Thursday, September 7, 2017


Sometimes the blogosphere gets me down. Horse people, I feel, are naturally pretty fucking neurotic, crazy, and judgmental, and that can spill into blogs when people go on a tear of, "Let's fight, online style!"

I don't know what that style is or what anyone feels like they're accomplishing, but on the flip side the blogosphere can also be a really positive place. We're all crazy so let's all be crazy together!

Dudes, I need some blogosphere positivism. I vacillate between, "YAY, THIS IS THE MOST FUN!" to "Why even bother. Boo hoo, woe is me, where is the chocolate?" on the daily.

bobby, on the other hand, seems to be in the best of moods lately. he's handling
the pressure of learning all the things like he might actually be enjoying himself. 

Bobby has been stepping up to the plate like a mother fucking boss lately. For so many years this horse would be presented with a hard problem and he'd respond by flying backwards or sideways--or both--and that would be that. He wouldn't come back from it, and we'd never get anywhere. I'd get mad, he'd get mad, tantrums ensued, and we trained each other to do just enough.

But this year our relationship has finally settled. Getting knocked out of the show season with his freaky leg took all the pressure off. The goal went from DO ALL THE SHOWS to KEEP THE HORSE ALIVE. That kind of brings things in perspective, you know?

We've had a whole lot of bonding time and significantly less riding time, and I think that plays a lot into how we're both gelling so much more lately. After ten trillion years of riding this horse (close approximation), I feel like we have a stronger partnership than ever before.

All that is to say that I am SO EXCITED about how well we're doing right now. We're making tangible progress, Bobby can get pushed about hard things and he just buckles down and tries, and we're learning SO MANY THINGS.

i mean, i still can't post without looking like a fool, but lookit bobby reaching
with those legs!

So why the sad face?

I feel like there's a hand on top of my head holding me down while I'm trying to do a victory dance because we had our first real ride in the double and it went awesome (after trotting aimlessly for twenty minutes while Bobby worked out what all the metal in his mouth was about), or because I finally cued with the quietest aids and got the biggest canter, or because I have my own warm up plan and when it's done my horse comes out looking like a beast.

You're doing great? SIT DOWN.

It's like this person doesn't want me to actually get better. Bobby is only allowed to be fancy to a point, and I'm only allowed to learn new things to a point. Basically, don't get ahead of yourself, I am the top of the top here. Which, whatever, I'm not here to compete against anyone but myself. Calm the fuck down. But don't make me feel like shit because we're finally making progress. It's like it's a crime for me to actually be learning things and moving forward.

i can't believe i'm saying this, but i think i'm going saddle shopping again in the near
future. noooooo.

I have a hard time standing up for myself or owning it when I'm doing something right. My go-to is to turn any compliment right around and poke fun at myself. But that doesn't mean I'm not proud of what I can do right, or that I'm not excited about how well my horse is going. I'm not delusional. I know we're not some high sixties scoring pair. But I don't think we're a disgrace to dressage and riding in general.

Bobby and I are both completely new to this level. I feel like we could bluff our way through Second well enough, but as we start sticking our noses into Third more and more, spots I've missed in his training are going to show up more. Plus I just don't know how to train the "tricks". No idea.

I really, really want to learn though. I want to learn more, I want to learn everything. Don't #learningshame me, yo.

coming out of warm up stretchies read to #werk

Has anyone else ever run into something like this? Be it in lessons or barn drama or just a "friend" trying to one-up you all the time? It really bums me out.


  1. Who the hell gets down on someone else for learning and trying their best?! What a bitch! I think it's amazing what you've been able to do with your very difficult horse, how you've kept him sound and happy through all his weird lamenesses and illnesses, and the fact that you're working towards 3rd on Bobby is FREAKIN' AWESOME! Learning in itself is so humbling; we think we've got it all figured out and then we realize, nope, we were wrong! Keep on keepin' on, girl. You're doing awesome!

