Thursday, February 12, 2015

So Then That Happened, Wherein Now I Feel Like an Idiot

Its no secret that I have zero friends. I don't mean blogging, internet, or faraway friends, I mean friends here in Ohio. Every single longtime BFF I have from OH has either transplanted to another state or lives about an hour away. Even The Boy lives in Cinci which is almost an hour from me. The Wondermare's Mom lives In KS and German Rider lives in Colorado. It really sucks. Maybe I will make friends at my real real job.

Anyways, an old friend from my 4H/beginning eventing days is the only person who lives rather close, but she works so much its almost impossible to see her. She had a few hours to spare yesterday and since I currently do nothing with my life, I was able to meet her. The weather was *nice* and since we spent hours fucking around on ponies as children and tweens we figured for nostalgia's sake that we should go ride.

L circa 2010
L is one of the few who's gotten to jump Yankee XC
I forewarned her what a jerkoff Bacardi has been and that I decided to give him time off, so I would sacrifice myself and let her ride Lilly. She just chuckled and thought I was exaggerating and I was like, no, really.

Backing up fo' a minnut.

Since it was *nice* out (45 degrees), I decided to nab the opportunity to take Bacardi's tail down and wash it. 45* isn't all that warm, but with heated bucket water it wasn't terrible and my hands didn't fall off. I was stunned at how big and fluffy and LONG his tail has gotten.  You all know I prefer to keep tails up, in winter especially, to prevent breakage and mudlocks. Our fields are mudpits and its really annoying. Its been up for about 6-7 weeks which is longer than I normally leave it up, but its been bone chilling cold and I regularly check it & it was more than fine.

fucking swoon
I was prety excited to see it when I took it down & washed it. I swear it grew 4 inches! Major love going on here. And do I spy dapples? <3 p="">
I was feeling a little guilty while tacking up. I had lamented over the decision to take a break from riding publicly& forever, and now that I had finally done it, here I was tacking up le pone for what I could only assume would be a horrible ride. He was ancy, prancy and dancy in the crossties...& the wild wind was not helping. I was extra nice, stuffing his face with treats and brushing his face (literally his fav thing) and saying sorry because I am a terrible horse mom. Lilly on the other hand was super amped to get out. She loves being ridden more than any horse I know. Its weird.

Good ole shaggy girl power walking
Sure enough, as soon as I led him outside his antics amplified and getting on was more than a notion. It took everything I had to try and be gentle while he attempted to rear, prance & bolt. I took this moment to inform L that he also kicks when nervous & to steer clear.

L soon became aware what I spoke of when it came to seemingly unwarranted spooking. It was a glorious example of what I've been dealing with and she was equally as baffled. I however was committed to the ride and forced myself to walk on a loose rein and administer half halts when needed and ignore the jigging.

For once, B actually settled down (barely) after about 15 minutes of prancing, sideways dancing and minor spooks. I was intent on being calm lump on his back.

We continued at a walk for another 20 minutes or so, covering the entire nature preserve, going through about 6 fields, catching each other up on the last 5 1/2 years of our lives. Bacardi continued to settle down and his spooks came less frequently & the jigging dissipated. He was still wound like a rubber band, but I didn't blame him. The weather was shit and it was spitting a little bit.

On our way back I asked L if she would video us just for a few minutes, because either way I wanted new footage.

He gave me a little resistance at first when I asked him to move out, a few head tosses, but then settled right into it like being ridden was old news.


PLEASE for all that is good, ignore my equitation & look at everything else. 

In the video I think I say "dude holy shit what is happening. L, are you my good luck charm? What is happening" like 13 times.

He literally was almost perfect. I would say 91% of his normal self. I was so floored I could barely ride, obvious in my terrible terrible posture.

