Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hard Work = Rewards

So again I've had a lapse in my posts, for which, I apologize.  Hopefully I am not disappointing my one follower :-)  For any you who are reading my posts, but are not yet followers, please feel free to join and make me look a little less pitiful!  At any rate, there's lots to write about since my last post.

Last Friday was a rainy, windy, coldish day, but I was bound and determined to get another ride in before I had to leave for yet another weekend.  When I got Alex tacked and ready to go, the skies opened up into a light rain and I cursed quietly.  Of course there was no rain on the radar (yes I am one of those people with the weather radar on my phone so I can keep endless track of what is happening) so I decided to wait.  I wasn't set up to go into the indoor and hadn't turned on the lights.  After about 10 minutes the rain subsided and I decided we'd better get going.  Of course in true "week of adversity" fashion, literally as soon as I started to get something done, they started turning horses out for the night and Alex lost his concentration.  Fortunately, he did not turn himself inside out despite extreme excitement, wind and a little cold.  After we survived the horses going out all around him, I decided to call it a night.

Alex had the weekend off as I was off helping my mother organize for her move.  Never underestimate how tiring it can be to organize someone else, especially when you have a little over 24 hours to do it... it's exhausting.  On Monday, all I wanted to do all day was go ride my horse, but sadly it was not to be, as the "real world" was calling and I had a late night at work... damn.

Tuesday, Alex and I had a big day and not just because he'd had THREE days off (much to my chagrin).  While I was lunging him and he was doing a little playing, we got some company in the arena and although I was inwardly groaning about all we wouldn't get done since Alex was SURE to turn himself inside out, I was actually happy, because sooner or later he's going to have to get over being around other horses.  When I got in the saddle, there were two other, thankfully quiet, horses in the arena and I was prepared for the worst.  Fortunately, Alex was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.  He did throw in a few hop/leap/head shakes and get very giraffe like, but he eventually reverted to stretching and seemed to calm a bit.  We didn't try any passing of other horses, as I figured I'd better not push my luck.  For having three days off and it being a cooler, windy (although thankfully not rainy) day he really did amazingly well.  He's always full of surprises :-)

Wednesday, I decided to ditch the lunging and just get on and ride.  Alex started off being quite stiff, but finally relaxed.  I decided we had better start trying to work on our bending.  He was NOT a fan of this... I think partially because he was like "woman, how am I supposed to go forward if you keep making me turn my head!" and also, because I think he needs a good teeth floating (that is hopefully going to happen soon).  Despite his dislike, after some protest he did as I asked.  He also didn't buck at all cantering to the left, which is a first, since I started riding him! 

Tonight is usually the night there is a lesson going on in the big arena, but for whatever reason, there wasn't tonight.  I decided to try Alex in the rubber gag to get a little more leverage and help getting him to bend.  He was fantastic!  After his normal early stiffness, he was stretching and bending, just pretty much happy as a clam :-)  I am so happy with his progress, it has already been so rewarding to be a part of his retraining.  Unfortunately for Alex, he got rewarded with a mane pulling, but in my defense, I had to do it when I had help (he's not so keen on having his mane pulled) which happened to be tonight.  It took a lip chain, but we managed to get it done. 

What a week!  I feel like so much has happened and it has all been fabulicious :-)

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