  2. Sometimes other people can't be happy for you for your successes because they feel threatened in some way. That's them being insecure. Someone else's success (or lack thereof) has nothing to do with yours.

    Riding is hard enough and we're all plenty hard on ourselves without any outside help. Honestly, if someone doesn't have something nice to say, or if they aren't providing constructive criticism (in a positive way), they can go stuff it. It costs us nothing to be nice to each other. Bashing someone is just rude and unhelpful. Nobody needs that, so step away (far, far away) if you can.

  3. I will never understand why there are certain folks out there who cannot handle when others have their own success. You have done an amazing job with this horse and always done right by him, and I feel as though I can say that after reading your blog for the past ten trillion years (also a close approximation). Some people just don't like to see others who put in the blood, sweat, and tears actually have success and I am so over that. It is exactly as Jenj says, they are insecure and feel threatened and jealous. It happened a lot when I was showing in the Standardbred only division at the state shows around here because my horse won a lot. Sorry folks, I actually ride, train, and lesson and PUT IN THE TIME AT HOME, so I cannot help it that I do well in the ring. No, we didn't always win, but I guess that didn't matter. I tried to do the dressage/eventing that I love as well as the STB division thing for a while just to promote the breed, but over the past few years I have said EFF THAT. I am not even a member of the local or national STB clubs and just dropped off the face of the earth because I couldn't handle the attitudes. (Of course, now I am back to owning a Morgan so it doesn't matter hahaha). So you do you and know that there are many of us who support you and are cheering you on from blogland!! :-)

  4. Ehhhhh, whoever that person is isn't worth a second of your time. You do you. Well, and Bobby, because horse brains are tiny.

    But seriously, you guys look great and are Doing All the Things right now, and killing it. No one is done learning when it comes to horses. But only the best will admit that, the ones who think they're the end all, be all are the ones who will plateau and bottom out eventually.

  5. Who is this person and where is their mailbox so I can poop it in. XD

    I feel like most of us are tough enough on ourselves, we don't need anyone to bring us down. Riding is so hard, it's important to celebrate the good moments and cheer each other on. People who can't be happy for other people (particularly friends) usually have their own issues they need to sort through.

  6. That sucks. Ain't nobody got time for that negativity in their life.

    Unfortunately you're right that it's not uncommon in the horse world (or the world-world). There will always be people to have to put others down to make themselves feel good. I used to have a horse "friend" like this and once I realized how toxic she was (and was making me) I just kinda phased her out of my life. Now when I see her around we're friendly but definitely not in the same circle anymore. At the time it really sucked but now I'm a million times happier not having to dance around her anymore. I highly recommend it.

  7. I have been there, both with in-person riders having to constantly one-up me and with randos on the internet feeling the need to bash me. Both are weird and uncomfortable. And yeah, they definitely show a deep insecurity on the side of the person exhibiting the behavior, but it still sucks to deal with.

    I think the best solution is to start a cult that you can vent to privately and create some uber hilarious inside jokes.

  8. um yes. the long and short of it is yes. i'll also admit that i've at times seen the tendency in my own self to be that awful oppressive person too, which.... doesn't feel great either. it kind of reminds me of my college in some ways: in my math program, my peers and i always knew whether we got to the correct answer or not. it was a cut and dried (mostly) subject. but the students in the photo program only ever really knew how they were doing by comparing themselves to their peers - since there isn't really any true measuring stick for how "good" a photograph is. and this created a very different culture among photo students than the easy collaboration we saw with the math kids.

    sometimes i think riding is kinda similar to that photo program. we all only really know where we stand as riders by comparing ourselves to those around us (for better or worse) and this opens the door wide open to any insecurities or nasty judgments.

    ultimately tho, nothing for me beats those intense moments of joy that are brought on from the most unexpected or simplest moments - like those you mention where bobby just gets it right. those moments are the best. and i hope that everybody can have those happy wonderful moments - no matter how they get there or what i think of them or their horse or whether we agree on whatever. and fwiw - you and bobby have always been a huge inspiration to me, don't ever change!!!!

