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.