Now that I'm back and slept for literally 10 hours last night to recharge, hopefully I can get back in the blogging groove because I am SO behind! Jumping past Yankee & B's XC school day to document my ride last night (which was done running on 3 hours of sleep LULZ) so that the thoughts are still fresh in my mind! No pics/video of the actual ride (you get old old pics as filler), so I'll try to keep it succinct, but it was fucking baller.
I've been having a rough go of it in my personal life and I was seriously bummed out and exhausted from a long business trip to Dallas. I did enjoy the Ft. Worth Stockyards and wish I had had more time there! I think I'll be going back at some point to ride a damn longhorn and explore TX a bit.A nice cowboy even bought me a beer at bar called The White Elephant, thanks fam!
I still forced myself to go to the barn though, hoping it would lift my spirits. I was already grumpy and pissed off when I arrived, and was even more so when I saw that they had already been turned out at 3fuckingPM for the night (turns out I had assumed incorrectly, and they had been switched to day turnout, but it didn't make me any less grumpy...whoops) and I had to trek like a mile to go get him from the giant field. First world problems.
He heard me call him though and met me halfway, happy to snuffle the treats out my hand that he knew I had for him. I was already feeling better and reveled in his presence on the long walk back to the barn.
I settled into the familiar routine of grooming, wrapping and tacking up for my ride, trying to let the familiarity of it settle my inner turmoils. For once, B was seeming to enjoy grooming, and stood pleasantly still for me during the process. He was so shiny, fit and fat, it made my heart sing. (Unlike Yankee, he doesn't usually appreciate a good grooming and actually seems to hate it. B also doesn't cuddle much, but I still love him anyways.)
|LET ME LOVE YOU|
I had decided on doing some flatwork, since B hadn't been ridden since Monday of last week (6 days off total) and hoped for some good transitions at most.
B really blew me out of the water, immediately stretching down looking for contact and marching forward in the walk. I let him carry on for a good ten minutes, changing rein and asking for some circles here and there, the whole time his nose was on the ground and his back was lifted. Wut.
I gingerly asked for the trot, mildly expecting some giraffing and theatrics since it was only 65* and he had some time off, but he moved brilliantly into an enviable stretchy trot.
There were four other people in the outdoor, and I tried to decide if I wanted to ask strangers (I still hadn't met even half of the 60 boarders we have now) to video for me, but opted to just carry on and enjoy the horse under me. After another 5 or so minutes of this miraculous trot work, I was 100% focused on my horse and how he was feeling and started with some exercises. I generally have no goals moving in to any ride, since I never know what I will have under me that day, but I came up with some fun stuff yesterday.
Before cantering at all, I worked on this exercise for a good 15 minutes, changing the direction each time.
Focusing on changing bend and staying active behind all the way up through our modified walk pirouette, B was foot fucking perfect. Seriously, I almost cried with joy at his total engagement of body and mind. I've never felt anything like it before, not even on Yankee. He was moving and shakin' in perfect style. I felt like I was riding a big bouncy warmblood and not an OTTB.
He was seriously amazing, no words can convey this to ya'll.
After that exercise, I moved on to a simple 3 loop serpentine with a 20m canter circle at the end with a flying change to halt.
Again, he was perfect. Fluid, full of energy and lift in his back...I was floored. I'm sure the people in the area though I was bonkers because I couldn't stop telling B what a goodboy he was. After running through that a few times each lead, I stopped dead and hugged him in which he responded by touching my boot with his cute nosey...I melted. MELTED.
Not once in two years with this creature have we had a ride that good. I fucking needed that yesterday. Its always been a "what will we get right today" not a "what will we accomplish" type deal with B, knowing that a meltdown was expected, or some sort of total inconsistency was going to be preset. Especially in the walk, which is his worst gait by far. Total giraffe show.
Not yesterday. He was literally perfect the entire fucking time and I could just die with happiness right now.