Sundays ride with Tessa was a definite 'meh' for numerous reasons.
It started while I was saddling and brushing her. Despite me being gentle and going slow, she was a snarly, teeth gnashing mess. I have been ignoring this behavior and just going about my business. It doesn't intimidate me anymore and I was hoping that the behavior would go away. I know her saddle fits and I'm girthing up ridiculously slowly. I snagged Laura and asked her to take a look at her. She pressed a few points on her belly and Tessa kicked up at her hand. We think she just got super stressed out from her frenemie, Dez and that her ulcer may have come back. We're going to put her on a course of ulcer meds and see if that helps. Poor pony.
I rode in jump tack with the idea of working on my two point position. My two point still sucks and I can't hold it all and I can't feel any muscles working. Sigh. I also had my shoulders up to my ears most of the time, which threw my shoulder back out. Monday I saw my PT and they couldn't believe how 'angry' my shoulder was. Double sigh.
Our trot was okay. I worked hard on just setting my rein length and leaving her face alone, especially since I was doing two point and jumping. I just wanted forward. When I asked her to canter she threw a hissy hit, trying to bash my nose with her cute little head. I had almost ridden without the martingale that day. I'm so glad I chickened out and put it back on her.
While she was freaking out and resisting and tossing her head and bucking stupid little bucks, I thought about a recent post over at A Year With Horses about bracing and softness. I focused on being light and letting go all of the tension and bracing in my arms. We finally eked out a decent canter, but it wasn't great. I could have used my whip to push her more forward, but I really felt like she was bracing against me and if I couldn't un-brace then it wasn't fair to punish her for that. We've had such great rides earlier in the week. So, I just left it at that. We had a few so-so trot circles and another crappy canter depart before I called it a day.
Despite the possibility of an ulcer, Tessa still loves her food. She's like the Garfield of the horsey set. She just wants to eat and nap and nap and eat. I gave her a carrot and put her back out with her turnout partner, Truck. Yes, she is now going out with Truck. The same horse who took a chunk out of her ear through a stall last year. Apparently, Truck was a total gentleman in turnout with her. We'll see how it works out.
Laura also moved Dez out of the stall next to Tessa and moved Manny in. Manny is a gorgeous quarter horse who is in love with Tessa. They hang out next to each other batting their eyelashes at each other. It's adorable. Hopefully these changes will help Tessa feel better soon. Now if I can just let go of the tightness in my damn arms!!