Sorry for the lack of posting. There has also been a distinct lack of riding. Licorice now has a summer cold, which has him coughing and wheezing. Our canter is improving rapidly. Our walk....well, our walk still sucks. In fact, our rides still start off sluggish and shaky with me doing too much and Licorice doing too little. It's a work in progress.
I met a woman at the barn where my daughter is taking riding lessons (yes, my child is finally showing some interest in horses! And yes, she's not riding at my barn yet.) and we were talking about the Oh Crap strap on our saddles. I jokingly referred to it as my Magic Feather. In case you haven't seen Dumbo recently, Dumbo was convinced he could fly because he held a Magic Feather in his trunk. As long as he had that Magic Feather, he was fine. Then when he dropped the Magic Feather, he thought he could no longer fly. Thankfully, his little mouse buddy yelled at him that he didn't need the Magic Feather and that he could fly all along. And so he did.
My Magic Feather is my Oh Crap strap (also known as a bucking strap and other names). How many times have I needed it to actually stay on? Zero. But how many times have I just touched it or put a hand over it...just because. Lots and lots. I'm not ready to give up my strap, but it just got me thinking about how my riding isn't nearly as bad as I think it is. Also, I was explaining to someone about what a chicken I was and she said "Do you ever canter?". I realized then that what I tell people and how I ride are pretty different. I walk, trot, canter at every ride and without major fear issues. Apparently the way I talk about myself is as if I'm too scared to do much besides walk. Ha!
The other thing on my mind is hand holding. The barn I'm at is fantastic but they hold my hand a lot. They schedule vet visits, farrier visits. They cut back on my pony's food if it's too much and increase it if it's not enough. Everyone is in the riding program, so there isn't any different disciplines. If it's hot out, they take off blankets. Raining? They put on rain sheets. If your horse looks funny, they notice right away. If your horse is being a spaz in turnout, they check on him. There is always someone there to answer all my questions and if I'm having a hard time with my horse, there's almost always someone there to assist me or offer advice.
So, what I'm wondering is if any of you have been (or are at) a barn like this and if you moved to one where you had to take more responsibility, was it challenging? When I was in my 20s and had a horse it was easier because I didn't have a husband and a house and a child and everything that comes along with it. Now that I'm older, I appreciate that I don't have to be involved, but there's a part of me that thinks I'm not growing my relationship with my horse as deeply because there's always someone else who knows better. It almost feels like I can't make a mistake. Does that make sense?
I have a whole other post that I would love to get advice on, but the last time I tried to do a private post it totally didn't work. Sigh. Internets. Here are some pictures of Licorice. His body is changing! Yeah for muscles!