Monday, May 18, 2020

So Many Words

First, thank you everyone for your comments on my prior posts. I know everyone came from a place of concern and help and I appreciate it. 

Second, holy crap but I could write a novel about my first lesson at the new barn, FEC. I’m having a hard time sorting through it all! It was AMAZING in so many ways and the greatest part is that with the package pricing I can afford to lesson weekly for the first time in my life. I’m soooooo excited!!!  Also, an old friend of mine randomly showed up to ride that night and we both stared at each other like “wait...what are you doing here!?” and then laughed and talked and had a great time. 

The view from the barn on a gorgeous evening


Seriously, I don’t even know where to begin here. I got to ride a sweet OTTB named Fenix and we worked on the very basics of walk, trot and canter then finished with a single gate jump then a two stride line of verticals. The grin spread across my face within the first few minutes and never left. It was a feeling I’ve been missing lately. 

Trainer MD is a talker. She never stops explaining the whys and the hows and the history and OMG I loved it. I learned a lot in a short period and it kept coming. She is also hilarious and there really wasn’t a moment I could get tense or scared because I was laughing so much. 

I’ll be real here for a minute. I take lessons 50% for the riding/exercise/knowledge and 50% for human interaction where I’m not in charge. I’m not the doctor making treatment plans or the boss making business decisions or the mother or the wife. I take it seriously in that I listen, do my best and try hard but I also giggle a lot and get off subject talking. I’m sure it drives more serious people insane. MB didn't seem to care and interjected enough stories and anecdotes herself to satiate my need. The hour flew by.

I do have a type when it comes to horses. Chestnut with chrome is my favorite color


There were a lot of “huh” and “aha” and “ok....thats different” moments crammed into the hour ride. She is really into rider fitness as a base for safety and I spent a long time in two point at the trot and canter. She said that all her students need to be able to two point for the entire length of a xc course before they do a full course at a show. For starter level, that’s 6 minutes. Time for me to build up some muscles! 

We worked on my issues and my confidence. I learned to canter from a two point in the trot and from sitting in the walk. I’ve never done either of those before. She discussed striding (something I’ve always been fuzzy about) and your eye while riding. We talked about being left behind being a lot safer than jumping ahead and that a long spot feels bad but is safer than a chip. 

I could go on for forever with all the tidbits, history lessons and advice she gave. One eye opening moment was when we went to jump. Everyone I’ve ever ridden with has always started me with trot fences but MD apparently is against that. In her opinion, spending a lot of time trotting fences teaches the rider to have an eye that is much closer to the base. When you change to cantering the fences, the rider is then unprepared for the sweet spot 6’ take off and gets left behind or becomes scared. We trotted a single time for me to get used to Fenix and then cantered every fence thereafter. 

And a pony like face to top it off. I knew Fenix and I would get along just fine


I could keep going. Believe me when I say there was a lot of information shared. I loved it all. And then the even better part? After I untacked and got ready to go MD, my old friend and the assistant trainer all came over and we ended up talking and laughing until almost 10 pm. It is the closest I’ve ever come to finding that elusive barn family I’ve been looking for for years. 



Who knows what the future brings with lessons and once Eeyore comes back under saddle but for right now I really feel like I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m going to learn more than I thought I could learn and have a great group around me. My old friend is even going to start lessoning with me. I’m still smiling two days later as I write this. 

23 comments:

  1. Reading this is the best way to start my Monday. I'm so happy for you!

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  2. Sounds like such a great lesson and exactly what you needed!

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    1. It really and truly was what I was needing. Who knows how things will be once Eeyore is back at it and if this will remain a good fit for us then or if we will return to AB, but for now I'm excited about the summer

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  3. Every trainer seems to have a different philosophy of "trot fences first" or "only cantering" them - something I didn't realize until I moved and started riding with other people. Trainer M (male) didn't believe in trotting the fences at all, my personal philosophy is it is great for building up a back end and teaching young horses they can jump from any gait (why I also enjoy jumping small objects from a walk too!)

    I'm glad you are getting the chance to experience a myriad of teaching styles and that you had a good time!

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    1. Many different ways to train. This MB said one of her favorite ways to deal with a horse who likes to rush fences is to make them walk them. I think her theory on not trotting was more for the rider benefit than the horse. I got the feeling that she is extremely flexible and takes a what works in the moment for this particular horse/rider approach versus a rigid protocol. Time will tell.

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  4. This makes me so happy to hear!!!! It sounds like you've found a really good trainer for what you need now and she has horses that allow you to work on you!!!! And YES to that barn community!!!! As much as I love having my horses at home I really miss the endless hours spent at the barn talking to the other fun barn people. I have a new boarder and I don't think she realizes that I'll probably chatter at her endlessly b/c OMG HUMAN hahahaha.

    YAY TO AWESOME LESSONS!!!!

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    1. Its the one negative for me having the horses at home - the loss of the barn family. Though to be honest I was always the odd one out before when I boarded and did endurance. Nobody really understood it or the bright, fun colors.

      I'm hopeful that things continue as they started and it is really fun to work on me and get me more solid before getting back on my Orange Beast.

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  5. I, too, take lessons for the social aspect. And it's REALLY easy to get Jim to start expounding on stuff. It's such a fresh air to immerse myself in horse people life at a lesson.

    I'm so glad this was a good experience for you. And the lesson horse you had sounds SO MUCH better than that mare.

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    1. He was a sweet guy with a good foundation and brain. Not a dead head and not without his own quirks but nothing crazy

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  6. Sounds like you had a great time, and that you have recovered some of your confidence! I hope this trend continues!

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    1. It was!! I can't wait to go back and see how things progress.

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  8. I am so happy that you had a great lesson. It sounds like a lot of fun. I think you and I like the same things in lessons. I miss the connecting with the barn family and chatting late into the evening.

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    1. It was really great to stand there and BS about all sorts of things horse and not horse related.

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  9. Whew glad you found a place where you had fun, enjoyed the lesson and didnt get scared. YAY!

    Sounds like a perfect place to land for now while waiting for E to heal.

    Fun fun fun i look forward to your next lesson!!

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    1. Its a lovely little barn and makes me super excited about the summer. I'm going to see how things go and hope to do a lesson with Eeyore once he is back and see if it is still a good fit or not.

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  10. Wooo! glad you had fun. If you can get lessons like those consistently, you are going to be ready to ROCK N ROLL when Eeyore is back. :-)

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    1. Weekly lessons are not something I've ever gotten to experience in my life. Maybe every other week, more like once every 3-4 weeks. The consistency is going to be really nice and hopefully it is all stuff I can take back and apply to Eeyore. If nothing else, with her focus on rider fitness I will be a stronger rider by the end of it.

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  11. I am so happy to hear you gushing again <3 Wonderful.

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  12. I am sooooo happy to hear all of this <3 It sounds like you had such a wonderful time, and precisely what you said - it was exactly what you needed. MB sounds wonderful, and I must admit, I like that she doesn't focus on trot fences either. Those are so hard! haha!

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