With the first lesson being such a success, I didn’t hesitate to book a follow up for Friday.
“Why are you like this?” – Bumper probably
The ride that came after our first lesson was probably the best one I’d had since he came back in and I was so excited to feel like there was progress happening. Unfortunately the wild weather kicked into gear again and made most of the week really difficult to get good work in, so I limited us to quick sessions of pole work or ground work before the lashing sand/wind combo eroded us completely.
How I felt after standing around for too long
Come the day of our lesson, the weather was mostly normal if not still somewhat windy. B seemed really chilled out though (which was his running theme of the week) and he tacked up quietly.
I was really looking forward to the lesson, because once you get a taste of improvement it becomes as addictive as a drug. Constantly chasing the better feeling, the better steps, the better contact.
Trainer C was kind enough to bring her NS Turtle Top Tactio bit for us to try, and just before hopping on we swapped him over and then got down to work.
When you tell your horse’s booty it’s time to work.
It wasn’t long before he made it apparent that this lesson was going to require more work than the last one. The wind had suddenly picked up and everything in eye sight went from normal to DEFINITELY GOING TO KILL US mode. Including the birds that took flight 20m away.
Also the trees that had been planted around the arena.
The big problem in the end was actually the pole beside the arena where the lights hang. It’s a big heavy pole and generally it’s a relatively static object. However, the level of wind that had picked up now had the pole swaying slightly from side to side (in the direction of the arena) and was giving off a lovely low level groan as it moved.
This gave us a lovely tail clamp and scoot every time we went under it and, as I am sure you can imagine, was not very productive to our lesson goals.
Me being the progress addict I am started to become disappointed that I wasn’t able to settle him in these conditions, which turned to frustration with myself for not being a better rider.
Still not sure why I’m not Ingrid Klimke to be honest, I could swear this self defeating cycle is how she became so good.
It was about this point that Trainer C reminded me he didn’t need to be better than the last time we rode, we just wanted to try and make each step better than the one before it today. She then also reminded me of this new life philosophy:
This actually really helped me to look back on the ride and not categorise it as “good” or “bad”, which I so often want to do and it just isn’t helpful. Good rides have bad moments, and bad rides have good moments, I just need to do a better job of focusing on the things we did right instead of lambasting myself for all the things we did wrong.
Is it this hard for everyone else to remember, too?