Brady’s Blog July ’12
Written by Brady on July 23, 2012 at 10:18 am
I took a chance with a horse named Hamilton. He didn’t get off to a promising start. There were many challenges and my trainer even said at one point that he wasn’t the horse for me. Though there may still be some barriers, there are fewer.
When I first got Hammie, I took him right to GMHA horse camp with only having ridden him a couple of times. He did not trust me or anyone for that matter. He hated to canter and he was tough to steer, nevermind the bit thing. Because of trust issues, we could not do all the activities that we can do today. Last year camp was more of bonding experience for us rather than just a learning experience.
Now, fast forward a year. I just went to the same camp again. Hamster has learned over the past year that he can actually trust me and I’ve learned that I can trust him. Before, I would worry that he would try to unseat me when I asked for canter. Now I trust him, (for the most part). We might not win any awards for our dressage yet, but it is improving…slowly but surely. One thing that is superb about Hammie is that he is a great jumper. He is a good teacher, just like Punky was in the way that if I do something wrong, he lets me know about it, usually by swishing his tail or pinning his ears or refusing a jump. Jumping is what gives me confidence that he will improve in other areas. He jumps higher jumps and he jumps them clean. That is a big relief for me because he can jump so high that I’ve started training over some Novice fences. The first schooling XC Novice fence he stopped, but I think he was just confused thinking, “Do you really mean this one”? When I represented him, I bet he was thinking, “Oh, you did mean this one. Okay, just making sure”.
A bunch of people told me he has improved a lot including my camp instructor from last year, Anne Geoghegan, and Suzi Gornall who runs the camp . Janine McClain, who was judging the stadium at the GMHA Starter Trials during camp, told me that I rode like an Olympian. A girl at camp said that I am the next Mark Todd because I have such a sticky seat. A boy at camp poked fun, saying I could have been off 50 times and that Hammie wasn’t the easiest mount but that we had come a long way. That makes me feel like it has been worth the effort.
Last year at camp, I could only do dressage at the event and it was mediocre at best. This year, however, I did the whole event at Beginner Novice no less, and with only one refusal. Dressage still needs a lot of work but that will come, just like everything else has.
As a little side note, I beat my mom by seven seconds in the GMHA Team Jumper Challenge. We were on the same team. I jumped the liverpool with no problem for extra points Don’t rub it her face because I already have!
We have our good and not as good days, but he’s fun to be around and I can go out on the trial alone with no problem, know he will jump and also know that he loves to be around me. He nickers when he sees me. So, even if I might have improved faster with an easier horse, I’m happy that I have stuck it out with Hammie.
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