No, not really. But I didn't get a chance to use this today in conversation, and I promised I would. Tomorrow is another day, I will try again to do it properly.
So, off I went in search of the perfect boarding / lesson horse / dressage coach set-up.
I did have a few things working in my favour that were not present when I initially started my dressage oddesy.
1. I had a new job, in a new location. So whereas I had been looking to the West - now I would be looking to the East. A whole new hemisphere of nutcases was waiting out there for me to investigate. Hmm, maybe this wasn't actually "in my favour". But it was different, in any case.
2. I did have my own 3 year old now - with potential. And by potential, I mean - potential for the right, motivated coach to earn a decent amount of cash off me for many years to come, as we slogged on up the levels. A horse that might actually be nice enough for them to show too, and not a public embarrassment as the cantankerous, opinionated, and screamingly Arabian Platypus would have been.
3. I was also ready to move to - wherever. I wasn't trying to find a travelling coach willing to venture into a H/J land stable with an arena full of jumps and wig-waggy riders trying to show off their "dressage" expertise to them.
So finding motivated help should have, in theory, been easier than before.
The real sticking point in this whole affair was of course, the "finding the lesson horse" part. This was of critical importance to me for more than one reason. Ms. V was just turning 3, and although I did hope to get her back under saddle fairly soon, there would be a good six months of fairly boring, short rides ahead.
Oh so important rides, Dressage Curmudgeon. Possibly the most important rides of all. As the Masters correctly reminded us, you cannot undo, what you do,
And skidoo, pile of dog doo..yah, yah, I know, whatever. Yes, really important stuff, no doubt. However - for my sanity, I needed something else less walk/trot/halt/doze to enjoy and improve on. I wanted to be a better rider when she really got rolling, not just an older, stiffer, more coated in rust rider, who still couldn't sit the trot.
Also for her safety - I wanted something else equine for my new dressage coach (whoever that would be) to teach me on, so there would be no temptation (on her part or mine) to start pushing the two of us faster or farther than we really should have been going at any given time.
Yes, I knew from the bulletin boards that the next thing to fear, more than fear itself (except maybe monkeys with razorblades)... is RUSHING YOUR HORSE.
"RUSHING YOUR HORSE" did not only entail whether you climbed aboard too soon or not. The issue just kept on going. On and on. You can be accused of "rushing" your horse at any time. There are actually people out there that think that schooling GP just as the horse is retiring is timing things juuuussst about right. Your horse can piaffe right on up to the hole the backhoe has dug just for him, then...Kablam!
What sort of things might lead those around you to gossip behind your back (or on bulletin boards) and say that you are... RUSHING YOUR HORSE.
Well, it is quite clear that you are most likely to be accused of "RUSHING YOUR HORSE" by anyone with a horse that is older, yet further behind in their training than your horse is. They might share their opinion on the subject with you by phrasing it something like this... "Oh, you are starting half-steps with Stormy, how nice. I am focusing on training Tortoisa correctly". (Try not to punch them in the face. If you can).
If your horse ever shows any sign of resistance - to anything - there is probably someone watching you from the sidelines who thinks you are ... RUSHING YOUR HORSE. (Alternative therapies often help in these cases that seem - on the surface - to stem from resistance. I suggest poking an accupuncture needle adorned with a flaming marshmallow in the onlooker's eye. No see - no problem).
Or...say there is something that your horse just naturally does well, due to genetics or conformation, aided by exceptional riding and starting, and so the trainer chooses to go ahead and play with whatever this equine physical ability happens to be now and then. Maybe some lengthen steps in trot. Or some piaffe in hand. Look out! According to the railbirds, whether they are actually present and know you, or are just kicking back and blowing time surfing youtube on a rainy Thursday...you may very well be ... RUSHING YOUR HORSE.
This is the strangest one. If you saw a young child with exceptional reading skills enjoying a pithy tome, you wouldn't slap the book out of their hands and say "NO! GET BACK TO DICK AND JANE! NO TOLSTOY FOR YOU!" You would be amazed, yet depressed at the same time as you thought of your own child who can't even crap in a toilet yet, let alone relax and enjoy a good read while doing so. Yet...you would push your green envy aside, and still encourage the precocious little freak of nature to keep on enjoying what will eventually lead him or her to become a more rounded, better person.
|Wow, this is really boring.|
Regardless of how stupid this seems now... I did worry about it at the time. Ha ha, it is funny really, isn't it. Please! Stop horse, stop! You are moving up the levels just tooo quickly! Everything seems soooo easy, it must be wrong! Stop floating around in this effortless passage! Waahh!
If only life were really like that, eh?