Monday, February 1, 2021

It Only Took 2 1/2 Years...

 To finally learn how to ride my horse. I guess better late then never.

Saturday afternoon was nasty. Ice was falling from the grey sky while the wind blew icy blasts against my skin. My fingers froze within minutes. Sunday’s forecast was even worse but I had missed my mid week ride due to getting my second COVID vaccine which meant Eeyore hadn’t been ridden since Sunday and I had no intention of giving him over a week off. 


The weekend prior when the weather wasn't so gross. Working on a return to jumping. Trainer AB set this up the Wednesday before in our lesson

So I bundled up and tacked up.

Eeyore was understandably spicy given the weather and time off between rides. Something clicked a few lessons ago though. You see, from the beginning of our relationship Eeyore has had the upper hand. He throws his head around, shakes his tail and throws in a little squeal for added measure. I’ve always gotten scared and backed off by this thereby letting him “win”. He’d then canter instead of walk or cut corners or stop or do whatever it was that he wanted to do regardless of what I had intended to do. Once he got his way, all the attitude would stop. Until the next time. And there was always a next time. 

This summer he bucked me off in the left lead canter. I was riding like crap due to pain issues and he took full advantage of that. During our first lesson of January he tried the same garbage. We were on a circle and I asked for canter. He stepped into it nicely but then the head tossing/tail swishing/squealing began and he lowered his front end. For some reason instead of backing off and returning to trot as I always did in the past, I took Trainer AB’s instructions and put my lower leg on, pulled his head up and put him to work in front of my leg. 

He hasn’t tried that again. 



The next lesson AB said the same thing: if he starts to act up I was to put my leg on and make him work harder while keeping within the gait and on the path of my choice. It took the entire 45 minute lesson of repeating this before he understood I was a new woman. 

He has been amazing to ride ever since. 

Back to Saturday. Eeyore was spicy. He didn’t want to walk to warm up but I did. We passed the gate and he squealed, tossed his head and got real light in the front end. I ignored him. My lower leg got firmer against his side, my reins got a titch shorter, he got out in front of my leg in a forward, powerful march.

He tried one more time when we first started to trot but that was that. We went on to have a pleasant, if extremely cold, ride. We worked on snappier up transitions. We did figure 8s. We went over a series of trot poles. I nearly was brave enough to work on canter figure 8s but after 30 minutes he was getting sweaty and I wanted him cooled and dry before night fall so I called it good and headed in. 

It took 2 1/2 years to figure this out. I finally feel like I can ride this horse at the most basic level. It’s starting to get really, really fun. 

4 comments:

  1. Good for you, this is awesome!

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  2. I'm so excited for you! Here's to better and better rides!

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    Replies
    1. Each ride has been better and better even when he isn't on his best behavior. Its been motivating me to get back on each time

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