Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Blog Hop: Change


 I'm contemplating some change in this corner of the blogosphere. I know what I want and where I want to be equestrian goals wise, but the part between here and there is a little hazy.

So, for our very first blog hop, I'm shamelessly hoping you'll share your life experience so those of us struggling with similar decisions can learn from your mistakes and be inspired by your successes.

Look! I even made a special picture ;)

My question(s) to you:

Have you at some point moved on to a different horse, trainer, stable, etc with the purpose of advancing your progress? What made you realize the time was right for a change? Or did you opt to adjust your goals in order to stay with what you know is working? How did either choice work out in the long run?

My reason for asking is that I'm contemplating purchase or lease of either a talented/willing/forgiving prospect or (more likely) a been there/done that horse/pony to move up on and learn with. I'm still going to keep on keepin' on with Midge, because she's fun, but I'm wanting to progress a little quicker in my own riding and experience levels. Midge is happy enough doing all the things, and is even showing some good potential for dressage...but honestly she's just not that into it and being consistently inconsistent on whether the pony shows up to work with a good attitude is a thing I'm finding a bit harder to accept as time goes on. It also makes for uber slow progress. We ARE making progress, for sure, as our 'bad days' at our most recent show didn't result in overly bad scores (BUT we also did move down a level, so...). If you can't guess I'm conflicted about 'giving up' and putting some focus elsewhere because I do still believe we'll get there...but the time frame is a bit of an issue and I feel kind of stuck in a rut. Also, it's not fair to the pony to try to force it and make dressage the sole focus when she's happier doing a bit of everything.

The plan is to breed her in the spring of 2018. I'm regretting not doing it this year, but on the flip side I'm also glad we've had another year of showing and fun under our belts without any other distractions or commitments! Obviously Midge is here for life, too, so no worries about any of that changing....she's definitely my pony of a lifetime and means the world to me.

I'm very, very lucky to have an excellent coach, so that part of the equation won't be changing!

(You might be wondering "but what about Ginger?" Ginger is fabulous and awesome too, but honestly, dressage wise we have the opposite issue as B - she is more than willing, but physically not as gifted. Jumping wise she's super cute and would definitely be a nice move up for me, but I'm trusting EC's opinion here that unless my heart is set on Ginger, there is a more suitable prospect for me that would be a better longer term fit, particularly as my big goals are more dressage oriented. Ginger is a super intermediate mount for the kids moving up, they love her, and she's happy. I won't mess with that by bringing my baggage into the equation. I'm not ruling out selling her to the perfect home, but for now she's got a lease girl who adores her and I'm happy)







24 comments:

  1. I strongly feel that horses are too expensive and too all-consuming to waste time/money riding the wrong one. I think it's fantastic that you can keep B and still pursue a second horse, and I think you'll enjoy that. If they don't wanna, they don't wanna, and it won't really be fun for anyone.

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    1. Some compromises would have to be made - as long as I'm boarding I'm thinking one of the two would need to be on a part lease to make it truly affordable. Or only one would be boarded with trainer. But, agreed, I think it's something I'll enjoy and the fair thing for Midge.

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  2. "Have you at some point moved on to a different horse, trainer, stable, etc with the purpose of advancing your progress? What made you realize the time was right for a change? Or did you opt to adjust your goals in order to stay with what you know is working? How did either choice work out in the long run?"

    As you know, our area is very lack-luster in comparison to the ammenities a lot of other bloggers (and riders) have. However, we do have a wonderful set of facilities at our fingertips and the ability to still actively participate within the Northwest show circuit. It isn't as competitive as you would find down South, but it is still something to be proud of.

    To answer your questions - I have not moved on to a different horse/trainer/stable or otherwise for the purpose of advancing my riding. I didn't own horses until five years ago when I got Suzie and before that I was catch-riding anything that was available. I didn't have the opportunity or ability to "exchange for another horse" because, well, there wasn't anything else. So I had to deal with what I had. For most of my riding "career", I had short-period leases - I rode so-and-so's horse until so-and-so had time to ride again... and then I found a new horse to ride... and so on and so forth.

    After having Suzie, I started to realize how frustrated I was getting with being in the SAME spot with my riding. Over the last 7-8 years I rode Training Level tests and did 2-2'3" jumping courses. In some cases, the horse's ability just wasn't there to progress, or the lease was ended due to one reason or another (for two horses, they passed very suddenly and unexpectedly).

    That being said, once Suzie was side-lined due to navicular and arthritis, I had a very different list of "wants/needs" that I applied to my next horse. Of course, that remains to be determined with Annie, but I think that she fits the bill of a pleasureable all-around English mount that can progress me past the constraints of Training Level (if we get that canter fixed, lol), and 2'3" courses. I don't want to be "stuck" in the lower levels of Dressage and Jumping anymore. I want to have a taste of MORE and I am hoping Annie is the horse that can bring me that. Of course, her being green and uncoordinated doesn't give me much to go off of, but we will see.

    For now, I am enjoying her and while I don't think she will end up going anywhere, I plan to still attempt to achieve my goals that I set out for myself as a rider.

