Proud Fur Mama

Compliments for my horse’s appearance and manner of going always make me feel good. When a professional, like a trainer or vet offers compliments, it makes me feel even better. And in the past few weeks, Eli has received many compliments, on both his coat and his gaits.


So why change anything? Why not just keep doing what I’m doing? Because change is the agent of continual improvement in the quest for perfection. Adjustments are necessary with the seasons in horse care, so to that end, Eli is going on a little diet. His coat is glowing, and his gaits are getting comments like “hack winner” and “why don’t you do the derbies?” (ha!) and that has got me thinking his look is more pudgy hunter than fit jumper. Part of this is because of the weather–lots of rain means I’m grazing him more and riding him less, so he really is a few pounds overweight. My trainer agreed that we could cut his grain just a bit for the summer, but his hay, the grazing, and the supplements stay the same. At least the grazing stays the same until the grass turns into stunted brown toothpicks later in the summer.

don’t even need a special camera to see the sun damage

Not to mention, I am in NO WAY a hunter rider, and while Eli might have the right moves, his brain seems a better fit for the jumper ring–he gets so amped off-property and that doesn’t work at all in the hunter ring. Plus all the fences look the same and I inevitably go off course. So into the jumper ring we go, and it’s my job to keep track of Eli’s fitness for the discipline.

hello, my pretties
hello, my pretties

How do you decide a discipline for your horse? I know many readers & bloggers have already covered this topic, but it is constantly of interest to me, especially because often times a rider’s desires and a horse’s suitability fail to cohere.

10 thoughts on “Proud Fur Mama

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  1. I’ve touched on this before, but I’ve wanted to be a Jumper for as long as I can remember: I love the technicality of the turns, the delicacy of the rails and the giant spread oxers in crazy combinations. Personally, the Hunters and dressage don’t do anything for me, and I know the jumper ring is where I belong. Luckily Roger thinks that any kind of jumping is SO FUN and he’s athletic enough that he could probably go in the Hunter or Jumper ring, but I ultimately want us in the Jumpers. If it became blindingly clear that he belonged in the Hunters, I would be willing to switch to Hunterland…I’m just hoping that won’t be the case 😉

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  2. I think my horse could do either. He can jump around like a hunter no problem. Thankfully because that’s where I like to be. But put him in a jumper ring and he has no trouble there either. Hunter distances or jumper distances he’s good with both. I’m lucky.
    Honestly though I don’t think that you can pick the discipline for your horse. It’s whatever they are best suited to. I think that you run the risk of a square peg round hole situation if you try to force a discipline that just isn’t right.

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  3. I love this topic, because I’m thinking about it myself. I grew up doing the eq, currently ride at a hunter barn, and ride a horse that seems best suited for the jumpers (she usually gets pretty amped off property too). I’m basically throwing us in every ring right now to build her experience and get her used to showing, but I’m wondering where we’ll end up. Or I’m thinking we might not “end up” anywhere, and we’ll just keep trying a little of everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eli is definitely lookin good! and i agree with what others have said: i chose my discipline bc it seemed the most likely fit for my mare, both for her abilities and for her happiness. i’d always wanted to try eventing but it seems undeniable that it’s a good choice for her!

    Liked by 1 person

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