Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Uncle

Everyone's got their limits.

I had a jumping lesson today, the last one before my trainer heads off to Aiken.  After my previous ride where Fiona blew through the hackamore and snaffle like they weren't there, I put her waterford bit back on.  I need brakes, damn it!  I know, I'm odd.  We went into the ring and she warmed up well.  The only thing I picked up was her anxiety level going up when the other horses in the ring started to jump.

When I jumped her, she bombed off like a freight train.  I told her absolutely not.  Geeze, mare.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  About the same time she realized she couldn't do the jump at whatever pace she wanted, she quit on us.  She wouldn't jump the little vertical, the little cross rail, she even stopped at the poles on the ground.

We were all the way back to step one, four months ago.

I went and got her hackamore to make sure that wasn't the issue.  We warmed up again and I presented her to the poles on the ground.  She stopped dead.  I had to go back and forth for ten minutes to get her over the poles on the ground consistently.  But now she felt good, so we pointed her at a cross rail.  Maybe 12 inches.

She wouldn't go near it.

I've been working on this for four months, working with the vet, the saddle fitter, my trainer, other trainers, and anyone that would help.  At the end of the four months, I have a mare that will inconsistently jump little jumps.  We wouldn't accept this from a baby, much less a mare that's got five completed Novice competitions under her belt.  There's a certain point when you have to look at the situation and say 'enough is enough'.

I put Fi's jumping gear away today.  Not her saddle, since it's the only one I have, but everything else was tucked away.  She doesn't want to do that job, and I'm done trying to force the matter.

I cried like a baby right there in the ring when my trainer and I started talking about the options and whether or not Fi would be happier with a dressage home, since I really do want to event.  I'm not ready to make any real decisions, but it's out there now.  There are homes for chill First Level dressage horses that are also bomb proof trail horses and can handle the crowds at Equine Affaire.  She's only ten and awfully pretty and such a good girl.

For the next couple months, I'll be focusing completely on her dressage.  We need to get those First Level 2 and 3 tests polished up and ready for competition.  My trainer is perfectly comfortable with her staying on as my dressage horse and letting me ride other horses for my jumping lessons.  I'll just have to see how we settle in to this new reality.  It's going to kill me to groom and help for all these events and know that there's no chance of me participating.  It might make both of us happier if she finds a dressage/pleasure/HUS home and I find a new eventing partner.  It's hard to wrap my head around that thought right now, but it's there now.

I wanted my 200th post to be happy and fun, but such is the way with horses.

12 comments:

  1. I can't even imagine how frustrated and sad (at the same time) you must feel. Sounds like you have things to think about, but at least viable options in the short run. I am with you...I love to jump and I don't think I would have the same excitement/motivation doing dressage.

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  2. I am a new follower so ignore me if this is something you have already tried :) but have you thought about giving her some time off from jumping and coming back to it in 6 months or what ever time frame you deem appropriate? You can still ride her- hack, trail ride etc- but no jumping... If you have already done this ignore me!

    Hope you can find a great solution for both of you whatever you decide! Hugs!

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    1. No worries, a lot of people have suggested that. And I appreciate advice from anyone.

      We did give her some time off from jumping back when she first quit on us, and it's been suggested that I see what she thinks in April when we move back to the outdoor, but she's always been squirrely to jump in stadium. I have to be realistic and look at her past jumping. She was good at it, but her heart wasn't in it. She gave me two years as an eventer, I think it's time to stop shoving her in a direction she doesn't want to go. As hard as it is.

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  3. It's hard when they have all the talent and the conformation and they just don't want to. You did everything you could possibly do and it isn't working for you. Fi will make someone a super dressage hose. :) It's hard to see now, but really and truly, it all happens for a reason.

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  4. So sorry... and, yet I can really understand..

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  5. Catie, I am so sorry to hear this. I knew that you were having a bad night last night, but didn't realize that it was this bad. Please know that you are welcome to ride Ruby if you want to get some stress-free jumping in. You can also take her to a HT if you need an Eventing competition fix.

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    1. I may take you up on that. I do love jumping that Jumping Machine of yours and we get along like peas in a pod. Thanks, Debbie.

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  6. Hell, you can even go take a long weekend and ride her in Aiken, if you feel like it! (She goes down around 2/28 and comes back after camp).

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear (read) you're going through this. My young mare is my first horse and I have little mini-nightmares about what I will do if she doesn't turn out to be the horse I want or to have the jumping ambitions I do. I do not envy the position you are in, but I hope you are able to find the best solution for both you and Fi.

    Good luck.

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  8. I am really sorry, that must have been heartbreaking to have happen after working so hard for months to get her back into the groove.

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  9. You have my sympathies, this completely stinks. You are noble to see what she needs and take heed, but no one ever said being noble was easy. Have a good wallow and grieve a bit, you can still be a respectable grown-up through the tears.

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