Monday, 22 December 2014

Solstice Ride

In celebration of the darkest day of the year my little fear monster chose to come out of hiding. I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed on the drive to the barn, but chalked it up to all the general stress that's in my life and figured the horses would make it better, as always. Except the thought of riding Ginger made me feel almost a little nauseous, and the thought of riding Bridget wasn't much better. Weird, especially as I've been having nothing but good rides, and had nothing out of the ordinary planned - just our regular weekly lesson followed by a short trail ride. I tacked up Bridget once again in a nod to my little scaredy friend, and figured once I got on I'd be fine. Except I wasn't. I was all tense and weird. Fear monsters suck.

*For anyone else out there struggling a little, I came across THIS article while I was looking for a  picture re: fear and horses to insert in this space. It's a good read!*


Nothing to see here, we're not creeping you! Don't be afraid! ha ha. They're all so friendly it's a bit of an adventure trying to leave the pasture unnoticed.

"My" little ring is becoming slightly more popular these days, which is sort of nice. A lady I know was there having a lesson before me and suggested she'd wait around and we'd go for a quick ride together after I was done. Perfect! Lately the Midge and I have been kind of loners - no one is interested in riding in the awful weather we've had, so it's a novelty to have company and I thought a good training opportunity since Midge is pretty green still at proper trail etiquette with other horses.

Doesn't mind waiting her turn because I have no discipline and let her graze.

Actual lesson was ok but not as good as last weeks. Bridget was predictably a bit distracted by the strange horse hanging around, although not in a terrible way. As mentioned, I was feeling pretty uptight and I think that my body language was making her feel uptight and 'stuck' as well. Still, the hour flew by, and most of my little fear monster was locked back away in short order. I know he was there, though, because I'm a bit sore today which must mean I was tensed up for part of my ride, and also because I feel like I didn't ever really get Bridget 'unlocked' for any length of time.

 The coolest moment of the lesson for me was something I didn't even really ask for. We're playing with adjusting the tempo a bit within the trot, so I asked for a bit bigger trot across the diagonal and baby pony opted to really sit her bum down and give me a few strides of a real medium trot - so cool! As a "not so sporty type" cob, she surprises everyone when she gets to work and deems us worthy of seeing her moves! As the lesson 'lowlight', haunches in are her nemesis, and by extension, when we asked for a turn on the forehand later baby pony got so muddled she just about fell over. We laughed at her, and she was not amused. Shifting the weight off her bum and moving it is hard for her right now- I see a lot more variations of haunches in in our future!
Your obligatory ears shot.

Our trail ride after was a bit weird, and I don't think I can overstate how happy I am with little Bridget's brain. She was not concerned about what the other horse was doing at all, was happy to lead or follow or even walk beside, and I was particularly pleased that she stayed completely in tune with her rider. If the other horse took off at a trot or canter, she was quite content to walk on and fall behind until I asked for a trot too. She was not in a rush to play catch up, or interested in racing him or playing along with his antics. She's not slow or disinterested/lazy either, she was just being really good about leaving the decisions up to me and got a lot of scratches and praise for that. We ended up riding the last bit alone in the dark and I was super grateful to have such a sensible ride. While she may not be the most talented or motivated girl, her mind is truly exceptional, particularly in one so young and green still.

Apologies once more for the crappy pics. One of these days the stars will align and G will be off work (and willing to take photos!) while I ride

Also don't forget tomorrow morning is the deadline for the Horse Junkies United/Mac Rider saddle giveaway contest!

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful scenery where you live. Great ear shot!

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    1. I feel bad posting random pics of the road or pasture - there really are some stunning places to ride in the mountains and on the beach...perhaps this coming summer :)

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  2. Bridget is such a good trail pony :) Thanks for sharing that article. I have long suffered from low confidence with lends itself to being a scaredy cat quite often and it was a helpful read.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed that article! I think the low confidence thing is super common and something a lot of us struggle with.
      B is a super star, I love her :)

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  3. Sounds like a good lesson & I too love B's brain - she is such a legend ♡♡♡

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    1. It's like there is an old pony brain in that baby horse body.

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    2. Always preferable to baby horse brain in older/fitter equine body = amazing spooks

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  4. Really loved that article. I may also share it on my blog because it's true. We all go through a period of time where fear and riding come into play. I still have some anxiety when getting on but once my butt hits the saddle I'm fine. Weird! Anyway! Glad you had a bit of company to ride with and between the ear shots are always my favorite!

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    1. You're so easy to please with the between the ears shots - love it :)

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  5. confidence is such a fickle beast... but kudos to you for eking out a good lesson despite it all!!! (and for what it's worth, i let my mare graze all the time when im' riding... sure we hear that it's 'terrible', but i've never been told exactly why lol)

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    1. The best I've heard is it gets their bit all green and slimy, which is fine by me, I wipe it down before I put it away. Maybe if pony got rude about it it could be a problem, but B always waits until I say ok and doesn't fuss about it so it works for me.

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