Monday, May 7, 2012

13 - The buck stops here, Part 1 (How it began)

Besides the "Life Lesson" I learned (see post 11) from the ride of my life, I learned plenty of horsey lessons as well.

The first thing, that would have changed the course of the day, would be to have listened to my horse ( and my own advice).  Oddly enough, I handed this advice out to someone who was having a problem riding (and falling off!) her horse on windy days:

"If your horse is giving you signals that he is not paying attention to you, and is nervous, you've got some work to do BEFORE you get on! Use this opportunity to solidify groundwork. Put the horse on the lunge line and work on transitions, walk - trot, walk - canter, canter -trot, and canter - walk. If he is attentive, and no longer spooky, then I might consider getting on the horse, if you feel he is behaving reliably. If not, put in a good groundwork session and call it a day! Life is too short, and there are so many opportunities to train, ride, and connect with your horse, there is no reason to put yourself at risk when you are getting signals that all is not well! Ride safe, and good luck!"

Oh, the irony.  Had I only listened to my own advice.  Dottie wasn't nervous, and she was paying attention to me.  But, she was giving me the equine equivalent of the evil eye.  OK, it wasn't even as subtle as the evil eye.  She was kicking out, and, doing a crazy little hop/buck, as if her tail were stuck in her back legs.  But, she looked super sound, and perhaps even slightly more collected on the line than usual.  I settled for a few buck free transitions, and, hurried forward with my ride.  I ignored a whole lot of disrespect, and pursued my own agenda.  Bad idea.  I won't do that again.

An OLD pic of me, on a student's horse, having a little fun!

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