Sunday, October 31, 2010

17 hh is a long way down.

If you didn't gather from the title, I got to find out just how far down it is today.  Yup I fell off of Steady for the first time today.  And for the first time in probably 15 years.  I am grateful I did not get hurt any worse than I did.  I landed on my knees, mostly my left knee.  I didn't feel too much pain at first and I just got right back on, of course.  But after I finished it did start to throb so I think adreniline played a part in keeping the pain away until we finished our ride.

How it happened, I was paying way too much attention to my position, well and his position than on staying on.  So when a big scary monster jumped from the bushes and he jumped out of his skin about 6 feet to the right I kinda stayed where we were.  My saddle was loose also which played a huge part in not being able to get my balance.  (not sure why I didn't have my girth tightened, duh)  It was all a bit slow motion.  I felt myself going and pulled my right foot out of my stirrup and stood on my left.  I started to eject myself and was suspended in mid-air left foot in my stirrup and right hand hanging on to the reins.  If someone were watching I am sure it would have been a sight to see.  Then I made the last jump, pulled out my left foot and tried to hang onto the reins.  Since I have never fallen off of him before I didn't know what his reaction would be.  Also he was startled.  I didn't want him bolting.  Well the reins snapped and he got loose.   I stood up and he back about 10 feet then slowly walked right back to me.  How could I be mad at him?  He clearly was not trying to be mean he just had a moment of air headedness.  BTW the big scary monster was our little kitten.  He doesn't usually spook that way he usually  startles in place and freezes for a second.

I got back on and we continued our trot work and he did fine.  It was not nearly as impressive as how collected he got in our lesson last week(I need to post about that wonderful lesson) but he did good.  He has also had an entire week off so he was a little more energetic than normal.  Who am I kidding he is always energetic.  I am learning to channal that wonderful energy.  When I do he shows moments of a gorgeous dressage horse that he has the potential to be.  Maybe I am just a bit biased but the potential in this horse seems to be limitless.  I am pretty much the one setting the limits right now but soon we will grow and learn together and I pray and hope to become a competetive pair.  But I am happy as can be as long as we are making progress.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heavenly ride.

Monday evening my dear husband agreed to make dinner so that I could go for a ride.  I am oh so grateful because I needed it.  I have not been able to ride nearly as much trying to get ready for this pumpkin patch.  I wasn't sure how Steady would be.  The weather really cooled down and when he is turned out after feeding he is definitely feeling frisky.  But he has become such an awesome horse these past couple months I should have known he would be a dream.  I can finally say I think he finally trusts me and has bonded with me.  I still am cautious with him because he is and probably always will be the fiesty type but he is such a sweet boy too.

So we headed to the arena.  We always do alot of walking.  With his long lanky legs he needs to warm up alot or he kicks himself.  Troting was great.  At first he held his head high which is what he used to do before we started training but after a few seconds he came back down and was collected and a good pace.  We worked at the trot for a good 20 minutes and then moved to the canter.

His canter is always a mess which I am sure I have mentioned before.  To the left he did not get the correct lead.  So instead of frustrating him I just switched directions and worked to the right first.  Which is his best lead.  He did pick it up right away but he had his usual high head, nose out, hind end in.  I immediatly started to do smaller circles.  Probably 40 meters.  That brought him back together.   He put his head down and started bending to the inside and had a beautiful 3 beat canter.  It was the first time I have ever had him in that kind of canter.  It gave me so much encouragement that he is making progress and by next year at show time we will be in good shape. 

Sadly I have to cancel my lessons for the time being due to the financial strain of not only the lesson but the cost of traveling an hour to the barn.  So for now it is just the way it is.