Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Day Of First's

Forgetting one's riding boots will unwillingly give one more time to do thing like dye their own hair, do eleventy billion loads of laundry and blog! While I appreciate having 2 extra hours in my day after work to do adult things, I'm actually really missing that precious riding time.


I literally never thought it would never say that when it came to Bacardi. (please dont hold this against me!)

Riding Yankee was ALWAYS a joy. Even the bad days were good, and there was never really a "bad" day that left me feeling defeated. Until recently, riding my lovely redhead wasn't really all that fun, or enjoyable. It seemed more like a chore and I honestly dreaded it. In my riding career, I had never felt this way about riding, or a horse, and it was deeply concerning. I felt like I had lost my way and was deeply upset about it, to be honest.

I'm not sure where the disconnect was, but it took over a year to find it.

That being said, every ride now is still not peaches and cream with a side of sugar. I knew we were due for a very dreadful, no-good, very bad ride and I got it last week (jesus, could I BE any worse at updates) during a very simple flatwork session. It was intended to be a quick WTC both directions, practice a few halts and be done. But NOOOO, we spent the majority of the time careening around the arena like an electrocuted giraffe- not a pretty picture.

Hello, this is my horse, Bacardi, have you met him?
It was actually the day before I clipped him and I remember it being oddly normal. As in, not fucking tits cold, not windy, not rainy, no dinnertime commotion, no soreness, no extended time off...nothing. It was a very normal, dull day.

And he was WILD.

It was just one of those rides that nothing went well and was hair ripping irritating. I do my very best these days to leave my day at the door. Practicing yoga twice a week has really helped with this and "clearing your mind", but I AM aware that we as riders make 95+% of the mistakes and create tension.

This was not one of those days. I am positive.

Truly, all I wanted was a relaxed WTC, both directions, and call it a day. I didnt ask for anything complex, and barely collected the reins up. But he was not having it. None of it.

Its like there was this little bug in his ear, making him crooked, and bit chompy and spooky, telling him to RUN RUN AWAAAAAY from everything, despite my exhausting efforts to remain calm and let him "spook it out", he remained clinically insane for that day.

I want to have a positive thing to mention about the ride, but it was truly awful. And OF COURSE there was a tiny child taking a lesson on her addable pony, with her father glaring at me with his laser- beam disapproving eyes THE ENTIRE TIME.

Of course I gave her right of way, but I'm sure no one appreciated the fuckery that was my 'baby' horsebeast on that day...oops.

I tried to stay at the far end of the arena away from the lesson, but he continuously and randomly would spook and "bolt" halfway across the ring. At one point, we backed up literally the entire length of the arena without my asking,  most likely because I was asking him to move forward with some semblance of normalcy. I'm the worst.

At first, I was extremely irritated. Why the actual fuck could my horse not even walk in  a straight line, calmly. WHY. Why. Why. He had not expressed this kind of malarky since last winter and I was NOT ready to embrace it again. NO. No. no.

I doubt we as riders will ever know what is truly "wrong" with our horses, even though that would be nice. If anyone is like me, I tend to rush to the worst conclusion and come up with horrific reasons as to "Why Bacardi Is Misbehaving Today". What I did learn after 35 minutes of excitable lurching is that some days, you just have to chalk it up to a loss. There's no point schooling anything into the ground if the horse is having an "off" day. People have off days all the time. Myself especially. But as riders, its really difficult (at least for me) to remember that they are creatures too, and they're not even remotely perfect and not always willing to show up for the day.

Any one of the million things could have been wrong with him that day, and I just realized it wasn't happening. Instead of working him to death, creating more tension, I called it quits. Like actually just quit in the middle of trying to get a canter transition.

I've never done that before either. I've lived by the "end on a good note" rule and generally have tried to get somehting nice out of him in the past when he's exhibited this type of behavior...but sometimes there are no good notes and its OKAY to be done. It really truly is OK.

It seemed to work because the very next day, clipped mind you, he was absolutely perfect. Like, textbook.

I will never figure it out, but hopefully that was one of few "off" days we will have in the near future.

Yay taking bad situations and making them learning/growing situations

Now if I could just resist posting a scathing blogpost about that WP video swirling round Facebook...