Friday, December 16, 2011

What's the Problem??

The last ...well, long time, I have felt more frustration in my rides with Milo then encouragement, progress, or, well, happiness. I dont want to come across as dramatic, but I have to be honest and this blog is for the good and the bad.

I have been having amazing lessons with Wesley where I learn a lot and feel really in tune with the horse and my body. I come away from those lessons pumped and super excited to go have a breakthrough with Milo, only to end up being frustrated and disappointed because the ride isnt a mirror copy of that I had on Wesley. I know I shouldnt expect each ride to be exactly the same because they are completely different horses, with different levels of experience, and well, Im sure I am not riding the same on each one.

But when I get back on Milo it just feels like everything I learned on Wesley just isnt possible with Milo. I was having a rough day at work because of a crummy ride in the morning, and a concerned friend noticed I wasnt myself. He asked what was wrong and in an effort to explain to a non-horse person the sensitive differences between the two rides, he simply said, "Milo is a smart horse, just give him some time and he will eventually learn."

I sort of shrugged in response, thinking, what does he know? He's never ridden a horse. But those words got me thinking.

Milo and I have only been working with Sarah for a little over a year. Sarah has owned Wesley for many years. Milo and I only get to have a lesson together maybe once a month (currently, we are going on two months, this is not by choice, btw; thank you life), Wesley gets to have lessons from Sarah multiple times a week. Wesley has different conformation than Milo making some maneuvers easier. Wesley also have years of correct conditioning to make those maneuvers He also has multiple people riding him and get learn to be more fine tuned with aids, Weez knows his job and performs only when you ask correctly. I am trying to teach Milo things that I just learned and dont truly know yet.

And this is where I really had to think about it, and consider what my friend had told me. Which made me come to the realization that I am a terror of a rider for Milo. I come off of a ride with Wesley and want it mirrored on my horse, who hadnt had a moment to even learn the concepts that Wesley had taught me. I think too much when I'm riding Milo. On Weez, Sarah is there coaching me through every step. If I run into a problem, or am not breathing (classic), she is there to point it out before frustration arises. On Milo, I am alone and trying to teach him something I just learned. So I try and remember all of the things that Sarah has told me to be aware of; pizza slices, half halt on the motorcycle, rotate my upper body into the turn, keep my legs at an arc, try and breathe meditatively throughout, look where I'm going, be aware of Milo's hind end even though I keep looking down to make sure my pizza slices are correct, realize Milo's head is coming up and when I apply leg he speeds up rather than lifts his back, so we work on that for a moment and forget about everything else until it dawns on me again that I need to be making sure that I'm doing what Sarah said.

It is tiresome. And frustrating. And I come away frustrated and upset with myself for getting so frustrated. I'm at a loss with no solution other than I need to be getting Milo out to lessons with Sarah more frequently. But that part of this all is out of my hands. Work schedules, boyfriend schedules, and truck accessibility. All I want for Christmas is a tow hitch on our F450, thats all I ask for! Then I have total freedom.


in2paints said...

I was going to suggest more lessons on Milo, but I guess Sarah can't come to you?

I remember going to clinics when I was younger and I would be really excited to get home and try all these new ideas with my horse... I usually failed miserably at most of them. It just wasn't the same because it wasn't the same horse and I was still trying to figure the concepts out myself.

I agree with your friend on this one... Milo is a smart boy and he'll catch on. Especially after you get better and better because of your rides on Wesley. I know it can be frustrating when you aren't seeing the results, but you'll get there with Milo. :)

paint_horse_milo said...

No, where Milo is at they dont allow outside trainers. But fortunately I did get someone to switch my work shift tomorrow for a later one so I get to have a lesson on Milo tomorrow.

Sand. said...

! I think I'm noticing a trend of frustrated riders lately! Myself included. It's amazing how much we expect of them, as we're just learning ourselves.

Nina, I'm just like you! Awesome lesson, think I can do it on my own, wind up frustrated with an irritated horse and discover that having someone guide me through the process leads to a better ride.

But remember, it's progressive. You probably don't always realize the progress you guys are making because you're living it. Some of your photos and videos show such improvement with Milo! Obviously you ARE doing a great job training him, and need to stand back and see the improvement. It's there.

Another thing. My coach always says "Ride the Ugly". You have to work through the ugly moments to improve. Accept there's going to be frustrating times, but hold tight to all of your successes. You have plenty. And you should be proud of Milo and you for them!

Mare said...

password: too far

Mare said...

Nina: Thank you for the comment on my blog. I've been so stressed lately, and it was so nice to read those words. Someone who understands! I actually got tears in my eyes because it was just a relief in some ways...I needed that!