    In your situation, if you can keep your current horse(s) and still lease and achieve what you want, what is the harm in that? I don't have the luxury of being able to lease a schoolmaster type horse and those are few in far between here (as I am sure you are aware), but it also comes down to time and $$. If you can do it - why not!

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    1. What a well thought out reply - you're definitely in a similar situation there, with Suzie the heart horse and a new prospect too. I really believe Annie is going to make some of your goals reality, she's lovely!

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    2. I feel like a lot of my reply was just word-vomit, lol. I should've probably made a blog post about it vs blabbing on in the comment section. :P

      I think in some ways having Suzie become retired vs not riding her because I wanted to do something else was the best way it could've gone. I did briefly lease an english-mount three years ago (Tally, the black mare) to give Suzie a friend and so I could continue riding English. It kinda back-fired because Suzie was put on the back-burner and I felt guilty about it. Now with her being retired and such, I don't feel as guilty.

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  3. I'm with Jen. I 100% advocate riding the right horse for you. I think riding should be fun and if you want to do something your horse isn't good at/doesn't want to do, why not find another horse to have fun doing that with and find another owner for the horse so that horse can be happy too. I have sold horses that weren't working for me, not really because of any competitive goals, but because we weren't right for each other. I'm happier now and those horses are happier too.

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    1. I'm not going to sell Midge, because I do enjoy trail riding and local showing and trying new things - all the stuff she's fabulous for! But yeah, if I want to make progress towards some of my other goals, I do need to consider looking elsewhere for a second horse for lease or purchase.

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  4. Good question and blog hop! Though I don't think I have a story worthy of a whole blog post so I'll just give my answer here in a comment:

    I haven't ever changed horses for that reason. I made one move to a different stables for the purpose of advancing (all other barn moves were due to changing cities). For that move, I knew it was time when the restrictions at the old barn were getting in the way of my enjoyment of horses. I absolutely loved the barn I moved to and I don't regret it for a minute, I'd be back there in a second if I still lived in the area. I think the decision had the potential for being great for my riding progress, but just plain bad luck meant that my horse foundered and then I had to move for work before that could really materialize.

    My current trainer believes that to make progress as a rider you should switch horses at least every five years. That is a hard prospect if you own a heart horse and can only afford one, but I think it's a valid thing to consider when you aren't restricted by that. Whatever you decide I wish you all the best!

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    1. Ohh, finances and time are both restrictions, don't get me wrong! I'm just lucky that I have a spot at home for Midge so I can keep her on a budget if need be. She pretty much stays fat on air ;)

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  5. It seems that you have done a lot of thinking and reached a pretty sensible decision.

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  6. I am a big believer that horses, like people find the job they like. If it does not mesh with the job you want and finding another partner is an option, take it. I have been blessed to have a large number of horses to pick between over the years, but it has been a long haul to find one who wants to go the same direction as I do long term. My training has been slow due to finances. We picked up speed this year when we found a trainer and I made the commitment to showing.
    I can't wait to see how your journey goes! And PS I can't wait to see a foal out of Midge :)

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    1. Fingers crossed the breeding thing works out, Id be beyond excited for a foal from her

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  7. Working with a horse that doesn't show up with a willing attitude must be so frustrating. When I needed to move on to another horse there was much guilt and second-guessing, but it was necessary for my goals and I am so happy with where I am at with Savvy. I needed that previous horse and all of those experiences to be good enough and ready for Savvy though, and I was grateful for that.

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    1. While I think there's definitely truth to the saying you can train a better work ethic, yeah, some days it's really freakin' hard.

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  8. Definitely think there is nothing wrong with leasing a more seasoned horse to learn on, that's exactly what those kinds of horses are for!

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    1. Plus, shopping, even for a lease, is fun, right? :)

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  9. short answer to your questions: yes. i've already written somewhat extensively about my thought process here, but if you'd like i can cogitate on it a little more with respect to those specific questions.

    slightly longer answer: yes. lol. i say: do the thing. if you're thinking about striking out to try something new, it's worth a shot. worth a try. Bridget is a wonderful pony and you two make a good team. i'm also a firm believer tho that our horse lives (simply by nature of the length of our career as riders vs each horse's realistic riding age span) will always expand beyond a single horse. and that there's no reason to feel bound by loyalty or whatever to any one single creature. if the means, curiosity, will, and interest exist to try new things - i say go for it!

    there's so much to learn, so much to experience - and every horse has something slightly different to offer. sometimes it's plenty fulfilling to see it through with a single horse, adapting with them as their abilities or interests change. for me, at this particular point in my riding life, however, i've got a pretty clear sense of what i would like to be doing in the saddle. and i'm happiest when seated on a horse who also quite likes doing the same things. good luck!

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    1. I need my own mini version of your Charlie :)

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  10. I did this on my blog, what a great question! Short answer: yes to a different trainer and stable, no to a horse http://roosashorseylife.blogspot.fi/2017/08/project-gingersnap-blog-hop-change.html

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  11. I blogged about it, 4 years ago.

    http://bossmareeventing.blogspot.ca/2013/06/letting-go.html

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    1. Awesome, thanks for the link :)

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  12. What an interesting question and I loved reading all the different responses!

    Here is mine,
    http://spotteddressage.blogspot.ca/2017/08/gingersnap-blog-hop-change.html

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