This week suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.
I came in on Tuesday and got Big Horse all tacked up with the intention of doing some canter work, only to pick up the trot and have him very clearly start hobbling like an invalid. BLARGH. I hopped off, poked and prodded at him, trotted him in circles while the Trainer watched, put some Sore No More on his hocks, and then threw him back into his stall.
Lucky for me, I’m in an awesome lesson program, so the Trainer told me to get Belle out instead! She’d had a strenuous lesson the night before, so I climbed on without lunging even though she’d been pissy in the cross ties. Bad idea! We got down to the sunshiney side of the arena and she picked something to stop and stare at. I tried to ask her nicely to move forward and come back into the bridle, but she ignored me… so I gave her a whack on the rump and she bucked from a standstill, LOL.
One lunge later, she was the sassy (but not completely murderous) pony that I know and love. ♥
It’s really fun to come back to horses you used to ride after a few months of learning. I always knew the Pony was stiff and bracey, but there’s a big difference between knowing it and really being able to feel it. It was like riding an adorable 2×4! Pony’s got hops, but she has like 0 bend ability. And putting her down into frame and asking her to bend? Impossible!
After my ride I spent extra time cleaning up the Pony. Her mane was a mess, her bridle path needed to be clipped, and her tail was so long she’d pulled out a few strands from walking on it, so I wrapped that up, too. When I was finally done she didn’t look like an unloved ragamuffin anymore.
For my Wednesday lesson I didn’t bother getting Big Horse out and instead I went straight to the Pony. Our lesson was focused around adjustability (woo!) via an excerise over three ground poles (set 3/2/3 strides apart) where we practiced slowing down to add strides (for 4/3/4 and 5/4/5). The Pony knows her job super well (we call her the Point and Shoot Pony, ha ha) and she’s really adverse to rider input, so I really had to sit back and ride against her to get tiny strides—ugh, my core!
Once we could consistently get 5/4/5, the Trainer put the end two ground poles up as cavaletti. The Pony got pumped and blasted right off. I had to halt her hard in the middle of the two cavaletti, then I went to walk her over the second one and she still jumped from the walk! It was really clear she missed jumping (she’s been being used with some of the younger students, nobody that’s jumping yet). We ended with a great run through the cavaletti where she actually respected my input. I have plans to do some coursework with her this coming Wednesday!
Ezhno, on the other hand, was still gimpy, so we just walked around bareback for a while. 🙁
Thursday was more walking Ezhno. I also fiddled with the fit of his figure 8 and tested the sizing on a couple of bits (more on that at a later date). And I met up with a member of the Horse Forum that lives in the area! We talked a lot (which was nice, I’m always worried I’m not going to have anything to say) and she gave me advice on a couple of lingering questions I’ve had about horse ownership. She also took a video of my broken pony:
Friday was bodywork day. The only thing remarkable about Saturday was that I put Big Horse on grain (he’s looking a little ribby) and I left a message with a vet the Show Buddy recommended. Sunday I was going to go out to the barn after a day at the mall with friends, but we got caught up in the middle of an evacuation after a stabbing (a shitty end to an even shittier week 🙁 ) and by the time I made it home the day was over, so…
Yeah, ready to put this week behind me.