Not totally unexpected

The difference between the barn in the evenings and during the day is literally the difference between night and day.

It is very busy, very competitive, and very high drama...

Glasses + Helmet = Age 5
but at night, it is a peaceful and relaxed place.

so it is not totally unexpected that our first lesson at the new barn did not go so well...actually it morphed into a longe lesson.

The morning started off great, Tesla was happy to come to work, and I got her tacked up and in the ring with plenty of time to warm up.  The tractor showed up to drag the arena so we had a lovely fresh palette to play on :) and she was as calm as a cucumber.

We were joined in the ring by the trainers and one of the upper level riders, who began to discipline/school her horse very strongly (lots of whip slaps), and Tesla started to get worked up.

I rode out a few good spooks (more of the sit-down type ;) and we decided to head up to the upper arena, and see how she would go in the more familiar setting.

Nope, Tesla was still super high, and scared of everyone in the ring (with or without whips) so I popped off and Trainer J. did a longe lesson.

Tesla was a hot mess as we longed her in the far corner,  and I know the other gals in the ring were absolutely pissed as I could hear them recounting her bad reputation in angry tones. (I did fell bad that Tesla kinda interrupted her lesson, but you gotta deal with the behaviour in the moment, and this was also my lesson too)

After 20 min or so, Tesla was much calmer, and had a rideable canter in both directions. So we called it a day, and I took her out of the ring wringing wet to cool off walking around the property. She was a saint :P I hosed her off, let her dry a bit, and put her out to finish her breakfast. 

My HW is to longe her daily until we meet for our next lesson, and get her bored of W/T/C on the longe. I'll try and come out early some mornings as well, to longe in the intense environment too. (for sure the weekends, and I'll try and squeeze in a few weekdays too)

So, I'm not totally surprised at her hot mess behaviour, the competitive barn atmosphere brings out any training holes (and I know her trainer didn't do a lot of longing). So even tho' we were going along happily at the previous family barn, the plan is to take her back down to zero in this new environment and go from there.

Glad to have a game plan, and a good trainer who loves Tess on my side!

UPDATE: Got a text from my trainer

I want you safe. And her happy. We are here to help you guys. Don't listen to anyone 😜 you've got this

The best!


  1. I'm not surprised that she reacted- she's sensitive. I would be annoyed at the comments of the others. Young horses have moments- just like young humans.

    1. I wasn't overjoyed to hear all the gossip about me....feels JUST like having the naughty kid in class......:P

    2. It confuses me when people bicker like that. They'd expect understanding and sympathy if the same thing happened to them!

  2. I definitely don't think its that big of a deal, a lot of horses, young, green, and fresh will find any excuse to act up, or get revved by the slightest thing.

  3. Yah my horse would have freaked the hell out if a horse was being disciplined like that near him, so hopefully it's just that and you can avoid those riders in the future. It irks me when people just do that in front of other horses. I've had a couple of horses go through my barn who needed a firm hand, but I always made sure that what I was doing wasn't ruining someone else's ride. There are other ways to be effective...

    I know it's far, but if you do truly need to restart her with someone dressage-oriented but also good with young horses (I don't trust dressage trainers to start horses anymore lol), my trainer is fantastic and quite cost effective. All of the dressage trainers in the area send their young/problem horses to him, and he breaks racehorses for a living as well. But hopefully it's just a one-off thing!

    1. Thanks for the info!!! Hoping that this is just a bump in the road...but options are always good to have!!

  4. No matter the age horses react to other horses being disciplined. Both of mine scoot a little/tense & neither would be as sensitive as your gorgeous gal.
    Other people man!

  5. So frustrating that people have to be judgmental. Most horsewomen have been there before!


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