I guess I was overdue?

For a truly shitty ride? UGH! Last night I probably shouldn’t have ridden- there were a few omens on my way out, like a man popping out in front of my car and me not seeing him until the last minute (it’s so dark out at 4pm now, it’s crazy), a car deciding to turn left into my car- I slammed on the brakes and horn at the last second and avoided an accident…

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Me this whole freaking week.

It was cold but Oats warmed up much fresher than Wednesday. I had his cooler on, and it took flight immediately off his back in…2 seconds? I didn’t even notice it was gone it flew off so fast! I had to go look for it after our ride, as it was pitch black out and the cooler is…also black.

Our ride started off promising- some nice canter work, moving better, still some stiff-headed resistance at the trot, but moving out. We worked over some poles and I noticed he wasn’t wanting to bend either direction, and wasn’t moving out off my leg very well, preferring instead to rush and speed off instead, so I slowed it down and started asking from the walk, for head-to-the-wall leg-yields.

He did his typical ‘ok this is fine fine fine fine and…NOT FINE’ hissyfit moments. Oats is like a horse at the mall- you put your quarter in, and you get only SO much time. After that? Your quarter is up, and STOP ASKING ME. So, yeah. It was fairly ugly and annoying. We worked through it on the left side, and one part of me reallllly didn’t want to repeat that struggle of wills on the right side, but anything you do on one side..YEah, I was in for a fun time.

Off the right, he moved over so fast. So fast. Like a butterfly! Zipping over…Until he started in with his big-time hissyfit moments, and he would NOT LET IT GO. I rode for what felt like hours, just trying to get him= sideways. He ran backwards, he gnashed his teeth, he threatened to rear, he pawed the air, he banged his head on the wall (multiple times?!!), he fussed, he fought, he complained, he yanked on the reins, he ran forward, backwards, he hopped up and down. UGHHHHH.

It was so horrible. And I was getting mad, too. Lose- lose.

I finally settled with letting him go forward, and then forcing his head over to the right using impulsion, and then pushing as hard as I could with my right leg. Sort of sideways? Done, reward him with letting him go forward again. Then repeat. Then repeat, and reward.

YEEEEESH. I have no idea what prompted his level of rudeness, but jesus he hasn’t been that miserable in about a year of lateral work. I have a real feeling he thought he was off the hook for ‘homework’ and took major offense to having to do it, after some fun times of cruising around over fences and poles.

Anyways, it sucked so hard. Let’s just take some brain-bleach and forget that shitty little episode…

A good ride and a not-so-good ride

Had my jump lesson on Wednesday and Oats and I were fresh and ready to go! I had taken Tuesday off to attend the lousy Hudson’s Bay event with my mom.

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He was jumping better than this over the skinny!

I think that day off really lets Oats shine- I was SO pleased with his attitude jumping, and it just felt so smooth and perfect. How often do I get to say that? Haha. We worked on a bounce gymnastic, canter-in slightly collected. It scaled up to three bounce jumps (tiny), to a 1-stride jump. We then worked in the gymnastic, to a small course that included a single box ‘skinny’ fence. I was a bit concerned about the box- no wings, no guide rails…What was the likelihood of a run-out??

We started the course and he was bang on! It was great. We then approached the skinny box and Oats did have a good firm look at it, and up and over, perfectly. Wow! I was caught up celebrating and forgot to ride my last fence in the course- oops, haha.

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Last year- a very eager Oats.

Time for a second go-around: And it rode just as perfectly as the first. How often do I get that? How about never, hahah. I was so pleased with Oats, a fairly technical gymnastic, he was working hard and huffing and puffing, but he was focused, rhythmic and never wavered. Good boy Oats, I love your efforts.

My trainer said she could tell how good our rhythm was due to Oats’ snorting- he was snorting so rhythmically it was funny- “snort, snort snort- jump- snort snort snort snort-jump,” haha.

But I have to say, I was thrilled with how smooth and focused it felt.

And then there was yesterday…Ugh. I got on and Oats felt weird. We walked for a long time, because he just felt ‘lateral’ and not forward. I went up to trot, and then canter, and his canter sucked. He was short striding, and backed way off my leg. He was soooo stiff. Ahh, poor Oats.

Clearly the work the night before, probably combined with standing around all day in the rain doing nothing= stiff as anything pony. Probably a bit sore too. So, I went down to more walk, some trot and just did some light bending, serpentines, circles and called it a day.

He is getting today off, and I hope he moves around a little more- I hate when he is feeling this way.

Good ride, Bad ride, Ok ride?

So, I was expecting a good ride on Sunday- after all, I had a fairly decent jump lesson on Friday (I wasn’t expecting to, I was feeling tired and put-upon by life, basically…) and I had cancelled the show I was riding in on Saturday. Wasn’t feeling 100% after getting rear-ended on Wednesday, and then the person I was going to haul with bailed, soo…Yeah.

Wish it was summer!

So, at least he is cute?!

But anyways, I took Saturday off after originally planning to show in a small jumper show. Spectated at the show instead, and helped my husband out at his first Gut Buster run.

So when Sunday rolled around, I was actually expecting some decent things from Oats! I was planning on doing some of the same course I worked over on Friday, from the gymnastic to a few other jumps. Oats…had other ideas.

He was A TWIT!

He was stopping constantly when we were going large, slamming on the brakes and trying to backpedal. Snorting and anxious. Head in the air, ears on a swivel. Could NOT get him to go around the ring like a normal horse at all. I was like WTF IS GOING ON?

It was ridiculous, I was pissed.

It was hot, and I was just hoping for a break. Just one freaking break.

We worked, and worked, and worked, and then worked some more. We took breaks so he could investigate the ‘spooky areas’ that immediately became even MORE spooky the next time we went past them, despite him grazing calmly in them. We went around and around, fought, and it was just so …frustrating.

We did end up doing the small gymnastic and a few jumps, and he was very good over the gymnastic, funny enough, being spooky and on fire for the entire ride led to us getting the exact number of strides each time! Didn’t even have to push for then?! Go us?

We ended on a pretty ok canter to the right, where I didn’t fight him about his head in the air and tilted left..I was like, let’s just do this.

I rode him back up to the barn and he spooked. Hosed him off, led him down to the field and he spooked. ARGH.

Who replaced my horse with a blithering idiot?

I decided that because my week previously was not super consistent with riding- maybe this had something to do with Oats being a total moron to ride? So, I went out yesterday (Monday) to sort some of our issues out.

I went in with a different schedule- no jumps, no nothing I *had* to do…Just feel him out, see how it goes. No real agenda.

And the ride ended up being a real no-agenda ride. We walked large for loops and loops. I let his walk mesmerize me a bit. He did want to spook and stop and backpedal at first, but I let the reins loop, sat steady, and just walked. And walked. And walked.

Once that was not exciting, or scary, or spooky, we trotted. And then spent the entire ride, probably like 45 minutes, at the trot. Strong trot, slow trot, sitting trot, hunter-hack trot, easy trot, circles at the trot. Anytime I felt like he was starting to blow past my hands, throw his head in the air and try to fly around, we circled calmly as a reminder. And then circled again, and then circled again.

He required a lot of these reminders, but that was ok. I could wait it out.

And that was our entire ride.