If there is one thing about life I’ve found true, it’s that adaptability is a key to happiness.

It doesn’t matter how rich you are, how much time you have, who is or isn’t in your life if you aren’t able to change your expectations depending on the circumstances.

Basically, lose control.

Let go.

Close your eyes and hope for the best.

I like to consider myself in control. But I’m totally not.

And because I know I’m not, yet still consider myself in control I sometimes get let down by circumstances.

Which is when adaptability comes in handy.

Last week I showed up to the barn, ready for an AWESOME ride. Alice was too. We were both needing to get out there, have some fun, get sweaty, get back to the conversation we left off at last ride.

But alas there would be no riding for either of us…


A strange thing was on her stifle.

Tick? Yeah, looks like that, but no ticks here…

She was pretty lame on it. Sore. I hosed it, scrubbed it, medicated it and called it a day.

Not what I was planning. We were on to something. Her trot finally getting more and more consistent. Canter transitions getting smoother. A day off in the middle of it. Not cool man.

The next day the swelling had disappeared, though the sore(s) were still there. She was just a little stiff, so I gave her a very, very relaxed hack. Mostly pointless, mostly walk, but she seemed happy to get out despite the unusually slow, lackadaisical pace.

Luckily the following day she was good as new! And I was lucky enough to have Josh out to get some video.

We have been lagging on the whole learning how to deal with other horses. Mostly because I just don’t like other people so why the hell would I go out of my way to RIDE with other people? I know, Alice NEEDS to learn how to deal with other horses.

So I had told this woman that she was off the track and had only ridden with other horses TWO times. Odd that she would decide to pick up the canter BEHIND US.

We survived, of course, and Alice is a good girl and calms down quickly after an exciting event such as an almost race…

It would have been nice to be wearing something grippy for events such as that. But I keep forgetting to put on my damn half chaps.


Luckily I think I learned my lesson. I’ve had my half chaps on every ride since!

It’s amazing how you can go 10 steps forward and then lose two days and seemingly go 12 steps back. But her trot is still getting better…

It seems every week we’ve had one thing or another get in the way of consistent work. Shoes, shoes, shoes, weird stifle wound…

I have been trying to keep us moving forward as much as possible on the progress wheel. Our halt is PERFECT!


As soon as I had a new plan to move forward, she gets ANOTHER lose shoe. WTF?

Farrier fired.

New farrier hired.

I wish I knew how to do everything. We lost THREE days. Three.

Not cool. Not cool at all!

Alice was NOT happy. I may have mentioned before that she likes to work. Well, days off kind of mean she sucks to be around. Josh mentioned I’m kind of like that too. Heh. Yeah, me and Alice both like getting sweaty every day. Energy is something we both have.

So despite a loose shoe I managed to work her, a little. Which made her happy enough to enjoy hand walking and grazing.


Her favorite is the pond grass. She can’t get enough. I think she’d climb into the water if I let her, but something tells me there is probably some gnarly metal sitting at the bottom, so no pond swimming for her, at least not this pond!

Finally, we got to get our ride back on.

Yes, steps backwards. Being at the mercy of someone else is annoying to say the least. I tried to make the best of it with walks, lots of grooming, and realistic expectations.

So what did I do? Put up some jumps of course.

Now the jumps were small. Probably too small at this point. But we need some consistency before I put the jumps up. This is her third time jumping and I couldn’t have been happier. Cantering a mini course. Unfortunately I don’t have video of all the jumps but she is already very good at “adjusting.” She listens to leg and half halt. Though if I do ask her to move up she does rush a little on landing, so we need to work on that. The good thing is she comes back right away.

I’m looking forward to having a full week of riding without any mishaps. But they happen and both me and Alice have to learn to adjust ourselves, our schedules, and our expectations so that the outcome will be positive in any circumstance.

I couldn’t be happier with her, she is so willing, so honest, and so positive.

I had to teach her to scratch her head on my butt/hip because she was tearing up my shoulders.

While I may be at the mercy of a lot of people/things when it comes to riding (farrier, vet, barn, equipment, weather…) Remembering the times it all comes together and the only thing on my mind is the moment I’m in, trying to converse with an equine in a language we are making up as we go along makes it all worth while, or at least keeps me patient.