Monday, November 17, 2014

SFTS Blog Hop: The horse that made me

Loving Jenn's latest blog hop, even though this blog has chronicled the trials and tribulations of the horse in question.

If you can, try to narrow down to the one horse that "made you". For better or worse.

Without a doubt RuPaul is the horse that has made me for better and for worse. I think in a lot of ways it's harder to work with a horse you've known forever than a horse you get halfway through their lives, or just halfway through their training. It's hard to let go of preconceived notions of what that horse is going to do in certain situations, and that has been without a doubt the biggest core problem I've hit with Bobby over the past nine years.

because as a weanling, i was just like, "you are going to be an advanced level eventer.
i can't wait to get my greedy paws on you. the look of eagles shines through."

From the get-go Bobby was a very chill, friendly dude that didn't cause troubles. Then he got weaned, and got older, and dropped his manhood, and suddenly he was taking you mud skiing and trying to bite you. Fortunately that adjustment was easy to get over when his manhood was taken away from him.

When we broke him out, it was a one and done sort of deal. My roommate and I had him doing w/t/c in literally just a week, and he quickly became reliable enough for anyone to get on. When he went to the track, he was their problem. I expected the same horse to come back.

mm hmm. still totally brilliant looking.
still hanging out with his best friend the bucket.

He wasn't bad when I did finally buy him. He hacked out on miles of trails alone or with company without ever throwing a fit. He took to his first jumps without throwing any fits. He got distracted and tense at shows, but it was never malicious and could all be written off as baby horse greenness.

Then I gave him away, Red died, and I got him back. 

And I wanted him to immediately step into my eleven year old seasoned show horse's footsteps; a horse I'd been riding and training for six years, and who was a completely different animal than this five year old who was still as green as grass. Red never took offense to anything. If anything, he loved picking a fight even though he knew he'd lose. "I'm not going to jump that! Hell to the no! Oh. You're actually going to force the issue? Alright, I'll do it. It wasn't actually scaring me anyway LOLZ."

I put the pressure right on Bobby, and I didn't let up. I expected him to know all the things Red did, and I didn't have the patience to work through the things he didn't understand. It probably took me most of that first year after he came back to me to step back--way back--and set a proper Bobby-tailored foundation on him.

baby horse's first cross country school. he was very impressed.

But in the end, that's what has made me a better horse person overall. Never skip the basics. Never get frustrated when the horse doesn't understand versus when he's just testing me. Look for physical issues first. Repeat, repeat, repeat....but don't ever drill it. Don't set tack choices in stone. Don't set training fixes in stone. Patience is everything.

Things you think you know, and really things you do know, but still they're things that are easy to push aside when you're in the moment and getting pissed because your horse is flying backwards into a fence at the sight of a ground pole. 

bigger, scarier questions for a grown up horse are a snooze.

It's all worth it though when your baby green bean that you constantly want to throttle goes from this:

about to clobber a crossrail
to this:

coasting over 4'.

And starts out flatting like this:

warming up for jumps at 6

to this:

warming up for jumps at 9

It's just that sometimes it doesn't seem like it's worth it when you're being dumped, or spinning around in circles at high velocity for no apparent reason, or flying backwards, or having your face bashed in by a true drama llama, or dealing with something as innocent as soundness issues. 

Okay, I won't lie. Sometimes I really fucking hate this horse. But I shudder to think of having to do it all over again. 

You know what Bobby Magee has made me?



  1. They certainly have a lot to teach us

  2. Love this. It perfectly captures your relationship with Bobby. You've made each other, for better or for worse!

  3. This was absolutely fab for me to read, its really hard to go from some kick ass bad ass horse to depymcbabypants.

  4. LOVE THIS POST! Thanks for participating :)

  5. awesome haha! Bobby the drama llama has come so very very far :)

  6. It really is cool to know a horse for so long - from the beginning of his life. That's on my bucket list.

  7. It's awesome to finally get a more behind the scenes look at Bobby growing up. :) They all come from something and as of now, it sounds like every thing you've done has completely made it worth it.

  8. Baby Bobby is adorbs!! Yea, we ride neurotic huge creatures for FUN.

  9. So I may have been reading this in a work meeting while pretending to pay attention and I just may have snorted out loud at the end and had to feign a coughing fit. I should know better!

  10. I heart this post. And Bobby is lucky to have you.

  11. Bahaha! Neurotic indeed! :)

    I used to shudder at the thought of starting over with another horse. Then I actually started working with greenies, and I realized that my horse is just a giant dick. Other horses are so much easier. I am so not intimidated any more.


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