Digger Was Digging

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.

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What Digger thought we were doing for the lesson.

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.

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So this is how I die.

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.

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What I envisioned would happen if we cantered.

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!

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Why am I so sore today? Oh, right.

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!

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6 thoughts on “Digger Was Digging

  1. I’ve definitely had that feeling like “no sense even bothering with canter based on how we are trotting” lol… Sounds like a challenging ride for sure, struggling with a horse that’s tuning you out is exhausting.

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    • I’m still sore and tired. That’s pretty impressive. At least this time I wasn’t frustrated by it. I’ll call it a win.
      Mustangs are not my favorite horses. They are too reactive and focused on the object mostly likely to kill them. IMO!

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  2. I no longer believe that we need to walk-trot-canter for a ride to be successful. I’ve had many rides on Carmen where all I do is walk and trot and it still feels like a win. That voice is in our head for a reason and it pays to listen.

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    • I think canter is always a focus in our lessons because it’s still a fear that lingers but I do agree. Cantering is not a requirement for me. Especially if trotting is going really well or really bad.
      I actually mentioned to my trainer that I felt I might come off that lesson. It’s just a feeling I had. Luckily, I have more Velcro to my seat that I give myself credit for. Lol

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