Adjusting to the “Off Season”

Our show season was cut short by a number of setbacks this year.  This, for a multitude of reasons, has been our worst show season to date only making it to one show all year and having a number of unexpected things happen to us and to Fizzy.  But you know what?  That’s OK.  You learn from mistakes, you grow through adversity, and you get stronger through struggle, so let’s raise a glass to all of that and begin to enjoy our offseason and prepare for next year.  We have some MAJOR plans for next year, and what I have learned in this whole AOT adventure so far is this:  #1, you HAVE to have a plan.  #2, Plans don’t always work out.  #3, no matter what happens, we will get through it and we will be just fine.

So, what are we doing right now?  We are goofing off, trying new things, enjoying ourselves, and having FUN.  I’ve got some really fun things to share with you guys about next year, but I have to keep it under wraps for the time being.  So I will share with you some recent events.

#1.  Fizzy, after 2 other unsuccessful off seasons trying this, has FINALLY conquered (walking across) the tarp.  In case you are interested, you can watch 7 minutes of us NOT crossing the tarp here: The day we rode the FAILBOAT.  The deep dark hole that is sure to eat him alive actually didn’t this time.  He survived.  I mean, he survived after noticing that I didn’t get eaten alive walking across it before him, and I actually was able to convince him he was still safe to WALK across it while I was riding him too.  However, I have not (successfully) managed to have him trot across it, which brings me to our second point.

#2.  Fizzy can JUMP.  Well, I mean, I already knew this.  However, Fizzy can jump despite the fact that I cannot.  Imagine this:  Trotting horse approaches black hole of death (tarp), trotting horse leaps through the air taking unsuspecting rider by surprise, unsuspecting rider lands on horses neck with no feet left in stirrups.  Yeah, I never learned how to jump a horse.  So what.  We (meaning he) got more confident going (jumping) across the death trap (tarp), but it was only a success when I stood in 2-point and basically handed him the bridle and let him do his own thing.  Which, is not only slightly dangerous, but it’s also probably not the proper method of jumping and it still didn’t accomplish what I wanted him to do (trot across it).  So, yeah.  We will revisit that later, but it sure was fun to just let him have fun and do what he thought he needed to.  Maybe it’s counter-productive, maybe not… either way, we had fun so that’s what matters.  It didn’t HURT anything, so who cares?

Deep Dark Hole of Death, pictured below:

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#3.  Bareback rides are commonplace for me now.  I mean, if we aren’t going to shows, why should we drag out a bunch of equipment and get all serious if we don’t have to?  We can still learn things without a saddle, so that’s what we’ve been doing.  Afterall, a saddle does affect the communication you have with your horse.  Without it, you can feel their every teensy little movement underneath you, which is REALLY cool.  You can feel your connection with their back and you can see how your seat affects their movement, their mouth, everything.  I happen to love it, so much that I ordered a bareback pad to help keep both Fizzy and us more comfortable when we do this.  I’ll be adding a review on that once I receive it.

That’s it for now, folks.  Stay tuned for some special news about next show season and Cindy and I’s new, what I’m going to call “project awesome” with Fizzy!!!

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