WW III on a few things: Lateral work, allergy season

UGH.

I feel like right now I am just a big ball of suffering. I am having a lot of trouble breathing, my ears are irritated (my ears people?!) and I am coughing constantly, constant post-nasal drip, running nose and sinus headache from hell.

Sometimes, I hate you!

Sometimes, I hate you!

I’m not sure exactly why my seasonal (year-round seasonal…) allergies are going completely psycho but I am having a SUPER hard time dealing right now. Suffer suffer suffer…I take two Reactine pills and they turn me into a balloon-headed zombie, and the steroids I also take DO NOTHING. Woe is me.

I rode yesterday (hence the WW III reference) and then came home and slept for 2 hours. WTF…

Oh and the riding. Well! Saturday Oats was super good, a bit pokey but generally had his game face on. We schooled some small x-rails to show off for my coworker’s husband and kids who came to say hi to Oats. It was cute, he was well behaved and a fun pony. A good time was had by all.

Sunday…

Oats vs dressage

Oats vs dressage

I was going to gallop in the field for a bit, but the wind started getting really nuts, my allergies were starting to get out of control and I was just.not.feeling.it.

The horses were kind of dingbats anyways, so I headed to the indoor to do some homework: read, lateral work, not the fun gallop Oats would have preferred. And he warmed up nicely, canter is still kind of a lousy work in progress, trot was good and his walk-lateral work off my left leg was lovely!

The right was HORRIBLE.

A battle. Like, a real struggle. I was pretty determined to not let him bully me, or scare me off, or get me frustrated, so I kept at it. He pulled every game out of his nasty bag of tricks- running backwards, throwing his head up and down, gnashing at the bit, yanking the reins out of my hands, running into the wall, hopping up and down, threatening to rear…

I grimly kept. At. IT.

I was talking to him the whole time, and I called him every name in the book, but was gently, consistently, persistently keeping at it.

I did not give up. I did not get mad and let him unfocus me.

It was going to take as long as it took, and boy, it really did. I was so done, but I also realized that in this little tempest in a teapot, if I let him get away with being a shit about this, next time I’d have double the effort to being a shit.

So, he banged his head against the wall, threw his head dramatically around, ran backwards into a jump standard, and was generally committed to being a giant dickhead.

All, rather than give in to my right leg pressure.

Yes, Oats is a freaking drama queen.

The ride that could have been short ended up being VERY long indeed. I was tired, pissed off and like…Really? This again?

When he (extremely grudgingly) gave me a few NICE steps over from my right leg, I went straight and let him stretch down long and low. He immediately snatched the reins and dramatically went to stretch but I let him go.

The whole ride took soooooooooooo long, but in the end, I was the one who won that day.

I hope Oats remembers it! I have no desire to repeat that little drama-rama.

And then as I said before, hopped up on too much allergy meds (which may actually have explained why I was able to zen my way though that miserable episode) I came home and slept for 2 hours in the middle of the afternoon…

We gain wisdom three ways

The first, through reflection, which is the noblest.

The second, through imitation, which is the easiest.

The third, through experience, which is the bitterest.

Saw this quote (by Confucius) in a murder mystery I was reading yesterday and wow, really liked it. I also feel like sometimes experience is the toughest way to learn…But you do learn, every time.

I also saw a quote that the best way to sum up an event is two ways- did you win or did you learn?

I think I can always apply this to both my life, and my riding life. For example, I got back on Oats Sunday after his week off, and it was ROUGH. He was a spooky idiot, snorty, running backwards, freaked out by the tires moving location in the ring, and generally a moron to ride. I was bummed out, and concerned that even in the 1 week that we had on vacation he had regressed. We did have some GREAT rides the days before I left, so I got back on and was like WTF is this hell pony I have now?

So yesterday…Despite my sneaking temptation to get back on and DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM I instead learned from my previous attempts to ‘deal’ and ‘straighten him out’ that ended poorly and with me losing my temper and went the opposite way- I galloped him in the field.

I knew that if I went in to my ride with him with a desire to really get into him, and lay it out with him, things had a excellent chance of going poorly. I would get handsy, upset with him, frustrated, you name it, it’s happened a few times already this summer.

So…

I remove myself from that evil desire to really get into it and battle.

And instead, do something set way apart and with less angst and just enjoy my ride. We galloped in the field with a friend, and Oats and I had a great time. He was huffing and puffing, and the hills are helping him develop his fitness further. For me, I am learning to not balance off my hands (still not great) and develop more of my two-point without too much upper body stuff.

In this instance, I would say I have gained wisdom two ways- the bitter and hard-won way of experience, but also the nobler way of reflection. It’s a never ending process.