Monday, July 17, 2017

6 Months

If we want to get all sentimental and emotional - Annie has been "mine" for six months on paper as of July 4th. I didn't actually meet her, ride her, and bring her home until January 11th, though.

So with this mid-year anniversary already passing us at lightning speed, I've taken a moment to reflect on where we started and where we are headed. It is kind of humbling, to look back at all the blog posts and see what kinds of issues we were having, or what kind of things we considered "wins" for that particular ride.

Throwback to when I was convincing myself
Annie not loading was a good thing.
In a lot of ways, nothing is really super exciting and we haven't had this ground-breaking earth-shattering change. Instead of seeing distinct change in one ride, I am starting to see the progress over weeks and months of reaffirmation, repetition and reward. It is all starting to formulate into something more - the eeking out of potential and the glimpses of what her rideability and temperament will be like is just so exciting.

It's not to say that we won't have games of emotional tug o war, wherein one day we can (for example) trot without spooking at something and the next day we spook at everything. Mostly 'cause, horses are horses and every day is always different.

But seeing her become a more respectable citizen in the equine community is reassuring and it makes me excited for the prospective future.

First outing.
Respectable and rideable.
In some ways (mostly because I can never just be happy with what I have), I feel "behind", and it is hard to not feel that way sometimes, but we just keep chugging along. I have to remind myself Annie was just started in December and from there, everything is a new ball game for the both of us. And I still remind myself that she was grounded to a training facility and things like road hacking, trail riding, trailer loading... and uh, even CANTERING, were not even part of her journey to being broke (or were very minor parts in her journey to becoming a riding horse).

I remember taking some videos when I first got Annie, mostly for myself to glean some comparisons on and to "look back and laugh" at how uncoordinated and awkward we both were.

January - first ride

February

July

The funny thing about each photo, is that they were cherry-picked at the time and toted as our "new normal" or our "new progress". Each new lesson we take, or ride we do, the "new normal" molds and changes.

And while the last July photo is one of my favorite, it isn't how we consistently travel. I mean, baby horse has to learn about holding herself up and activating all these new muscles. But, it's a far cry from what our "best" looked like in February.

The happiest mash face in all the land.
In a lot of ways, it isn't just about the whole rideability thing. It is about how far she's come as a solo hacking-out horse. How she stands for fly-spray without having to be restrained by a halter. How she can be hot shod now whereas when I first got her, she tried to kill my farrier when he was just barefoot trimming her. How she loads reliably into the trailer.

All of these things are falling into place and it just feels like the start of something really, really good.

11 comments:

  1. You have done amazing work with her is just 6 months. Happy Anniversary!

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  2. Happy six months! I'm only just now closing in on a year with my own horse, who himself had a full four year career as a racehorse and all the experience associated with that before I got him, and I still feel behind sometimes too. I think that's normal, honestly. We get so focused on what still needs work that it's easy to feel like we're not "there" yet. Wherever "there" is.

    Also I like using the "cherry picked" images too as a way to show the best representation of our current ability. Yea it's not every moment, but it's nice to know those moments HAPPEN. Plus as time goes on, it becomes easier and easier to find those moments, and the moments themself become better and better. Slowly but surely! Here's to another happy six months with Annie!!

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    1. Thank you, Emma :)

      Wow, a year already with Chuckles?! Time is just flying by.

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  3. Baby horses take time. Happy 6 months! Here is to 6 months more of good steady progress!

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  4. Happy 6 months to you and your girl!

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  5. Awh happy 6 months (which I realize is almost a year now holy moly!!)

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