Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Three Year Ginger-versary

That's right, it's already been three years since I bought the wonderful Gingersnap. On one hand, it feels like she's been part of my life forever, on the other it seems like yesterday - we're so far behind all the big plans I had and the place I thought we'd be. She's one of the best decisions ever and the once in a lifetime horse I never expected to find.

June, 2011: When I started this blog, I had everything all planned out. Ginger and I were going to do it all - dressage, jumpers, eventing, trail riding, local shows, maybe even some reining. All it was going to take was a lot of hard work and commitment, the two things that had always got me what I wanted in the past. I started a blog to help keep things on track, ensuring success :) I got her used to being handled, properly halter broke, ready for the farrier, then even got in the saddle a few times.
This "0.5 sec to meltdown" look was even more common then. Also, that halter doesn't even fit her now.

We persevered and had some good first rides in the fall of 2011. Once we got things decent on the ground, riding really wasn't a big deal at all for a smart girl like her.


2012: Realizing Ginger was WAY more sensitive than the other horses I'd started, I enlisted the professionals before I made too many mistakes and we moved off to a dressage barn for some more intensive training. Things moved along pretty well. I learned a bit, and the pony learned a lot. Then we both hit the wall and got pretty darn tired of the confines of the area and the idea of perfection. Luckily, this coincided with a move back home to the west coast and the infamous laid back lifestyle it brings.

Summer 2012 - totally in love with my pony!


2013: Trail riding fun. No lessons available even if we wanted them, so Ginger got to learn about life in 'the real world'. Other horses in the arena! Cars on the road! People and/or dogs doing random things! Branches touching her sides! Water!....etc (some of which continue to be a work in progress, but hey). Ginger really took to the trail horse life and showed a lot of promise for eventually being a reliable trail mount. Then, life happened again. The care/facilities at her barn started to go downhill in a big way. Much drama ensued. I was stressed, she was stressed. She lost a bunch of weight, I had a bad fall (or two) and got completely discouraged with the horse scene in general. We both took a time out - me to go work a contract in Alberta, her to go to a farm in the interior of BC for some R&R.

Trail riding fun. Who would have thought anxious, sensitive Ginger would love heading out solo on the trails...
2014: My contract ended, and Ginger moved home just in time for the new year. We hesitantly got used to the idea of having a partnership again. A few trail rides and walk/trot schooling rides in the ring had us a little more confident, but my mind was still pretty sure death was upon us :( Not fun. On the plus side, I found a wonderful boarding situation for Ginger and the previous years boarding disaster was almost forgotten. Then, unexpectedly, I was offered yet another job that seemed too good to pass up. I was really unhappy to leave, but I can say now it's been a blessing in disguise. I've got back into a regular lesson program and am more confident with my riding than I've ever been. I've discovered a total passion for hunter/jumper, which is crazy  when I look back at the nearly ready to quit riding dressage wannabe from a year ago.. Ginger is looking the best she's ever looked and is maturing into a really lovely girl. So, even though we're nowhere near where I thought we'd be when this whole journey started, I think we're both where we're supposed to be.
Back under saddle during our short lived reunion, 2014. Rockstar pony says "No big deal" and packs my nervous self around after many months away. (AKA "Tippy McTipperson Rides Again")

Current status quo. Fat and happy.( Both of us.) Great for her, first part of that statement not so great for me :)
I'm excited to see what the next year will bring - we're going to shake up the program with a second horse, which I think is going to be super fun. I suspect we'll be seeing a lot of low pressure, confidence boosting miles in Ginger's future, much more time at home in mine, and many new adventures for us both. You just never know where we'll be three years from now...





6 comments:

  1. Sounds like an amazing three years! :-)

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  2. Next month, I'll have had my horse for 3 years. I feel the same, like she has always been there, but also like we have just started. We have a similar story, but we did driving for a while, dressage training rides, and now we are working on me getting over my fears with her for trail riding.
    Keep up the good work! It is hard, but totally worth it :)

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    1. I love your blog! Thanks for the encouragement :)

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! Loving your show updates.

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