I was DETERMINED to get media on Tuesday. May felt so much better, but I hadn’t had any opportunity to see if she looked better. Haven’t we learned by now that if we are REALLY DETERMINED to get something done with horses on any kind of a timeline, the universe will make it as difficult as possible?
Enter – The Ride That Just Was
I showed up to the barn after work to find some serious winds. The 60 degree day felt more like it was in the 40s, and the sun was stubbornly sitting behind some clouds. I figured video quality wouldn’t be great outside, but it would be fine. I had plenty of time until dark. (In case anyone was curious why May needs a muzzle in March, it’s because the below is her turnout field right now!)
I climbed out of my car. Opened up my trunk. And discovered I had left my tall boots and spurs at home. Fine. I will ride in my paddock boots that don’t zip anymore. Nevermind that I am wearing my slickest pair of breeches. On a positive note, May is responding to getting cookies every time I catch her in the field. She walked a total of 8 steps towards me, and I am calling it progress.
I threw on my Dressage saddle (jump saddle + paddock boots + slick pants + wind + alone = no way… seriously, I would rather ride bareback), and I hopped up. After doing our walk work, I found a great place to set up my phone. I learned over to set it up, and May spooked, shooting forward (like 2 steps, but still). A few 4 letter words left my mouth, and I tried to set up the camera again. Not perfect, but I really just wanted to see a few trot steps (and maybe catch a clip of her going over some poles).
I picked up my trot, trotted through the poles. Then, I had a brilliant idea. I would trot directly away from the camera to assess her back end better. Brilliant! I looked for my phone… and saw it face down in the dirt. The wind had taken it for a ride. UGH! But I am determined. I am an eventer. I do not give up on pony media!
So I went into the indoor. Resigned myself to getting blurry, mostly crappy media, and set up my phone. Then, I realized a new problem. May in the indoor is significantly less forward than May in the outdoor. Without spurs or a whip… I was without recourse. The ride was… blah. Without her securely in front of my leg, the contact was very inconsistent (apparently, forward is important or something). Her canter work was flat and shuffly.. but the walk was surprisingly nice. All the walk work we have been doing out of the ring with hills and such seem to be making a real difference.
I tried doing some lateral work.. that was laughable. She kind of shuffled sideways while flipping me the hoof. I don’t think it was a response to things hurting, but I do think it was response to being out of shape and lacking muscle. It ended up being a short ride, as I felt myself getting frustrated, and I knew nothing good would come after that point. I got off, gave her the rest of my apple, and put her back out in her field.
There is always another day… Especially when the rider’s lack of preparation is 90% of the problem. But I AM HOPING to have better media next week. Maybe even some jump media if I can convince the husband to make a barn trip with me…
How are you all getting back into the swing of things?