Monday, February 7, 2011

Bah Humbug


Sorry. I think I've been doing pretty well being positive about everything, but life has gotten the best of me tonight. I keep re-thinking the whole owning Denali thing. This is DEFIANTLY NOT what I thought horse ownership would be like. Two and a half years after entering into this world of horse ownership not much has changed.

I still own a horse that I can't ride.

My husband talked to his parents tonight and mentioned my flying lesson on Thursday. They are of course concerned, which makes him concerned (even more so than normal.) They are worried that I'm going to end up getting hurt. Sometimes this makes me overly worried too. Then I remind myself that bomb proof horses can spook and hurt their owners. Tonight is one of those nights where the irrational thoughts outweigh the rational thoughts.

I also hate Facebook. My friends post comments about their awesome lessons, and how amazing their rides were. Bah humbug. Yes, I am happy for them. I am happy for you if your horse is sound and sane. I am also extremely jealous. Extremely jealous. I went into my boo-who mood tonight with my husband going over how much I wish I owned a horse that I could ride, that could teach me something in the saddle. I know I'm learning, it's just not what I want to be learning right now. I know that selling Denali is technically an option, but what in the hell would that ad look like?

For sale: One 16 hand OTTB with limited riding, bucks, doesn't trailer well. Has aggression issues, along with severe arthritis. Has torn suspensories and tendons...... see my point?

Plus I'm terrified that she'd end up starved, beat, or back in the kill pen. I can't do this to her. It's not her fault I'm a moron.

Ugh. Okay enough bitching for now.

21 comments:

Katydid said...

I've been where you are right now. Almost exactly. Just switch out the green tb for a crazy wb cross. You can do this. Really. We will all be waiting for you when you feel like crawling back out of the hole :)

Katy

Erica said...

Hi there! I've been lurking for a few months - found you through Andrea's blog. The cute little Morgan packer that I've been riding in lessons lost his little brain on Sunday and I ended up eating the arena, twice. My first thought was....awww come on, horse, I'm running out of four letter words and I hate repeating myself....my second thought was....I should email Denali's mom and we can compare our favorite NSAIDs (I love Alleve). I guess the point is, even us who are fortunate to ride broke ponies have our craptastic lessons. From what I can tell, you've got an amazing emotional connection with your mare. That's a once in a lifetime kind of thing. The riding will come, I promise.

Lisa said...

You are allowed to have days like these! It is horrible that you feel stuck with Denali, but if you think you can develop the confidence, it will be so rewarding in the end, I promise.

Barbara said...

I picked up Nina almost 3 years ago because I wanted a horse to ride, a project was ok, she was cheaper than a kill buyer would pay and I was still paying off the vet bills from my horse that died. I knew she would take lots of time to rehab, I knew I would have to start at the beginning to retrain her. What I didn't know was that she would refuse to be ridden and that she had (apparently) YEARS of experience in getting people to get off, go away and leave her alone. Sometimes I feel like I wasted the last 3 years when I could have been riding a nice broke horse, other times I realize how much I have learned from her. This year she is finally turning around and I am actually making plans to show. It has been a long long journey, but I am a better rider for it and I am constantly amazed that this mare from hell has turned into a friendly, willing partner. If you want this bad enough you can do it. You need to be patient, have a plan, stick to it and take enjoyment from tiny baby steps. I can't tell you how many times I have said 'baby steps' to myself the last few years, thousands of times. You also have to allow that there will be backward steps (sometimes backward stampedes) it's all part of the process. Denali is used to pushing the buttons, taking that away from her takes time, lots of time. Get professional help that you trust. Sorry this got so long. :-)

Laura M. said...

Yesterday was one of those days where I'd like to trade Panache in too! Big Dummy totally forgot what brakes are, spooked at every little thing, jumped/spun when a horse approached, and just acted the general fool. Definitely one of those rides where you want to work her down from being stupid but can't because of suspensory rehab. Got room in that hole for one more? I keep repeating the mantra that it has been better before, it must get better again.

Minus Pride said...

totally been where you are. I'll bring the wine to the pity party...

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry...go ahead with your pity party, I don't blame you at all.

I know funds are not unlimited for any of us (ha, boy do I), but could you ride some other horse(s) while you're rehabbing Denali? Strengthening your body and riding muscles will go a long way to increasing your confidence, I think.

Or....you could retire Denali. Maybe temporarily, maybe for good. That way you could love her and appreciate her without all the expectations and anxiety that riding produces right now. I know, having a hay burner that you can't ride isn't ideal, but if you're not happy now, maybe it's something to think about? You could still do groundwork to your heart's content as well.

Anyway, I'm sure all this and more has run through your mind, so disregard my assvice if you want:) Hugs to you and the mareface:)

SprinklerBandit said...

A year ago (even six months ago!) I was grumbling about how Izzy was nuts and wasn't what I wanted and things weren't going well. I told my eventer buddy that I was just going to sell her to someone who wanted to put up with her and buy myself a haflinger.

For serious.

She reminded me that what I wanted wasn't really a different horse, it was just my horse in a year or so.

She was right. Hang in there. It sucks now, but it will get better.

Muddy K said...

There should be red carpets, catered food and expensive Champagne at your pity party, because you've earned it, lady! You get to blow out the valves from time to time, especially when you've had to shove your emotions to the back over and over again in the past few months. Remember, she was going to be euthanized. Remember, she nearly pulped you in the trailer. Remember, she was suffering with wobblers (you thought.) Remember, every time she needed help - every time - you were there to get her what she needed. All of that is reality. Over and over again you had to tend to Denali, even as you needed tending to, too. One day you might decide to part with her or one day you might decide that could never happen. What matters is that right now, you get to feel everything you feel and try to react to none of it. You have time, you do.

