Monday, March 21, 2016
Susan often reminds me that Khaleesi is the biggest handful when she’s had too much time off.
It’s been just about a week since our last ride. The way life happens sometimes- our team training ride over the weekend was cancelled and I ended up out of town over the weekend unexpectedly. We’ve kept up a pretty strong training schedule through most of winter, and two weeks before the ride we should start dropping back our conditioning (though I wouldn’t have chosen to get all the way to zero this fast). I’m glad I made the decision to start our season with th 25 mile ride as I predicted – the time (schedule) and weather just haven’t been cooperative enough to jump into a March 50.
Jamie Evan at Phoenix Rising (the folks who made my saddle) was kind enough after hearing about my vet visit and our guess about uneven shoulders causing rubs- sent me a ‘have a heart’ pad which they designed to fix my very issue.
It wasn’t our finest day. I brought Khaleesi in with no trouble; she had some lunch and the good news is spring is finally here (you can keep the groundhog- we know it’s spring when our horses lose pounds of hair) her hair fell off in clumps today.
I took a look at the new pad made up of two Velcro pockets with foam type inserts Because she’s uneven I took the inserts out of one side and left all four in the other. After I put the pad on and the saddle I thought the saddle looked visibly out of balance (overcorrected) so I pulled it back off and took one of the 4 back out. Seemed better.
After fixing the extra pad- I began to finish the process of saddle & tack. I needed to feel around under the pad and saddle to see how the placement was.
She did not like this process and let me know by nipping in my general direction.
I am concerned I am not getting the right balance of our good relationship with firm leadership and decided this nipping action was a bad sign – and we spent more time than I’d wanted backing up the barn aisle and working on moving feet and getting some boundaries working better.
I think she got the message and we got saddled and bridled – then she wasn’t as cooperative standing at the stool for me to mount either. I slowed this down and insisted we do it right (eating more time out of an already short ride) then once in the saddle, she let me know in no uncertain terms she wasn’t planning to go out of the yard with me today. As we headed toward the gate she turned me around every 2 feet.
I decided to continue the energy balance work and it did get us spiraling up the driveway in the right direction- but I had to wonder HOW MANY TIMES could she want to circle- sometimes I’d encourage extra circles as well in hopes she wouldn’t want to continue going in circles.
We did eventually get onto the trail but it was a constant conversation where she said “I don’t what to do this with you today”
I made the decision that she was absolutely not overworked coming out of a weeks’ rest, and sometimes she’s going to have to do things she doesn’t feel like doing. So we ARE doing this.
At one point we did at least 10 (TEN) circles in a row because she refused to go forward. I had already accepted our ride would be super short and wasn’t angry with her. I kept a pretty easy mental state not angry or emotional and just thought:
I can keep this up as long as you want to!
That’s when the worlds started humming through my head “you’re making me dizzy… My head is spinning… Like a whirlpool it never ends.”
She did start to move more forward better but all the way ‘out’ she threw in an occasional turn around. When we were headed the direction I wanted I insisted she move it! Easy trot- no plodding along trying to change my mind.
Get with the program!
Finally once we hit a spot to turn home (which I intended to take, but on my terms and not hers!) I insisted she pass the turn to home and continue down the trail. I picked up my energy and when she really started to feel like she’d given in and accepted my plan I stopped her and turned back to home.
She was a gem from then on if you can believe it.
When we got back to the barn and I hopped off we had an odd moment. She just stood there quietly, and she yawned and licked and chewed a lot- not trying to eat- just stood quietly occasionally licking her lips.
We’d had a lot of energy spent in discussions but at only 3 miles she was not exhausted. I am hoping she was processing something positive.
Video- after ride
I waited for a while through this out of curiosity but it didn’t change much. Eventually I invited her in the barn and she stood eating some hay while I pulled off the saddle.
I think I need to remove one more piece out of the heart pad because I felt out of balance still. I’m glad we tried it out.
Meanwhile the list checking and supply shopping has commenced as well be pulling out on Friday! It seems unreal that our first ride this season- so highly anticipated is finally almost here!