I wanted to say thank you to everyone for your kind comments on my previous post. It certainly is a challenge balancing home life and horse life, especially when there are kids involved. I’m trying to sort it all out as best I can right now. I had to cancel a really big “thing” that I don’t have the heart to talk about, because I have no one to watch my baby for 3 nights. Of course, he is the most important, but it was kind of a huge deal – the opportunity of a lifetime so it wasn’t a decision I made lightly.

So, I’m probably going to be staying local for a while. My one goal, that I refuse to lose sight of, is I want to complete a 50 on Pearl by the end of the year. I’ve decided we’re going to shoot for the fall ride at the Biltmore, as the terrain is similar to where we train. In the meantime it shouldn’t be hard to keep the mare LD fit over the summer.

Aside from endurance, the only other thing I’ve ever really wanted to do is Eventing. I grew up with the dream of Eventing, but although I did take lessons for a while in my early teens, my parents never actually agreed to let me show. When I was 15 I had a horrible instructor for a time, and with no end in sight (an actual event would’ve been a good incentive), I quit taking lessons. I haven’t had any since. It’s my understanding that pretty much everyone who events has a trainer (or two!) – hence the reason I haven’t pursued this before. But I have a pretty solid foundation (at least I like to think so), so I’m going to pursue a couple Combined Tests and see how it goes.

Of course, my first inclination was to use Justice. I have jumped him a couple of times and he did well. In short, he is fearless. But he is also clumsy and has NO idea how to use his body. Our last few (flatwork) rides were horrible – to the point where he actually started bucking in protest at one point. I also have the gut feeling that he might have ulcers, so at this point I may back off a bit until I’ve treated him.

I almost cried after our last ride. I went home and told my boyfriend “I can’t do anything right.” I blamed the entire thing on myself. I must be giving him the wrong aids. I must be doing everything wrong.

Then I got to thinking. My background (though basic) is solid. My aids – pretty solid. In fact, Pokey (who we recently found is western pleasure bred and trained) had never done dressage in his life prior to last year, and he had no problem learning to collect/round himself/move off my leg and everything else I asked of him. So I can’t be doing everything totally wrong. It’s quite possible that Justice was just being pissy because what I was asking was hard for him, or because he was in pain. I guess I won’t know until I put him on an Omeprazole regimen.

In the meantime, I’ll probably continue working with Pokey. His stifle has healed and he is ready to get back on a regular schedule. He has also jumped before and did well. He is heavy on the forehand (due to his Western Pleasure training) but we’re working on that. I’m not saying I think he can jump very high, or that I expect him to be very brave about it (I don’t), but I suspect we can at least putz around and have fun in the meantime until Justice catches up.