First of all, I had planned to post a little video of today, but after over an hour and a half of editing my iMovie crashed and I lost the entire thing. Dangit.
I hadn't been to the barn since Thursday, somehow the days just flew by! The 4-H horses came back this morning but he's not yet been turned out with them. I felt very guilty that he hadn't been out since then and I intended to turn him out right away. He was eating his grain when I got there so I let him finish while I groomed him all over with our new rubber mit. Amazing how much hair came off. Poor pony is neglected! When I went to turn him out the big fields were still locked from the rainy days and there was a horse out in the mud lot. He was very ready to go and reared and jumped when the other horse ran up to the gate. I wasn't sure what to do with him and didn't think getting right on him would be a good idea. So instead we played a game in the aisle way. Now, of course, our aisle is uber-wide and has super high ceilings, so it's not a bad place to play games. I worked on ground-tieing while I did jumping jacks all around him, ran up to him, and made noises in his blind spots. He was pretty good, and got even better quickly. He lifted his head a lot but was mostly looking at me like "what on earth are you doing you crazy two-legged? " He's not really spooky, but if he's ever going to be a showmanship horse he needs to STAND when told, no matter what's going on around him. I tacked up and headed to the round pen. It was a little wet but not terrible. I took his bridle off and worked him a bit. He only bucked twice and only a little bit so I figured he was ready to ride.
We worked on loping a lot and we LOPED OVER A POLE!!!! TWICE!!!!! Even though the idea of loping over a pole gives me visions of going ass-over-teakettle, for some reason I just decided to go for it. Maybe my nerve is coming back. We had walked and jogged over it and I had lunged him successfully over a pole on Thursday. He went right over it and only nicked it with a back hoof the second time. That's when my bravery subsided and I called it good. I watched another rider during my last lesson have a fall. Her horse just sort of fell down (KAT said she was doing a counter canter) and then to it's side and the rider's foot got caught in the stirrup. The horse stood up but stayed where it was and KAT ran over and helped her get her foot out. She had a sore ankle but was not seriously injured. She and the horse were both fine and for some reason watching her fall (in a similar way that Jr. sometimes does) and then get up and be okay made me feel a little braver. Luckily I've never been injured in a riding accident. The worst accident I had (with Banee at the canter) we both walked away from with only small bruises. I can survive that. I HAVE survived that. Accidents are bound to happen and I don't pretend it's never going to happen, but I do need to not let the fear paralyze me from moving ahead with my riding. There was a time when I was nervous just to lope (even in a lesson with KAT supervising and instructing) at all and now I'm loping over poles alone in the arena. And though I know it'll be a good long while before I'm jumping again, these are very good strides for us. After all:
"Fear almost always arises - in horses, as well as in people - from concern about what might happen, and much more rarely from what is happening." - Mary Wanless, For the Good of the Horse
Just for fun, remember the old horse cartoon where the horse is saying to another horse "Hi! My name's Whoa-dammit!, what's yours?" As if it's the thing he hears most often and therefore thinks it's his name? Well, if Junior was in that cartoon his name would be "Don't eat that!" What would your horse's name be?
What a gorgeous day! Just look at those clouds!