For realz tho…Trainer B can work some miracles. After the last lesson with Trainer B, I was pretty rattled. P’s attitude has been disastrous and riding him has been negative five degrees of fun. So as I said I was going to in the last post, I headed to Walmart and bought 1500 pills of ranitidine. And then separated them into 62 individual baggies AND crushed them so they would be easier to dissolve. Because I love my barn and don’t want them to evict me.
I also armed them with individual cups of applesauce in case he would refuse his grain, but luckily he hasn’t seemed to notice the addition to his feed and continues to lick his bucket clean.
I had a lesson with BO on Thursday- I was supposed to ride her school horse, but he had a nasty cut on his back so I figured I’d just tack P up. But P was awful and we got nothing done. She tried to have us trot a simple gate with a pole on top and P was BOLTING and getting more and more nervous the more we did it. So after a few minutes we called it, talked about my ulcer suspicions, and I presented her with the 62 baggies.
Friday I skipped riding to go to crossfit because I’ve been slacking in my training lately and I need all the strength I can get in order to stay on P.
Saturday I dragged the kids out to the barn so I could ride (Husband is on his out-of-town rotation). P was compliant enough for me to hop over a x-rail several times so I could try to recreate the correct leg position (I’d been practicing in the mirror, don’t judge me). So I made my 9 year old tape me over one of them.
This may be not that big of a deal to, well, anyone else, but it is to me. I’ve tried SO HARD to find that feeling again, and it’s eluded me for YEARS.
My hips need to go more back, but whatevs. My leg is 1000% better, which makes me feel much more secure.
Sunday I didn’t ride because I couldn’t face bringing the kids with me again.
Monday we had a dressage lesson with Trainer J. P was his perfect self and we worked on connection and downward transitions because those were our lowest marks in our last dressage test.
Tuesday was the holiday and we were super busy, so no riding occurred.
Wednesday I wasn’t even 5 minutes into being on P, the temp dropped 20 degrees, winds picked up, and this crazy T-storm rolled in. Sigh.
Thursday, I had just gotten my saddle out of the tack room, when another crazy thunderstorm came in. Like, it was clear blue skies at 4:45 and at 5 it was hailing. And P was getting chiro’d at 6, so I didn’t even bother sticking around to wait it out.
BO posted this on my FB. I truly am a curse. Sunny ALLLLL day when I’m at the office, raining/storming when I pull up to the barn.
So that brings us to today. Lesson with Trainer B. And I’ve ridden my horse for maybe 2 full hours in the week since I’ve seen him last.
So I lunged. Because I don’t have a death wish.
So we got to Trainer B’s where I admitted that I had hardly practiced my leg position, except in the mirror, had hardly ridden my horse, so yay, let’s have a great ride! He had us jump over 2 raised cavaletti to a tall, narrow x-rail a few times, deemed my leg much improved, especially for not getting to practice it, and asked if I wanted to jump in the field today.
They have a field adjoining the arena that has a couple XC jumps on it, like logs and ditches, and a bunch of SJ jumps dragged out there. So we kept it small, but added in a log, a ditch, going up and down their big mound (so fun) with some verticals and x-rails and P was pretty awesome. He stopped at ONE jump ONE time, and that was it. I felt him want to stop a couple times when we would come to a new jump, but when I put my leg on, instead of ignoring it and stopping anyway, he actually kept to the jump. The one jump he didn’t even hesitate at? The XC log. Yay! Even Trainer B was surprised. When we finished after incorporating the log, he said, “That was great. I was totally expecting him to stop at the log.” P is just full of surprises, I suppose.
So while my leg is really 100,000% better, Trainer B pointed out that I revert back to my old standing/leaning when P gets all teeter-tottery to a jump. Give me a second, bro, you’re changing my whole life here. But later on in the lesson, when P peeked at the ditch since we were jumping it from the other way, I just reminded myself to keep my leg forward and voila! Magic. P jumped successfully and I was completely secure the entire time.
It all wasn’t perfect, P and I definitely had some screw-ups, but I found myself having a lot of fun. Like, big grin on the face kind of fun. And that was an even bigger deal to me than nailing the distance to the last vertical perfectly. Although that was definitely cool, too.
I talked to Trainer B about P after and he said P is a really funny horse (it’s not very funny to me, I’m the one that has to ride the beast) in that sometimes he comes out to work and sometimes he’s just an emotional basket case. I told him about my ulcer theory and that I started him on ranitidine after our last lesson, and he agreed that it was a definite possibility. I talked to my insurance company yesterday and I just have to get the vet out to scope and then they’ll reimburse me for the scope and treatment, if treatment is necessary.
My barn is going to a HJ show a little over an hour away next weekend, so I might pop up there on one of the days for some jumper classes. And then the following weekend there’s a local jumper show only half an hour away. Because it’s not our dressage that needs work, it’s definitely the jumping.
So all in all, it was a crappy riding week turned around by an awesome lesson. Here’s hoping it continues through the weekend!