling it like it is, brutal honesty, struggles, thinking I knew what was wrong, not being right, being right but forgetting the answer two rides later, and trying things before we were ready.

I should do a post on all the strange things I've catch ridden while visiting Austen over the years...
(The first riding photo of me on this blog, Bella the Wonder Pony, January 2010).

We are never going to stop struggling, I will certainly think I'm right and actually be wrong in the future, and I will always be a slow learner, but for the first time I feel like the doors are open to future progress and I'm leaving the barn with a giant smile on my face every. single. ride.

And most importantly, my horse is happier than he's ever been, and annoyingly positive or not, that's what matters.


  1. Keep the positivity coming! You work so hard, I love hearing about the success you're enjoying <3

  2. Believe me - the happy news coming from your blog isn't annoying. It's inspiring! :)

  3. Awww I love hearing that. So happy for you.

  4. Don't worry about being too positive, I never took you as one to sugar coat. Someties things just go well!

  5. Awesome! Isn't it just the BEST feeling to feel good about yourself/your rides/your horse and ALSO to look back and realize how far you've come?!!

  6. I feel just like this lately!! And it's so awesome. It's pretty exciting to hear the same progress and feeling for you and Connor!

  7. What a brilliant post. I have been soming to a very similar conclusion myself. I love this line: "You couldn't have explained that to me before this summer. I would have listened, but I couldn't have understood, because riding felt one way to me and I didn't know anything different." I could pull out a lot more too that really resonated with me.

  8. I don't think you've sugar coated it - you and Connor have had some serious struggles the last while, enjoy your place in the sunshine!

  9. This post makes me so happy! I agree with the piece that Teresa quoted, I've been feeling very much the same way over the past few months. Before these things were just words and now I actually understand what they mean. I'm so happy for you that things are going so well for you guys!

  10. I don't mind your positivity!!! :) You don't sugar coat things either though. See ya Friday!!

  11. This makes me so happy!! I love that all those pieces are coming together for you two, you deserve it!

  12. When people tell the good, bad, and the ugly it makes the successes that much sweeter. I'm so thrilled and happy for you, I know you have been working hard and it's great to see it finally clicking for you guys!!