Last summer I had high hopes of getting back in the swing of riding. I had stolen Josey from my new BFF. I was getting Romeo tuned up. And I even had a new saddle that Bre deemed acceptable to ride her in. Then Josey started to have some health issues, the arena at Bre's went to mush, and the December holiday season sucked my free time away like a black hole. I was also rejecting organizing my time and opting for doing what felt good in the moment. This worked well for sunny summer days and not so hot for depressing mud filled downpours. Right out of nursing school I couldn't bring myself to use a planner. I think it was a case of PTSD. Working full time, being class president, owning a horse, and nursing school meant I literally scheduled my time in 15 minute increments. After rejecting my planner for six months I went back to scheduling my days and it already feels better.
Josey is feeling fat and sassy. So sassy that she gave her owner a little buck and scoot this week. Her owner had a lovely ride after Josey kicking her heels up a little. It has been a struggle to get the right saddle for her. She is a draft cross so she is wide but she isn't draft wide. She is like a big full QH bar type of wide. She also has withers and for some reason saddle makers think that wide horses don't have withers. She is wide all the way up her wither rather than having bony TB withers. If you just get a wide saddle thinking it will work they often sit on her withers. As a result I think she has had many saddles that don't fit right over the years and that resulted in some protests when asked to trot/canter.
Josey's momma got her a wintec dressage saddle and she LOVES it. She hopped right into the canter for me yesterday. That was new. I think park of the issue was not knowing the canter command but having a comfy saddle helped too. She also had the most forward lovely trot. She still isn't quite stretching into the bridle but she's bending around circles and isn't resisting. After the ride I could see that her back muscle had come up. What a good pony.
The BO and I made a date to ride yesterday. It was really fun because we are both getting back into riding after a break. Because we board away from the main barn it can be hard to motivate myself to make the trek over with twice (once with Dickie, once with Josey). If I have a date with someone I am much more likely to actually follow through. After our ride she offered to let me ride her horse. He was super fun. He is a 7 or 8 year old quarab. He has a much quicker stride than I am used to but once he settles down it is a nice trot. I really enjoyed him and I hope she lets me get on again.
After ladies riding date it was time for a lesson on Romeo. It started out fantastic. We went in the snaffle to make sure all the basics are still there. He wasn't chomping and was asking to stretch forward from the first lap around the arena. She had ridden bareback the day before to fix her leg position and she was back to her lovely seat. Then all hell broke lose. Romeo saw something that struck fear into his very soul. We aren't sure was that thing was. We think maybe he saw the BO's Newfoundland out of the corner of his eye and thought it was a hungry bear (he has seen this dog many times by the way). His initial spook was a bolt across the arena straight at me. I saw my life flash in font of my eyes but somehow I managed to get out of the way. It took a good hour and half before we could get him to go around the arena without trying to sit and bolt. RG must have velcro in her butt because she sat up like a champ through it all. I ended up hopping on for the last 45 mins. She was doing great but getting worn out and my years of riding a screwy TB made me well equipped to deal spaz spooks. At the end of the ride he was jogging by the door on a lose rein but he was still convinced that something was coming through the door to eat us all.
Romeo has is occasional spazzy moments but this was something I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't seen it. I hope RG isn't too worried that it will happen at a show. I bet it will never happen again. In a way it was good for her to learn how to deal with a nut ball horse. She did really well. Most people would have been in the dirt or too frozen to really ride him through it. It was also good for me because I was beginning to wonder if I still had it it me to deal with equine insanity. It has been so long that I wonder if I can get my mojo back. I still have it. It is under ten inches of fat and atrophied muscle but with a little work I will be ready for the Dickster.
Needles to say my abs are a bit tender today but I love it.