Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bruised & Battered

This is ridiculous. I feel like I've been trampled by a horse. I haven't been bucked off Jetta (yet), but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I had a terrible, terrible ride last night, compounding my feelings of inadequacy.

My body was so sore last night after riding on an unfamiliar horse for two hours using unfamiliar techniques in a saddle that did not fit my body at all. The inside of my knees and thighs are bruised from the saddle - I was swimming in it. Since my right leg is shorter than my left, I forgot to adjust the leathers properly and was constantly reaching for the stirrup so my right leg is sore. I pulled the arch muscle in my left foot. My shoulders and arms and abs are sore. I'm a mess to say the least. I feel old, haha. So when I got on Jetta I was already sore and tired. Not a good condition to ride a horse in.

Jetta was a brat - cow-kicking and bucking. By the time she bucked me onto her neck where I then jammed my pinky finger into her neck, almost causing me to faint, I was pissed. Definitely not a condition to ride in. Of course she was only bad in the walk, though our trot and canter felt very unorganized. But I'm pretty sure that was just me, it wasn't Jetta's fault. I felt like I had broken my finger.

We finished on a good a note as possible. I had some poles out to canter over so that's about the only thing that went right last night. Sigh. I did figure out what to take from the lesson I had last night. Even feeling like crap, I was definitely more aware of my body position, namely my hands. In my lesson, I used my hands to lift in the transitions which made them much easier, as well as manipulating the shoulders of the horse to encourage suppleness and balance. I'll be glad when I'm able to put it in practice, though I don't know how for off that will be. Especially with my finger being broken sprained?

In light of my frustrating day, I thought this was hilarious. I found it on Eventing Nation, though the author is unknown:

Someone posted a thread asking for advice on controlling their emotions while riding. I never have that problem because I'm so grounded and patient and altogether accomplished a tack cleaner rider. I also grew up in BC where everyone sings kumbaya and communes with nature on a daily basis. So dude, I was, like, born laid back.
have had a lot of experience dealing with difficult people, though. And, as luck would have it, I also read an advice column this morning on fighting with your significant other that was full of helpful ideas. In other words, I'm uniquely qualified to offer insight in this area. Here are 7 failsafe strategies for keepin' the crazy in check on horseback. You can thank me later.
Use loud verbal cues: Screaming at your horse is a sure fire way to get him to listen to your aids. It also lets other people know that you are confident in your particular training strategy and that they might benefit from this learning opportunity.
Take a timeout: Timeouts allow your horse to think about just how uncooperative he is. Then, when he has relaxed, you can thoroughly confuse him with mixed cues all over again.
Use humor: When things aren't going right for you, make light of your barn mate's horse, clothing or facial tick. You'll feel better about yourself immediately.
Don't get mad, get draw reins: Training tools were made to force your horse into submission. Pull out the spurs, long whip and draw lines, then watch his love grow.
Practice makes perfect: You will never get good at fighting with your horse unless you do it every day.
Bring reinforcements: If you are the one causing the problem--and, be honest, you are--then compensate for your failings with a steady supply of carrots. Only then can the healing begin.
Never get off your horse angry: Every satisfactory ride should have a proper ending. Don't get off until you're sure that he's sorry you ever got on.
Remember, just because you spend a small fortune to feed, train and house your horse, doesn't mean he has to respect you. Or even like you. You can be thankful for what little effort he deems to grant you. Or, you can fight tooth and nail until you Get Your Way. Me, I choose the latter option. (It works for relationships, too).

-Writer Unknown

Today I felt even worse than yesterday, if that's even possible. Combined with the fact that I got six hours of sleep and had to work four hours earlier than expected, I'm in fine form to welcome in the new year tonight! Ah, well. I'm not sure I'll make it to midnight, especially considering I have to work in the morning but we'll see. Hope everyone else has a fun night!


  1. Anyone who ride through these "trials" shouldn't' have feelings of inadequacy :) Only a real rider would stick with it when it gets tough like you have!

  2. Thank you! I sure am trying :)