Friday, 27 June 2014

Back to square one?!

After the Stonewall show, I was so excited for what the summer may bring and feeling like finally progress. I joined some friends with weekly lessons at a new barn with a great coach that can cover all the basics and help us do a bit better with placing at shows. She has been helpful so far and I am hoping to continue with that.

Riding at home has been impossible because of rain, rain and more rain. My outdoor arena was a sloppy mess and so the once-a-week indoor lessons were really extra important as my only riding time. Last night my arena was finally dry enough so I saddled up just hoping to do some simple walk/trot/canter, work on flexion and stopping. (I have NO stop currently).

It was a fight from the start. Miss Tea was head up and eyes over-focused on everything she could spot in the distance. It was all I could do to bring her mind back to me even existing on her back. It was a hallowed-out back hot mess for half an hour. And since things were going so badly, I think, Hey! Lets canter now! HA! Step-wiggle-BUCK and BUCK some more for good measure. Ugh.

It took me a year of hard work to get this horse to canter without bucking in the first place when I was training her. It had been a distant memory for just as long. And here it was. I tried to tell myself--don't panic! I got off, took off the bridle but left on the saddle and sent her for some work around the arena to buck without me. WTF?!

Why can't I just have a nice normal horse? Some days I am grateful for the challenges she gives me because she has helped me to learn so much. But some days I just want to fall to the ground and cry "Why Me!!!".....Okay, I'm up. Done pouting. Back to training this crazy mare. :)

Horse Show!!

Well this was it! Here was the moment I had been training all winter for...Stonewall horse show! Hmm. It is such a small, unassuming fun show for ammies. Not even a blip on most horse people's radar. However, for me it is my mountain to conquer.

You see, two years ago I took my young, inexperienced and ridiculously green Miss Tea there in hopes of getting through the Walk/Trot class. Our class was well after lunch time, so I had plenty of time to ride and relax and get her familiar with the place.

The morning warmup ride went alright. She was nervous of the other horses around her, as she was not used to working in a crowded ring. I brought her out again for a second warmup after lunch to get ready for our class. So there I was, about to mount in the open field where the warmup area was and as I put my foot in the stirrup the saddle slipped. A lot. No problem right? I had my foot out and I was back on the ground to fix the saddle right away. But wait! Miss Tea has never had a saddle on sideways before, and she was still frightened about being away from home. She started to panic and pulled back. Moving now made this sideways saddle even more frightening and in slow motion I watched her pull away from me and go bolting/bucking across the fair grounds. She luckily ran into a large fenced second arena that was not being used and was caught. I even managed to go in my "Walk/trot" class right after it happened!

This time around we did much better. Placed in Halter and did quite nicely in our flat classes.
Miss Tea and I the second time around :)
Cross rails was a fail -- refused the very first jump and left it at that. But overall, very happy with the day! And for jumping, I am setting a goal of at least getting over a jump or two at the next show.