We did graduate to longeing in the open, but she was still very fast and not relaxed at all. After four weeks I decided to give her another months rest. When I started again it was the end of December. She did remember how to longe and also remembered how much she hated it. The ground isn’t as good in December and it was greasy one day and you guessed it, she fell down. When she got up, she was covered with mud and completely humiliated. I felt bad, I’d never seen the Gray Monster embarrassed before. Now she had more evidence that longeing was stupid. In all fairness to her, I broke her as a yearling and remained her primary rider throughout her career. Race training is rather predictable and she could count on me to be consistent. Graycie loved to know what was going to happen. She was a “know it all”. It was as if one day I got up, came down to the barn, and completely lost my mind. Everything was the same, same rider, same farm, but now I wanted her to run around a stupid circle every day. I was beginning to lose hope she’d ever take to this. It was suggested by more than a few people I breed her. After all she was beautiful and an outstanding mover. Athletic and extremely intelligent are her main qualities. I didn’t think she’d ever be happy as a broodmare. For me it was all about her, so I had a talk with her about the fact that I was probably too old to become an eventer, but I was definitely too old to start steeplechase training. Why, you ask didn’t I just hack her around the farm and leave the longeing for another time? Good question, the answer is she doesn’t hack. She only trains. Graycie has no use for meandering around the farm on trails. It’s okay to stroll around for ten minutes or so, but after that it’s time to train and if you don’t want to train, she’ll have a fit. Now when an extremely athletic horse has a fit, it’s intense and unpleasant. I really didn’t want to reprimand her for anything when she already hated everything about the new training. I also felt she should have more basic riding skills before tackling this, since it wasn’t relaxing her and she didn’t seem to like it either. She wanted to gallop, plain and simple. I wanted to gallop too. She was fun to gallop. Every exercise rider learns to gallop so they can someday ride a horse like her. She wasn’t for a beginner, but what a fabulous ride.
On Laying Down The Foundation in Dressage
6 years ago