I also dont know where to begin usually because I tend to not write after every ride. Also, all the things have occurred in the last two days and I'm just so full of emotion/statements/feels at the moment.
I made pact with myself to work the B on the 3 sunny days this week, no matter how the day went or how I felt (which is REALLY tired lately). I have a 45 minute commute everyday, and thankfully DLS has given me a little bit of additional daylight to work with, but I still always feel like I'm perpetually scrambling to do all the things at the barn before dark, and then come inside and eat and prep for the next work day and collapse into bed. The do list is getting longer and longer and its giving me a headache. How do people do this shit for their ENTIRE LIVES with HUMAN CHILDREN to worry about too. Props to all the moms out there that work and ride. You are my hero's.
So while I'm restricted to the road for now, I was determined to get some lateral work, transitions and stretchiness under us.
I fully anticipated bad behavior and some wild antics, so I tacked up with pretty low expectations. & added a grab strap.
It should be noted that my horses are the most disgusting creatures alive. I don't understand why they in particular insist on covering themselves FULLY from head to toe, everyday, in a lovely mud paste that rarely dries and is impossible to get off.
So that was fun and he still looked pretty disgusting after 30 minutes.
|You should see his hind end.|
I digress AGAIN.
So he was muddy. Very muddy. Also fresh. Extremely fresh. But I anticipated it and came in hot with a plan.
Plan did not work.
Bacardi horses should be equipped with seatbelts because several times on our first ride I literally thought I was going to die. I'm not sure why I wasn't more concerned about my safety, but I was more upset that my horse was broken.
|That look is dangerous|
Multiply any shit he gave me over the winter, before break, by like 13 and thats the Bacardi I got straight out of the gate Wednesday. Think back to the lunging pics in my last post. Yeah.
Frustrated, depressed & crushed did not even come close to the emotions I was feeling.
Why was my horse acting this way on a continuous basis. I understand normal horse jitters coming off a long break, but seriously? He was literally impossible. I couldn't touch him with my hand or he would rear. If I didn't touch him though he would try to bolt. If I tried to give him other things to do, like lateral work, he would bolt. So you see the cycle here? Bolt, rear, bolt rear, jig, bolt, rear. I dont use the word "bolt" lightly either. So I was stuck on a jigging, bolty, rearing horse and didn't know what to do. It seemed to get worse when he was within eyesight of the barn so there I was thinking, "great, now he's barn sour too". Did not help that Lilly was tearing around like a maniac screaming her head off.
I was at a total loss. I gave up mentally. Done. So done.
And then he bolted. Like actually full tilt, not stopping him, gallop, on a paved road. Then began to buck. Really hard.
You know how your mind blanks because you're so terrified that you might actually die any second that instinct kicks in?
Yeah, well I executed the most powerful one-rein stop of my life without it even registering in my frontal lobe. And after about 30 spins, the red nugget stopped. I patted him.
And then he proceeded to bolt again.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Only took 3 times of some firm handed, one-rein stops and its like something clicked in his brain and he was like, "Oh. I'm supposed to listen to the human on my back."
After that very intense & horrifying 7 minute time-span we had the most ridiculously good ride. It was a totally different horse. Stretchy trot, calm walk, brilliant transitions, lateral work (HOLY SHIT I COULD TOUCH HIS SIDES) and no spooking, bolting or rearing.
I almost cried.
All my worries, fears, anxiety and second-guessing about this horse dissolved. All I felt was relief.
And then I felt so so so so stupid. I had been so worried about hurting my sensitive lil baby that it never occurred to me to be firm and assert myself with him. I stressed about every single thing that physically could be wrong with him. I questioned my ability as a rider. I questioned my sanity.
He did, and was, controlling & completely ignoring me. Thats no way to form a partnership. Why would he respect me? I'd let him control everything from the beginning of his bad behavior, through coddling him. Who knew I just needed to say I'M THE BOSS MARE!
|Day 1 success|
I was apprehensive about his lesson sticking with him today, but he blew me away form the get-go. I had a soft, calm and responsive horse under me for once.
We had one minor spooking/bucking episode that was mitigated with a well placed, swift one-rein stop. Even the amount of times he spins around until he halts decreased dramatically (think like from 30 to 3). It seemed he had remembered what we covered yesterday. PRAISE 8LB 5OZ BABY JESUS.
Babyface gave me some extraordinary stretch work along with more lateral work and soft transitions for the remainder of the ride. I tried to keep it relatively short as a reward. No sense in drilling him.
|Horrible angle of said stretchy work|
So with all of that being said, the baby is getting the next 2-3 days off (thanks, rain) to mull over the lessons we've learned the past few days and I'm going to soak in a hot bath for the next 24 hours because my riding muscles are screaming.
|All the feels.|