Letting Go

So I went over the last part of my new book the other day. I added the last pictures, I wrapped it on nicely and I almost settled on naming the book “Surviving the Equestrian world,” because I managed to make that title fit in quite beautifully with my training part of the book and….

I spent all day yesterday, mucking out my “outdoor” house at the stable, to the point where my eyes hurt from shoveling dirt, (if you haven’t tried that, you clearly have never pushed your body to the point where even your willpower is about to run out,) I went home and managed not to throw up or cry for no other reason than my body was so worn down I could hardly stand eating dinner or brushing my teeth and the only thing that got me through it all, really, was watching Scrubs (And loads of painkillers, so I could see again,)… Got to love that series…

Anyway, today dawns with the realization that maybe I am not done with my book after all. Turns out, as I had the entire day yesterday to obsess about the finished product I happily wrapped up two days ago, and maybe I forgot a few things.

I mean, like the noseband. For me, it is implied that my horses only wear it for show. It is mandatory when we compete, but it is always so lose that I can take it off the horse without opening it. Should I mention that in the book?

What about shoes? It is always a huge fight between barefoot and none barefoot people in the horse world, should I take a moment to tell why my horses- some of them- wear shoes and why I believe it would be neglect to have them barefoot?

What about a bridle vs. bitless? Should I explain why I would never use a sidepull or any other kind of a bitless bridle, why I would have to be hard pressed to even wear a hackamore on my horses? Why I actually prefer the bit, even if I am “selling” myself as a horsemanship person? Maybe I should do that, really…

What about whip and spurs? Should I go into detail about that? I mean, I do come across the whip in my book already, since it is a great training aid, but the spurs, I don’t think I mention them…

What about drawreins? Should I really have to describe why you shouldn’t use that, if you want your horse to survive the equestrian world, or is it pretty clear from my “dressage” part of the book?

Right. So, I am tired, obsessing and really pretty desperate to keep this book to myself forever so I can keep adding things, changing things, perfecting it, and at the same time, I know I have to let go, otherwise I won’t ever let it fly.

So, the title is still a little unsure, I have no cover art yet, and every single picture in the book needs to go through photo shop to be scaled correctly, and here we are, I can’t stop wondering if I missed something really important…

I will set a release date though. It will be out on April 23, on the day that Poseidon was euthanized, two years ago.

The Danish version will be out on June 17th, on what would have been Poseidon’s 19th birthday.

And now, off to the stable, to ease the horses into the grass. What do you know, a month ago, I closed off part of my pasture, and fertilized it, to make my grass grow. Yesterday, I let the horses onto the new grass, and Marble instantly got the runs. I had not seen that coming, basically because they do have quite a lot of grass on the pasture they were on already, and yes, there are more on the “new” part, but still… Anyway, after having re-sown the “old” part of my pasture, I had to bring the horses back on the newly sown part, to keep Marble’s stomach from turning colic.

I do need to have them off the old part, if the new grass is going to have a chance, so we are going to spend the next couple of days, easing them in, a few hours at the time… Okay, me being me, half a day at the time… Still…

And the vet is coming by Monday, to vaccinate the entire gang, check Marble and Saleem’s teeth and check for parasites… I am a little thrown by Easter sneaking up on me, I had plans for having blood samples drawn on Saleem as well, but I don’t know if we can run them on Monday… I will have to ask if the lab is closed… Anyway, my point is, two more days, were I can go over my book in my head, like the obsessive loon I am, and then, I’ll get back to it and this time, once it’s done, it will be done.

I mean it.

April 23.

I will let go.

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About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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7 Responses to Letting Go

  1. saraannon says:

    Talking about equipment seems important to me and I would be so glad if some one else spoke up about the fundamentalism in the barefoot/bitless movement. The hipocracy especially in the bitless crew is appalling as most bitless bridles work by compressiing the facial nerves against the bones of the skull. It hurts and there is no escape nor any way to moderate it. the exception are the neck rope and the mechanical hackamore which work by interfering with the horse’s breathing. It is aversion training- ‘do that and I’ll hurt you’ – at its worst because of the pretense of concern.
    A plain old snaffle bit allows the horse to communicate with the rider, and if the rider isn’t listening the horse can let the rider know or evade at least some of the pain.

  2. tusu says:

    There are so many opinions on equipment.

    Myself, I am not against draw reins used for a few days, especially if they will cause a nervous rider to stop gripping the reins so desperately and get them sitting down in the saddle, but so many people use them like a crutch rather than attempting to do things a better way. Personally I don’t care for how draw reins affect a horse – too much leverage on their neck – I want to lift the neck through riding in a balanced way, not pull it down and in to the chest. In many decades I have seen draw reins used correctly – twice. Both times by top dressage competition trainers. The neck should not be pulled downward and inward by the draw rein.

    As for shoes, some horses can go barefoot, and some cannot. That’s pretty simple.

    As for spurs, a rider needs to have a basic, decent seat in which his legs don’t flop around out of his control. Once he is to that point, spurs reduce how much the rider has to move his leg so he can sit more still and keep more quiet. Spurs should never be used as a substitute for teaching the horse to respond to leg aids – too often they are. Instead, if your horse does not respond to leg aids, REMOVE the spurs and teach him to respond to leg aids WITHOUT spur. Spurs are only for refining the aids, not for correcting disobedience to leg aids.

    As for a whip, yes, it is a part of schooling the horse. Used correctly and intelligently it is a help, not a problem.

    Cavesons have been proven in research studies to reduce the amount of pressure on the bit and so the horse’s mouth I am very, very much in favor of that. I would not ride a horse without a caveson for that reason. When I occasionally do ride someone else’s horse that way (because it’s their horse and the tack is their choice), it ALWAYS feels awful. Haven’t seen a single exception to that in 50 yrs of riding….a caveson was used by the old masters for a very, very good reason.

    A caveson can also keep a bit still in the horse’s mouth and serves to make the bit far more pleasant to the novice horse. The caveson should not be put on loose or too low on the face or it will interfere with the bit. It should not be put on too tight, either. There is a commonsense position and tightness for it.

    There are no commercial bitless bridles I like, as they put far, far too much leverage on the poll, nose, jaw and neck and some cross under the chin making it even worse and making contradictory signals to the horse. But I did see a type of caveson bridle a French rider uses occasionally that I like, and her horse actually looks comfortable and correct in it. Though her horse was well schooled in a bit before she ever used it, which I think is necessary as well for progress to happen. But in general I prefer a bit, and teaching the rider to sit properly so s/he can use the bit properly.

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