We have enjoyed a few more rides in our outdoor, but potential riding days are dwindling. It is getting colder, sunsets are earlier and late Fall light drops like a rock behind our pines. I really want to be further along with my comfort and skills, before another weather induced long break.
Last weekend we were in the 30's (F) and mostly sunny. Warm and dry enough to ride, except we didn't. Instead I jumped at the chance to help with our three grandkids on Saturday. On Sunday, the weather turned out not as inviting. It was also deer hunting opening weekend. Our arena is in a safe area, but one more thing in the back of my mind. Monday was our next chance to ride for who knows how long, before our predicted weather turned into this:
Monday was brisk, and we headed out to ride later than I had hoped. Consequently I felt like I needed to rush to get a ride in before it got dark. You know the saying haste makes waste. So true.
Not off to the best start. Koda was the only horse not coming up by the gate...he used to come up to the gate. I swung my saddle up and didn't get it in the right position...red flag, my shoulder was sore. Grumpy pants was a cinchy puff ball...I always tighten his girth little by little, walk him around and wait for him to de-puff. Not new, he has always done this. Then Koda lifted his leg and bonked my head while I was putting his boots on...pretty sure this was on me for rushing.
I waffled between lunging him and asking Brad, because - same ol' story, my shoulder. I am a "suck it up butter cup" kinda gal, but over the years have learned to accept help. Brad offered to lunge Koda, I was humming-n-hawwing but said okay...I really want to just do everything myself. Meanwhile Cierra and I walked around in-hand, while he twirled my bucky boy. Apparently we are back to "that" frame of mind. I instantly wonder if Koda is hock sore (has been in the past) or sore elsewhere, or just being a brat. He was moving fine. It was pretty close to supper time, and if you ask Koda no horse should ever have to wait for supper! I think it was the latter. Nothing New.
So what is new? The sh%t has started stepping away from the mounting block. Grrr!! Years ago I had a lesson horse mess with me at the mounting block. Consequently, it is one of my pet peeves!! I tend to adjust the mounting block so I am at just the right angle. Koda has picked up on my hesitation. I re-adjusted him once, treating it as a none issue. I always try to land gently. We stand mounted relaxing at the block, he gets praise. I don't want to fling my leg over and flop on, while he walks away. I want him to stand and wait for me. Instead it went like this: I step up. He steps his hip over. I step down, and "baaack up" we go. Reposition, whoa Koda! I step up. He steps over. I step down. Unexpected shoulder rein smack. WHOA! rein downward motion. Repeated sequence, twice. After I step up. He still steps over. Ugh!
I know he got what he wanted, but...if Koda doesn't want to stand still then he can move. Okay so that wasn't exactly what he wanted, but it is what he got. Since I wasn't mounted, back to twirling we go. This time with me. Not to worry I did not lunge him into a lather, just a few active rounds moving at my pace each way. Koda was still sassy with bucky on again/off again moves. It didn't effect his lunging, but I decided not to ride. Brad offered to ride him, and we switched horses. Koda listened well under saddle for him (of course!) and they even loped (for the first time in years) a short stretch both ways. Guess I am not loping him first after-all :( It was my choice to wait until I get my seat back, or at least closer than I am now.
I still felt like a duck out of water walking Cierra around (because a fish is floppy, I just feel less than comfortable). I need to figure out my rides with her too. We switched back, and I did end up riding Koda. We walked around, cones etc. He intentionally refused to comply when asked to side pass over the poles. The little turd. Something he did flawlessly for me the first time I asked on our previous ride. I was a little puzzled but didn't make it an issue. We just went back to walking around. I tried again, and first ask - cross, cross, cross. Walked around, tried the other direction. He moved and crossed over like he can. We ended there. Koda makes everything so damn difficult. Our trainer has told me many times over, Koda makes me work way harder then I should have to.
Brad has been so supportive while I try to find myself, and feel comfortable riding. I think he knows all too well now, the struggle is real. My thoughts linger on the rushed flawed beginning. He reminds me, I still rode. Regardless of all the earlier stuff. It is something.
Not every ride can be fun and flawless. That would be too easy. Koda makes sure I know this lol. My struggles are all on me (bangs head against wall). Among other things I didn't take my time grooming Koda (he got a rushed body brush off) which he loves, and Koda has always had opinions about riding around supper time. Nothing new. I mumbled something about Koda will always require training. Brad replied, or is he always training us? Yep - things have changed, and yet are still the same.