Pass The Wine

I was hoping to build off of yesterday’s great ride with Eli and keep the feeling going into my weekly lesson with Andrea, but between daylight savings, work, and school I couldn’t seem to get it together.

I walked into the lesson feeling super confident with how Eli was going, but after about 10 minutes in I told Andrea that I just couldn’t seem to get my shit together mentally. I felt like my head was entirely stuffed with cotton, and there wasn’t much happening as far as riding effectively. Eli agreed and full pony mode commenced… lucky for me!

A visual representation of how well Eli and I were working together today.

He started incredibly behind my leg, as he usually does when there is another horse in the ring and even with a stick AND spurs he just wasn’t having it.

We started on our usual circle, making sure I had his eye and the ability to move his hip as needed to get his focus on me and the work at hand. It was at this point when I realized I was probably in for a not so fun time. We wiggled. We waggled. We ignored all the things. I admitted to Andrea that I wasn’t functioning and shit started sliding downhill faster than that one pair of leggings I have that seem hellbent on showing my asscrack to the world.

From there we moved to working on leg yielding from the quarter line to the rail, which he’s pretty good at, and we sort of seemed to be able to half ass, until Andrea saw right through that bologna and had us go down the centerline to the rail… which… well…. nothing really happened other than he laid on my hand, then laid on my leg, then laid on my hand again.

From there we tried to do a few spirals in and out on a circle, to which both our brains imploded and he mostly just ran around with his head parallel to the ground ignoring me and I sort of just uselessly sat up there while Andrea yelled at me to stop fidgeting with my hands and kick the damn thing.

Welcome to the shitshow, folks. 😂

We then moved on to some canter work to see if we could just get him moving FORWARD off my leg. To which there was a lot of (as Andrea so delicately put it) porpoise-ing. The term is entirely accurate to what the creature was doing and my brain was happily emitting a high pitched squeal to go along with the show.

The words “I hate you” were uttered loudly as I was kicking his flailing ass around, but it worked and got him sort of thinking again. We then changed direction and Andrea set up a small vertical in an attempt to help him find the ever elusive left lead.

I’ve been playing a lot with him successfully getting and maintaining this monstrosity on the lunge line, but we save the chaos of finding it under saddle for my lessons.

After bowling through the jump about a dozen times, arguing about the fact that his head actually has to be turned vertically not horizontally, and taking an ear tip directly to my eyeball we took the long approach, I kicked like a bastard, and off we went for about a half “circle” of bonafide left lead canter like the god damn grown ups that we are.

Andrea took mercy on our poor exploded brains and called it good before I could make any more of a mess of things, and Eli got lots of pats for not actually ejecting the 120lbs of useless human co-piloting his happy ass around.

The takeaways?

1) I need to learn to up my mental game, and figure out how to put my crap in a box for later when I ride this horse, because the train stops for NOBODY. He’s never going to be a horse that says “I got this, you’re good.”

2) I need to be more assertive with my aids and at least trust that Andrea trusts my seat and my stickability. She’s not actively trying to kill me, and I need to shut up and ride the damn horse.

3) I pulled it together and we still got it done. We had a big win not only with the left lead canter, but neither one of us quit, and I rode out all the crap. Plus, we did it with another horse in the ring and neither one of us had a meltdown over it.

I’m well aware that we all have rides like this, where none of it is jiving, but we got through it, managed to end on a high note.

I allowed myself a (large) glass of wine in the name of self pity and then tomorrow I’ll zip up my boots and do it all over again – just a lot better.

Treat yo’ self.