Last Thursday when I rode I was feeling mostly better and mainly felt like I was getting over a cold then when I went on my date on Friday I was still feeling pretty good except that I was tired and didn’t have much of a voice. Normally with colds I work right through them and the only concession I might make is to not go to the barn the first couple of days or if it’s especially hot or cold out.
On Saturday I went out to the barn right away in the morning and had a great ride on Katai. As mentioned I’ve been really motivated to work on riding her outside so I took her out to the arena and started off by lunging her. I put the neck stretcher on her, which unfortunately was too loose, and really focused on making sure that I was the center of her universe while I lunged. Any time that I couldn’t get her attention I brought her in on a smaller circle where I could reinforce the bend and slow her speed and then when she was going well I’d let her back out on the circle. This worked really well and there were only a few shenanigans.
Then, once she was walking calming on the lunge I pulled off her lunging stuff, had to adjust the saddle but more on that later, and mounted up. She was still pretty up and since it was quite hot and humid I had kept the lunging to a minimum. Once I made sure that she was listening to me at a walk I put her right to work at the trot. I did my default when she’s tight and tense through her back which is lots of 15-20 meter circles with exaggerated inside bend getting her to really stretch down into the contact. As soon as she stretches down I reinforce the correct bend and keep the forward but focus on keeping her balanced. I also do LOTS of changes of direction She really wanted to canter but listened and after only several minutes I had her back up and swinging and she was soft through her jaw and goobering on her bit. Because it was so hot and humid and she was already sweating, and since she is still coming back into work after a week and a half off, I moved to the real plan for the day which was riding her out of the outdoor and directly into a trail ride.
It’s embarrassing but this is the first time I’ve done that since the entrance to the outdoor has demons (according to Katai) and I have to ride past a “fairy” garden that belongs to our BM and a couple of dumpsters which all the horses hate. She did that part well but was dancing around by the time we got to the beginning of our “trail”. Then she stopped dead and I realized that there was this brand new bug catcher thing. It seriously looked like an alien and was making tapping sounds from the bugs hitting the edges so I didn’t blame her at all.
|Thanks for being amazing BM but my horse thinks this is an alien|
I let her stand and look at it until she was willing to go past on her own and then she was good. Until she saw the purple flowers. They were clearly out to get her, or the butterflies around the purple flowers, or the wind that was moving the purple flowers, or, well something was going to eat her. I had to make her trot at one point so that she didn’t spin and bolt but otherwise she really did quite well and I was pleased.
I got her past the scary trailers and back to the beginning of the trail and dismounted. I then led her back to the bug trap and we both touched it and looked it over and it wasn’t as scary then. Overall I was really pleased with both of us.
Then, because this isn’t already enough of a saga, I got REALLY sick on Sunday. I was in the bathroom all day again and just miserable. I had a really bad fever and was dying just laying still even though my roommates had the air conditioning turned down to 70 and I should have been freezing. That meant that I gave up my last chance to ride L’s horse which was extraordinarily disappointing.
Then on Monday I was still pretty miserable and after making it through work for most of the day I crashed pretty hard in the evening. This morning I still felt pretty icky but started to feel WAY better as the day went on and now I’m as close to 100% as I’ve been in over a week. My stomach is still not my best friend but I can think, my fever is gone, and I don’t have a cough or congestion so doing pretty well. I’m SO excited to be able to get back to the barn tonight!