Monday, June 9, 2014

3rd "Short" Ride- Not a Success

So last night I tacked up with the intent of having another very successful "short" ride. I was confident (bordering on cocky) that my horses were going to go just as good as they did in the previous two rides. Not so much. Starting with Abby, my finished reiner, the horse with the stop so deep and hard it'll knock your ovaries out... well, I had no stop at all. I sat down, exhaled, picked up my rein and got... nothing. No response. How is that possible?!? So I backed her up 15' or so and sat there for a minute and tried again, focused on really engaging my seat and pushing forward then dramatically sitting down, exhaling and keeping my hands still until I felt her stop... but no stop came. I backed her up another 20' and went again. No stop. I stopped and thought about it for a minute and then decided that the problem was simple. I had been standing holding her for twenty minutes or more before getting on while talking to L. and in that time she had been doing her own thing, playing with the lead, playing in the water and lollygagging around in LaLaLand. Then I got on and said "Okay, let's work on this" and she was like "La-de-dah-de-dah"... So I woke her up. I backed 20' but gave her some good bumps, sent her in to a roll back and then kicked her up to a trot before sitting deep and saying "whoa". And she stopped. Like, stopped stopped.... And stood there, her ears flicking to me listening and saying "Okay! I'm awake! What now?!? I'm ready when you are?" I got off, dropped her cinch and pulled her saddle. Good girl.

Then I got on Marm and found I had the exact same issue- Not awake, not wanting to stop and just not engaged or listening but with Marm I know my job is to get more quiet and more soft or she will just get more resistant and listen less. So I tried to do that but my patience was already worn thin. I decided to back her up a little and get off because nothing good was going to come of me continuing that ride.

On reflection I realize that the problem was my own. In the first two rides I was alone and when I stepped in the saddle my attention and intent was 100% focused on my predetermined objective. When I got on last night my mind was still rolling over my earlier conversation, I didn't have a specific plan and I was "present" until after I had already gotten annoyed. And we all know nothing good comes of getting mad. My bad.

So tonight I hope to get to the barn for another short ride. My goal will be to have both of them back softly off of a light feel. I will give
them 100% of my attention the entire time (even if it is only five minutes) I am in the saddle. And I will hope for a much better result.

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