Which makes me upset and a little sad. I want him to be improving, but when I'm not riding him that can't really be happening, can it?
We're hopefully a week or two away from completing the camper overhaul project, and then I'm in Ottawa for a week. No riding there. My hope, is that I'll at least have the rest of the summer to get some proper riding in, since I won't be rushing off to fabric stores, Home Depot's or home to sew, glue or cut wood. I hope...
Okay, so we've had next to no practice. What else?
Well, our one practice, last Friday evening, was AWFUL. I'm not even joking when I say that, which makes me that much more upset.
Remember the video of Moon and W? Well, that was us on Friday, as I tried to get him to stretch and bend. Our turn-on-the-fore were AWFUL. He wouldn't bend his head in the slightest, which mean he moved backwards when I tried to get it. Which frustrated me, and I'm sure forced me to be heavier on his mouth.
Add to that, he WILL NOT close his mouth! And suddenly, as I'm asking for his bend, he's refusing to give it to me, throwing his head high and riding open mouthed, pulling on the reins and being a complete brat. Then whenever I applied leg aids to assist in our circle (push him out), he would speed up. Which in frustration, I'm sure I'd be stronger on the reins (and my seat), and he'd get more resistive. Just a nasty, nasty mess in all.
In both directions, we absolutely sucked. I got nothing remotely resembling a nice ride out of him, and probably was riding WORSE then before we went into training. Both of us.
I know I was so focussed on getting him to close his mouth, that I was uneven in the saddle. Add to that, when he was dancing around for mounting, I finally got soo pissed off, that I gave him a smack in the rump with my hand. And felt AWFUL when he stared at me wide-eyed. Which made me even more pissed off, more at myself then anything, for being so impatient.
Impatient. That's me. I just wanted to beat myself for not being able to give him the softness of hand and body that he needs to get him to ride on the bit, with his mouth closed and head down. I felt like I made things worse, and that's the last thing I want to do. I WANT him to start flexing and feeling better, and like he can trust me on the reins. But that's not there, and I'm irritated with myself for not being able to create that.
We rode for about an hour and a bit, and I felt further behind then when I started. We were both SWEATING since it was hot and humid out, and his chest and neck were soaked. I kept him at a trot for most of it, and managed that without a crop of any kind. At least that was a bit better.
Untacked him and treated him, still feeling like crap. Just wished I could tell him what I needed and he'd understand...but that doesn't happen.
The positive note? He nickered at me for sure this time. Suppose even if I can't ride him, he still loves me in his own horse-y way. I just want to do well by him, and feel like that's not happening. I suppose we've only done 2 lessons and practiced maybe 4 times, and one would think these things take time. But I just miss the forward progress I was hoping to get. And I just don't want to be messing him up.
Tomorrow is lesson day. Let's see what Coach W has to say...