Tuesday night I rode again and added jumps back in as a reward for all the hard work he has been putting in on the flat. My motivation has started to sky rocket now that I have some new tools to play with, specific items to fix and day light to ride in.

Got back on the tractor to drag the arena Monday night. It’s looking so much better than it did last year this time

I expected a few shenanigans, some banshee style screaming and a bit of distraction due to moving the horses out to the field across the driveway that morning. He doesn’t generally like working when he can’t see them.

But you know what I got instead? This:

Who is this nonchalant horse in the cross ties?


We walked to the arena with nary a protest. He lined up to the mounting block without trying to eat me. I mounted and he stayed chill while I adjusted myself.


He walked on calmly yet forward and swinging through his back. He thought about calling out but shut up on his own and got to work.


We worked on the concept of leg yielding out on the circle while capturing with my outside rein. He didn’t protest, fling his head or break to the trot.


when I did ask for the trot it was rhythmic and slow. I kept my own posting slow and kept my hands down. I didn’t catch myself raising them to my chin one time. He changed direction smoothly when asked and kept steady without a fight. No drama. He never once leaned on my hands. No rooting. No curling his chin to his chest.


I pointed him at the first jump which I had raised a hole higher than I’ve ever set them. He thought briefly about lurching towards it, but a very slight squeeze with my outside rein held him in check and he popped over easy peasy. On the back side he asked to canter but listened politely when I said no, we are trotting. It felt like a true conversation instead of an argument. It felt magical.

I raised them a hole and he still made them seem small


I pointed him to the next jump and he barely even attempted to jump. He mostly stepped over it. We then did the bending line to the other one and he jumped it and I let him canter back to the first which he then jumped.


I asked for a few more times over both but it was such a non issue that I moved on and asked for the canter. The canter has always been flat, racy and leaning into the turns like a motorcycle. A little wild. This time he stepped up into the canter without angry ears or a tense jaw and we slowly and politely cantered around in a sedate manner.


I let him trot again and then walk. Then we halted and I sat there on him with an idiots grin plastered across my face.

This. This is the horse I bought. This is the horse I kept saying was in there. This horse is fun and gives me wings. Those jumps were nothing to him. I wanted to raise them. Me. Scaredy cat me. Wanted. To. Raise. The. Jumps.


It’s only a small bit of foam but I didn’t ride long. Gem never had mouth foam.

I didn’t though. Instead I got off and gave him a lot of praise. Sure he needs more than a 20 minute ride to lose weight and gain fitness but not Tuesday. Tuesday he needed rewarded for being the best good boy. He needed to know that by not fighting, by not flipping me and my aides the bird he could be done sooner.

I’ll ride again tonight and plan to extend it even if he is being awesome. He does need to actually work too. I’ll definitely be needing lessons ASAP if he continues like this because I’ll soon run out of ideas on my own and I’ll need to stay slightly ahead of him to stave off boredom. When H’Appy is bored he will find something to entertain himself. It’s never what I would pick.

33 thoughts on “Huh.”

  1. Yay! His brain rolled back into his ears. Welcome to owning an appy! He’s decided it’s much better to be your partner than your nemesis.


  2. Consistency for the win! What a good boy. Love that he puts a smile on your face, gives you tons of confidence, and makes you want to raise the jumps! ❤

    FWIW, I love pinterest for exercises. I have oodles of ground pole, jumping, and flat work exercises pinned on there to keep me busy. It would be a great option for giving you lots of options to help you build fitness leading up to a more steady lesson regiment.


  3. So happy to read this! I’m guess he thrives on consistency, of any type. So even a semi regular 3x a week as often as possible is enough for him to start retaining that, hey, you sort of are going to keep him working and complying is easy. Plus all of this work stuff is just becoming habit. Anyway, I’m so happy you’re seeing the horse you bought!


  4. It’s amazing how some consistency makes a difference! Glad you had a great ride – it will give you more incentive to ride more often and keep it going.


    1. Consistency is probably best for most horses. I could get away with long breaks with Gem towards the end but she always did better with more work as well. Now to figure out how to add more time to my day


  5. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! I love love love this!

    When you’re ready – grids! You’ll be amazed at how high you can both start jumping with good gridwork. And it is absolutely unbelievable for balance and fitness.


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