    1. Ugh I was going to say this too... Sometimes I feel myself slipping to that edge of "well, but..." I never do it to push someone down, or at least that isn't my intention. Usually I have some piece of advice I think will be legitimately useful. Then it comes out and I realize I'm being a douche and I apologise.

      Bummer that you're getting this flak though. Keep doing you - that's what we all keep coming back for!!

  9. Yup - been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    I am fortunate that I don't board my horses at a barn and have a community riding arena mostly to myself. I don't really interact with other riders unless I am at an event, clinic, or show. Sometimes you just have to shrug it off and be like, "cool story bro." because at the end of the day that person's opinion doesn't and shouldn't matter. It can be hard to train your brain to thinking that way tho.

  10. Anytime you get that, it's because the other person is jealous. When someone else succeeds, even in areas I feel that I have mastered and no longer fret about, I get envious of that triumph but it's extremely cruel and unnecessary to put down the other person's success. Obviously my reaction has to do with my own insecurity and the same goes for the people who actually say something to shoot down the person who has succeeded. It's cruel to temper their success AND vulnerability in reporting that success. It's so much easier to just say, "YAY! Congrats!" than to put someone down so I don't know why people actually act on that feeling - hello, if you've got nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
    Honestly, what they say speaks volumes about who they are. Just envision patting them on the head and wishing them luck in their stunted emotional and mental state.

  11. Ugh. People like that are the worst. They have to put others down to make themselves feel better. And it's horrible. I'm sorry you're dealing with that.
    I think you've done amazing things with Bobby, not just the past year, but you've done it ALL with him. That's saying a lot.
    It's hard to just ignore that crap, but it's the healthiest way to handle it. Haters gonna hate and all that, right?

  12. A long time ago, a very wise man gave me some advice about people. That advice? People are fucked. Someone shits on your success, but why? Because people are fucked. A group of girls sit on the rail and watch you ride and whisper to eachother and laugh... people are fucked. Someone feels it's their job to tell you how you and your horse still aren't enough. People are fucked.
    I am 100% on the Bobby and Carly bandwagon, and whoever this person is is clearly just fucked. ;)
    I think you and Bobby are an awesome team, and I think he's looking better than ever!

  13. Is it just in text? It is so easy to misread tone and intention in text. But if it is clear as day, fuck em. You don't need anyone's approval or praise. You got Bobby goddamn MFing Magee. Wonder horse, first of his kind.

  14. F*ck the haters! A fellow boarder gave me crap for selling McKenna and I was completely astonished. Like why are you giving me shit for saying riding this horse isn't fun?! People are dumb.

    It's awesome how far you and Bobby have come and congrats on learning and filling in the holes in your training. It takes balls to admit when we did something wrong in our training, or that we need help, or to say this horse isn't the horse for me so kudos to you!

  15. There is always one. If there isn't one it is you. I try really hard not to let people like that waste my time or energy. But I am also the master of socially awkward and just walking away mid conversation if I don't like the way things are going. I am so happy you and Bobby are doing great!

  16. The horse community can simultaneously be the most awesome and awful place in the universe. Regardless of this negative person, obviously what you're doing with Bobby is working, both in terms of cancer leg and your riding. You keep doing you girl -- you rock and Bobby McGee is one of a kind! I doubt he'd be thriving like this in anyone's care but yours ☺

  17. Want me to drive down and beat them up for you? Lol joking aside (I totally would), it's irritating as fuck. The girl I was mentoring in her riding said to me "it's hilarious how Indy jumps, like he is terrible with his legs". Like one he's a baby two shut up you inconsiderate ass.

    I don't deal with it a lot being at home on my own, but all a I can say is kill them with kindness. Throw a massive smile and say "thanks, we're good" and continue on.

    You and Bobby have come so far and anyone who follows you knows that. The best revenge is a happy ride. So serve that revenge on the daily.

