His grave. Just kidding. Sort of.
Saturday’s lesson was awesome but not because it was good. We were going to work on test patterns but due to timing it ended up being a group lesson. Digger hadn’t been out in a week, I hadn’t been to a lesson in two weeks. I was doing my best to piece together a working frame but Digger had other plans, like not listening to any cues. He was a heavy, rooting freight train so I spent the whole lesson a lot of time halting him and backing him up any time he didn’t want to work at a reasonable pace.
His focus was everywhere but on the work I was asking him to do. I really had to get on his case because he was blowing off half halts, ignoring my cue to back up, refusing to turn on the forehand, not slowing his pace when I squeezed with my knees, refusing to pick up the trot without heavy application of the cue plus a cute little crop. After about 20 minutes of fighting him I just didn’t have the energy for the come-to-Jesus moment he needed.
This blasé attitude towards me is what I think led to a pretty wild spook. It didn’t seem like too much in the saddle but I think he reared and sunfish-ed himself into a bolt just based on P’s reaction to it. Truth be told, for a slight moment I thought I would come off because I didn’t think I’d be able to stop him from tearing off across the property. We were working in an open area, so there wasn’t a nice little arena rail to keep us caged in.
In the end I never did get anything accomplished during the lesson, and I wouldn’t even say we ended on a high note (although I did manage to keep my arms from popping off!). Towards the end P asked if I wanted to canter and for the first time since I started lessons with her I declined. I had no business cantering Digger when I couldn’t even control him at the trot. I didn’t want to push my luck.
But, all wasn’t lost. Really bad rides like that give me a bump in confidence. When I can survive a beastly horse and not quit because I’m afraid (though fear probably did play in to why I didn’t want to canter) that’s a big bonus for me. There was a time where I would have dismounted and not continued the lesson. Personal growth for me!
Sorry for the lack of media and short post. Next time I promise to have more. I’m off to Vancouver tomorrow, so I may be silent until next week. Hope everyone has a good week and weekend!