Archive for April, 2002

PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal – We Start the Dreaded Pace

JR is now a few months into his 3rd year and he stands at 15.2 Hands. His legs are almost taller than I am! I can’t see over him from the ground unless I’m looking at jet airplanes. Just recently I noticed that the mounting blocks were getting too low!

Jenny finished starting him and I started riding him in the Monday night group lessons. I was getting more and more relaxed riding. One weekend, I asked him for a little speed and he started pacing like he was a Standard Bred racehorse! I was completely shocked and horrified.

I went through the phases of grief:

First was denial. Surely I am living in a bad dream. Surely he will magically change back to the hard-wired fox trotter. Well, my bad dream continued and JR kept pacing.

My next stage was anger. Why is this happening to ME! I don’t deserve this. I already suffered with a pacing horse. I have suffered more than anyone else on earth with a pacing horse. Surely God wouldn’t punish me a 2nd time. This is Way Unfair!

My petitions went unanswered.

Pathetic grieving was the next step. Could I have caused JR to pace? Don’t even think about that. Of course not. I’m not having a good time riding him in the lessons. I can’t go above a quarter horse walk and here are all the other horses whizzing all over the place. I’m the most pathetic student in the group!

I was in denial for about 3 months. I’ve heard all the stories about the greatest natural fox trotters in the world pace after a few minutes of being ridden by a novice. Surely this can’t be me! Finally, I have come to decide that perhaps it is my fault that he paced. I think my tense muscles and bracing when he went faster than a quarter horse walk might have driven him into the pace. Perhaps it’s his tall gangly legs? After all a 15.2H three-year-old horse has a lot of leg to figure out where they go.

I forgot to mention that along with loosing the fox trot, he lost his wonderful canter. I can hardly get him to canter and for the few steps of canter that we do get, every foot is doing something different. How can this happen to my Reining Horse prospect?!

I’m done with grief, despair and blame and moved into fixing.


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