I decided to tack up today – looking back, probably not the smartest decision I could’ve made considering I’ve been miserable with a terrible cold the last three or so days and today has probably been my worst day, and it’s absolutely freezing outside. And, Red was pretty fresh because of the weather and the fact that I was tacking him up right after dinner and he knows that’s when the herd gets turned out and he gets hay. Fun fact about Red, he loves his hay time. But, I threw caution to the wind and tacked up. I didn’t feel up to lugging my heavy saddle around so I used mom’s saddle (so much lighter oh my gosh) and a new pad of hers that I’m going to steal a lot…because I love that thing. Red was muddy and super dusty so it took awhile to get him clean enough for me to feel comfortable with putting tack on him. I hate seeing dusty and filthy horses tacked up. I hopped on and he stood very well so I was happy with that. He walked off great and the first 20 minutes or so were great, we jogged around after about 10 minutes of walking and while he was a bit barn sour and antsy, he was good. I should also add that I haven’t ridden him outside of our arena in quite a few weeks because we’ve been working on a lot of stuff and it’s easier to do it in the round pen.
As I was riding, I realized something major about myself. I have gotten a major boost of confidence from somewhere. I have no idea where it has come from, whether it’s from me riding other horses more, having more people out to critique and help me, or watching a ridiculous amount of training videos, or if it’s from him making so much progress in the last few weeks and having things just click. Even through his tiny spooks and attitude that would’ve scared me straight out of the saddle not long ago at all, I kept my confidence and I kept calm.I rode him well and I was assertive enough. I’m beginning to learn how to use my mind more, like Buck Brannaman teaches, 10% physical (when physical is needed) and 90% mental. Up until now, I wasn’t able to ride mentally because I wasn’t calm enough. Now, I know when to be more assertive without fearing something like making him worse, and I can trust my abilities enough to ride the tough times out safely and to be able to end on a good note and get my horse back to a good place. He couldn’t be in a good mental place until his rider was.
We’re having a lot of small victories lately, and I’m super happy with the progress. So happy that even when he acts up, I’m still content.
One of those small victories was doing an extended trot up the slight hill towards the barn. We started trotting at the gate, then went up. He stayed in the trot without me having to nudge him along (he was actually saying “canter plz canter plz canter plz”) and when he realized we were going towards the barn, instead of losing his head and saying OHMYGOSH FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD he stayed at a nice trot, stayed collected and focused on me. He stopped right at the watering area and walked up to the stall, then turned and went back to the pasture. No jigging along, no head shaking or attitude. He was happy to keep working.
I’m liking where we’re at a lot. I love seeing my horse ride with perked ears the whole time and I can feel that he’s into it now. He’s happy to be riding and I’m just happy to be riding a happy horse.
We walked back to the barn after about 10 more minutes, untacked and I turned him loose and he promptly took off galloping and bucking and playing with Stormie. Thank you horse for not doing that while I was on. (;
We’ll ride again tomorrow, even though my throat is sore and it’s going to be freezing again. I have a girl coming out to meet the horses and probably ride. We decided to find someone to come ride Stormie since mom’s riding about once or twice a week and Stormie would do better with riding more often. I’m currently too busy to ride her because I’m either riding Red or working with Jubilee and getting her back into good health, and I really want to find someone who will come out with me so I don’t have to ride alone. This will get our fat mares ridden more and it’ll get me in the saddle more.
Our vet will be out sometime next week’ish to check over Jubilee and pull coggins and etc on every body. Jubilee’s diarrhea is gone and we found the culprit – MSM. We took her off the MSM, started walking her again and so far, so good. She’s on Yucca and Dumor Joint as of now. We’ll see if we need to start injecting her or try shoes or something else when the vet is here.
The farrier should also be out soon. I’m just tickled with Red’s hooves. They’ve held up extremely well this time around and the crack that was creeping up his hoof has gotten way smaller and is growing out after the farrier cleaned it all out and took care of that. Woot woot!