Highs and lows

I don't feel like dwelling on the horrible things that have happened the past few days, so I will keep it brief. Finn reared up on me in the indoor yesterday during hand walking and came at me with legs in the air. He took off toward the outdoor at a full gallop. I cornered him while he was grazing. Once I got him inside he reared up on me half a dozen times. He lost one of his boots on his victory gallop and it took 45 minutes to find it in 95 degree heat. Tried to bring him in the wash stall, he reared. When I got to the barn today I heard from the young girl working there that he did the same thing to her this morning and took off, almost toward the road this time. She wasn't expecting it and he almost pinned her. I know he hasn't been out in three weeks but it's like the past few days a switch has flipped, and he is just gone. He has this faraway look in his eyes. He is almost acting like he's getting abused, which I know is not the case. He is completely and utterly terrified of everything, like the wash stall. He snorts and backs up like a mad man at something we've never had an issue with. He's acting like he's never had a day of training in his life. Oh, and during his gallop this morning he lost a boot again and no one can find it. Me and Matt spent 2 hours searching the entire area he was loose in. There goes $350 bucks, awesome. I had a lesson on one of the lesson horses today and while I was walking my lesson horse around the field to cool him out, we came up over the hill and I see Finn in his pen, charging the pen with his chest, squealing, rearing, and snorting. He is dangerous. He's going to hurt someone. My god.

So anyways, I need a few days to figure out what the hell is going on and get my head on straight. He'll be aced for turnout for the next few days.

I haven't ridden in a month or so, and between everything, I haven't really wanted to. Trainer asked me the other day if I'd be interested in lesson on one of her sale/lesson horses. My friend Carole, who I moved to new barn with, was taking a lesson, and we could do a semi private. I thought, why not.

Today reminded me why I love horses and riding. I rode a 16.3h, 15yr old Warmblood named Ben who is the total, total packer. He's also a total, total hunk!!
Look at those legs!!
I was definitely smitten with his manners: being able to pick his feet without 20 minutes of begging, fly spraying him without him having a mini heart-attack, saddling him without ear pinning, and bridling him without him tossing his head in the air and being a total pain in the ass.
     Our lesson started with a 20 minute warm up and then it was on to jumping. I haven't jumped, aside from the very occasional cross rail, in a long time. Today, I jumped a full course with a smile on my face. I was able to sit back and just have fun. I was able to work on "me", and count strides, and feel how things are supposed to feel when they're right. It was awesome. My trainer pointed out that I look like a completely different rider on Ben. I was...I was actually confident. Carole kept saying how great I looked on him. This is our first go through the first couple of jumps. I'm so used to basically crouching in the fetal position, holding back, and not releasing with my hands (due to fear), that these bad habits carried over to poor Ben today. Hopefully a few more lessons with him I will be able to just let go.

 This was the first time I've had fun riding, without fearing for my life, in longer than I can remember...which is sad.
     I know that horses like this aren't just made this way, and it takes a lot of training to get them this way. My fear with Finn is that his heart isn't in in. That he doesn't want a job to do. That we will get a month of consistency, only to be injured for two months and start all over again. I know for sure that when he's better there is no way I'm going to be the first one on his back. He is either going into full training here, or being sent away for training.

    Ben doesn't know how much I needed him today. Thanks, buddy.


  1. There's a lot to be said for a horse that will gladly tote us around. I hope Ben helps for when Finn's ready!

  2. I'm so sorry :( Hope it's just a lack of turn out and Finn settles back down. Full training is definitely a good idea, and I'm sure you guys will be back together in no time.

  3. I'm sorry. This is a sucky situation. At least you are being smart about this and figuring out your options. Keep your chin up. We're all here even if just as a sounding board.