First thing Monday morning, before the arenas got busy, I decided to take a chance and let Ezhno loose in the arena.
Then my Monday morning private lesson hit and a switch flipped. One moment I was a nervous wreck and the next I was back to my normal confident self (woo!). We focused on bending to disengage his hindquarters (still working in some of those preventative movements just in case), and then we went into the trot on a loose rein (we even got a few steps of an acceptable western jog!). It was hard and I kept feeling a sense of disconnect, like Ezhno and I weren’t speaking the same language anymore. The feeling carried on through our ride on Tuesday…
And then the bit change on Wednesday fixed it completely! 🙂
I was so pleased with how well he did that I gave him Thursday off. It was so nice out that I decided to put him outside for the first time since his injury instead. He was a little crazy for the first fifteen minutes, but then he chilled out and started grazing so that I could feel comfortable leaving him alone unsupervised. I let him have a little over an hour out in the sunshine before I came to collect him and he was so happy.
Of course, Friday we had a pretty terrible ride. We were riding during a clinic that Trainer A was holding for the 4-H students (last time we did that was when he bronc’ed me off) and while we didn’t have any real problems (yay!), our ride was just… subpar. For some reason I couldn’t stop correcting him, which pissed him off, and then he just started flipping me the middle finger (can’t blame him, LOL). I got frustrated, he got frustrated… bah, no good, we just pissed each other off. 🙁
He was just like, “I’VE GOT IT, OKAY. Leave me alone and let me do my job, mom. Stop picking on me. D:<”
So on Saturday, after I put on his new pink SMB’s (which he immediately tried to kick off in the cross ties), I made it a point to get on and leave him alone. Completely loose rein, no rough spur usage, just sitting and doing less. It was awesome! So long as I stayed out of his face and didn’t harass him, he moved along nicely and kept his nose towards the dirt. We’ve got some steering/pace work to do (plus our halts!), but he’s looking good! Mom was with me, so there’s even video proof. 😉
Sunday sucked because at some point over the weekend I lost my wallet, so I had to call and report all of my cards as lost, plus now I have to make a trip to the DMV… so I didn’t end up riding. 🙁
On a side note, a trainer at my barn (not one of the ones I ride with) is participating in the Extreme Mustang Makeover this year! They’ve got this adorable little horse they’re calling Mustang Annie and she’s just darling. She’s still a little nervous in her stall, but she’s a real eager to please sweetheart and I hear that they’ve already got her under saddle after only a week (!). Very excited to see how she comes along. 🙂