Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why Do I Do This...?

This week is tough for me...I think I mentioned the other day that Bromont is going on right now... for those who are in the know....Bromont was a short term goal for me...Open Training in June 2011...not so much anymore...sigh...however, in keeping my Chin Up, I am Kicking On.
DVM Extraordinaire is yet to make it biggie...I am on her clock and she is going to try again for tonight and if not tonight, then on the weekend for sure.
Last night, Chester has never felt better since that dreadful day 10 weeks ago....
It was ring work day. I set up 4 cavaletti, with the final two being about 8 or 10 inches off the ground. He didn't touch them...once. :-) I don't think I had been more proud in my life!
Sidebar - There was an interesting article the other day on that was titled "Why Do I Do This..." and the author went on to write about a green OTTB mare who she had taken xc schooling for the first time...the mare sounds a lot like Chester: sensitive to your leg and hand aids, spooky, looks at everything etc. The best part about it, was that very like Chester, the mare LOVES praise. It went on to talk about how she started the school being very unsure and un-confident and ended up walking around like she owned the place because she knew she was good. The other best part about it was the author's closing line that read: "That's why I do this sport, for the simple moments of confidence when the horse has had as much fun as you have. Its not the ribbons, the scores, the glory or the's the connection you build with a special creature who is willing to do crazy things for you simply because you asked them to try."
Well let me tell you something...I talk almost constantly to Chester, whether or not it is under my breath, or full out making a HUGE deal out of the littlest thing he does right. He feeds off of the positive energy that I carry...the more relaxed and having fun with it I am...the better he is...Last night for example. I had moved the poles apart a couple inches because I reallly wanted him to start to pick his legs up and really start to use his butt. And the last two poles in the grid now included height...another new thing. So picture this: We're riding outside, the grid is down one side as I am coming around the corner, this is me: "Head's up Chester, poles coming you're going to have to pick your feet up...don't worry I'll stay out of your way"...make the turn, set him straight then into 2point I go..."kay Chester, here it comes, my leg is on, it's all you" One Two, One Two, One Two, One Two... he holds his line, keeps his rhythm and doesn't touch a single pole "GOOD BOY CHESTER!!! GOOD BOY"...followed by ENORMOUS pats...repeat...By the third or fourth time around, he was snorting to himself as if to say 'Really, this is IT?! Come on Mom, I GOT this' was awesome!!! I was so proud of him. I made such a big deal of how happy he had made me that when I was cooling him out (on a hack) one of the girls who joined up with me said 'I take it he was being a good boy tonight?' I said YES, he was great! She goes "We could hear you in the indoor arena" guess I was happy. We are still a long long long loooong way from showing, (we haven't cantered in the ring in 2+ months) let alone jumping anything, but you can bet your ass off I am going to ride this positive upward momentum train...he. felt. great. He was relaxed, no tension, frothy mouth...I was paying close attention to his ears and they were forward the entire time, all the while cocking one back listening to me...awesome. If we keep going like this, please please please keep your fingers crossed...then maybe Canterdown August 15 is attainable!

So (in the author's words of the above mentioned article), why do I do this silly sport that wastes so much time, money and can cause so much disappointment ....weeeelll.....

I do this because I believe in my horse. I do this because I know that my horse is special. He deserves every single opportunity to show everyone who ever told him he would 'never be an event horse' to shut it. I do it for the moments when he finally gets it and understands just how really special he actually is and what a strong team we actually are. I fall in love with him for the first time again every single day that goes by and I get more and more proud of him every single day that goes by....THAT is why I do this sport.

Chin-up & Kick-On!

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