March 12, 2021

A Connor Update

It's been a while since the blog featured my main man, so I figured we could check in with him on a Friday.

I'm currently trying to claw my way back out of a self-perpetuating spiral of not riding and anxiety. It started with an extreme cold snap in February, then my truck being broken + snow, and then all this Aeres stuff. I will not subject my horse to being ridden when I'm so anxious I feel like I'm going to throw up 24/7. I didn't do CrossFit, Pilates or ride for most of late February and early March, which again creates more of a self-perpetuating anxiety spiral, not doing all of my self-care things.

I captioned this: "I'm a proud member of the "phoned it in today but still showed up club". Sometimes you just gotta get yourself to the gym to stay in the routine and see your friends, even if it means pushing a 25lb sled when the pregnant girl next to you is pushing 135lbs.

I'm just now starting to ride him somewhat regularly again, forcing myself to get into the routine even if I just putz around - which usually by the time I get him tacked up I'm ready to do some actual work. Unfortunately, there's very little media because Pivo is STILL not compatible with my new phone (Samsung's newest flagship, the S21 Ultra), which is making for very little blogging.


Not that I need another hobby (when have I said that before?) but I did sign Meatloaf up for an agility evaluation after seeing her do this in response to some raccoons fighting on the roof. She might be part cat.

I'm also contemplating what my next steps are with Connor. Part of me thinks, now that I know how much harder he is for me to ride than other horses even after some A+ training (thanks, Aeres), I should stop pushing so hard on the Dressage front and goof off with some CTs since he's so much more comfortable jumping now, or get serious about trail riding. 

Then every time I get serious about that idea, he gives me a ride like last night, where he gave me 5 beautiful C-Ws when I wasn't even asking for them, which is its own set of problems to be sure, but also shows me that this stuff is not impossible for us. He's just truly a tricky horse to ride, and I'm glad Aeres showed me that my riding is not 100% of the problem.

One thing I HAVE been doing - riding in my jump saddle 100% of the time. I'm not saying I've given up on Dressage saddles fitting him, but I am saying there's no point in riding in a saddle that makes him go worse, and I will totally show rated Dressage in this again if I have to.

In reality, we'll probably split the difference between the two: however far we get in Dressage doing it our way, we'll do it, but however far we don't get, I won't stress about it. At any rate, he's a lot easier for me to ride after his full training, which is making for many pleasant rides even if we're not lighting the world on fire.

I used Connor to teach Mary about collecting the canter. She was ridiculously sore the next day, lol.


  1. i feel like i ask myself these same questions all the time --- keep pushing? or just goof off and have fun and enjoy my horse?? honestly my answer changes day to day depending on my mood and general anxiety levels (ugh), but i always come back to wanting to push for a little more. the 'fun' stuff is so so good (trails, hunter paces, random schooling activities and clinics and stuff) but so is the feeling that can only happen when you give it your all in the show ring of your choice.

    1. Completely agree with you, and I don't have answers. I am definitely jealous of how much fun stuff you have access to, and might be less motivated to seriously show if I had access to the same stuff. Hunter paces in particular sound like a blast!

  2. Love your thoughts here. Nothing wrong with setting yourself up for success by having some different options for what you may want to do together. Glad Connor is helping you through this tough time.

  3. The Pivo thing...after failed attempts with my older Samsung and a Moto, I bought a new phone (One Plus 8) JUST for the Pivo. Literally next day, Pivo advises on the fb group there is a bug and the 8 is no longer compatible.
    I like your ideas for Connor. Our little cobs are so versatile - it's such a gift to be able to get a little sidetracked and just have fun doing all the things.

  4. I find myself conflicted this year about what to do or even if I want to set goals.

  5. I hope things turn around soon for you and you are able to get out of the pit of anxiety. I hate that pit in your stomach feeling when a pet/horse is sick.

  6. Anxiety drains the fun out of everything. I hope you can return to your self care routines soon.
    As for dressage, there is no need to give it up entirely. Why not make up a plan that to regularly work jump sessions and trail riding into your dressage program? It doesn't have to be all dressage, all the time. Cross-training will do nothing but benefit your dressage work and keep both of you fresh.

  7. With a horse like Conor who is more than just your partner in riding but an actual family member, have fun, have all the fun, try all the things. I did that with Carlos and we bonded so much over it and the more rideable he was over the years, the easier it was to just go out and do something completely different (like working cattle) and just having a blast over it.