When you’re going through hell, keep going?

So, I debated for awhile about blogging about yesterday because I still feel rather emotional. And it’s weird, I have been feeling strangely blah, out of it, super emotional and in a real mood, funk, and whatever for WEEKS now. Maybe even months?

I just can’t seem to shake it! This feeling like the other shoe is about to drop.

And yesterday it sort of did. With Oats, of all things. Of course.

I had a lesson with Karen Brain and I mentioned he was bucking with me on Sunday, and I managed to stick it, but that his attitude felt like…MAKE ME! Or maybe…EFF OFF!

He bucked again when I was warming up for the canter before my lesson, before Karen got there, and I felt edgy and concerned. We do not have a great history with his antics, and it makes me anxious, grabby and fearful. Are we constantly doomed to move backwards?

We started the lesson and it was going pretty well, he still felt a bit ‘tense’ but dressage work is not his forte and we’ve been working hard through some evasions. So far so good, until we worked on the right-lead canter…(this is the side he’s been bucking me on lately).

And BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! I got flung right off, he wouldn’t stop bucking, and I couldn’t hang on. I’m not THAT great at sticking a buck. I can usually get him stopped before it gets to that point, but there was no saving it yesterday.

I landed fine (turns out constantly falling off is making me better at protecting myself) and instantly burst into tears and said I didn’t want to get back on.

That was ok, Karen got him organized and then TOOK HIM TO TASK.  Like, back up? Oh, he says no? Ok GO GO GO GO. Go forward and he says no? Ok, BACK UP MORE!

Sideways no-go? MOVE YOUR FEET!

Forwards? a rear? MOVE!

He was being very dramatic! He reared, high-ho Silver! style.

He went two rounds with Karen, who was not interested in taking his shit. He looked submissive after the first round, but then was geared up to protest mightily for the second. I spent most of the time watching and feeling upset. WTF?

She said he’s being dominant, and that it’s a matter of working through it on the ground first, before I am ‘at his mercy’ in the saddle and he bucks me off. That’s his way of working through stuff he doesn’t want to do.

So, I have to get side-reins and longe him, in a productive fashion, until I feel comfortable getting back on. And if I sense anything from him, get off and longe again. Repeat as necessary, until he gets that ‘soft’ look and his head comes down, but not if he barges into my space.

And of course, this comes during a time when I’m feeling more blah than ever. Less motivated than ever, less interested in working through this than ever. Like where does that leave me? Crying my eyes out at night, and having nightmares about being involved in a car accident. That’s where. And as an added bonus, I look like absolute shit today, so bad that my co-workers noticed and asked if I was sleeping ok. (they are the nicest! and no, I had a terrible sleep. Terrible!!!!!)

WHY why why why why why

I officially hate my pony. There, that is it.

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“When he gets up in the morning and sees his dirty face, he sets about washing the mirror”

So, rode Wed and had a jumping less on Thurs.

Let’s start with Wednesday. Howlingly windy, blustery day but still quite sunny. So, I ventured off to the outdoor arena and immediabely began second-guessing my choice. SPOOKY! OMG! The harrow is there? A hay bale? Geese? Yeah, Oats did a few running away quickly spooks, and then a few backing-up-in fear spooks, and then 1 or 2 leap sideways spooks.

We did get some jumps in, and they were not great- chip in, or leave long and get left behind. ARGH! We did 1 outside line neatly, and then twice clumsily. SIGH!

We did hop over a cavaletti that was festooned with crazy crap though, and he didn’t give it a second look. He did, however, jump sideways at nothing.

So, after a final jump through of the line and the cavaletti, I hopped off and finished my ride in the indoor. I didn’t want to ACTUALLY fall off!

He was good as gold in the indoor.

Thurs- Lesson day! We started in the outdoor- again a cold and blustery day (how is this summer? I’m effing freezing!) and Oats VERY reluctant to move forward at the canter- like, I was struggling. My trainer suggested we move to the indoor and I look at getting front shoes for Oats, because that kind of reluctance can indicate foot-sore.

So, we are now getting shoes!

In the indoor, we moved straight into jumping. The exercise was 1 fence on the long side, ride a circle over a small fence, loop back around to the diagonal, and finish on another diagonal. Easy, right? Umm…

We got a few stops at the final diagonal because (if you remember my post on Tuesday about Oats stopping at the tiny fence) I WAS NOT STRAIGHT AT ALL.

How did it get this bad? Waahhh?

He physically couldn’t get over the jump because he was bulging to the right so much. What the hell man?

So, that mystery was figured out, anyways.

We worked over it using poles set on a diagonal V shape against the jump and really got Oats to GO! More pace!

Working over the course again, we got over that tricky diagonal fence (not tricky at all, but some reason really screwing with me) and landed falling-in too much. That meant our turn to the circle fence was messed up- we were on the wrong lead, too close to the turn. I pulled for the turn anyways (YIKES!) and Oats almost fell! He slipped BIGTIME.

My coach yelled, that was a BAD DECISION!! YEEEah you don’t need to tell me that! Holy shit!

We righted ourselves, picked up the canter, rode the circle jump and continued on our way. PHEW!

Ended ok but not great, but sometimes you need those super-gritty rides to figure out that no, you’re not going to DIE jumping, but sometimes it gets ugly. And that’s life. Deal with it!

Oats was a good pony though, for not actually falling on me. Ha.