Friday, September 11, 2015

The British are coming

Well I guess she already came once. Now she's returning every week, and of course I'm referring to Trainer. I'm riding with BM from now on which is nice because it's a little cheaper, but also because it gives me minuscule breaks from being yelled at.

Bobby was both better and worse than our last lesson. Since she'd already gotten a read on him, she pushed us a little harder this time around. We ended on a really good note, but holy fucking Hades was my horse in full on diva mode this morning. He was not giving anything away, and I rode the first thirty minutes with my teeth gritted and a scowl on my face while trying not to lose my shit in front of Trainer. Fortunately, she met one of my trainer requirements: acknowledging that sometimes the problem is my horse just being an asshole.

he screamed his brains out until i took him
outside to graze because clearly he was dying. 

So without further ado, here are my takeaways this time around:
  • Slow him down. Slower, much slower. I know you feel like you should be going forward, but he's using that as an escape. He's walking off with you.
  • Your horse's mouth is only five inches wide. Why are you holding the reins like you're riding a Harley Davidson?
  • You can't just throw him away when you change what you're doing. Ride him every step. He needs to stay connected and focused when you're changing the rein.
  • Oh, he is a naughty thing isn't he?
  • You can't let him fling his head around and then correct him. You need to correct him before he gets the chance to lose the connection. 
  • Oh, dear. No, no, no. No. That's no good. Change the rein. Let's see if he can cope a little better back to the left. He's not very good to the right, is he?
  • How heavy does he feel in the reins? You're correct. He is heavy. So use your back instead.
  • You girls. Do you really spend so much time on motor bikes?
  • You're thinking you need this light, floating rein. You're not there yet. I don't want you to be mean to him. I don't want you to get malevolent with your reins. But he's a riding horse. He's got to go around like one. If you ask him to come lower, he's got to do it for you.
  • You're such a good rider, but you're too slow! You need to be faster with your corrections.
  • I'm not too sure about these plastic bits. I like cold, hard steel myself. Give me a good egg butt any day.
  • Do something! Start getting busy!
  • I do wish you would bring your hands closer together.
  • Do a few circles at the slow trot, let him move forward, and then bring him back and ooze over to the right. Do a circle, and then ooze back over to the left. He's never going to be as good to the right, but eventually he's going to have to learn to tolerate it.
  • When you're going right, you're too focused on trying to get him bent. He's not there yet. Just focus on the quality of the gait right now. Focus on keeping him slow. Even though geometrically you're going right, you're going to be sitting left. He'll get to the point where bend becomes important again, but not right now. It's just distracting you. Stop worrying about it.
  • I find that the Thoroughbreds and the Arabians are heavier in the reins than these Warmbloods. The Warmbloods feel a little lighter when they're going around. I still wouldn't want one.
  • Let's bring him even lower at the free walk. He's a grazing animal. His head and neck can come down much more.
  • This horse is not the most willing creature. He's perfectly pleasant, and he'll give it to you, but he's not easy about it. 
seriously, this phone's camera is so annoying in its formatting and i don't know how
to change it.

I got yelled at way more than last week, but she also took the time to pull each of us aside an explain what she was yelling about, and I never felt like it was out of line. We needed a lot of yelling. Things were not going well. However, we finished with Bobby maintaining a good rhythm both directions without flinging his head up into my face, and as we were cooling out, he stretched down so much his nose was practically on the ground.

Bad rides with trainers are good. They tell you how to fix things without you murdering your horse, although I did get after Bobby fo' real once for totally ignoring my leg. Trainer said nothing. I like that she's not above a quick ass whooping every now and then. 

The homework she gave me was to start asking him to move out a little more forward but only if he's connected and stretching down. I'm also supposed to start incorporating a little leg yield ("I think eventing dressage put leg yields in their tests just to give the judges a laugh. You couldn't get me on some of these horses at gun point. They can't turn left, they can't turn right. How on earth are the going to survive galloping over hill and dale?"). She said if I wanted to canter him, make sure it was from the slow trot--absolutely no racing around. We're okay to the left I think, but I'm saving that right lead for her to really wow her with our awfulness.

this conformation is doing nothing to help us along.


  1. I love your new trainer. I am literally sitting here laughing out loud to myself reading her comments! Besides being hilarious, she also has some really great, constructive things to say. Excellent find.

  2. Your trainer sounds a lot like mine. British, German, whatevs. Europeans yell a lot. Granted we always deserve it. Bobby and Twister sound the same in some of those comments. I was lol to myself thinking "hmmm where have I heard that before" :P

  3. I love her. I want her for Christmas. Gimme.

  4. Ahh I love her! And those motorcycle analogies. I got a lot of similar things about my left hand from Tracey, like "why does it always look like you're trying to start a chainsaw with your left hand, quit that!" Always a bit of yelling. Sometimes it's good to be yelled at.

  5. Haha, sounds like she's zeroed right in on your guys.

    Also. I find Bobby's croup amazing. As in, I'm not actually sure he has one.

    1. Isn't that magic? He's like a long, long, straight line until you get to the Great Pyramid that is his withers.

    2. I was looking at the picture wondering the same thing.

      Well, in between giggling from the trainer's comments.

  6. "Why are you holding the reins like you're riding a Harley Davidson?" Oh my gosh, I love your trainer.

  7. I wish I had some of this trainer's sass.

  8. Hah, great recap!
    Sounds like she really will help you guys.

    1. And I mean that in the "you're lessons will be worth it way" and not the "you guys really need a lot of help" way. :)

  9. Can't get enough of this. So much wisdom. I need to always remember that first bit about slowing down too. Also super interesting about TBs and Arabs vs WBs

  10. Yay! Another person who uses the motorcycle analogy!
    She sounds great. Love the sense of humor.

  11. Hahaha love the comment stream. Too funny.

    Motor bikes LMAO

  12. lol she sounds fantastic. love all the bullet points too (and may or may not have read them in a brittish accent lol)

  13. Your hands and my hands need to go drinking together. Especially if it means we can get some new hands that behave.

    Also, how did you manage to take the pic where Bobby has a flat line from his withers to his tail? That's some talent, yo.

  14. Maybe we should switch horses for a while. I'll teach Bobby to go slow, because that's the only speed I like and you can teach Miles to go fast, LOL


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