Friday, August 28, 2009

Victor, Victor, Victor...

I'm kind of depressed. And it's mostly my fault. I was talking with Lorena today and it got me thinking.

I'll be the first to say that my riding is mediocre at best. I'm really passive and I'm not as confident as I used to be. Believe it or not, I used to be fearless and I would get on any horse. But I had a few really bad falls off of Victor, and that pretty much crushed my confidence (it's getting better steadily, but not as quickly as I'd like). He was the first horse that ever bucked on me, the first one that took off with me, and the first one I fell off of. Basically the first horse that ever scared the living daylights out of me. I honestly considered selling him a few times years ago.

But then I met my current trainer, and we've both done a one-eighty. When I first got him, he couldn't even go one time around the arena without throwing a tantrum. And he refused to go on the trail. We'd get ten feet away from the barn and he'd go crazy.

Now I can take him out on the trail alone with minimal drama and he's usually very nice in the arena. However, he still lacks confidence (which he always has). And I know half of it stems from me. He'd probably be much braver with an aggressive rider. I'm getting there slowly. During lessons, I get so pissed at myself because I'm not doing him any favors with my passiveness. And because I used to have no fear at all.

In all honesty, if I could go back with the knowledge that I have now, I would have never bought Victor. But I've had him too long and we're too attached to each other and just the idea of parting with him makes me sick to my stomach. He's come a long way since the beginning, too. I enjoy riding him again and he even likes to work now.

His good days make it worth it. His moods are either really good or really bad, there's no in between. On good days, he's perfect. He never puts a foot wrong and he takes jumps and trot poles without thinking twice about it. But on bad days, he does nothing right. And he'll do anything to get his way. That's when he gets pissy to the point where I just want to choke him. But those days are becoming less and less frequent. I still feel bad, though.

Yes, he's spoiled. At first, I spoiled him rotten every time I saw him - whether he deserved it or not - because I wanted him to like me (he wanted nothing to do with anybody and ran away every time I tried to catch him). I was also fourteen and didn't know any better. Now I only spoil him when he earns it. But the damage has been done and I'm paying for it now. It took a long time to get him in a working state of mind.

Sorry for the rambling. I just needed to unload it.

I'm going to the barn tomorrow and I'll get pics of Secret so we can all ogle her. Teehee.


  1. "In all honesty, if I could go back with the knowledge that I have now, I would have never bought Victor."

    I feel the same way about my horse. Buying him wasn't the best decision I ever made. But I like him too much to sell now :)

    And then I think that, yeah, I could have gotten an easy horse, one more my level, something more bombproof and less confidence crushing, but then I wouldn't have learned half of the things I have from my horse - how to hold my hands really quietly; how to get that canter depart perfect because we made it that way, not because the horse knows it should be that way; how to sit a buck and, consequently, how to sit properly to be prepared for anything; etc.

    Because my horse lets me know something isn't right, I learned how to se all my aids softer and more precisely and only when they need to be used.

    And then when I start doing things the right way, so does he..We don't have half the problems we had in the beginning and it has nothing to do with him calming down and accepting my faults - because he won't; he makes me get it right before he does his part perfectly.

    I recently found this really great quote that said something like "The most difficult horses are the ones who teach us the most"

    And that is so true.

  2. Adding to that really long comment....I still would not have bought my horse if I knew then what I knew now...i wouldn't have bought a horse at all then; I would have waited a year or two and gotten more experienced and then bought a horse that was challenging but not overly so.

  3. I think your horse must be an exact carbon copy of mine. That's exactly how I feel about it, too. I don't regret getting him now, but I did in the beginning. And he's the most difficult horse in the barn to ride, but I think I've become a better rider because of it. Like you said, he doesn't accept my faults and won't put any extra effort into it until I get it right.

    I love that quote as well. It couldn't be more on the spot.