Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red and Pie Cope (with Different Things)

Red and Pie both got to employ their coping skills yesterday, and both did very well.  It was a cold, windy and rainy day, so all the arena doors were closed - this was new for both of them.  While I was riding Red, we were completely alone in the arena, except for people coming and going, knocking on and then opening and closing either the big overhead doors or the doors to the outside.  Red found this all a bit alarming, particularly when he could hear people and horses moving around outside the now closed outside doors.  And he was by himself - he's happiest when there are other horses in the arena - but he coped with that as well.  His eyes were big, and there was some snorting, but he went right to work and we got in a very good session, with lots of trotting.  He did this for me despite the fact he was still nervous - we had repeated episodes of pooping. Every day we work I try to work him up to the point of fatigue but not past it.  The quality of his gaits tells me how we're doing - as he tires, his trot looses some of its impulsion.  I told him what a fine Red horse he was.

Then Pie had the exact opposite circumstances to cope with - an extremely crowed ring with lessons going on and horses jumping.  He also had to deal with the doors opening and closing, and did very well with that.  He was less worried than Red had been, and we had an excellent walk/trot/canter ride, with lots of obstacle/horse avoidance.  He cantered well in company and was able to navigate a number of pretty tight turns to avoid other horses.  I was delighted with him, too, and told him so.

I'm proud of my boys - they've both come a long ways and just keep getting better.


  1. They both did very well with new diversions. I'd be proud of them too.

  2. Hi Kate,
    I have to comment about how much progress you have made in the year I have been reading your blog--wow, what a difference! I have to say I was interested in reading the blog mildly, and because it had been recommended I kept checking in periodically to see what's up. You had seemed like a person over faced with her horses (one young, one green, and one hot), insecure in knowing how to progress, insecure in your riding abilities, and extremely knowledgeable and well-read on many subjects relating to horses. I felt bad for you for all the injuries you experienced through your horses and then you had this amazing piece on self-reflection and "what am I going to do to get me and my horses where I want to be" moment, acted on all points, and just to let you know--you have most definitely arrived!! Thanks for sharing your journey, i am eager to read each new post.

    Kelley in MN

    1. Kelley - thanks for your thoughtful and gracious comment. I think your assessment is about right in terms of where I came from and what I've had to do to get where I am now. The exciting thing is that I've got a much better idea of where I'm going now, and what I have to do to get there. I credit in part the fact that I deliberately try to be very honest on this blog - that helped me look at what wasn't working. I also credit some really excellent coaching I've had from Mark and Heather, and some changes they made in my riding, the number of hours I've been spending in the saddle, and of course my horses, who teach me important things in their own way.

      Thanks again.


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