Time: 2 hr
Ride: Remember that one time I dreamt and wished that my horse was one of those magical horses you hear about, that you can just show up and ride once a week and have lovely transitions, calm departures, and beautiful cadence? People tell me about these horses and I wonder if they actually ride unicorns. Let me tell you something, Jingle is NOT a unicorn.
I showed up to another barrel lesson, gymkhana season is coming pretty fast down the tube here, and Jingle has got to get his turning butt in gear. Funny enough, at the sorting our friendly mentor R told me that I was using "barrel turns" way too often, and needed to focus on stopping, rollbacks and pivots. You know whats funny R? that's what we've been working on ALL WINTER and I focus on barrels for legit 2 weeks and apparently forget how to ride cows. uhm, dur. Score a - for your rider Jingle.
We worked on downward transitions, canter to jog transitions turn my horse into a steaming dragon of hellfire and anger. "YOU WANT ME TO GO SLOW AND THEN GO FAST AND THE GO SLOW AGAIN?" weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee we go around the arena at mach speed. This is my life, ya'll. Of course I picked like THE busiest lesson day i've seen in months to show off my horses bratty behaviour. woop woop.
After getting some half-assed transitions we moved on to barrel work, we practiced some slow stuff to begin with, and then my trainer had me trot to the first, and pick up our left lead to second and third. Jingle was doing alright, but his third barrel is still messy and sloppy, and so she had me attempting to teach him rate and check him into a jog before we hit third. Jingle has done this before, Jingle has actually suprised me with how well he will listen to me before we hit that third barrel. On this day - that was all gone, down the spirally drain of horsemanship. To assist with his third barrel, which generally starts out good but then Jingle shoots past it and makes a huge arc around it, my trainer gave me a crop to lightly pop his shoulder over for when we're entering the barrel turn. Jingle hates crops. Jingle looses his absolute mind when a crop is introduced, even when i'm just holding a crop. I have no idea why... it is seriously unfortunate. The crop got tossed in the dirt because Jingle was becoming a rocking horse... and that's never fun.
We kept at it though - even to the point where Jingle decided to gallop home from third and literally almost slammed us both into the wall before narrowly missing it. Jingle, this is why I tell you that if given the choice you would have always been a gelding, because there's no way in hell natural selection chooses horses that willingly slam into walls. So, Jingle and I did some really nice "Hey fuckhead. This is how we stop" work, everyone was giving us horrified looks.. my horse is a freight train.
Then, we went back to the barrel pattern, taking is slow, not asking for a lope to get him slowed down again, and we got some nice turns at the trot, and at the jog, finally, we loped second and third again and it was a bit more controlled and calm, and so we quit on a good note.
After that, I got to jump on one of my old "babies", Soren (now named Parker) that ended up being bought from the sale of my old ranch and brought to our barn. I warmed him up for his new horsiemamaowner and it was lovely. First of all, horse has got some serious Hunter under Saddle AQHA game. He has the floatiest, most expressive trot. Plus he's slow and steady, oh mah lawd. I even got to trot the barrel pattern on him a couple times, he doesn't turn as snappy as Jingle does, so it took me a minute to figure out how to turn the big lug, but we worked it out. It was awesome. Meanwhile, Laura (Team Bitch of LV Horses (that's my new horse team name, i've decided) hahaha) got to cool down the ever jiggy/fast-moving Jingle. She's the best. Everyone needs a Laura on their team.
For Next Time: I know this post wasn't very "good", but afterwards I was talking with Laura about the ride. Sure, it was pretty nasty, and a couple months ago I would have left the barn and probably come straight home and blogged about how my horse is trying to kill me (k, that still rings true) and how we're never going to get the pattern and how I'm a terrible rider yadayadayada. Now, I've seen his potential, I understand and get his issues and I know that we'll get it - it'll just take a lot of work. Similiar to how much work it took to get his leads and now he's banging those outta the park. So now, our bad rides don't really bum me out like they use too, I just chalk them to "that coulda gone better", and move on. I think he's starting too, too. We're growing up guys ! Someone pass me a tissue to wipe the arena dirt out of my eyes.
So for next time? We're still in speed boot camp. Homeboy has gotta figure out that if he's well-mannered at the slower gaits, he has to also act respectfully at the faster stuff. We'll get there.