Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Leg. Always MORE Leg.

Despite getting sick AGAIN with the black lunge plague that everyone seems to have, its less aggressive and awful than the last time I was sick with whatever I had that was trying to kill me, so after a few days of sneezing, coughing and dealing with congestion I said screw it and rode anyways.

Once the temp rose, of course.

No more snerr
I don't know about you all, but where I am in Ohio, the temperatures have been INSANE the last 3 weeks. In that time frame we have gone from 20s, to mid 60s to negative temps back to 60s and it is pretty awful. Not only am I worried about colic, but it makes for ridiculously unrideable days and unpredictable weather.

I rode yesterday for the first time in about 9 days (minus the photo shoot which I don't count at all) and it was....lit.

In addition to the warm spell, we also had thunderstorms (WHAT?! it was literally 5 degrees on Sunday) and the wind was INSANE. Gale force. Hurricane.

So even though B has grown up and minds his manners most of the time, yesterday was a struggle and I do not blame him one bit. Skyrocketing temp changes, gale force winds, being kept in due to rain and a crowded arena do not a calm thoroughbred make.

We've also been busy taking pics from every goddamn angle for prospective buyers. 


It was a really good ride despite that.

I was prepared for antics and set myself a 2 hour block of time to ride. I of course can only ride once its dark and lessons for the evenings are in full swing. This means I do a lot of standing around, letting the lessons do their thing. I don't mind at all, and it gives B a chance to brush upon his 'stand calm' skills in addition to being comfortable with lots of horses in a small space.

For the most part, he was actually a really good boy and some people I had not seen in a while complimented how different he looks. I will say that he was giving some solid and connected trot work. Super pliable and really moving off my leg--it was lovely.

The trouble was the canter, again.

Half the time, its how I ride and the other half the time it was the insane weather understandably spooking a hot TB. It was spooking me, so I never got mad at him for it.

Going back to the lesson with S though; I learned that at this point, B cannot be coddled or just toodled around long and low. Boy needs to WORK and work from the get-go, so I hopped to it.

Like I said, the trot work was lovely but when it came time for the canter he was a wild child. I'm not sure if he was stiff from being inside, spooky or just sensitive to my leg (his skin gets that way with temp changes) but he would EXPLODE into the canter, dive into the circle and crow hop his way around.

At first, we fought. It wasn't pretty.  At all.

Then the lightbulb went off and I remembered what he was like outside with S during our lesson. It was a windy day, he was spooky, but whenI didn't give up on getting "a good ride",  I brought my hands up and supported with the reins (instead of pulling back like I habitually do) and added leg and sat quietly like nothing was happening, he magically transformed into a uni.

So thats what I did.

It worked.

Holy shit guys, this is real stuff.

Minus the one time on the left lead, when he literally cantered in place and kinda half hopped around (honestly would've been a really good canter pirouette) to which I refused to cater to his bullshit and literally cow-kicked him into an actual canter, it was mostly without fight. After 4 transitions, he no longer exploded and it was lovely each and every time.

So my assumption is that I've been jabbing him in the face accidentally with my wayward hands, or someone else has (he was ridden a lot by people at my barn while I was sick) and he's started spooking/scooting due to one thing or another when I ask for the canter.

Luckily, with S's tips on how to, you know, ride properly, we ACTUALLY worked through it instead of getting a "good stopping point" and ending there.

I was super proud of him for coming back to me so quickly and proud of myself for actually really working through a tantrum. Usually I would bring him down to a walk, distract him with lateral work and be done, but I worked through it at the sticky gait and it was brilliant.

I think this was the ride I really needed to give myself confidence that I AM doing OK with this horse and he doesn't hate me and I'm not a POS rider now. Sometimes its super frustrating when you feel like its you holding them back, but now I know I can do it and work through the rough spots. Coming back from this back injury has been so ridiculously slow that sometimes I feel I will never get my strength or confidence up again, but last night really helped me.

Tonight we have a jump lesson, first in months, and first time I've jumped since the disaster of my clinic, so I am nervous and excited. Its a group lesson though, which will diffuse some focus on me and I signed up for the 2'6 and under class to keep my nerves at a minimum.

Its interesting, the last time I really jumped B was in September and we jumped a sick grid ending with a 3'6 oxer and then I jumped him ALONE, 3'9 just to see if we could. THEN, I went to a show, competed in a thunderstorm, fell off (are we seeing a trend with thunderstorms?) and now I'm shattered and can't seem to jump anything over 2ft without collapsing in on myself into fetal position and  riding like shit.

Where is this badass? Why am I like this?

Since then, minus the clinic (which was DUMB), I have avoided jumping, and the weather has supported this by being too cold for jumping. But damn, I need to get this horse jumping again...

LOL at me for being nervous to jump my fucking badass jumper horse who I'm trying to sell as as a jumper...

I have issues guys. Lort give me gumption.


  1. I'm so sick of the wild weather changes! If it's going to be cold, just STAY COLD. Although... I'm not really into the subzero temps.

    1. I agree though! Like, let me hybernate. This sprinkling of warmer temps is just a tease and is actually annoying.

  2. The weather rollercoaster is the worst. Missouri is going through similar stuff (minus the thunderstorms, although we might get some today). Like FFS mother nature, get your shit together. But yay for a confidence building ride!

  3. ugh this winter is killin me. and here i am traveling to somewhere even colder ugh for work.... boo. i hear ya on the gumption thing tho lol - hope you have a great ride and walk away feelin like all the jumps could have easily been a foot higher!

  4. I hope you have a great, confidence building lesson! Fence height is a huge source of anxiety for me, too, and it's especially bad when we're inside. It's nice to know I'm not alone in psyching myself out.

    1. Thank you! Its so hard because I USED to be able to jump anything and now i'm like plz no

  5. Just cold here. So cold. So much ice. Much gross.

  6. I hate weather roller coasters, it always makes me fear a bit for the horses health aka are they drinking enough aka omg shove water down their gullets.

    1. YES, especially because this is what caused Yankee to colic last Feb....I'm hella nervous

  7. Welcome to the broken brain club where tiny jumps are suddenly the devil for no actual reason. WTFFFFF. I hear that the whole "just add leg" thing works really well for curing that phobia too, but I wouldn't anything about it personally. I much prefer the "sit like a lump" methodology.

  8. It's always such a great feeling when you're at that point with a horse where you can ride thru sosomething instead of having to call it quits.
    I hope ur jump lesson goes well :)

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