  18. Dude that's NOT okay! I can't believe anyone could know your story and not be ridiculously impressed with you guys. He's such a tricky guy and major props to you for all you've done with him (esp through cancer leg, I've been so blown away by your perseverance with that). We're all always learning and everyone takes a different pathway, especially the first time on a path lol at least with Rico sometimes it felt like duct tape was holding us together. But that's totally okay! No one is perfect and we're all just doing our best. Kick third level ass, grab that bronze, and ignore the haters!

  19. One-uppers drive me crazy and they are EVERYWHERE in the horse world. I have found that one-uppers are insecure, and jealous of you. Ignore them. And keep being awesome. :)

  20. People suck. I think that's a given. I've had my share of haters as well, but I mostly ignore them and they go away. I spent all of my school years having no money and working for rides and lessons. There was a lot of hate from the rich barn girls. Which I don't get because like what does hating me get you. You have all the things. I played polo in college and we were the poorest team on the circuit. We literally bake saled our way through the year and had to go to games with duct-taped jerseys. Other teams really hated us, but again: Why? I dunno.
    I just try to find the people I do like and hang out with them and F everyone else.

  21. I wish it was just horse people but it is not- I have run into this people in all areas of my life. I don't understand why people do it or what they get out of it. Maybe they don't either. I won't advise you as to what to do because it's your call. For me I just shrug and ignore them BUT thsi is also why I have my horses at home. I am also in my 50's and comfortable with hating people now. :)

  22. This makes me mad for you. You and Bobby are both fantastic and I really hate when people get judgemental with people who are working to make progress. That learning process looks different for each of us and our horse and only you and your trainer really know what the best next step is. Hang in there and don't give them much (if any) of your brain space.

  23. I run into this daily and constantly feel guilty when I feel good about myself and my accomplishments whether it be in or out of the saddle (owning your own business sucks). It's like you're not good enough... and then when you are, you're overworkingoing your horse. Um, excuse me? Just remember that there are a few, probably hundreds, of us rooting for you guys. You have come so far in the short period of time I've been reading and I'm always jealous of your badass pony skills.

  24. There has been so much of this on the blogging world lately and it makes me so mad. I see lots of things I don't understand or agree with when I read my list every day. You know what I do? I don't fucking say anything negative unless someone is asking me directly!!! It's not that hard to keep scrolling and let people enjoy their lives. None of us are perfect, and the anonymity of the keyboard sometimes brings the worst out in people. Argh.

  25. Seriously, WTF is wrong with people? Bobby looks awesome, obviously you're doing something right! F those guys, who really cares what they think.
    Someone in our department constantly makes condescending/passive aggressive comments. Sometimes it's hard to remain professional & let it go, but saying something won't accomplish anything or change her crap attitude. It's obvious that she's not a happy person, sucks to be her.

  26. What everyone else said honestly, it's hurtful when people act that way. Sad part is, they may or may not be jealous...they're definitely mean spirited and messed up though. Some people just delight in seeing others fail or flail. You're doing awesome. I read your posts and am so happy you and Bobby are getting these wins under saddle and he's feeling good despite his one of a kind issues. Keep blogging!

  27. I never feel motivated to say something sappy here, but you're my hero. You make massive amounts of progress despite moving/lots of barns/changing trainers/not having a trainer/horse's mystery illness/horse not wanting to play ball sometimes, and you manage to make the whole thing funny and entertaining to read. Bobby also looks like a BAMF in every photo you post of him lately which...has not always been the case. Lol. So clearly there's a lot of progress happening and the horse is happy. Keep doing what you're doing, I will be cheering you on from my little corner of the internet!

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  31. Late to the party with nothing to add except ... WTH? I know exactly how you feel and deal with it QUITE FREQUENTLY. Just do your own thang, friend, and tell the motherforklift to back that freight train up. Be yourself. Be amazing or suck. It's your journey. Be happy and proud despite what ONE person says. There are a million of us rooting for you. :0)


If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.