Like, so bad. What is that.
But, hock action...& relaxed topline

I cant even
I was barely messing with him, and only using my legs for guidance and support with a few balancing half halts. But even his canter was wonderful. He felt a little weak, no doubt because we haven't really done anything in 8 weeks, but

*insert all emojis here*

So there I sit, on my basically perfect horse again, who's taking the wind, spittle rain and mud like a champ and I feel like the SHITTIEST horse mom/rider/person/blogger alive. I simultaneously want to die and celebrate wildly.

In addition I'm also wondering if this is a fluke (mind into overdrive deal). Maybe it was just for today. Perhaps he likes this field better. Maybe he really just needed 45 min of walking (aint nobody got time fo dat everyday-lets be real). Or maybe, for fucks sake, his tail being up pissed him off & I COMPLETELY disregarded that factor. I looked it over while digging around for more obvious reasons. How stupid.

I should've thought of it. He HATES having his tail brushed and has always been super sensitive when being groomed. Besides face brushing, I think he would prefer it if it never had to happen. I've never had a horse object to tail balls...but then again they all have their quirks.

Blurry but beautiful
So now, I feel like an idiot and a total bitch for being frustrated with him. I *know* just as well as anyone else that 98% of the time its the riders fault. I KNOW this. But I just didn't think that the tail could be the possible issue. I had exhausted everything else on the list of NQR possibilities and came to the conclusion that he was just wild & uncontrollable outside in winter.

"What. An. Idiot."  
           -Hermione Granger

I still don't really know if that was the reason for his beautiful behavior, and won't for a while because the weather turned south fast and the projected windchill for the next 4 days is well below zero. No thanks. But the idea that the issue possibly resolved itself is cool. I'm gonna go find a hole and live in it a for a few days though...#shamed

Cannot get over the relaxation and hind end movement. Cannot.

Tail *worships it*
Mind is whirling & I'm having a hard time organizing thoughts and putting them into words, so I'm going to end it here with a teaser pic that I will eventually post about...


  1. Even if it is a fluke, I'm glad you had a good ride. If it's NOT a fluke, hooray!!

  2. Yay for a great ride, and I hope it wasn't a fluke. I wouldn't put it past a big red tb to hate tail bags :-)

  3. Yay for a great ride, and I hope it wasn't a fluke. I wouldn't put it past a big red tb to hate tail bags :-)

  4. Shit happens, don't beat yourself up. I'm glad that you had a good ride!

  5. i mean, if it happens to be that the tail ball was the problem all along, that's kind of like the easiest fix ever, right?? fingers crossed it wasn't a fluke!!

  6. I totally know how you feel about the friend thing. It seems like everyone loves to leave Dayton (and make fun of it while they do). Meanwhile I'm's one of the cheapest places in the country to live, we're within decent driving distance of three major cities, and the job situation is decent. I'm staying!

    I so hope that it was just the tail bag causing his issues. And try not to beat yourself up!! It's definitely something I would have missed, too :/

  7. Well that is exciting. Horses can be so silly

  8. Here's to the tail bag. HE JUST WANTS TO BE FREE.

  9. I actually have my fingers crossed for you that it is the tail bag because that is such a easy fix! I don't think you have to stress about over looking it either, because I'd have never thought of that... But if it is, at least you know now!!

    bonita of A Riding Habit

  10. What??? His tail???? Don't be so hard on yourself. None of us thought of it either. Who would think something so bizarre could set him off so bad? I really, really, really hope it's not a fluke. :D

    I have no friends within an hour of me either, so I feel you. :\

    Also, his tail looks amazing and yes I see dapples! I love how dark the bottom of his tail is. How weird that it's two colors!

  11. Well, yanno I never would have made this connection but yeah, that could be it. Actually, funnily enough I used to put Smokey's tail up the first winter I had him too, and he HATED it. Like so bad. He swished it around when we were riding and it would hit him in the flanks and he'd freaaaak. He was fine for turnout and in the stall, but riding, no. It looks like B swishes and moves his locks around a bit, which if he's a sensitive boy like Smokey is, it could really bother him. Hopefully it's that easy of a fix!!

  12. So. We need to meet up, because I can't be THAT far from you! I'm in Columbus...


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