We haven't been intentionally lazy but we have not been able to do any work with this amazing(insert eye rolling here) weather we have been having. Remember that crazy wind? Wel that kept up for two days. The good news is that wind really help dry up the post 3 inch ice layer turned soggy, muddy mess. It is still wet and muddy but not near as bad. The horses were sinking up past their pasterns in mud. Now it it doesn't even cover thier hooves! Though it is raining as I type but I am ignoring that because yesterday was too lovely to care about any yucky weather.
We celebrated my daughters 6th birthday yesterday. We went to a small kids science museum with our good friends then out to lunch. The sun was shining all day and every time I looked out a window from the museum I couldn't help but pout a little I wasn't riding. But with good planning and my friend offering to keep the kids for a few hours and my husband wanting to take a nap all the stars aligned and it was 4:30, the sun was still shining and about 45 degrees(which feel lovely btw). No jacket necessary! I have to admit after our ride the other day I was crossing my fingers that it really was just the wind that made Steady so naughty but in the back of my mind I couldn't help but worry that this was not a one time thing.
Well we got out to my "arena" and found the least muddy area to ride. Started with lots of walking. He was not thrilled and semi distracted. He has kind of lost his interest in working. He has spent so much time "just being a horse" the last couple months that I think he is becoming accustomed to it. Then we started to trot. His head was high he was huffing from being out of shape and he was obviously NOT into all of it. Speeding up when we were trotting in the direction of the barn/pasture/horses then becoming resitent as we would turn down the long side away from the pasture. Generally being a goober and making it clear he didn't want to be there. So we just worked some more. I was getting very little response from him. His head was high his trot was all strung out and all over the place and he was very forward. One thing I rarely have to concern myself with is him not having energy or being forward and for that I ma very grateful. These are all things we have dealt with in the past but in the past I have really struggled to find a solution without getting frustrated.
This brings me to the title of this post. So this break we have been forced to take almost feels like it set a reset button inside of me. I think it has to do with starting out not knowing anything and creating a few bad habits. Then I started lessons and some things started to click but I still struggled with those bad habit popping up. Yesterday as we were going around and not getting what I was wanting those "voices" that I spoke of in my last post started speaking up. One said "get your hands out of your lap", one said "put your feet back", one said "sit on your seat bones' and one said "sit up straight and lean back" and BAMM!!! Steady rounded under me relaxed at the poll and started feeling for contact. The rest of the ride was like night and day. We didn't go long but we got in some great work. By the end he was starting to sweat and he even had a foamy mouth something I have NEVER seen on him before. It was amazing! I felt like we were really doing dressage! Not just riding around in circle trying to look like we were.
I think the time away really did help ME! I don't know about Steady but obviously he is not the real problem in this relationship between me+Steady+dressage. Like I said before it is like someone hit the reset button on my brain and all that goofy stuff I struggled with kinda went away and all the training that I put all that time and money into came to the surface! And this whole time we have had all this time off all I kept worrying about is that Steady was going to forget everything and in reality is was me that was the issue, once again. I came inside and woke up Ryan from his nap and said "you know if I got to do that more often I would be a much happier woman!" Though not riding has been beyond my control it doesn't help the side effects of not riding, they are still the same. We should come up with a name for it....like equiseneglectioso syndrome: Symptoms; extreme moodiness, sudden onset of depression like symptoms, yelling at people for no appearant reason, staring out the window with a dazed look in the eyes and over all grumpy demeanor. Cure; horse+sunshine and repeat as needed.
A friend said the other day ""All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me all day." That is more true than non-horse people realize.