Last week I posted about not hanging around and waiting for the stars to align on the perfect magical day where there would be no problems and world peace would finally be achieved.
She ain’t happening.
Neither is any new media. Soz bout it.
Help wanted, enquire within. Please tell me to stop looking down.
So, recognising that, I booked in for my first lesson with Trainer C.
Trainer C has ridden to high level dressage on her own Thoroughbred, and is still involved in educating many a young TB on top of her own dressage pursuits. So yeah. I think she can help us.
My main concerns with B coming back under saddle have revolved around 2 issues.
- Need to be careful in strengthening him up to avoid reinjury
- His anxiety
Bumper’s ass says anxiety is bad.
In all seriousness I just found this on him. What does this mean!?
The first point is a given. We had a massive amount of time off and I don’t want to do it again. Both for him (because pain) and me (because I missed him).
The second is something I have been keeping an eye on for the last month or two that he has been in. He was always such a quiet and chilled out individual, very low fuss and low maintenance.
With time, patience and work load he is coming back to that point, but he is also far quicker to become stressed over something and it is easily visible when observing his mouth. When he’s relaxed he is soft through the jaw and quiet on the bit. When he’s anxious, his mouth tells the story (as do most horses).
Anxious mouth. Also PLEASE STOP LOOKING DOWN.
Without giving a long, rambling blow-by-blow of the lesson, I can say that I am so glad that we did it. He started a little bit anxious (something had upset him just before I got on) but he tried so hard and it wasn’t long before he felt the most “him” he has felt since coming back into work with me.
Trainer C was very encouraging of us, and also shares a similar mindset in a nice gentle and patient approach. It was so wonderful to see him respond so quickly to the praise and being allowed some time to process each exercise as he can often get more tense/anxious if he feels you’re rapid firing questions at him.
Will also be trying him in the NS Turtle Top Tactio bit as recommended by the Bit Bank. Goodbye financial stability and any chance at a mortgage.
Needless to say, we are already booked in for another lesson this Friday as I would like to keep this ball rolling as much as possible. Also we don’t have the weather from hell for the first time in the last two weeks.
I also think not having the jump saddle may be a small blessing in disguise right now (as much as it pains me to say it). If I did have it, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from approaching the coloured poles and I really think helping him through this anxiety on the flat will put us in the strongest position we can be for our return to jumping.
Because we all know that’s where the fun is really at.