Don’t “should” your horse!

It’s been a while… I know. The last month of school was crazy! It always is for teachers… Appreciate them more in the month of June. They’re battling restless kidlets and trying to get report cards finished up.

July also hit like a ton of bricks… The good kind 😉 I figured I’d have more free time once school was done. I was wrong. Between horses and balancing OE and my marriage, it’s been insane busy!!! And, as per usual, I love every minute of it.

OK, getting to the point of this post….

I’m a firm believer that every single horse comes into my world for a reason. Even the ones that are only with me for a short time.
The past month I’ll admit I’ve been struggling. Famous got really sick beginning of June and I have been on some challenging horses. I felt like I had lost my groove, my confidence was shook and I was questioning my abilities.

Let’s back up for a second so I can introduce one of my “challenges”. I bought a gelding in December to back up Famous. He was a 10 year old son of FDD Dynasty. He was gorgeous and I enjoyed him a ton. But, as I started hauling him, I quickly realized that he and I were just not jiving. Don’t get me wrong, he’s super talented and a nice nice horse, but it just wasn’t working out. It just so happened that a good friend called me the day after a particularly rough run at the end of may.

“I need you to take Boss.” Let me tell you about Boss aka Scootin Ta Fame. I had the opportunity to ride Boss for 3 weeks in 2018. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s opinionated, and he’s one of the most naturally talented horses I’ve ever sat on.

I laughed. “I have no money. And let me remind you, I quit my day job”

“Just take him. Make payments. Whatever. I’m not riding him and if anyone can get him going it’s you. I need you to take him.” By now my gears were turning. Clearly this was important to her.

“I can’t buy him. But I might have a better option for both of us.” You see, this friend of mine, she’s one of the handiest gals out there. She can take a horse that’s been tossed out by everyone else and turn it into a winner. I think it’s because she’s a true jockey and doesn’t really pick at them like a trainer does. So, I offered her my FDD Dynasty gelding in exchange for Boss, who, I might add, is equally as well bred. She watched some videos and messaged me. “We’re bringing Boss over tomorrow. Have your papers ready.”

Well, let me tell you, Boss has challenged me in ways I never thought possible. He has made me step back and take a good look at myself on multiple occasions. He has made me wonder if I know anything at all and oftentimes I stepped off him thankful that I own him, not because I was proud of the job I was doing on him but because I felt that I shouldn’t be paid to fail and I was failing…. And thank the good lord I didn’t have to hand this one back to his owners 🤦‍♀️

After the last time he tried to buck me off (about 3 weeks ago) I gave my head a good shake. I was doing exactly what I always preach… I was doing with this horse something I would never catch myself doing with a client horse. I was “shoulding” him.
You see, I figured I would step on the exact same horse I stepped off a year ago. Due to no fault of his own or anyone else, he just wasn’t that horse. He’d been pushed to the backburner and along with having a chip on his shoulder about being tossed out, he was unsure of himself, which, as with most horses with confidence issues, translated into what was interpreted as “bad behaviour”.

Thats when I slowed right down. I took him to the round pen. I stopped getting in fights with him. I allowed us both to fall in love with the sport again. I allowed him to start to love me and I him. A month and a half into our journey, I feel like I’m starting to make a pretty nice horse. He came into my world to remind me that sometimes we need to slow down and toss out the timeline.

I’ve always said you can’t train try. I still don’t think you really can. What I do think though is that circumstance can shut the tryingest horse down. Boss was one of those horses. He’s taught me, and this is a big one, that a horse who has natural try can find it again, with the right person. Proud of my Boss man and super excited to run down the alleyway on him… When he’s ready 💕

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