Riding blahs?

Actually not a bad thing- just a ‘meh’ thing! Rode this weekend, Fri- Oats was actually great. His spookiness from Wednesday was not a thing anymore, and we rode with my trainer. I whooped it up over two very small jumps and had a blast! I even shouted to my trainer- that was FUN! Why isn’t it like that all the time?!!

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It was beachtime this weekend! And this is what I look like off a horse 🙂

She shouted back that it’s because of the pressure I put on myself in lessons- that’s why. HA!

I did even try to grab back from Oats on the approach to the small x-rail and he completely disregarded me and kept going, like a saint. Phew!

Saturday, not quite so fun–we schooled the same small jumps and this time, nailed it to the x-rail, and flubbed it to every other jump. Oats though, is back to his saintly-if-awkward jump style and saved my bacon by doing his chip-jump..every time. Harurumph!

We then schooled a bit of leg-yield and he was having NONE OF IT by the time we got to the right rein. Cue running backwards, temper tantrums, hissy fits, threatening to rear…yeahhh. It was hot, he was pissy, and I kind of had to give up on that. Sweat was running down my face from my helmet into my eyes!

Ahhh well. It was hot, he was tired. Chalk that up to a lesson learned.

Sunday, it was extremely hot. My upper lip was sweating just tacking up. Wow..We are not used to this hot weather on the West Coast. I rode Oats indoors and worked on finding our distance to a very tiny x-rail. We did well to the left, and then absolutely clobbered it- poles flying, etc- on the first attempt to the right. Whoops! I hopped off, and immediately felt like dying…So hot. I was covered in sweat, and felt dizzy.

Fixed the jump up, got back on, and walked. And walked. Finally, I worked back up to canter and we conquered our distance to the tiny x. Did it a few more times both directions, looping across the diagonal, and called it quits…So hot. I even made Oats carry me back up the hill, and he got a good hosing when we finished. PHewwww.

Beachtime after, of course!

All in all, a good weekend.

 

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Mr. Oats has an angry day

Oats was just…bizarre last week. I haven’t ridden yet this week (took Monday off because I was in a terrible mood and tired, felt I really shouldn’t bring that negative energy to the barn) so we shall see for my lesson today..

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Pretty much how Oats feels about life.

But yes, for Saturday, he was just…awful. Thursday he was cranky and grouchy, tired and phoning it in. Saturday he was SO ANGRY. Fine in the cross-ties, and then a nippy dragon in the ring! I went to tighten his girth and he tried to bite me, repeatedly. He swished his tail in the angriest horse way. He refused to let me get on. He wouldn’t walk forward, and when I asked, kicked out>??

Yeah, your guess is as good as mine? He wouldn’t trot, only hop angrily and pissily.

I gave up on the trot, and we went for a good, very forward, sitting & working canter. He was lovely during it! And then our trot work was pretty nice after too? So wtf Oats? Why the attitude? He dropped it once we had our good canter warmup but wow, he came out ready for a fight. This is definitely unlike him, easy-going Oats.

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Oats harasses his buddy Jim.

He is very perplexing this month. Last week was kind of an ugly week. Is he just feeling stiff, or is it something else, since he seems to work out of it ok?

Sunday, I decided to warm him up a bit before I got on by walking/trotting, turning circles, stopping and backing up in-hand, just to sort of see how he was feeling. I then tightened the girth very carefully, respectful of his feelings, haha. And he didn’t show any of the crazy snarkiness and anger of Saturday. So far so good.

I hopped on and he was a bit slow in the walk, but listened well enough to my leg with not so much tail swishing and I’m pleased to report- NO angry kicking out. He trotted nicely straight off the bat, no real hopping…And when he went to hop, it wasn’t as dramatic and pissy as before. Hm..

We cruised over a few x-rails, but mostly focused on the one thing I am struggling with: Straightness over the diagonal. His canter was fine, I actually didn’t do any ‘dressage’ canter with him (the super forward upright sitting canter) because he didn’t seem to need it like he did the other day.

It was a good and calm ride. Now, where is this horse all last week? I could use him back!

Struggle-bus dressage?

I noticed I’ve been complaining about flatwork a lot lately- in all honesty, Oats has improved by like, 100% and my ‘wanty’ behaviour is due to the things I now think we are capable of doing…

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Another time when he was sweaty too!

Like yesterday- our dressage lesson was pretty good, I wasn’t scared off anything and Oats didn’t bug me too much. But, things like- he wouldn’t trot when I was asking for contact in a medium-low stretchy frame- he would only canter. And canter. And canter. For a pony who has the HARDEST time going forward, it’s quite interesting to ride him when he finds canter easier than trot. I wanted trot though, so I was like wtf horse, why won’t you just trot?!!

But, as my trainer pointed out, if he’s doing the exercise well enough at the canter, leave it there for now. It’s mentally doing the job that you need–you can get nitpickier about the gait later. Fair enough!

So, we cantered–seeking the nice, stretchy lower-frame work that we tried to get in trot. And then we eventually got it in trot!  And the tried for it in a quieter, more compressed trot to transition to a small canter. This was met with mixed results- Oats started being a twit about yanking the reins out of my hands and tossing his head…So, back to the drawing board.

I found (again) that I let him buldge off my right leg going left. Oh and I rely too much on my inside rein to keep him in corners- this has been plaguing me on my jump lessons bigtime!

It was a very sweaty lesson. Oats had rivulets of sweat running down his forehead! If he’d only trot, I’m sure it would have been much less sweaty, but you know, ponies…No sense reasoning with them!

I did give him a very big and long head-scratching session- as dictated by me so he doesn’t rudely shove his big head on me- and he LOVED IT! And he got some more candy canes as a treat!