Monday, April 5, 2021

A Slew of Updates Part 1: Eeyore

Never fear the Big Orange Butthead is still around and being his goofy, loveable, slightly obnoxious self. 

Coming out of winter, other than the multiple lost shoes, he is feeling the best yet. Trainer remarks weekly on his movement and his improved willingness to try which isn’t inherent to his nature. Eeyore loves the attention that comes with being worked, but he loathes actual hard work. His go to has always been to try to speed his way out of the hard stuff but after a major Come to Jesus lesson mid February, he has come around. 

Always creeping on me. If I'm anywhere outside/near him I can always feel his eyes on me.

It’s hard to put into writing the shift that has come about over the winter. Weekly lessons have been a game changer for me. Eeyore is still Eeyore and always will be. He is big, goofy, opinionated and loud about it. He wears his heart on his sleeve and demands that the world knows exactly how he is feeling at any given moment. 

It has taken me a long time to grow the lady set needed to ride him through things and tell him that while he is allowed to have feelings, he needs to express them in a much more tolerable manner. After a few hard lessons in late January/early February I finally learned to put my leg on through his bucks and make him work. Add onto that figuring out how to be more proactive versus reactive, and I felt a seismic shift in our relationship. 

Trainer AB is working us hard both on the flat and over fences. The flatwork is focused on lifting the front end, having a better connection front to back and developing more hind end push. We are also working on snappier up transitions and more balanced downs. No more flopping onto the forehand in the down or taking multiple strides to get into a good working trot or canter. His trot to canter transition is really shaping up and becoming fun to ride. I’m working really hard in the canter to lift his front end. It takes a lot of seat and core and I’m exhausted after a short period but it is coming along. 

Eeyore finally found himself a grooming buddy in Hamilton. It melted my heart to see this 

Over fences has been super eye opening too. We are back to our fighting height of 2’3” and are now making things more technical. My favorite was a figure 8 exercise over two verticals set 4 strides apart. It made a super tight turn coming off a central ground pole which required very precise turns that left little room to pick at him once I presented him to the fence. It highlighted a lot of our flaws and was just plain fun to do. 

I’m also slowly working on getting him better in the big field at home. It’s a shame to miss out on such a nice space for conditioning work with multiple hills to work up and down. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can walk him around it to cool down after a ride. Trotting is still a work in progress but I hope to eventually be able to canter out there. Some day. 

While he pushes to get out every morning to the pasture, he tries to hide from me when it is time to go out in Fat Camp with Gem. He'd rather stay inside thank you very much.

No show plans for the year. I may end up entering something last minute but right now all my funds are going to lessons which I enjoy more anyway. I hope to go back out cross country schooling some time this spring but we will see. 

Other than that it’s just life around the farm for Eeyore. He is back in Fat Camp as the grass grows and isn’t too happy about it. He plays with Pete and Hamilton all day long when everyone is out together but is stuck with no fun Gem at night. He can’t be out in the rich grass that much and nearly killed himself over his muzzle last spring so Fat Camp it is and he just has to deal. It is funny to see him sulking when Gem shuts his antics down.


  1. Glad to hear he’s doing well. I love how hard you work. It’s really paying off.

    1. We are getting there and it feel really good. I always though that I would train stuff out of him but what I really needed to do was train myself how to ignore a lot of it and get done what I wanted anyway. A change in mind set went a long way to "fixing" our issues.

  2. Great to hear that Eeyore is doing well!! I love lessons too and it's great to hear that you guys are making some progress there. Having a great coach means everything, I find!

    1. Had another fantastic lesson last night!

  3. Glad things are going well with eeyore still!