Friday, January 23, 2015

The Dutch Hippo

I've gotta be honest--I try to make this blog as tongue in cheek and sarcastic as possible, and I have no problems mocking both myself and my horse because really, #noshame, but lately I've been pretty down about my riding. Sometimes I have a hard time looking back and realizing how far Bobby and I have come. This horse used to flip shit about getting near a ground pole, let alone actually going over it. He couldn't canter a circle of any size. His ability to keep his brain in his head and not go flying backwards over the slightest of problems didn't exist.

Alright. We might still be working on that last one.

It seems like each winter we start off back at square one, when really we're just running into the same problem every year. Bobby hates the repetition of every day drilling in the indoor, and his delicate sensibilities cannot deal. #mindblown if you know what I mean.

Since I've been in such a slump lately, and feeling like I'm working my ass off and gaining no ground, I asked everyone's favorite barn buddy if I could ride her horse. 

team rob and big

You guys have heard me mention Sarah and Memphis lots of times. Usually it's when I post pictures of her falling off or almost falling off. Memphy is a 17yo Dutch Warmblood who used to do the Big Eq. Now he's just fat and puts up with all of our shenanigans, and I love him dearly. He is my horsey equivalent, much like Bobby is Sarah's. Bobby and Sarah are strange creatures that enjoy being athletic while Memph and I would have no problem sitting on the sidelines eating cake together and bemoaning our lack of cardio capabilities. 

"hello, fairy cookie mother. where is the candy?"

I couldn't think of a more enjoyable horse to ride, and one who would give me a boost of confidence over jumps. Since Sarah is out with a knee injury, she was nice enough to let me take him for a spin last night...even though he hadn't been ridden for two weeks. "No problem!" I said. "He doesn't need to be longed! He'll be fine."

I brought him into the indoor and he immediately went on high alert. He got a smack for trying to yank the reins out of my hands and we headed over to the mounting block. I swung my leg over, down went the head, and up went the back as he started bouncing off in baby warning bucks. I didn't even bother with a walk. I just sent him right off into the trot and we bombed around for awhile until the hump in his back disappeared. 

Even when he's being naughty, he is so fancy. He's not as schooled on the flat as Bobby is, but his natural movement is sooo much better than my creaky Thoroughbred's. 


I practiced trotting up to a jump first, keeping my legs off of him and sitting chilly just like I'm working on with Robert. Only with Memphis, he actually listened and trotted calmly up to and over the jump. Sarah, BO, and I all cheered and Memphis went right to his mother to get petties for being such a good pony. He even cantered the jump without changing pace once, and while I know his jump training is miles beyond anything I will ever be able to accomplish on Bobby, it was still nice to feel like I was sitting calmly and therefore my horse was jumping calmly. 

See how that works, Bobby? Caaaallllmmmmm.

So thanks for letting me ride your fancy ass saint horse, Sarah, even if he did try as hard as his fat self could to buck me off. 


  1. Sometimes we all need a confidence boost on a made horse! Winter is just a shitty time of year though... riding is so, so frustrating this time of year for everyone.

  2. Thanks for posting this! Every winter I go into self doubt mode and convince myself we are making zero progress.

  3. Getting stuck in the indoor for months and months on end always has me in a crazy, dark place. Screw you lack of Vitamin D. (In other news - add that to the fact I literally am only allowed to watch my horse eat grain and roll in the arena now... crazy town for sure). Memphis sounds like he would fit right in with us too! Glad you had a good ride, keep your chin up - you and Bobby are badasses, don't forget it!

  4. this winter is pretty much zapping all the horses i think (my mare refused for the first time in MONTHS after being in the indoor for a few weeks).... glad you had something else you could hop on and boost your confidence. such a tricky thing to do...

  5. It's just a winter thing. Don't be too hard on yourself:)

    THE Dutch Hippo has a cute face;)

  6. Not even joking, this was Yankee's life for YEARS. Years. He didnt stop backsliding until he was liek 10. And winter was the worst because of the weather and whatnot. Keep up the hope love, it'll get better. I need to take my own advice too, with my current brat.

  7. I love your imagery! Ahh so many chuckles. But seriously, I'm glad you got a chance to ride another horse!

  8. Sometimes it really is great to just get on a different horse! glad you got the chance. Memphis sure is pretty and the Dutch Hippo made me actually laugh out loud.

  9. He sounds super fancy!! We all need a guy like him in our lives.

  10. Cutie! Give yourself a little holiday when you feel down, I find you will crave riding again not long after.

  11. I feel your pain! There's so many things that are going on the "practice when it's warm out" list. Glad you got a mood-boosting ride, the Hippo sounds like a great guy!

  12. Riding other horses is so good for us. Glad you got the opportunity. Although next time let the poor fellow get his bucks out on the longe first LOL


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