Monday, July 26, 2021

Honeymoon Over

 Baby horses are hard. I brought  Cinder home June 30th and am just now feeling like we’re approaching where we were when I brought her home. The transition from her being ridden by Trainer A three times a week and me having one lesson a week plus one ride on my own to me riding solo was rough. Not that Cinder’s been naughty or bad, she’s actually been really good. It’s more my mental state and trying not to pass along my anxiety to her. 

The day after bringing her home we had a lesson with my regular trainer J and it went really well. Cinder was her normal laid back self and J was happy with how she was going. Our next couple of rides is when the wheels started falling off. Cinder got a little spooky at the far end of the arena, I got even more busy and burnt out at work and my anxiety got the best of me. I was scared to ride her in the spooky end, scared to push her when she was being resistant, and just generally terrified I’d come off her again. 

It didn’t help that I got a message from one of Trainer S’s (the first trainer I sent Cin to) students telling me that while she wished me the best, me posting about Cinder being good for me was hard for her to see because she felt like I was being mean to S. She felt like I was lying and proceeded to tell me about how other trainers had done was worse things to her than what S did to me/Cinder. You know what’s not great for an already anxious and stressed out person? Someone they really don’t know that well shitting on their experience and saying how they’ve had it worse so you shouldn’t complain. I was pretty much ready to sell both my horses and live as a recluse at that point. 

And of course during this time J and I couldn’t coordinate our schedules for another lesson. We did finally have one a week ago and I spent the first ten minutes dumping all my emotions onto J. We came up with a game plan going forward and actually managed to have two other lessons last week as well. Each lesson and each ride has felt better and better. I’m feeling much more confident with myself and Cinder, and J has told me that I’m not allowed to put Cinder up for sale. She, and Trainer A, fully believe that Cinder will be the horse I want her to be, I just need to believe in myself, my riding, and in her.


  1. Wow, that student is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of line. That's a very immature response to a situation that isn't any of her business anyway, although I get she probably feels like she's defending her trainer. I can see why it flustered you, but let it go, you're doing everything right. Glad you have J and A in your corner!

  2. horses are hard no matter what, but damn some horse people are real *ssholes. sorry that person projected all their BS onto you, and glad you have such great trainers in your corner!

  3. That girl seriously needs a chewing out and blocking, seriously DO NOT ENGAGE with that person. You got this, Cinder is such a good girl, you have great trainers and people rooting for you!

  4. "You know, you talking about your positive accomplishments is really rude to people who do a shitty job, lie to clients, and spread rumors behind clients' backs! How dare you be successful!!!!!"

  5. 100/100 to the comment above 'How dare you be successful!' WTF is wrong with some people. You are doing amazing with Cinder, changing programs is always tough (as is dealing with the inevitable spooky end of the arena!) You two have come so far, you got this!

  6. F that person. Seriously. F that person. You have been nothing but factual and way kinder than I would have been if I brought my baby horse home to find out she knew nothing. And just because you don't like her, doesn't mean S won't work for that person. And that's such a BS argument. Oh I've had it way worse. I had to light myself on fire literally so you should allow someone to put tacks on your seat while you ride. My eyes are rolling so hard right now.

    Anxiety sucks and it lies. And if you go slower because of it? Horses don't care about "goals" or "potential". Just that you care about them and give them cookies. I'm definitely here supporting you from the great interwebs. You got this.

  7. Ugh, I'm sorry you had to deal with that childish comment! Agree with L, you should block that person and keep on with your progress. Cinder is a wonderful horse and you're doing great with her.
    If it helps you feel any better, there are some days when 12 year old Eros will not go to the end of my ring either. Some days I push the issue and some days I choose my battles and let it be. And you know what? He's not ruined. And neither is Cinder.
    Take your time and do what you are able to each day.

  8. I agree with the other comments. You have found trainers that work for both Cinder & yourself - ignore that cruel, toxic person and do not engage.
    This is your blog, you sharing your experiences & your journey. Don't let a stranger change that.

  9. Why so much so young?
    The various horse industries, like racing, are not likely to change the way they have operated for hundreds of years, racing 2 and 3 year olds hard, but that doesn't mean they have to be copied by sport disciplines.
    I am a conservative about horse age.
    A yearling is a baby, and ought to be running around in a field.
    A 2 year old is a baby, and ought to be running around in a field.
    A 3 year old is a baby, but now big enough to start getting more handling. No damn "futurities." No "young horse programs."
    If you can't stand not doing something, put tack on, maybe spend some summer time doing some long lining, maybe get on him enough times that he won't buck you off, and throw him back out in the field.
    If you do nothing with a 3 year old except the basic shots, feet, teeth, leading, the same thing as with yearlings and two year olds, I don't think you are putting yourself behind the game.
    A 4 year old is a young adolescent. Like most adolescents, he needs a job, but not a hard, speed filled, spinning, wrenching, pounding job, so much as a slow, calm, body building job, lots of walking, the gradual acquisition of more musculature and body mass. You are still very much in a building mode.
    Five is either the last baby year, or the first semi-mature year, depending upon the horse. Ride and train carefully, and try to avoid two things most of all. Injury and frantic stress. Never put a 5 year old into some "young horse" program with a performance based time limit, unless he is one of those early maturing types, and even then, be careful. And NEVER with a 4 year old.
    Six, he is ready to start being a "normal" horse.
    I realize I am in the minority with my time line. Many horses are used up and done for by 6, 7, or 8. Or even younger. They are fried mentally, and injured physically by greedy riders and trainers who had no issue grinding on them too young.
    But if you can be patient, and give them time to grow up and get strong, you can still be riding those horses when they are late teenagers, into their early 20s, sometimes.
    What is the rush? Seriously?

    By Denny Emerson