Monday, November 21, 2011

Back to Neutral

Thank you for all of your kind words in the comments on the last post.  It means SO much to me to know that I'm not the only one.  To know that there are people who have felt the exact same way and then moved past it is wonderful.

I went out to the barn today.  Pony hadn't been worked in two days so lunging was not as smooth as it could have been.  Plus, someone had set up ground poles in the 'safe' end of the arena so we had to try and lunge in the scary side.  Considering we haven't done anything down there, she did alright.  Her circles were small and lopsided (avoiding the scary corner where the goat lives) and she lost focus when the tractor went by, but overall she did okay.  At one point she was a bit out of control and pulling and jumping and I just wanted to give up and walk away.  But I made myself bring her back down, take a deep exhale and keep trotting.

Our riding was in some ways wonderful (only one little spook and it felt totally manageable) and in some ways not so wonderful.  She is now going up instead of forward when I ask for more trot.  I used my legs and then followed up with the whip and she bucked and then didn't go forward.  I tried sitting back and taking hold of her mane when her head came up so that I felt less like I was going to fall off.  But then she'd put her head back down and slow down.  She's not in danger of major rearing, it's more she's taking an evasive canter-hop-step.  However, I know she needs to believe me when I say go forward.  It was pretty frustrating knowing that I'd like to be firm, but my body language is saying "Oh crap!".  I kept riding though and made sure to end on a good note.

So, my lesson is tomorrow and I can at least say that I brought my fear back to neutral today.  And though it wasn't the bubbling joy of Thursday's lesson, it was at least a place that was neither good nor bad.  And, I did it.


  1. Good progress in small steps. The resistance to going forward might indicate some sort of physical issue that makes it uncomfortable for her - Drifter was very balky until we figured out his problem.

  2. I totally wanted to comment last post but blogger was being a jerk. I think you are so brave for putting it all out there-riding is NOT that easy for so many of us, but we keep doing it because the rewards are so great. Pretty soon you start getting "rewarded" by enough good rides, and enough progress, and it gets easier and easier until you are anxious to GET to the barn:) Princess does not sound like an easy pony, so I give you tons of credit for sticking with her and taking lessons. I bet you will be shocked and happy at where you two are a year from now:)

  3. Thanks for following my blog! It's great to find yours. I'm touched by the post you wrote on fear. I've totally been there, especially the riding part. When my fear gets too broadly based, I think it is a type of depression (seeing everything in a negative, threatening light) and I try to treat it as such.
    Sounds like you are doing great work with your horse and knowing the committment you put into it makes it even more impressive.

  4. Kate-I am such a worrier about the physical stuff too! I'm going to have my trainer (who also adjusts ponies!) check her over just in case. We also re-checked saddle fit etc.
    Sarah- Thank you! The pony hasn't been easy but boy have I been learning a lot.
    Carol- Thank you! Changing my outlook definitely helps me keep more positive about things.