After reading about the issues that Carly was having with Bobby, I started thinking about my issues with my own jerkface:

  1. Biggest one:  inconsistent canter depart.  Solution:  ask for that damn canter more frequently and stop holding his face!  Ask all the time, multiple times.  And praise!  He's a smart pony!  Build the muscles he needs in order to transition us smoothly.  I'm the only one making it an issue and then I'm letting my issue snowball.  FTS.
  2. Getting pissed off when asked to work while tracking right.  Solution:  do not allow him to bulge his right shoulder and remember to shift the weight on my right side down.  I should feel my seat bone on the right side connecting with the saddle.  Do more serpentines and spiraling circles.
  3. Focusing outside of our partnership.  Solution:  if I kept him moving forward, that little brain would only be able to think about our communication.
  4. Random bouts of naughtiness.  Solution:  take as much of the environment into consideration as possible.  Use fly spray consistently, keep the tack clean and check our "ring" for issues.  Remember that the Archer has a big personality and has off days and ouchie days.  Offer variety so the boy doesn't get bored.
I'm pretty lucky.  I don't climb into the saddle scared shitless (often) (occasionally, yeah, that crap happens). And when he's naughty as all fuck, I no longer think that my death/mauling/loss of limb is imminent.  She may not remember this, but months ago I told L my secret fear that I was overmounted.  That my sweet, opinionated and gorgeous Thoroughbred was too much for me.

Her response?  You'd fall off more.

So simple and so true.  And it really stuck with me.  We count the times that we've busted our asses, but we don't count the times that we've held on and recovered.

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  1. So true about not counting the times that you held on and recovered! I also think adding variety is a big key with these OTTB guys.

  2. Always happy to be the inspiration for self criticism. Yay for big, naughty, bay Thoroughbreds!

  3. Haha I do remember that conversation and its true!

  4. Love L's simple words of wisdom! :)