Monday, March 9, 2009
Today is 3-9-2009. The last few days have been very exciting for me. On Thursday, March 5th, I rushed through my chores, met Jenny at the barn and tried to get in some warm-ups and ground work in a hurry (that was a mistake). The barn owners were coming to ride their horses and I thought, if all went smoothly, I'd ride with them. I have only walked with Calico up to this point, getting her familiar with cues from the saddle. I only got to trot one small circle in the arena before the other people came in with their horses. Well, this was very exciting for Cali! I kept trying to refocus her attention on our work instead of what the other horses were doing, then we just started following them around. When one of the others broke into a trot, Cali did the same, I thought, okay I'll relax and allow her to go with it and just follow, just ride the horse. Of course she immediately broke into a canter and when she felt me bouncing around, she bucked and I saw the ground coming up fast. I'm embarrassed to admit I let out a loud "F***" as I hit the dirt. The other riders, of course, asked if I was okay and I replied, "Yeah, it's just adrenaline" What? I still don't know why I said that. I'm so happy to say that I stood up, shaken, but unhurt and when I turned to Cali, she looked a little sheepish and I held out my hand and she walked up to me. I felt no anger toward her; I loved that she came to me. In the past, with other horses, I would have reacted, held a grudge. I'm learning. I mounted again and we walked around for another twenty minutes or so. I rode her again the next day, alone and had Jenny lunge us at the trot. Not too bad. Saturday I didn't get to do anything but groom her because it was my true love's birthday; we had other plans. Then came Sunday. Jenny came out with me again after church. I went through all our groundwork. One thing we haven't done is practice a trot-out. Every time I ask her to trot along side me while I jog, she drags her feet and says, "What are you doing, you're suppose to stand still in the middle." Today she got it. We jogged together back and forth across the arena. So fun! Then, we saddled up, and I went through our routine, moving off of leg pressure, lateral flexion, one-rein stops, yielding hindquarters. We did lots of circles, I want her to have a nice relaxed, even bend throughout her body, several times she tried to evade the circle and we'd end up kinda side-passing across the arena. Finally, we trotted, both directions! It was wonderful. I really felt like we made a huge leap in our progress. I cried a little when I dismounted and praised her profusely. I'm sure this seems rather silly to anyone who trains horses, but this is the first horse I've started from scratch. I've only had her just over a month, so it's huge for me. I've worked with a few very green horses, but never one that had no training. This is bliss. She's so smart, and I'm crazy about her. If this is how I feel about a trot in the arena, I can only imagine what it will be like to go over Cougar Rock! A girl can dream.