August 14, 2016

Coming to Terms

When I first got Ypke back in 2012, I was a teenybopper. I had about three riding lessons under my belt and was a total beginner. Starting out, she was a complete saint. I could ride her bareback out in the pasture on a loose rein with zero issues, despite my floppy hands and inexperienced seat. Ypke didn't bat an eye at anything. She was about as close to beginner-friendly and bombproof as a horse could be.

Throwback to when I tried her out. 2012

But then, after about four months, something changed. At the time I was confused as to what happened, but now it is crystal clear: I was inexperienced, had zero confidence, and to make matters worse I was tiny. I didn't know that at the time, but she sure figured it out.

It started out small, but gradually progressed. While leading her and asking her to halt, she would take a couple extra steps before stopping. When I would attempt to pick up her hoof, she would refuse and begin to paw. Whenever I was leading her, she would try to drag me towards the pasture gate. As I rode, she completely ignored me and did whatever she wanted to do. Ypke was too smart for her own good, and she realized I wouldn't do anything about it.

Pro tip: If you don't know how to properly hold reins, you aren't ready to          
buy a horse yet. (Though I don't regret the purchase!) 2012.

As I was working with her the other day a sudden realization hit me: the constant struggles had been gone for awhile. While of course not everything is sunshine and rainbows, I can actually fully enjoy riding now and not have to worry about every little thing being a constant battle.

Ypke is definitely the kind of horse you have to earn respect from. Maybe it was the clicker training. Maybe it's because now I'm 5'10" and not a 4'10" teenybopper. Or maybe it is because I finally decided to have some confidence. Somehow, I think I must have finally earned it. It took over two years, but it happened.

I look sold on her, but she doesn't look too sold on me. 2012.