Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sweet, excruciatingly painful epiphany!

First of all, yeaahhh, it's been a while.  Vacation + camping with small children + rude reality check of returning to work = no bloggity blog.  Only sleep.  Just kidding.  Boy 1 had anxiety followed by a bout of nightmares followed by an midnight asthma attack and Boy 2 had a double ear infection followed by a bout of nightmares, so no sleep either.

But today was exciting horsey-wise, so dammit!  I'm blogging!

Second of all, after owning Tril for 9mos, I think I have finally figured out how to ride him so he's using himself correctly and I'm using myself correctly.

Keep in mind, this is what he can do:
Hey heyyyyyyyy handsome!  (No, the four-legged male)

 And this is what I usually end up doing with him:
The equitation, it burns

The epiphany came when a knowledgeable friend happened to be watching me ride and gave me an impromptu mini-lesson from the rail.

"Leg!  Leg leg leg leg!  Hold your hands steady and back!  Left shoulder up!  Leg!  Legggggg!  Don't post with your hands!  Elbows in and still!  LEG!"

Me:  *pant pant pant*  "This..." *pant pant pant* ""  *pant*

"Leg!  Raise your left shoulder.  Left shoulder!  Leggggg!"

But then--it happened.  I felt his hind end get under himself, and I felt him round out as he went forward into the bit, rather than just race off.




The ride time was nearly over and I needed to get home to the house of kid chaos, but with sun and warmer temps in the weather forecast, I put riding him (and getting that feel again) in the crosshairs for after work Friday.  I made that feeling my goal.

Friday, by the time the final bell rang, my grades were done, my lesson plans were printed, my next week's assignments were copied, and my classroom was ready to go for throttle up first thing Tuesday.  I left shortly after the students then made a bee-line to the barn.  The mini herd was turned out, Tril was tacked up, and I got on, warmed up, and got to work.

We got it. We got it. Again.  He has known what to do all this time--I just hadn't understood.  I thought giving him leg would make my big-striding boy take off, and it would, if I didn't hold him steady with my hands.

"Think of being a training surcingle.  Hands don't move or bounce with them; they're steady, and the horse figures out 'Okay, forward into frame I go.'"

So I held him--hands back, elbows in, legs squeezing forward into the bridle.  And, my solidly trained boy showed me how far he surpasses me in education:  BOOM he was rocking it, while I panted and shook.

But we got it.

I have to confess, though, there was a lot of panting, cussing, starting, and stopping inbetween those moments of glory, because holding him steady sucked (he has a hard mouth, particularly compared to Ana's suuuuper soft one) and constantly having to squeeze him sucked.  We'd get the frame for half a trip around the big ring's circumference, we'd stop, and I'd "Oh my GOD I am going to DIIIIIIIIIE."

(Or, as I said one time, "Holy Frankenfuck, he is going to kill me!")

My legs weren't as bad off as my fingers, forearms, and triceps.  Holding him steady when he wants to lean on me buh-lew, and I have to find ways to soften him up to spare me from dismemberment.  Although if I can ever keep that up, I'll have arms like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2.  Something to consider.

Now I get why they told me "His favorite gait is STOP."  Now I understand why they had to ride him in (dull) spurs.  He doesn't like to be framed up and would much rather trot about willy-nilly on the forehand, nose up in the air, gawking and taking it all in.  After all, using that big butt of his takes, well, a butt-load of work.  They told me he needed a lot of leg--now I understand.

I get it.  I get it!

Now please pass the ibuprofen. All of it. Ever.

Such an adorable device of torture

There is more--after I rode Tril, Firefly was introduced to the full harness and was ground driven on the property for a bit--but that's for a future blog. .

1 comment:

  1. Yay, epiphany! And I agree with your last caption. :)