working through it

It's been a process trying to get back to where I was before Koda dumped me. Nothing is the same.

The first ride after that day, I saw Koda and unexpectedly found myself full of feelings I didn't know I had. I was disappointed with everyone concerned, especially me. I tried a second new saddle, and didn't like it much. We got through the lesson, and I spent the next week sorting out my feelings. 

After Koda's massages were done (I am still waiting for mine) and he was no longer sore, they took him on numerous trail rides, worked hills, and even took saddle number one back for a riding session. I feel very fortunate to have two caring people who took my fall personally, and are trying to help us get back on track. Our trainer is working hard to make sure there is no residual effect on Koda, and helping me deal with my squashed confidence and his ramped up young attitude.

After a couple weeks, my soreness went away. We decided I should try Brad's saddle. I rode in it, liked it, and had a good ride. We even loped off with ease, and Trainer Patty was delighted - and a little surprised. For now, Brad is riding in Patty's saddle and I will continue riding in his favorite saddle - which is very nice of him to share.

I thought Koda & I had turned a corner, but tonight's ride made it clear that we are still working through it. We planned a trail ride right from our trainers farm, down the driveway we went - and that's where the problems started. So embarrassing, right away the little sh** would not listen to me. He was doing his backing out of whatever he doesn't want to do, in this case delayed supper and go on a trail ride. This is going to be a looong process...

It was a hot day in WI for early June, high 90's. We finally got to the hills where they work the horses. Trainer Patty wanted to show me that Koda was fine with the hills, which gave me a photo opp - albeit into the sun. I really didn't want to ride the hills, but she helped me with the smaller of the three. Guess what? I didn't get bucked off this time.  All I can say is the hills were ALOT steeper in person then the pictures show, and had varied footing.

Koda working the smaller hill
Patty & Koda half way up the smaller hill

Nemo working hills
Brad & Nemo maneuvering the second largest hill.

Koda working the hills
Patty & Koda getting ready to go down the steepest hill.
It made Koda look like he was standing on his head at one point.

Koda working the hills 2
Patty & Koda working their way down


Anonymous said...

It's like Dawn and me - we have to have confidence in each other for things to go well, and I'm the one who has to provide the leadership. Don't be hard on yourself or him - recovering from things like this takes time, and if he feels that you don't have confidence in him, his own confidence will not be there and that's where you'll get the undesirable behaviors, I think. Do what you're both able to do well to build your mutual confidence and build out from there - there are no deadlines or evaluations so you can take however much time it takes. Sending best wishes.

Leah Fry said...

What Kate said. It takes time. My trainer Heather is facing this right now. I know it took many, many months for me to relax in the saddle again after Poco dumped me. It gets better. I promise.

juliette said...

Take your time and don't hurry this process. Patty is a conscientious trainer and you are lucky to have her, but remember, this is about you and Koda. When you sent the boys away, you might have got your relationship out of balance. That happens sometimes when a horse is sent to be trained because your horse is working on new things and at a different pace than he was with you. You and Koda need to be a team and that can't be rushed or "taught". You two need to find confindence in each other like you just met -like you are starting over.
As Kate says above, there are no deadlines. Don't hurry this. Groom him up and enjoy him. Only do together what you feel comfortable doing and only what you will succeed doing. Get on and ride at the walk happily and each day don't expect "that bad thing" to happen. Keep in light and easy so that Koda trusts YOU. It will happen! Good luck and happy thoughts coming your way.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. It's not easy gaining back lost confidence. Take baby steps and celebrate in what you DO get accomplished.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Good post title...it is work, physical and mental. You are making good progress getting back into the saddle after your spill. Like everyone before said, it takes time; I know that all too well myself. Building confidence is my biggest challenge and having a green horse tends to lengthen the process. I think a lot of us deal with confidence issues, and we don't bounce back from a fall as quickly as we did when younger. I like your pictures. That is a great area to ride and train in.

Shirley said...

I too like Kate's comment; regaining confidence in yourself and in your horse takes time. We all have taken a spill at one time or another, and speaking from experience, it really does have to be worked at to regain trust and confidence, so don't be too hard on yourself.

aurora said...

So many good points, I agree and they are all spot on. Thank you for being so nice, much appreciated!