Friday, February 13, 2015

Stormclouds of life

<<insert emo music >>

What is worse than having your rockstar of a horse exhibit new naughty, dangerous behavior on XC and then the next day end up in the ER?

Having all of that, then having your horse exhibit the most extremely dangerous, bad, horrible, naughty, OMG behavior when your trainer rides it.

And then getting into a car accident.

Seriously, I am over 2015. Really not my year so far.

Also facial scars suck.

So let's back up. Following my accident and injuries, Hemie spent a week getting ridden around by a barn-mate, mostly easygoing rides to get him out of the stall to make sure he wasn't a basketcase following the incident. He wasn't.

Then my trainer started riding him. While they love each other on the ground, they have never really meshed well under saddle. She is demanding, and a much better rider than me of course, and he gets upset at having to work so hard, so fast, for so long.

moving along fine


She rode him a few times without me, now I come out to help tack him up and watch the ride as a lesson/learning experience.

Looking good!


 Overall they seemed to be very productive rides. There were outbursts of severe naughtiness (rearing straight up, black-stallion-style with front legs pawing!) but meanwhile the rest of the ride was very good - lots of engagement, connection to the bridle, and that dreaded connection to the left rein while keeping right shoulder straight (so hard!). Laurie is such a professional - always focusing on training and not getting emotional.

Then there was a ride that started quite well, but nose-dived into the absolute most dangerous horse behavior I've ever witnessed. He reared, he ran backwards, he twisted his neck and body and dodged sideways. Then he practically sat on his haunches like a cat, grabbed the bit in his teeth, stuck his neck out and nose out, then launched forward into a series of jarring leaps, followed by a dead gallop.

He did this 10 different times.

It was a miracle that Laurie stayed on. It was absolutely horrific to watch - I thought for sure she was going to die. To be honest I'm still traumatized from watching it.

Laurie rode again the next day with some tack adjustments (and a different approach completely as a rider), and had a pleasant ride. She has since ridden a number of times.

I haven't ridden yet.

I got the all-clear from the doctor, then the next day got into a car accident. It wasn't my fault, but my shoulder doesn't really care. Ugh.

Doesn't look too bad. But just found out there's frame damage.

I hope to get back in the saddle this weekend. Not Hemie's though. I need a few relaxing rides - preferably on a 30+ year old horse that's tired and lazy - before I think about getting on Hemie. Also I'm waiting for my air vest to get serviced.

So happy Friday the 13th everyone. I seriously hope you're having a better year than me!

On the bright side - roses!


  1. You poor girl! Fingers crossed that your year gets better from here.

  2. Ugh! Clean slate needed! Take it easy hun. All will right itself.

  3. Sending hugs. :( Things will turn around soon.

  4. i'm sorry - it sounds like quite the rough patch :( wishing you the best of luck!

  5. Sarah--I haven't been commenting on your blog lately because its been painful to read. Your love for Hemie is obvious but so were all the warning signs that a wreck was coming.

    What is happening now is not ok.

    Your position is not safe. Your trainer is pushing you for things you are not ready for. You've expressed before that you don't think your trainer gets Hemie and you're spot on. It's a terrible match. She put you in a dangerous position and she is endangering your horse.

    Beyond that. You need to consider if hemie is the right horse for you. He scares you and you scare him. You paid Debbie Rosen for an opinion and she gave it to you. It is your privilege to ignore whomever you choose, but think hard before you do that.

    I'm sorry you're hurting. I know all this sucks. I know you love hemie and you're invested in this trainer, but the situation is spiraling out of hand.

    I know I'm a stranger on the Internet and you can do anything you want with my opinion, but please don't get yourself killed.

    1. ^ As someone who once almost stopped reading Sprinkler Bandit's blog for more or less the same reason, Aimee knows what she's talking about. It's not okay, especially for an eventer - you need to be able to confidently put your life in his "hands" out there, 100% of the time. I hope you heal well and aren't put off by our comments - I wouldn't leave a comment like this lightly or to hurt you. Eventing is awesome, and I hate seeing people injured in it!

    2. Thank you both so much. From the bottom of my heart. <3

  6. Hopefully things start looking up soon!

  7. Oh I'm so sorry that things are going so badly! I hope that you work things out with Hemie and that things get better for the rest of the year

    1. You probably already looked into these things, but maybe there is something wrong with the saddle fit? My friends horses and Laura's mules have a saddle fitter who can flock saddles or use special pads to make them fit better. Perhaps there is one near you? Or maybe there is some kind of hidden lameness or his feed is making him hot? Just sharing what I've heard other people say can cause changes in behavior. I hope you figure this out.

    2. Thank you so much for the concern Paola. Hemie has had his saddles professionally fitted to him and checked within the last few months.

  8. I'm so sorry about everything that has happened. What the heck is Hemie's problem?? I'm new to your blog so I don't know his history, but that does not sound like normal behavior at all. I hope you can get it all figured out.

    1. Thank you. Some days I think I know, other days I'm at a loss.

  9. So sorry to hear all this and still wishing you a speedy recovery -both emotionally and physically

  10. Sorry you are going through this. It sounds like there is something deeper going on with this horse than just behavioural. Hope you can sort it out.

  11. Ay ay ay, Sarah, what a mess. I feel for you. We can deal with one calamity in life, and sometimes two, but when they come at us tsunami style, it's enough to overwhelm anyone. Don't feel pressured to do anything tomorrow. Wait it out a bit and see where this goes. Fix one problem at a time - get healthy first, take care of the car next, and then retackle the issues with Hemie (he's not in a hurry). The solution will present itself. Take care, girlfriend, and call me if you need a listening ear.

  12. Oh geeze I am really behind due to school and catching up on some downtime now. I am so so so so so sorry for all that you've gone through so far and am very glad you are otherwise very okay. I dunno what any of the solutions are (in regards to a newer post) but I am definitely sending good thoughts your way and know you'll come to a good solution that is right for you and all involved!