I haven't ridden at all this week!
|"Say it isn't so!"|
Ok, that's not entirely true. I rode one horse today (and he was amazing). I've been finishing up my year end projects at work... And kind of sleeping in, taking the poodles on walks, cleaning my house.
I know, bad Alison. But it felt so good.
|Come on, you know you're impressed by my Christmas spirit|
I haven't gone horse-free all week (I could never quit cold turkey), I have given my lessons and run my drill team.... Which is always an experience.
Now, don't getme wrong, I really do like all of my lesson kids. Really. But sometimes they say things that make me stop and go "What? Where the He... heck did you get that from?"
Yesterday's drill team started with one of those moments. I was walking from my truck to the warm room, right past where the gaggle of preteens were tacking up their horses when I heard:
"Alison said to NEVER do that. It'll make your horse LAME", said in the 'o-m-g you're such and idiot' tone of exasperation that I've been trying to squish like a bug in my lesson students.
What, you may ask, was this horrid thing that was lurking around the corner attempting to cripple little girl's horses?
Mismatching polo wraps.
Oy vey. Now, I'm a little guilty. One of my students decided she was going to start a new trend by using one light and one dark polo on her horse's back legs (woof boots on front, of course). I gently (or so I thought) discouraged this trend during our lessons together as one light and one dark leg tends to give the illusion that the dark leg is short striding at the trot. Evidently, my explanation was not as clear as I thought.
So I cleared up that little misunderstanding, then headed to the warm room to eat my Taco Bell (dinner of champions, I don't care what they say), while thinking to myself that at least I got tonight's conflict out of the way early.
I try to let the girls warm up on their own since there are a variety of horses in drill team and not all of them would benefit from the same warm up. Sounds like a sound idea- develop a little bit more horsemanship and personal accountability while riding with your friends in a group... Fun, right? Suuuuure....
I started the 'official' warm up a few minutes later when I saw that no real riding was taking place - kids were laughing and meandering about aimlessly. Our official warm up is to line up in single file, keeping one horse length between each rider, and ride the figures that I call out - figure eight, serpentine, diagonal, pairs, etc. Usually this works pretty well; in engages the brain of both horse and child. Usually.
Yesterday, one horse spooked in the corner. Which spread to the rest of the group, leading to four spooking horses and riders scattering throughout the arena as they tried to trot in a circle around the arena. I thought I was watching my perfect record of no-falls-during-drill-team getting broken. And I don't even get paid for this....
Fortunately, no one fell off.
Unfortunately (of them), I then proceeded to warm up the group. And it would seem that my idea of a warm up in much harder than the kid's. I had five tired sweaty horses after thirty minutes of really riding a warm up at the walk/trot/and canter in a group on accurate figures. I only had one kid choose to opt out when I put the "ride through it or get off" ultimatum to the group (which means that I'm quite proud of the other tree who stuck it out and rode through it)... And by then end of our hour, we ran through our Christmas drill three times perfectly (minus one rider). So proud of my kids. Now we'll have to see if they can keep it together for their parents on Saturday.