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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just when you think it's all going to hell...

Have you ever had a ride where you get on thinking you're going to "just do XY & Z and then be done" only to get into a royal mess of a situation? That was how my day started today. I didn't even put boots on him today because I thought to myself "oh, I'm not working any lateral work today, it's going to be an easy 1,2,3 kind of day today!" Ha. Then I got on.

We started with the classic locked jaw head in the air. This didn't phase me much because this is a new thing that is becoming a bit common that I've found I can work through... on a normal day. I tried my normal things and I got a bit of give, not what I would have wanted, but for a 4 year old, it was enough and I was happy. Then I began working our trot trying to just work him straight, since he has been really swinging his rear to the inside track. This is where all hell broke lose. Just the idea here of a mini- renvere almost sent us through the wall of the arena. Just me asking sent us into a fun little "fit" of bucking and rearing (thanks to Julie for the suggestion, it was obviously met with great contention!!!) and he continued to take out the wall for a good 15 minutes and tried everything to suck back, canter get free and away... anything but slightly bring his shoulders off of the track, not bend his neck and trot forward and correctly with his hind end. OOHHHH did I get the middle hoof on this one!! Not what I had planned for the day.

I had an ah-ha moment though, kind of on accident. It really was in thought to save myself from ending up a permanent fixture of the arena wall. To save my leg and life I decided to ask for the movement off the wall on the second track so he then physically couldn't kick the wall and couldn't push me into the boards. Then, like magic... he began to bend to the direction I wanted his body to bend, giving me his shoulder like I wanted and straightening out like I had asked. It was like this amazing break through. After that little moment the rest of the ride was a breeze. We had great 1/4 line shoulder-ins without locking or diving or drifting, our canter departs were straight and not leaning and he was really listening to where I wanted his shoulders or his haunches and was no longer feeling frustrated in my hands and tight in his back. We ended with an amazing four set of simple changes through the walk with 20m circles. They were absolutely "it" to ride. You know the "it" I'm talking about. They were up and under and right when I asked and perfect and straight and just everything they should have been and more. Its those moments, those moments that last a whole two minutes of wonderful bliss that make the previous 45 minutes of hell worth it.

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