Good, then Bad

This is a post from my horseforum.com thread that I started when I got Max. I’m so lucky the forum is still around and I was able to go back and add it to Lipizzan Life.

Today’s lesson was good and then bad. 

I ended up riding the older lesson horse at the barn. He’s 30+ and super sweet. I was cleaning out his hooves, and felt him turn his head around to me. I thought of moving but sometime told me it was gonna be just fine. Then I felt his tongue licking my back like a big puppy. He’s so sweet. 

My teacher stuck around in the arena to get me up on him and then went off to finish something with her last student. I practiced riding him around at a walk based on what I had been reading in my book. I kept my hands around the reins like they were ribbons leading to his mouth, and when I wanted to turn I just gently sqeezed my hand closed. It was like magic, he responded so fast. I figured there was no rush, so I did diagonals and figure 8s. 

After awhile I felt like trying the trot just cuz what the hey, this walking and steering stuff was going so great. I made sure my legs were in the right position with my inner upper thigh against the saddle, my lower legs against his body, my heels down. And it was great. We weren’t doing a super awesome fast trot, but he is a bouncy horse, and it was happening! Then my thighs sent a suicide note to my brain, and my instructor came back. At least she saw me for a whole two minutes before my body crapped out on me. “You’re getting stronger! And look, you’re riding him in hand, he is paying attention to you!” She is really nice. She still lets me know when I’m messing up. I love her 

The rest of the lesson consisted of me trotting halfway around the arena, getting bounced higher and higher, getting more and more mad at myself. The more mad at myself I got, the worse it got. My elbows kept ending up behind my body. It just sucked. My muscles were tired, they didn’t want to do anything I told them to. Whenever I got something resembling a trot going, and managed to post it halfway around the arena, my teacher would remind me to make him trot a little faster, and then whatever rhythm I had gotten comfortable with was gone and I just lost it. I’m sure he was moving at a crawl, but bahhh!

I wish I could just ride for short periods without having to get better or learn something. Just tack up, go out for twenty minutes to feel how the horse’s body and mine work together, come back in. The lessons are an hour though. My husband says that’s how I get better, is pushing myself. So I guess going out for short rides wouldn’t be pushing. Wouldn’t it be nice to not push, though? Just enjoy it for a little bit? 

I mean, I have my own horse, I just don’t know if I could even ride him at a walk. He’s super sensitive and wants to go. I’m kind of losing track of when I’ll ever be able to ride him. When I’m strong. I can totally understand why people take steroids. 

My neck got hurt somehow in all the bouncing. I came home and poured a big drink and knocked myself out with an ice pack on my neck. It still is stiff and hurts to turn. My husband says I got so tense from wanting to be better that I got hurt. 

I’m going to Georgia tomorrow with my trainer to watch a dressage competition. She was saying we were going to go size up my competition. I was in my head thinking “hah, in ten years maybe” 

I’m glad I got a horse, because after every lesson I leave wanting to give up on myself and not come back. Having a horse there reminds me that there’s something besides this crappy lesson hell. I think.

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