Monday, June 20, 2016

So What Happens Now?

It's a strange feeling to have accomplished all the goals you had set for your work with your horse.
Best mail day ever!
Now that I'm done with my bronze, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what my goals with Pig are, going forward. At the start of this season, I was unsure we would even make it show. Pig was so irregular because of his worsening stifle; he felt like he was rapidly failing.
Clearly neither Pig nor the judges agreed...
After the last show, I had decided to give him time off. A few weeks of only hacking and first level work would tell me what he was capable of, I figured.
There's been an awful lot of this recently.
However, as summer has developed Pig has felt better and better. He starts each ride hitchy and stiff, but generally works out of his issues after 15 minutes of a careful suppling warm up. In fact, he's been feeling better than ever in the contact and much more solidly confident in the 3rd level stuff. We've even been playing a little with 4th level canter collection, plans to take it easy be damned.

So, do I think a push for 4th in our future? Realistically no. It takes this horse so long to be mentally okay with the work, he'd probably be 20 before he was ready to tackle 4th. Plus, our changes are not at all ready for this sort of thing. I've always known he only had as much change in him as I needed to squeak by 3rd.
This is not the sort of change you can get away with at 4th...
Photo by PICSOFYOU.COM
I'm thinking seriously about leasing him out to a dressage newbie. He'd be perfect for someone looking to learn 1st or 2nd level, and really improve their feel. I've been worried about his ability to handle dressage-beginner style mistakes with contact, but I'm feeling more confident after putting him in the hands of someone I would consider perfect for him.
Liz knows hot horses. Pig knows dressage. The results are positive. More on this visit later...
He was a perfect gentleman, coming into contact when she was right and popping out honestly. She was able to push the buttons for shoulder in and traver, and play with half pass feel on a circle. It was just a 5 min ride, really, but he was mentally solid. That gives me hope.

Still, I think I'll finish out this year with him. We'll maybe show again, just for fun. Let's see how much the stress of hitting our goals was actually holding us back.
Plus, I'm not ready to let this face get kissed too much by someone else. Yet.
So stay tuned for some maybe-directionless posts and adventures. I'm looking forward to seeing what we have left. And I'm looking forward to enjoying the time we have left as a pair.

20 comments:

  1. Woohoo congrats on the bronze and fun adventuring times ahead ☺☺☺☺

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  2. Liz looked so great on Pig and he gave her such an honest effort! Good luck figuring out what the best path forward might be. There will be beer either way!!

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    1. BEER AND CHEESE! We'll be here to cheer you on no matter what!

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    2. <3 You guys. And beer. And cheese.

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  3. You and Pig are seriously inspiring - I am so happy for you! It must feel good, too to know that there is no unfinished business to keep either of you from doing whatever's next.

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  4. Best of luck to you both no matter which direction you go. :-)

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  5. You guys are a huge inspiration for Riley and I!! Congrats on the awards, it's really impressive!!!

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  6. He sure does look good though, older gentleman or not.

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    1. He's looking better than ever! It's nuts...

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  7. A couple of us seem to be directionless at this time so you will be in very good and stylish company. ;)

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  8. You guys rock, and I'm super happy to have a 3rd level twin in Blogland. Good luck as you think about all the things - I look forward to keeping up with the continued adventures, directionless or not! ;)

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  9. This is how I felt after my Gold with Rico! I chose to retire him, but he was also older. I think someone would be lucky to learn from him, but I'm excited at the prospect of more shows this year for you both! I sort of wish I had done a GP after my last one on Rico just for fun, but it was way too stressful.

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    1. Yeah, GP is a different ballgame than just a few more tests at 3rd. Haha! Rico wasn't too much older than Pig when you retired him, though. So, that's definitely on the horizon.

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  10. So happy for you both! What a great horse :) Gives me hope that Riva will be able to give us a few more years.

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  11. He's kind of the most wonderful guy ever. <3

    I think some shows without pressure would be the perfect thing! That's a really great idea. He obviously loves his job a LOT, so why not go out and just let him be him and have a BLAST doing it?!

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    1. He is the best. :) And you're right. He does really enjoy showing off. Might be fun to go out there and just see what happens!

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  12. I'ts a weird thing to have your goals solidly accomplished... but honestly, taking the pressure off is really, really nice. Just go and enjoy <3

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  13. I'm so proud of you both! Pig is well loved by his internet fans <3

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