I really need to listen to my instincts, because they were bang on regarding Bridget. If you remember, she tried her heart out on day 1, but I felt like a lot of the exercises and expectations were too big of an ask for her, and I was lucky she was willing to try so hard and humor me and that riding her like that was not a sustainable prospect at this point in time. I was right in thinking that, since she came into the lesson just mentally 'done' with the whole thing. We rode in the outdoor today, so there were a few more distractions, but I don't feel like that was the problem. Pony was more just like 'What more do you want? What more can I possibly give you that I haven't already?' and just kind of gave up. She was right of course, because horses never lie to us. She really had nothing left to give or prove. I was a better person I would have just given her the day off.
|Just some recent random pics to break the text wall. I didn't get any photos from the weekend. (yes, pony's lead rope isn't tied - she ground ties so I get lazy about leaving it under her feet once in a while)|
After my ride, a friend came up and before any other comments asked "How does that saying go about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?' I love her, she summed it up best. Insanity, pure and simple.
While I did pick up a ton of tips and useful information, I don't feel like this particular clinician's teaching style suits me or Bridget and I likely won't be back for the next clinic in June. It's a shame because she's a contemporary of one of my favorite trainers ever (they even studied under the same rider for many years). Personalities are such a huge thing - she seems like a nice person, but she's very assertive as a coach. I get a bit weird about people shouting or running me or my horse down as a coaching style...rather than making me more motivated, or even really emotional at all, I just kind of shut down mentally and don't take the person overly seriously, which is unfortunate. I can handle fair criticism, but there has to be some positives or encouragement now and then for me to benefit. She wasn't as harsh with others, so I am left wondering a bit what the problem was. I don't want to sound at all like "oh poor me, I got picked on" because I don't overly care about that, more I just don't understand the motivation behind it or what the clinician was really looking for me to do differently.
We trailered both ponies home last night and they were SO happy to get off the trailer and be at home. When we let them out to the pasture there was a big happy reunion and lots of running around. Except Bridget - she did a courtesy circle with her pals and came running back to me and stood by my side and watched the antics until I had to leave. Guys, I seriously cried then. Maybe I read too much into it, but I feel like in her mind we must still be partners, even after such an awful week. I have no idea how horses can be so forgiving.