Thursday, August 13, 2015

Age is Relative

I struggle with comparing Stinker to other horses his age.  He is such a baby.  He was started under saddle in December and then had a three month hiatus.  When I see other horses his age, I forget that they don't run as hot, have his mental issues, and aren't as green.  I really shouldn't compare him to other horses, but I can't quite help it.

This weekend a semi-local dressage judge was in Denmark trying horses and she found a super nice chestnut mare (swoon).  I love me some mares.  I was Facebook stalking (about all I do on Facebook) and discovered the mare was 6.  She already has flying lead changes, and is confirmed in a lot of lateral work.  This left me feeling like I was failing Stinker and he should be farther along in his training.  In reality even if they had been started at the same age they would not be equal in training.  My riding is not the equivalent to the riding that is found at a sale barn in Europe.  While mine does unasked flying lead changes (even with a far amount of jump), he still doesn't walk under saddle.

There are days that I feel like I am failing Stinker.  He is so talented and I don't do a good enough job riding him.  But then I remind myself he doesn't care.  He is happy being groomed and given treats and turn out.  Do not mess with his turn out time.  It is kind of funny if I get there right after he has been turned out he is fine coming back in and working.  But if I try to pull him out of his stall after the first group has been turned out he loses it.  It is pretty much impossible to get him to focus.

Long story short, I need to stop comparing my horse to other horses.  He is one of a kind in so many ways.  And in the grand scheme as long as we are both having fun where we are at in our training really don't matter.  I am not depending on his success to bring in my paycheck (thankfully otherwise I would be screwed).  It doesn't matter if we ever show, I am happy just having a horse to ride.  While, I would love to do some events and get my bronze medal in dressage, I don't have to do any of these things.

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