Tuesday, May 8, 2012

That Overwhelming Feeling

Last night I had a dream about horse showing (again!). I dreamed that I was the only one who brought a 'real' horse to the horse show... everyone else brought a bicycle with a horse head and tail on it, stick horse style. When I finally found my stick horse version of RC, I realized that I didn't have a bike, but one of those razor scooters. I was so dismayed that I didnt have that elegant pedaling motion while riding my test, but instead had to roll down the centerline in that awkward duck paddle!

What the heck is going on in my subconscious?

I'll admit, that I was feeling overwhelmed - what with lessons and farm improvements and the never ending to-do list. It had been two days since I'd ridden my own horses. Why do all of this work if I'm only going to teach others how to enjoy my horses?!?!?!

So today I rode. And all is well once again in the Universe of Alison. As I counter cantered RC around my 'future arena site', I was calm and happy. I didn't have to worry about what clients think about my little old farm, or that my extended family/coworkers think I'm flipping nuts for spending so much of my time 'playing around with those horses...
I followed RC's wonderful ride with Tilly. Of course I had to get a mectric ton of hair off of her first. I curried until I thought that my arms were going to fall off but there was still more hair coming out. After scrubbing her legs clean (mare has been in a raging heat cycle. Raging...Really, it's been gross), I called it good enough and tacked her up.

Because I value my health insurance costs at their current levels, I opted for a few minutes on the lunge before hopping up on Tilly for her first solo outdoor ride.
She was, as always, nonplussed by the change. Her warm up trot could be described as blase. Her canter was even as relaxed as I've ever seen it. What the heck, I packed in the lunging and hopped up on the pony.
She was relaxed, looking around at the trees, telephone poles, house across the street, everything as we strolled on by. Her trot work got a little more exciting.
As it would turn out, when something caught her eye, the power steering failed. We had a few, ahm, conversations...
"Circle, pony."
"Ohhhhh... what's that over there?"
"Circle, pony!"
"Really, I think we need to go check that out. It's so new and exciting!"
"Circle! Pony!"
"Whoa, there is so much to check out up here!"
"....well, you didnt have to be so rude about it"

But after a time or two practicing steering, reminding Tilly that I am still the one in charge, we got some great changes of direction. After a walk break and some transition work, I felt brave enough for the canter.
Funny thing about the canter... It's quite different when practiced outside than when practiced in a 40m x 20m arena. Pony can move. Quickly. And without power steering.
Back to square two.
A few circle/transitions and a change of direction or two to get the canter back under control, and I called it a day. Pony was sweating, so she must have at least worked a little bit, right?

So even after a ride that was only teetering on the boarded of control... I still had a great day. All i needed was a few hours on horseback to remind me why I'm doing all of this.

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