Bridget is well and truly on a rampage this week. Dino and Katai, you'd best keep your distance, not only am I sure B would be the worst influence ever, but we should try to avoid the pony induced apocalypse that would inevitably follow those three worlds colliding ;)
I debated riding after work - I had a bunch of errands to run and things to organize so I could go away for the upcoming week.. Still, I felt like I'd better try to redeem our awful ride on Monday so I wouldn't dwell on it while I was away. Big mistake.
It started when I caught Midge. Bump, with her nose. "Back off, that's rude" Bump, again. A reminder of my personal space was needed. B says "OK, fine, but now I will not walk beside you. I will walk slightly behind, very grudgingly" and...Bump. "OMG, you rotten pony!" So, we went for a visit to the round pen and reminded pony who is in charge around here.
But sadly, the attitude adjustment did not translate under saddle, Moving off my leg or forward was met with much ear pinning and tail swishing. Actually, everything I asked, no matter how simple, was met with pony angst. So, we walked, a lot. Walk, forward, and into the contact immediately when asked. Halt, ditto. "Argghhh too hard", said pony. Finally, she conceded to march off at an appropriate pace and halt in an acceptable balance. Next up, trot, which was OK, but generally just tense and on the verge of drama. I added in a bunch of canter/gallop/canter to get her thinking forward, which I don't think overly helped...it happened but it felt sticky and resentful, not like something she was overly enthused about. My good note to end on was some more walk/trot/walk/halt transitions that were adequate, but not great. What a demoralizing ride.
The thought is crossing my mind that maybe she's uncomfortable somewhere, and by happy coincidence the vet is out next week to do checkups, as is the saddle fitter. Honestly though, we've been here before and I'd be willing to bet our problem is mare hormones...B is not normally mare-ish at all but I'm starting to notice a pattern: 1 to 2 weeks as the seasons change in spring and fall where she's just really not herself. I've noticed the past couple of weeks the mares have been really full of drama while I do morning chores - they are all bickering and totally over the top ridiculous, where they are normally only slightly more drama than the geldings.
Was I seriously considering showing First level last week? :)