August 02, 2010

Zoolander and Riding horses....I Can't Turn Left!

My lesson on Divine was very frustrating. I was doing figure eights with her and things seemed to be going fine. Then she started drifting out of the circle when I turned left and went towards the gate. I could not figure out what I was doing that was causing this. Laurie said I was using my inside leg which was pushing her out, then too much inside rein and lifting of the outside rein making her essentially side step out of the circle. I applied my outside leg but to no avail. After awhile Divine seemed to be testing me, doing what she was before but with fewer incorrect aids from me; this was after I was corrected and worked through with Laurie, also after getting a crop in hand which I still don’t think fast enough to use as a correction. I just can’t seem to feel that I have my inside leg on her, I don’t realize it and yet I start all these problems with Divine.

Laurie sidetracked us to teach me the “turn on the tail” whereby you pull one of the reins through your hand, loosening the other and press with the same leg thus causing the horse to essentially spin on their hunches to get them to go in the direction you require. This is a good maneuver for troubled situations, like a galloping horse approaching a cliff at 12 o' clock, turn on the tail, now the horse is still galloping but not headed for danger. I didn’t release the opposite rein as much as I should have and just ended up making Divine go in tight circles, at least it accomplished her not going in the direction I didn’t want her to go! Once we played around with that and I got the hang of it a bit we went back to circling left. Divine was still going out towards the gate, I don’t know if it was her being a pain or my leg work, I tried to keep my inside leg off her. I was getting really frustrated because I felt like I didn’t have any control over my own legs and thus my horse. We eventually made it around the circle turning left with minimal issues but I still felt like I didn’t accomplish much. I can’t really feel that I’m giving aids I’m not intending and thus causing Divine this confusion. Eventually it will work out, I have to keep telling myself that.

After the ride I groomed Divine, hugged her and released her to the arena; then I went to love on the other mares. Pstar is my favorite, her sweet personality is charismatic. She was in the larger outdoor run with Psylk.  Those two together are the cutest pair of curious equine muzzles ever! The two seemed to be “fighting” over who got to stand closest to my stroking hand. Pstar would bump Psylk out of the way to get love but around Pstar’s back end, into the crevice between Pstar and the gate came Psylk. Then it was Pstar's turn to do a round-about and push Psylk out of the way. They were too cute! I was ready to take one or both of them in my pocket and take them home! Laurie wouldn’t notice would she?
The dreamy boy Eksodus
I started talking with Laurie about horses and owners etc. We got on the topic of Eksodus, the yearling colt I find so beautiful. She really needs to find him a home, along with Mystic Magic and Eksmisha. She suggested payments for me to buy Eksodus and a really good deal on boarding him there. It made me think about the possibility of buying him. I’d certainly have to get to know him better, I only really pet him through the fencing and that makes it hard to prevent his little mouth from nibbling on me. I asked her several questions about keeping a young horse. After keeping her for so long I headed home, the ride home was filled with visions of jogging with the colt, taking him on camping trips and leading him on trails to get him used to new places…..of course I’d need a truck and trailer to do that. Then I thought about my debt. I pay $700 in debt each month, this isn’t counting my mortgage. It just counts student loans, grad and undergrad, my car, credit card, other loans etc. Sure, I’m taking home more money now with my new job but the smart thing is to take that extra money and work a debt snowball and pay off as much as I can. In about a year and a half I could pay off all but my student loans, be able to increase payments on those and still have money to save and then eventually keep a horse on. The prospect of owning Eksodus has many pluses. He has great breeding, I know his background and he is a very excellent prospect for endurance. On the downside I wouldn’t be able to ride him for 2-3 years, I’d be paying to maintain a horse that I couldn’t really use. I wouldn’t be able to lease a riding horse if I owned one so my riding time would be cut down by half…but I’d own a horse. My ability to get out from under my heap of debt would be reduced since I would be paying for horse care. I also would be hard pressed to save up for a truck and trailer to haul him to all the places I’d want to. I would be pretty stuck I think.
But, honestly the prospect got me really excited since I saw that I could afford it in a round about way. In another, realistically, if I’m still in debt, even if I’m able to pay all the minimums, and pay for a horse I still really can’t afford it, not with the debt over my head (Dave Ramsey!). I have to be responsible. The sooner I’m free of debt the more free I’ll be with my money. I’ll be able to pay for a horse and not stress and also have more money to put into retirement and of course fun things like vacations. It’s just not in the cards right now, even with the extra income. I have to be smart, pay my dues first, so to speak, before I can have play money.

In a couple years I will be in the position to buy a horse and that day will be grand. I would love to help Laurie and buy one of her horses, I just can’t right now. I doubt she’d part with Pstar or Psylk, she has breeding plans for those mares. Eksodus will have hopefully already found a great home. My horse is somewhere, I’m guessing between 2-4 years old right now, since I’ll want to purchase a 4-6 year old in a couple years. Either way, I can’t wait to offer a forever home to a beautiful mare or gelding. Now it’s time to buckle down and put my hard earned cash to work, freeing my income to make the financial side of horse ownership stress-free.


TX Doodler said...

What a great post. I can totally relate with the lesson you had with Divine. My Monday night lesson on Peppy went awful & I drove away crying from it. It's the weaker side of me that wanted to quit, but the strong side of me & all my horsey dreams that keeps me going.

The truly good thing about your frustrating lesson with Divine is that it followed with loving on the other horses & prospects of horse ownership. That would send my heart fluttering & encourage me much.

Good to hear you have a responsible financial plan towards your goals. It would be easy to let emotions get ahead of "paying dues". (I'm speaking from personal experience.) You are wise & learning much about getting closer to your dreams. I admire that.

Horsey blessings~

Dreamy Horse Crazy Gal said...

I'm totally there with you, I've so almost cried during a lesson! I do have to remind myself that as long as the horse or I are not hurt it's a good day. Any day at the stable is a good day, whether a ride is perfect or not! Thanks about the financial plan support, it's so really is! But I know in the long run it will make the experience of owning a horse that much better....kinda like when you pay off your car and it's finally YOURS! Good luck with Peppy, just keep working with him!