There are many variations of “We have three choices in life: Give up; Give in; Give it all you got.” This last weekend we had a beautiful ride on these two horses, Pete and Hank. After our ride they had gone in the lake to splash and cool off. This weekend, the ride was perfect, no fuss and no resistance. They acted like the two older broke geldings they were.
Pete was the first foal born at the ranch and I raised him and was in charge of his training. I do not train young horses under saddle anymore. I just don’t bounce like I use to. So Pete never had the consistent training under saddle that he needed. He would be with a trainer and the trainer would get hurt and Pete would come home. At age four, he was bite by a rattlesnake and that set him back two years and then there were other gaps in his program.
Three years ago, I decided it was Pete and I. I was going to give him the consistent training and riding he had never had. He had holes in his program and I was going to see if I could find them and fill them without getting into a wreck myself. He had his issues and I knew where they were. Pete is short backed so as the rider you are always sitting on the engine. The middle of last summer we went for a ride and he fussed with me for 30 minutes when I finally decided to get off and walk him back to the barn, about a mile. I was very discouraged. What do I do, give up, give in or give it all I got?
I cared about this horse that I saw being born 14 years ago. I knew he had it in him so I decided to go for it. Pete and I went to school. I called my professional friends and asked their advice. I put Pete back through some basics so he could gain confidence and I practiced my riding skills learning to become more balanced and focused.
I am so grateful I did not give up on Pete. He is the reason I am a better rider today. Our hard work and perseverance paid off this weekend when we were blessed with a perfect hour long ride.