Riding Chloe, a reflection of myself

Lulu, Fanny and Chloe
Lulu, Fanny and Chloe

Two days ago I took Chloe out for our second time riding. I was expecting it to be something like the first time and was happily surprised when she let me put the bridal on with no trouble.  But once we got out in the pasture, everything was different.  She didn’t want to go into the back pasture at all, even though I was just walking with her.  Then once I got on her she  gave me a hard time with almost everything I wanted her to do.  She was also whinnying loudly and I thought maybe she was calling to the donkeys, who stayed in the pole barn.    At one point she started tossing her head.  Now I knew she was really unhappy, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it.  So I got off her and checked her saddle.  I thought I had put it on right, but now  it seemed  too tight, so I loosened it.

By now I wasn’t having any more fun than she was.  And I know I  was relying too much on the reins.  We weren’t in sync at all.  After loosening her saddle all she wanted to do was go back in the barn.  I was able to stop her, but it was a struggle to get her to go where I wanted her to.

At one point, feeling defeated,  I was ready to give up.  I was starting to think that it was a mistake for me to get Chloe at all.  But I knew if I gave up it would just be harder the next time. I thought of training Fate, the persistence and patience it took.  And Jon was there too, encouraging me to keep at it.

So I did.  I got Chloe to walk around the pasture again, along the edge of the fence, kept her from going back to the barn when she wanted to and brought her back the long way.

I was so annoyed with Chloe, it took me a while to remember something that so many people have told me about horses.  That they are our mirror, reflecting ourselves back to us.   So even if Chloe was just being a headstrong pony, or a moody mare, my reaction to her was a  part of the problem.

I think next time before I ride, I have to be in or get myself in a better place.  I have to be more focused and clear.  And project what I want from the ride.  I wasn’t feeling my interior strength when I rode Chloe two days ago.  And I think that was reflected in our ride.

I also had an idea in my head about who Chloe was.  I was seeing her as an older mare who kids rode.  Someone easy going who I would have to coax to move faster than a slow walk. Now I’m seeing   a strong willed pony who loves to run and be with the donkeys.  A pony who would rather be grazing and doing what she feels like than having me on her back.  But then I’m sure that’s not the whole story either.  From now on I’m going to try and let her tell me who she is instead of me telling her.

One thing I do know is that there’s so much I don’t know.  And although I felt like giving up when I got off Chloe two days ago, I know that’s part of why Chloe’s here.   We’re going to be learning some stuff together and I don’t want to give that up.

12 thoughts on “Riding Chloe, a reflection of myself

  1. I think I read on Jon’s blog that Chloe is now getting along great with the donkeys. When I had two horses, it was difficult to take one of them out because they didn’t want to leave each other. You are doing the right thing by not giving in to her. It will get easier.

  2. Thanks for putting words to the experience of having an inner breakthough and then having it temporarily smother under all of the old, negative feelings it stirs up (well, you expressed it so much better). I experience that as well, and it is so frustrating to wait for the negative stuff to quiet down and the new confidence to re-emerge. It is indeed a spiral we move up and down.

  3. Woops, I should have posted my comment in your post about the I’m Alive Goddess wall hanging, but it’s all part of one story, eh?

  4. This really struck a chord with me. Lately, I’ve felt that my dog was constantly getting on my last nerve. But honestly? I was the one getting on my last nerve. The dog was just an innocent bystander.

    I have to keep reminding myself to step back, take a deep breath, and as you put it so well, “get myself in a better place.” Easier said than done in the moment!

  5. maria………….
    how wonderful that you have chloe…”I know that the horses have something to teach me” Your words………..and your awareness of your relationship with her already will only enhance your path with each other! You will show each other the way to each other. A love story. You are fortunate that you have a pony!
    Happy Trails,

  6. Hi Maria … I have shown hunter/jumper and dressage for years and there were times that every day felt like a new day on my horses. You and Chloe seem beautifully suited to each other and I envy you the journey. Best of luck and don’t forget to breath. 🙂

  7. Hi Maria, Please don’t give up. I almost did a few months ago when static electricity spooked Mel and she broke a set of cross ties and ran. She also did it a 2nd time. I was beside myself. All the bonding we had done was gone I thought. We were afraid of each other. It took about a month lots of patience, carrots and my instructor too re-establish a comfortable relationship. I was quite disheartened but did not give up. Neither will you.Maybe you could have a lesson at your place with your instructor. She could shed lots of new light on Chloe adjusting to you at your farm. I’m posting on Melody but it’s no small feat. I posted just fine at my first farm, on a different horse. But, surprise…this is a fast pony. She has a hard time staying at a slow even trot for me. She wants to break into her fast trot in the worse way. She was a rodeo pony in her younger days and we are working very hard, she and I. Today she kept stopping and looking at me. I know she was asking,”Is this where you want me to trot?” “This is too fast isn’t it?” I could read her clearly. I have had her 9 months now and we are finally “hooking up” as they say.All horses are different.She and I are a work in progress. Ponies can be brats.They can be naughty. But when you finally fall in love it’s all worth it! Don’t give up. You’ve done the right thing. If it were me I’d get some instruction on working with her in your environment. I hope I don’t sound preachy! xo Cindy

    1. I’m not giving up Cindy. I just feel like it sometimes. I do love Chloe and know we’ll work things out. Some days are just better than others. I couldn’t give up now, it’s all just beginning.

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