Guest Blog post # 50: "I've Got You" from the famous Bad Eventer!

                                           I've got you

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Horses as a species tend to be afraid.
 
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......of pretty much everything.
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I always try to remember that the horses we ride today were the ones whose ancestors escaped when their friends and relatives were being eaten by lions. 
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Some of them are more talented at escaping than others.
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When we take on the task of training a horse to do something insane........
like jump this.............
 
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yeah, I know we're doing it wrong.........
we have to overcome a lot of natural tendencies..........
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Baby Seabiscuit and I have been through a lot.
He Sees Dead People.
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Everywhere......
And it's been tough to contend with.
We've had some really good moments............
 
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 and some pretty hairy moments.
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Our team work is getting fairly solid though and we've built some rapport.
 
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 But occasionally those dead people override every bit of conditioning.
 
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I have a fabulous instructor........
 
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 I know it's hard to believe ANYONE is willing to coach BadEventer.......
 
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Just before our last show he gave me the best advice for my Chicken Little that I've ever gotten.
 
Baby Seabiscuit was doing some looking & spooking & scooting...............the usual.
 
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When he starts looking and I feel his heart POUNDING between my ankles I usually back off and give him a chance to deal with the terrifying THING that has him wanting to flee.
A year ago, if I didn't back off, it went like this.........
 
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But now that we have LOTS of miles together our fearless leader said I needed to take a different approach.
 
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He explained, "It's like walking across the street holding hands with a young child. You hold their hand a little firmer and them a little closer to let them know, "I've got you, I'm not going to let anything happen to you."
So instead of softening and letting him look and be scared, don't soften, get firmer in all your aids and let him know, "I've got you."
 
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With my new found knowledge I headed to the show...........
to try it out.
We had the best dressage test we've ever had.
For once I took off the neck strap in the ring!
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For anyone that likes to watch paint dry, here's the test.
Can you believe we even got some 8s???
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We had our best stadium yet.
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And we even cantered MOST of our cross country jumps!
 
Usually we're walking or trotting because he's looking and spooking.
 
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Yes - yes, he STILL saw a few dead people out on course, but this was
 
definitely a Game Changer.
 
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Bad Eventer & Baby Seabiscuit.....

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feeling lucky to have such a talented, tolerant and intuitive coach.
 

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