So I’m back!
It’s been a while since my last blog and if I’m honest not much has happened!! But I have managed to find something to bore you all with.
So here goes……
Over the last couple of months I have had young girl come stay with me, everyone will know who she is but she will still remain nameless!!
Now she came to me as she had been struggling with her horse XC for a while.
Now I wasn’t sure we could totally turn her horse around in just the 8 weeks she was with me, you see the big aim was a CIC1* at the end of this summer but she had been struggling to get him round novices for the last year or so.
But as always I’m up for a challenge and my god what willing partners I had in this kid and her horse..
I’m sure she won’t mind me saying she came to me with her confidence shot to bits, you see she had been having major problems XC at all types of different fences and when her horse said no he ment it!
Now her time with me was far from totally smooth!! But not with her horse.. The poor kid got a few bollockings and had to learn the hard way a couple of times that I take no prisoners and when I say no I mean it!!
But I can hand on heart say I loved having her around and even when I was bollocking her (which I hated) I knew in my heart it was all for the greater good.
And my god what a turn around in form she had whilst here!! 6 runs in 8 weeks and not a single XC penalty!!
From the word go she just got it, every thing I told her to do on her horse she did to the very best of her ability..
As you all know I’m not shy about saying if I have to square a horse up but apart from one square up on the flat because he napped when we first went XC schooling and two sessions at home over skinnys (which were hardly a sort out, just the usual skinny education) we didn’t have one what I call proper sort out over a actual XC fence.
At every run her and her little horse have looked class, the XC has looked easy and they haven’t once taken a long route. Go hard or go home.
She had fallen off him a few times when he stopped with her XC before she came to stay with me, I told her before she came she full stop was not allowed to fall off in England and she didn’t let me down.
Every XC round she rode brilliantly and rode like she ment it and her little horse responded to her every time.
They made the CIC1* look easy and I was honestly welling up because I was so proud of them both after there round..
I was asked by someone what miracles I’d worked to get such a turn around in there form.. It got me thinking.
I came to this …
I hadn’t done anything other than give this kid her confidence back – equally I’d not soft soaped anything or filled her full of hot air.
She did good she got told.. She did bad and she got told..
One thing I made damn sure she knew from day one was her horse was letting her down, not the other way round.
85% of the time she was here she did everything right whilst riding him so he should not have questioned going, 14% of the she did enough right that he should have helped her out and gone anyways and the 1% of the time she totally cocked it up I made sure she patted her little horse and that she knew he wasn’t a machine but equally we all get in wrong from time to time and it wasn’t a big deal.. But and it’s a massive but – at all times she had to feel like he was helping her out when she needed him to and when he could.
That after all is his job isn’t it?
Her job is to look after him, make sure he wants for nothing, to ride him to the best of her ability, to try not to interfere to much and leave him to do his job.
And she did all of the above and more if I’m honest.
If he didn’t want to play ball then she had to do this thing to him that I’d done to her – this thing was called tough love!!
I’m pleased to say neither of them needed much tough love!
I truly believe we make to many excuses for horses and peoples bad behaviour..
Lots of people use horses being in pain as a reason for bad behaviour, this I feel is sometimes a excuse that is over used..
Simple as this, my back kills every morning but I get up and go about my job. Simple.
Now I totally agree some horses have physical problems that stop them doing there job but there are lots of horses that have aches and pains just like lots of us humans do and still go about there job happily.
My horse Colin is a perfect case subject, for years he has been a little ‘wonky’ but I make sure his fitness work is done to suit him.
I.e he does her little trot work, he moves much better in canter and loves his canter work so after plenty of walking to warm him up and a small amount of trotting we start cantering, very slowly to stat with but he’s much happier doing it like that and who am I to argue?! Everyone knows Colin as the coolest gate jumper known to man so who am I to tell him his little aches and pains should stop him from doing what he loves??
But back to this kid, the massive change in her form was all to her confidence and her mind set, instead of riding like an apology trying not to f**k up in the hope her horse would go for her she rode him like she fully expected him to go because he should and anything less was not acceptable.. And my gosh didn’t he go.. As he should because she rides and looks after him well and it’s job to repay her. End of.
Change of tack now..
Whilst we where away this weekend I bumped in to someone I’d had words with at a three day event party (not my finest hour) when I was just 19.. This person was quite a bit older than me and didn’t like me, at that point we honestly hadn’t had any crossed words..
But he was at the bar slagging me off to everyone that would listen and I am ashamed to say I bit.
In our slightly heated exchange he said something that has lived with me every single event since..
‘You and your type aren’t wanted or liked in these circles’
I’ve never ever told anyone what he said or how much it actually got under my skin but for years I let it affect me, I purposely kept my self to myself..
Alienating myself for sure, I’ve always been aware I’m different and I don’t mean that in odd feeling for myself way or a up my own backside way either.
But I’m very blunt and honest to a fault and rather than brew on something I would always pick up the phone or have it out and I guess I haven’t met many people like that. Lots of people don’t like that.. But my hearts in the right place.. Well I think so!
For years I never felt welcome or like I fitted in, well other than a very small group of friends.. I would go as far to say I played up to being the ‘no one likes her girl’ Sad or what? But I felt rather that than here those words again..
Then I met this amazing group of Scottish people. Who happened to be at the event this weekend, now they seem to love my bluntness and honest to a fault happy to bollock but equally happy to praise way of being and it suddenly hit me how stupid I’ve been to allow one comment from one person ruin my confidence for so many years..
I always tell my clients to screw what other people say and not to let it affect them..
‘Are they paying for your horse or your entries? If they aren’t there opinion is void’ I often say..
This weekend was a stark reminder for me how easy confidence can be
broken and how important it is to remove any negative people from your life, if people can’t make you feel good even when things are going peat tong ask yourself why are they in your life??
Life truly is to short to have horses or people around you that don’t make you smile even thou tears.
That’s what I pride myself in with my teaching and as a friend – you might not like what I’m saying at the time but I always have a positive in every negative and I will always make you smile even at the end of a bollocking..
After all we all have jumped the same fence twice during a SJ round or made a mistake during a dressage test haven’t we? But no one died whilst you did it did they??
Keep kicking guys and remember if they don’t have and use the ability to make you smile thou the tears are they really worth it?
Over and out till next time..