After watching Shanea ride on friday I knew I had to ride Saturday. To be honest my stomach was in knots and I was feeling apprehensive. However, I tacked her up and put on the lunging equipment and up we went. It was super windy which doesn't help either.
And she was fine. Mellow and easy. There was one spook later in the ride but she immediately surged forward - it was literally:
*Carmen stops and bounces on her front legs* What the F horse? Oh, we're going to head right up to it? All righty then.
|I am sure I didn't look like this, but I felt like it.|
Other than that it was a good ride and I was happy. So was Carmen.
Then there was today. Ed was not home but I wanted to ride in the morning. I brought Irish in and normally Carmen follows along. This time she opted to stay in the field so I went and brought her in. Her manners getting caught, led, groomed and tacked up were impeccable. The first few minutes of the ride were fine. We were headed down to the area where she knocked the board out (we had gone by it a couple times already) when she did a big 'nope'.
I didn't worry about it at first- I put my leg on and then I booted her forward. The next thing I know I am in a spiral with Carmen and she is essentially saying fuck you.
She even felt like she could rear. Which is a non-negotiable for me. If she ever rears on me she is for sale. I booted her forward and growled. Carmen was being a right pig to be honest. I was feeling very unsafe and decided to dismount to lunge her.
Except when I tried to get off she threatened to bolt. (sigh, that again). I tried a couple times and it was not working.
I was feeling flustered, frightened and alone. I was on a horse that felt unsafe to ride and unsafe to get off of. There was no one around to help. I wished that Shanea was there to help me feel secure. I wished someone was riding with me. I wished Ed was home.
So I did the only thing I could think of to do: I booted her forward into a canter. That got her moving and I steered her on a circle. I wouldn't let her gallop and I controlled the bed but by god we were moving forward. I was able to gradually move the circle down the ring. After what felt like hours of cantering (probably a solid 10 minutes) I was able to bring her back to trot and we went to work.
|when in doubt go forward|
In the end the ride was largely fine but I am not happy with how it started and I am not happy with feeling unsafe. This mare needs to get over herself and get moving forward. She is not afraid- of that I am sure. At the end of the ride she was tuned in and listening and no longer paying attention to potential monsters. I was determined that there would be no spooks and other than the first of the ride there were not.
The thing is that we've had some wonderful, consistent rides this year and I'm not sure what is making the wheels come off one day vs another. Maybe I dealt with it correctly. Who knows? Not me, that's for sure. I'm just dealing with it as it comes.
And I'm open to advice but if you write just ride relaxed and with confidence I will hunt you down and slap you with a fish. Because I am - I didn't start the ride today with anything other than that.
After in the barn she was relaxed and happy. I needed to relax so I let the dogs out and tacked up Irish and we headed for the woods. Carmen was less than happy to be left in the barn but she had hay and I ignored her protests. I was super impressed with how good the dogs were because this is new for them (we have my son's dog while he's away). Guinness was trying to figure out how to get me to throw the ball.
|Guinness: now how is this going to work?|
It was fun and just what I needed. I can't believe I haven't done this before. Irish is my security blanket. As I rode I reflected on how far he's come. I have come off Irish many more times then I have with Carmen. There were lots of times I felt unsafe on him and he is responsible for my broken finger and some pretty hefty bruises. Now I take him out and head right out to the woods. But he never really had a 'nope' in him. So I don't know if the deliberateness of Carmen's behaviour is better or worse?
I am going to add in more hacking out on Irish into my routine. We both can benefit.
|this view is good for my soul|