I probably should have prefaced yesterday’s post by saying that I have an excellent vet that answers all my questions (even on her day off) but it was still nice of everyone to tell me to check with a vet. That’s always the best advice and sure enough she gave me all the answers I needed. My foal insanity is fully in check.
As I mentioned before I managed to squeeze two lessons in during the New Year weekend because I had Monday off. Love those federal holidays.
Monday’s lesson was not as good as Saturday’s lesson. I think there were a few factors involved that caused both myself and Digger to give a less than stellar performance. First, I think I might be one of the only people that rides Digger at a level that makes him work his butt off so he was probably just as sore, if not more, than I was. I also think he’s a little weak in the back end because most of his lesson riders probably don’t get him to collect or engage his hind end as much as he should. I can’t really explain the feeling but it’s kind of like one of his back legs sticks/gets left behind and then he fumbles a little to catch up. It was most noticeable at the trot and after 20-30 minutes of warming up for practice tests (to include a lot of backing up to help his back end) it went away. He was also being very dainty about the mud, like he wasn’t sure the footing was very good for faster speeds (it totally was, he was just BSing to get out of work).
I’m 100% sure he had serious misgivings about the bit in his mouth. One Saturday I rode him in a broken Pelham with double reins. This time I rode him in a solid Pelham with converters—and let me just go on the record and say that I think converters are pointless and completely muddy up the whole purpose of a double rein bit, but I digress—which he clearly didn’t like and spent most of the ride putting his tongue over the bit and trying to grab the bit between his teeth.
The tests went okay. I rode Training level 1 first…or maybe we only did Training level 1? Now I can’t remember. I know our free walk, while not as swinging as Saturday was at least straighter. Our geometry was not great. I had 20 meter eggs. My prep for each transition was better though and I managed to get him pretty deep into the corners. We did almost run P over during one of the working canter circles despite my outside spur being applied very generously to prevent the blowout.
Overall it’s wasn’t a shit show lesson. Even though it didn’t go as well as Saturday it was nice to see that we could both work (if not the greatest) with disagreeable tack, sore muscles, and questionable footing…Not questionable, Digger is just lazy. Does anyone else have a bad ride and come out at the end of it feeling accomplished that you rose to the challenge of riding the horse you had that day?