With the impending move looming on the horizon, I'm starting to feel more and more like myself. Yesterday's news from the bank reassured me that I wasn't about to spiral downward into a never-ending cycle of debt and break-downs, so I headed out to the barn with a smile on my face and appreciated the rattle of my parents' loaner car. It could be worse. Granted, my boss *did* call me a ball of bitterness... ; )
Everything was quiet at the barn when I arrived, so I wandered out to Moon and proceeded to break a cardinal rule. I secret loath myself for doing it, but it's an unfortunate side-effect of having a close bond to your horse. I hopped on him in a halter and helmet-less, walk/trotted around the pasture.
I know, BAD.
Halo was along, so she trotted beside us, and we scoured the whole thing looking for one of the horse's missing muzzles. Sure enough, there it was, at the VERY back of the field in a clump of grass. Buggers.
We rode back in, and he really is riding nice lately.
I changed my mind and wanted to put him over fences again. I'm not happy with our lack of pacing and his rushing at the fences lately. But I also was NOT in the mood to have soggy jeans for the rest of the evening as a result of riding bareback. Ew.
Then I had a great idea! I would put a saddle pad on him and strap it in place with my surcingle!
Even better, the pad I chose had foam panels, so A. I stuck REALLY well and B. the sweat didn't bead through.
I set up a jump, stepped back to mount and realized it seemed a bit too high. Uh....
Moon and I started by working on our dressage and staying loose. It is REALLY weird and I really want to have eyes on the ground again. Moon is...different.
For one, he seems to carry his head lower and I want to say he more consistently works over his back. He can still brace and he still runs about like an evil rabbit, but I feel like he actually has a dressage 'form' now. Weird. And possibly in my head.
Around and around we went, even finding some nice leg yield. Then I pointed him towards the jump.
SURGE. He just sees it and seemed to rush forward. I got anxious, the entire thing got rough and we got to the other side in nothing resembling form or finesse.
Ger. I'm doing SOMETHING WRONG.
I had a pretty good feeling that it was the fact that approaching the jump I'm going "OMG! THAT IS SOOOO HIGH! LOOK HOW HIGH IT IS?! I SHOULD HAVE MADE IT LOWER. SOOO MADE IT TOO HIGH. THIS WAS A BAD HEIGHT! LOOK AHEAD, LOOK AHEAD!!!"
And I snap my eyes forward at the last second, as we scramble over.
Freaking out, if only in my head is NOT conducive to nice jumping.
I rode some more dressage circles and figure 8's, and focused on my tempo. What was Moon's beat? And I started singing the beat to myself, with every post. Over and over as we went around. When I found that my posting matched the beat without change, I turned Moon back towards the jump. And focussed on keeping my beat in pace with Moon's foot falls.
Suddenly, coming up to the fence he was beautiful. We weren't rushing, but we also weren't lagging. We trotted right up, he collected and popped right over smoothly. And when we landed, I went right back to our pacing, singing away.
More dressage circles, softening him up and back towards the jump...
We all know it, but it's amazing how much our horses pick up on our own nervousness, without us thinking we're being that obvious. Sure enough, when I calmed down, he calmed down. And it got wonderful.
After more dressage and jumping, we called it a ride.
Cooling him off, I realized that I REALLY need to take some new pictures of him. One, for my blog followers, but Two, because I think he's changed a lot physically. And mainly, his TOPLINE.
I remember in my head, that his neck seemed to dip along the top to his wither. But riding him around yesterday, it seemed like now his neck carries straight into his wither. And overall, his mane seems to sit atop a row of muscle, where before it kinda just hung off his neck.
Again, I'm not sure if I'm just making it all up...
Hence, the need for photos!
I need proof that things have changed, and if there's proof, I'm wondering how I missed it happening. And if it hasn't happened, why does it feel so different and why do I feel like he even looks different?
I shall be out on Thursday, and then likely miss a couple days through the weekend as I move. The car remains parked, and I remain clueless as to my next step.