At the end of last weeks blog, I promised to give you an update on how things went with Jack after he had a two week break, and a play in a paddock with lots of green grass. Well it was interesting to say the least.
The silly boy got himself into a tizz even before he got on the float. He decided that he would much rather stay home, so he gave me a little bit of a challenge when it came time to get organised. This challenge consisted of tearing around the yard he was in at a million miles per hour...big mistake considering how slippery it is at the moment! But I won, and he was caught – nice!! Mind you he was in a lather of sweat, which is no mean feat considering it must have been about 3 degrees outside in the wind, which was blowing a gale!
As always, he spent some time on the lunge, and it was even commented on how calm and almost lazy he was...wolf in sheep’s clothing? Towards the end of our little session on the lunge he did decide to show us how good he can be at getting his back legs in the air, but settled so quickly that at the time I didn’t even think twice about it.
Hopped on, and off we went. At times it really does seem that we are going over the same things over, and over, and over again, but I accept 100% that this is my doing. If I could get my brain to switch on, I know that I would be aware of what I have to do to get him into a nice working frame of mind. But happily I’m switching on a little quicker every lesson.
Canter really isn’t such a scary thing anymore, in fact it is wonderful. I love the transitions into canter. For the most part they are smooth, gentle and just something I could sit to all day. He is also getting stronger and stronger, which means we can actually think about other things, like my stupid right leg!!! (Yep, I have a dumb lower leg with a mind of its own...it’s a disagreeable thing too)
So off we are going in the canter on our right rein. Jacks right rein is his “stickier” rein, but again improving. I always seem to start our canter work on the right rein, knowing that our “finish on a good note” will be a lovely canter on our left rein. This is exactly what we were doing last Thursday...we came out of a pretty nice canter circle, and my instructor asked me to change rein, so I chose to take a short diagonal...so off we go...trot, trot, trot....ping, ping, ping!!!!! The pings were NOT fun. He just propped and went for it. I know I was probably cramping his style, and I kick myself at that, I really should have just let him trot out like I know he wants to.
Anyway, I think it was the third “ping” and I was off...but I was off with style!!!! Miraculously I landed on my feet!! I think I was just unconsciously not wanting to get arena surface on my breeches. Some people say that coming off a bigger horse means it gives you more time to think about the landing – I wasn’t thinking about the landing, but I did notice I had my watch on, and really didn’t want to bust my watch!! The things you think!!
I think all 3 of us, Jack, my instructor and I, were a little shocked. Jack just stood there and I could see his thoughts “Oh Mum...what happened???” My instructor was thrilled at me landing on my feet, and agreed that my new found love for martial arts training was doing wonders for my co-ordination and balance. And me, well I was just shocked that it didn’t happen sooner. I probably should have been spat off plenty of times before...a lot of luck happens in life sometimes.
Anyway, I grabbed hold of Jack, and at that point my instructor asked if I could get back on, and just trot a circle or two. She knows that I have a lack of confidence, and knows that sometimes little things can put me off, so she was a darling and just asking me to do something small and manageable for my silly brain. However....I wanted another canter, on the left rein J Back to our “finish on a good note”. At least that’s what I was hoping, and I got it. And I’m super proud that I did. My hands and legs were shaking when I was standing on the mounting block, but I was on, in control and more than happy to give it a whirl. As always...a lovely canter on our left rein. Hooray for me...I was so pleased!!
Sunday was Adult Riders Rally day, and it was one of the dirtiest days we’ve had in a while. The wind was horrid. It was one of those days that makes you feel uneasy about doing anything outside, let alone floating, then riding a horse. But once again, I overcame another of my demons...I did both. Go me!!
I’m not saying the riding was all that spectacular, in fact I was bad...really bad. I was tense, unsure of myself, I sadly had not much trust in Jack and that his reaction to things might be. I was so concerned that if something blew across the arena, or a small branch fell on the roof, then off he would go...but he didn’t, and it was only in my mind that it was possible for this to happen. He was wonderful. He was a little tense, but considering I was wound up like a coil on his back, I don’t blame him. Finally, after a fair old time, I just said to myself “OMG...just DO IT, you stupid, stupid woman”...and so I did. And guess what...we worked beautifully. He was able to use his amazingly flowing trot, our canter work was “da bomb”, and he was happy. The fact that he was happy made the day a success.
I really don’t give him enough credit, but sitting here thinking about it, he deserves such praise.
So what’s on for today?? **sigh** He has had an abscess come up over the past few days. I’m soooo not impressed, but what can I do? It’s winter. So I just treat him like royalty. Do what I can, and hope, cross my fingers & toes, rub my lucky rabbits foot, pray to the Anti-abscess Gods...anything I can to make him recover as quick as I can...we have to keep this good mojo going!!!!