Wednesday, November 2, 2011

new snow and rethinking Nina

We do often have a big snow in the fall here, kind of a wake up for the coming winter, but this is our second storm, 7 days apart, more like winter than fall.  Does make us wonder what is coming.

While I am drinking coffee and staring at the snow - yesterday I was riding in nice weather - I am rethinking Nina.
Over the last couple of years I have gotten very attached to her on-the-ground personality.  She has gone from moving as far away from people as possible to inserting herself in every conversation and calmly hanging out, listening to people and enjoying the attention.  All good.
But I also was coming to terms with the idea that I was never going to be able to really train her.  I was never going to be able to trust her under saddle.  And the endless loop of starting over again and again was where she was stuck, apparently forever. 
So honestly, I slacked off.  I taught her little bits in little pieces.  I rode her for short periods of time and tried to avoid the nuclear meltdown that went with pushing her.  A big one is that I let myself get out of shape.  I am not able to ride the way I did Scotty. 
Apparently most of her problems came down to hormones because a couple of weeks on the red raspberry leaves have totally changed her.  She can still be a little shit.  Yesterday she threatened to rear a couple of times and tried to get her feet under her to buck at least once.  But she worked HARD for over half an hour, which turned out to be my physical limit for hard work and not hers.  And she was quite cheerful about all of it, including her obvious thoughts to unload me, which were just avoiding work and not a meltdown.
I suddenly have a horse to work/train/compete and I had gradually moved away from that mindset and relegated myself to sort of a babysitter.
Now I need to get my butt back in gear, get back in shape and come up with an actual training plan that does not revolve around just avoiding trouble.  I can start by building on the little bits of things that I have taught her and start creating more correctness and more fitness there.
I really need to come up with some money for lessons.  I have had kind of a wishlist of taking lessons with some of my favorite instructors, but since it was just for me and not for actually making progress with Nina it has not been serious planning.
I am feeling happy, excited and kind of at a loss. 


  1. I'm sort of at a loss for what to say, but I want to comment so that you know I've read this.... How about this:
    I'm glad the raspberry seems to be working!

  2. Good for you for taking a step back and analyzing what needs to be done to move forward!! I like that you are starting with what you have already and building on that. During the winter months the place where I board gets a lot of seasonal boarders who bring their reining horses in for training. Their horses are under the care of the BO/trainer for a month. After that the owner has to commit to training with the horse for a month. Could this type of arrangement be an option for you? I am excited for you both.

  3. Glad to hear the red rasperry leaves are helping. Red Raspberry herb tea is one of my favorite drinks for myself. You've got good thoughts and ideas about Nina and your plans for future training.

    The snow is beautiful to look at.

  4. 1) beautiful snow photos. :)

    2) I'm really glad that she is the type of horse that you are Looking forward an planning with Nina now. This is exciting!

  5. Almost sounds like having to make plans for your new horse. And that is good. Be like starting all over with her. A fresh start. :)

  6. SO much better to be at a loss because of awesome things happening than because every ride sucks, right? I'm so happy for you and Nina and can't wait to read where you two go next-I'm sure it will be fabulous:)


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