Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The limpy, the gimpy, the stiff and the sore.
I truly wish yesterday's ride was everything I had envisioned. It seems for me, that the more I envision perfection, the less it appears. Likely, because I have a stiff bracey horse, and I, am a stiff bracey rider. The more something doesn't go my way, the more unmoving I become in my pursuit of having it exactly my way. Guess what? My horse is equally unmovable.
In laziness, I fed the horses first to bring them in from the furthest reaches of the back field, noting that my pony is once again chubby. *sigh* It's true.
After they ate, I took Moon in, ran a brush over him, noticed he had a girth gal because I wasn't using the fleece girth cover in this sweaty weather, and then tacked him up. Girth cover included.
Out into the ring, lots of warming up. Today would be all about dressage and flexibility and contact.
Lalala. He's going well. Still stiff to the right compared to the left, but he starts to clue in. We do an amazing like 5 m circle at trot and I'm floored at just how bendy he really can be. Life is merry, he's leg yielding well, really responsive to my leg aids, work a bit on that half-pass, more circling, ever circling. Up and down transitions through walk and trot. Little walk breaks here and there because it's 31 degrees out.
Then I think, hmmmm...let's work on shoulder-in.
And hell breaks loose.
He's drifting off the wall, so I'm trying to leg yield him back and then request shoulder-in again, and the more we work on it, the stiffer we both seem to get. So after a couple failed attempts, I accept that more work will be needed in the long run, and go back to our suppling exercises...
Except, now I have stiff horse. And we proceed to butt heads. He rushes when I apply leg aids, lifts his head on his upwards, refuses anything resembling inside bend...Constantly falls back to walk from trot without my permission and I finally lose it and boot him one to the rib when I KNOW nothing I'm doing is saying slow down, other then him refusing to bend. And he surges off, curls his lips into the evil rabbit face and we proceed to move around stiffly, like a geriatric couple.
I become more frustrated, tell myself to get over it, I knew this happens when we work on new moves he doesn't understand and finally opt to just school some canter.
I'm certain he's getting the wrong leads, so I'm still frustrated, and for some reason it feels like he's throwing his WHOLE hind end into the canter. I mean, from trot, it's this JARRING movement from his hind end, making it hard to be anything resembling soft and swaying during the following strides. Even better, on one of our early counter-canter circles, he loses his footing as the arena is really dry since it hasn't rained since...Noah's time...and his hind feet slide out from under him on the corner. He manages to catch himself before going down, but it's not pleasant for either of us. From then on, anytime he feels like the footing isn't so great, he automatically comes to a walk. Not even any transitions to trot in there. So then I'm kicking him back into trot, he's surging forward, we fight through another wrong canter lead, and so forth.
Finally I just throw dressage to the wind, and ride him around for some neck reining. And he gives me some lovely trot, head fairly low, reins drooping, around this way and that in the arena. I mean, I could actually reasonably steer him with neck reins, legs and seat. I suspect, legs and seat have more to do with it (wow!), but it was really pleasing. And we even did a couple canter transitions with no rein contact. Okay, so dressage stunk, but there's still some good in there.
We did the gate on horseback, both opening and closing (can't do it without dropping the gate unfortunately), and then went for a little sprint up the road with my dog.
Which should have been a nice adventure, except the dog ran down the middle of the gravel and a 1/2 mile later was limping. And sliced the pads on her paws wide open. And was bleeding everywhere. *sigh*
She limped home, I washed them out, left her bleeding on the back seat of the car, and put the pony away. Right after noticing that despite the girth cover, Moon had two raw girth gals on either side of him. FRIG.
So I had a gimpy, limping, bleeding dog, and a gimpy, raw, ouchy horse. Is it no wonder that the whole ride was stiff and I was frustrated?
Add to that, my back has been sore (probably from lots of riding), my butt hurts a TON from all the riding that it's painful to even sit down in the saddle until it goes numb, I somehow managed to bruise my heal which makes it painful if I step wrong and in general, I feel age starting to creep up on me. Tonight, I'm just gonna hack lightly up the road with a friend, video a lesson for another and that's IT. The dog is still limping everywhere, and I just want to go home and bemoan how awful the ultimate horse week is finishing up. : P
And of course, I probably now need to ride saddleless for the next week so those gals can heal.
Posted by Sand. at 7:52 AM