Thursday, June 7, 2012

Of Spiders and Novel Ideas

Okay, so I tried to ride the other day after not seeing my horse for 10 days. I was also having a horrible three weeks day. There is some stuff going on at work which I am not happy with, its really rocking my world and then on top of that, my financial situation hit what might be considered rock bottom. Basically I was relying on my horse to be the bright beacon of hope in the dark dark tunnel that was my current life. It is after all, his fault that I am in this position, if he weren't such a free-loading mooch and actually paid for his own upkeep....... but I digress :P

So our ride started out innocuously enough, I had him moving forward and then balancing back, forward and back, forward and back and he was really responding. Super. So we tackle the X-rail and we kick its ass! Then I put it up to a low vertical, like 2'1" and we proceed to rock it, he's actually moving forward so I decide I'm gonna put it up and tackle BN height just to get it out of the way and get it done. Well.....

The first time I actually rode it, but he wasn't ready for the height and he brought the rail down. The second time I took my leg off, brought my hand back and we only barely made it over, no impulsion. The next two fences were just as bad. At this point Kristin came into the arena and I got the forward lecture, which I needed and she dropped the height back down to where I had it before and she got me over the fence and for that I am very thankful. Its wonderful to know that my instructor cares enough about me to step in when I make bad decisions and I'm not even riding in a lesson..... :) Everyone should be so lucky.

So this just added to my craptastically fabulous day so it was suggested I go on a little trail ride to just decompress and get it all together not to mention end on a good note. Well, it almost worked until the end. I was almost back to the barn when I looked down at my watch to see a HUGE tarantula normal sized daddy long legs crawling on my hand. I do not like spiders, no that's and understatement, I detest spiders and in my current mood I was not able to keep my cool and deal with it. I took a rather dramatic swipe at it with my right hand which B mistook as goodness only knows what causing him to buck and take off. I only had one rein, I lost both stirrups, but thank you Kerrits Sit Tights, my butt stayed glued to the saddle. I was saying "whoa" but in a slightly panicked voice so it didn't help, he kept spinning/bucking left because that was the rein I had and eventually spun himself into a grove of trees. As in he literally slammed into three trees and a sappling that were growing together. He stopped, I panicked again wondering if he was impaled somehow but then he realized that he was surrounded by leaves and started to eat the trees so I figured he was okay. He ended up with a little scrape on his nose and I ended with some scratches on my arms, a scratch under my eye and a swollen upper lip. Yeah, great trail ride.

As we walk back to the barn I start contemplating other sports that I might be better, ping pong, curling....

The day ended with some much needed friend therapy and delicious sangrias. I slept quite well. :)

Fast ride was awesome! I started out the same way pushing him forward, balancing him back, we actually had a pretty nice lengthening on one of our diagonals at one point. So things were just so-so I wasn't getting him forward enough, I had the vertical at a nice comfy 2'1" again. Then we were coming in and I really have no idea if my leg was on or not, I am thinking its on, but he's not doing anything so it probably wasn't and I did perhaps the most logical thing ever. Seriously, are you ready for my solution to this problem of not enough impulsion to the fence? I used my whip. Yup, that beautiful custom jockey bat that I have in yellow and navy that I diligently carry with me every time I jump. I actually let go of the reins with my left hand and tapped him behind my leg and he said, oh you want me to move up? Okay and we hit our spot. Damn. I mean really, who would have ever thought?

So I'm pretty satisfied and I want to say that again, I was not riding in a lesson, although Kristin was teaching my friend Gwen. I'm ready to call it quits and I come around the corner and see the jump again and someone mysteriously put the rail back up to the height I had been trying to jump yesterday. Hmmmmm, I wonder how that happened? I have learned that it is pointless to argue with your trainer. They know best. Period. I pay this woman to make decisions about me and my horse, if I don't trust her, then why the hell am I paying her? So I say nothing, aside from asking Gwen if I can take that jump just one time before she canters, to which I get an enthusiastic "yes." Lol So I get my canter and we turn towards the jump and I feel us starting to suck back and again I employ the "whip trick" and guess what, he moves up, soars over it and it is lovely. Kristin says nice job, but I still need a bit more. My response. "I was really just concentrating on the whole one handed jumping not dying thing, but okay, I'll work on it."

Long story short (too late!) this ride was soooooo much better! We ended with a five minute gallop on the outdoor working on my two point and keeping up that rolling galloping that I will need XC. After I got him put away I made it back into the arena to measure the fence because I wanted to know what I jumped and was hoping it was something kinda insane so I would feel really good about was 2'9"! Woot. The rail was already down, so I measured to the bottom of the jump cup and that was 2'8". I have to say that I was pretty proud of myself. I only have to jump 2'6 for BN.

So hopefully I can remember my little trick and actually utilize my whip instead of just holding onto it like a fashion accessory. This weekend is the WPDA and Grand Haven Dressage Shows, B and I aren't showing, but a lot of others from the team are, we have 15 rides everyday between everyone. So good luck to everyone, I'll be running the barn and keeping everyone tacked up and ready to go on Saturday and Sunday, I take my grooming job pretty seriously. If you are out at Grand Haven stop by the main barn and see us!

Also of note, my friend Jessica is competing at Bromont this weekend in the CCI***, She's currently sitting in 9th place. Go Jess and Bug, Bastian and I are totally cheering you on! Rock it on the XC course!

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