Had a lesson last night, which is certainly not unusual, Wednesday is lesson night. But, we're working on getting Maggie more sensitive, so off with the spurs and on with the GET MOVING!!! It was not the most fun anyone has ever had, but, at the end, we had the best walk ever, good trot, but awesome walk. And my trainer and I talked about the work we're doing with Mags. And her comment was that a LOT of trainers won't GO THERE. They aren't going to engage the work that needs to be done to truly train the horse to do what it's supposed to.

The ugly truth is that sometimes training is UGLY. But that's where the learning happens, for rider and horse. And if you don't engage the 'battle' (for lack of a better word), you'll never get past it. Maggie has a big NO button (and by this I mean she uses expletives excessively). And, if you get her past the NO, she learns that resistance is futile and goes happily along doing what she's supposed to. And I don't mean beat your horse, by any means. But if you never get outside the box, you never really get the training done. And, this applies to riders too.

I've been 'busted down' to Training Level, so we can finally work through some issues in the show ring. Yes, it's a bit depressing, but more depressing are rotten scores, so, we'll do what we have to in order to break through my NO's, if you will, and move on. And isn't getting better what I'm trying to do anyway?!

There was an article recently on Eurodressage about riding behind closed doors, and I'm paraphrasing here, but it was along the lines of... if amateurs don't see the ugly that sometimes happens in training and gets worked through PROPERLY (as in not abusing our horses), then they'll never really get a feel for what is and IS NOT appropriate schooling.

I don't think that any rider that's gotten to Grand Prix has glossed over training issues, or never had the horse say NO, and you can't make me.... and it's at those times that the real work gets done, and rider and horse is happier for it (in Maggie's case, the nagging goes away, because she's responding properly to the aids. In my case, I learn to ride better and QUIETER, because I'm not NAGGING).

Sometimes, you have to go there...

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Comment by Kathleen K on April 11, 2011 at 11:24am

Excellent blog - "Going There" can be really difficult, but once you "Get There" the reward of a happier, easier to ride horse is so worth it!


Good luck conquering Maggie's 'No' button.

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