Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Taking Back the Power!

Thank you for the feedback about the bit.  Though I don't have photographic evidence, I adjusted my bit to sit lower.  It's *almost* too low, but she looks much, much more comfortable and didn't gape her mouth nearly as much.

I also had my saddle looked at by Trainer #2's partner (who is also a trainer...Trainer #3??  hahaha) and she said that it seemed to fit just fine.  She recommended I try riding without the Thinline pad I've been using to see if it puts less pressure on her shoulders.  It could have been I was more relaxed (cause I was!) or it could be that it did the trick but the pony was much more forward, much less cranky and we had an overall really great ride.  She did say that because of Tess' confirmation, her shoulders are VERY far back and that I would want to watch that.  But she also said her shoulders are SO far back that she's not sure you could even find a saddle that would clear them.  Interesting.  I will be googling this later......

Sometimes I don't realize how much I've come to depend on other people's advice and opinions and how much I've given my power away.  Why did I ride with a bit that was too tight for so long?  Because I let Trainer #1 adjust it and then I blamed everything else on my tense hands.  I never thought to adjust it.  I never thought to ride WITHOUT the Thinline pad because....well....Trainer #1 uses one, always.  I have also let Trainer #1 make me feel funny about wanting a horse that doesn't bite when you touch her belly or one that holds still when you saddle her up.  Her answer to all of these was to just ignore the behavior because it's not that big of a deal.  But today I realized something critical.  This is MY horse.  MINE MINE MINE.  Not your horse.  Not her horse.  Not Trainer #2's horse.  THIS IS MY HORSE.  This the horse I want to be MY partner. And it is a big deal to me.   *I* want a horse that doesn't bite when you girth her up.  I want a horse that stands in the cross ties without backing up to the ends of them.  I want a horse who stands perfectly still for mounting and waits until I've adjusted myself for the umpteenth, thousandth time.  I want a horse who will let me touch her anywhere.  And you know what else?  I can have all these things.  It is in MY power to help train MY horse and myself (duh..out of the two of us, I'm the one that needs more training) so that we can have a partnership that is good for both of us.

Phew.  I feel better now.  In fact, I feel like She-Ra.  I have the power!!  (or was it He-Man that said that??  I'd rather be She-Ra, especially since she actually has a pony.)


  1. That's all very good - and, yes, it is your horse and you're the one who gets to decide!

  2. My mare is definitely happier with the bit a little lower in her mouth. No wrinkles for us.

    Interesting about the Thinline. I'd been thinking about getting one for my dressage saddle. Maybe I should find someone to borrow one from for a test ride first lol.

    I couldn't agree more about it being your horse. Different people have different things that they find acceptable and not acceptable. For a lot of people I think they don't much care how the horse behaves on the ground as long as they perform well under saddle. I need my horse to behave at all times. If other people think I'm being silly, well that's their problem!

  3. I always think of the importance of good ground manners like this: the horse that is well behaved on the ground has a much better chance of finding a home if something goes wrong than the one that isn't. I'm always trying to make sure my horse has the best possible chances if something were to happen to me and I think it's irresponsible to let things like biting go uncorrected.