One more thing. Horses never take those events (bucking you off) like we do. For Denali, it's gone already. I know this, even though I am a ninny about my own fears.

spotteddrafter said...

Oh, I feel your pain. Hugs to you, and Denali! As you know, I just jumped off the lameness roller coaster and my heart horse is now a hayburner/grass eater extraordinaire! The problem is, I just purchased another horse for me...and I am terrified that he will go lame and I'm back on the roller coaster!

I hope you don't stay in the hole long....

Can you take some lessons at a barn just for riding time?

WishIHadAHorsey said...

Vent away here - at some point we have all been there and done that in various things. Animals can bring happiness and heartache all in the same minute - that is why they can be so damn frustrating!

irishhorseygirl said...

Hi ok I am going to be a lil harsh with you but I don't think you posting for pity I think you want a little guidance. I don't know the whole background with you and your horse as I'm a new reader but you have two options:

1. Sell her
2. Get a new plan!... You need a trainer that will get you out of this mess. You want to enjoy your horse not be down and have everyone worrying about you. I would advise lunge lessons to get a deeper seat. I get them all the time and they are AMAZING and give you way more confidence. You sound like you need a bit of a boost in confidence and I really hope things work out get a plan together and remember the process you've made so far. Its not the destination, its the journey.

P.S. Drop me a line any time on obsessionofhorses@yahoo.com if you need a cheer up cause I know what your feeling xxx

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I like what Sarah said...what if you decide to put aside your expectations for a bit and just work with her on the ground. Seriously. I was forced to do that, and I'm telling you, for us it's been the BEST thing to have happened. Honestly. There is more to the horse than just riding. You will build that bond, but it does take time and repetition so you have to want to do that...and if you don't, I understand. But..I think you would enjoy it and all the pressure is OFF. She will sense that too. It's good for her mind/body for ground work. Even if it's 20 minutes. Build up to it and have a trainer help you with this part too. This is SO overlooked and really with the more exuberant personalities, this is an important step.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Also..Trust me, there are days where I wanted to post on FB "Just about crapped my pants while walking my horse and thought I was going to get trampled"

You are not alone in the down days. BUT you can find ways to get good ones too! :)

TBA said...

Every time I read your blog it makes me want to lease you my pony! She's a 20 yr old 15.3hh Appendix QH that I haven't been riding since I'm in college, but she'd be perfect to build your confidence on and work on dressage, then you could go back to working with Denali :) Only problem is that I'm in Eugene, OR so it's not exactly super close...

Anonymous said...

After all you've been through, I think you are totally justified in crawling in a hole. I would have crawled in a long time ago. I know that you know what to do so I won't give you guidence, but we are here to listen. You've been through more than anyone should have to go through. Enjoy your hole, I hear they are nice and cool down there!

Jess said...

There's nothing wrong with selling her to find a better fit. For all you've done with her - giving her a home she can be useful at wouldn't be a bad thing, you'd be doing a good thing for you both. I see no shame. Having a horse you aren't comfortable on is the pits.

Denali's Mom said...

Selling her is a great plan, however won't work.

1. She will NEVER vet sound

2. She has extensive issues which I can not promise her next owner won't flare up and cost bazillions again, and they won't end up with a hay burner.

3. There are WAY too many horses around here with exactly the same amount of training as she does. I know where 18 of them are right now. Sitting in a kill pen (where I bought Denali) waiting for the truck. We live 45 miles from the race track. There are hundreds of sound, sane TB's needing homes. I don't think that Denali is very high on the wish list of many people. The fact that she almost died in November doesn't help.

That being said I have another problem. I love her. I know I need to put on my big girl pants and work through this with her. Even if I retire her I'm still horseless to ride because of the massive bills Ms. D causes.

Andrea said...

Well.... I feel your pain! You can send her to be Gogo's companion but I quite imagine that those two would get themselves into SERIOUS trouble down here.

Also, I remember you telling me not so long ago how enjoyable it is just hanging out with your horse even if they are broken, when I was feeling so down about not having a rideable animal. And I'm really starting to see what you mean. I was that way when I was 16, just sitting around with my horse in the field for hours doing nothing but enjoying his company. I'm getting back to that state and I love it.

achieve1dream said...

I understand your frustration about not being able to ride (although mine is just because he's too young). It really, really sucks when you hear about your friends riding and you can't. I've even considered getting another horse that I could ride until Chrome is old enough, but I know I couldn't afford it and wouldn't have the time or energy for a second horse.

Ground work, clicker training, grooming, going for walks, all of those things are great too. There are ways to enjoy your horse that don't involve riding. I think you're putting way too much pressure on yourself. If you just really, really want to ride have another lesson or ride the warmblood, but don't pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you into riding D before you're ready. Try not to think of this time as being a waste just because you aren't on her back. Enjoying her, loving her and learning to trust each other is not a waste of time and remember patience and consistency are KEY to training horses. Remember horses live in the now. They don't make goals and plans, so they aren't disappointed or discouraged when things don't go well one day. I think sometimes when we are too focused on the end goal or big picture that we tend to push ourselves too fast and then get frustrated when things don't go well. Remember to be fluid and always ready to change the game plan depending how what horse you have on that particular day. I don't think I'm saying what I'm trying to say as well as I should. I wish I could explain things better.

I'm not trying to sound mean or ugly, I just don't want you to pressure yourself into doing something that you'll regret. Try to be patient and just don't lose hope. I know you and D can get through this. It just takes patience and dedication.

Don't hide in your hole too long. We'll be here though if you need to vent again. Hugs!

Susan said...

While I'm glad you're now out of the hole you hid in, I totally understand wanting to have a pity party. Rough rough times with Denali, but it's always darkest before light.