Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why it's hard to ride my own horse - Part 1

I always tell my clients that it truly is harder to ride your own horse then it is to ride someone else's.  (In fact, I keep threatening to right a book about it).  There's just so much more emotion involved, and they know all your dirty little secrets, and you know theirs.

Which is why I haven't written in a while (but that is about to change... hello blog writing frenzy!).  P just hasn't felt 100% since he slipped doing a trot and lost his hind end.  I had the chiro look at him (which he was out in his pelvis), and he's been getting steadily better, BUT I finally feel like I have my horse back, and the cloud of "blah" that's been following me around is beginning to lift.

Here's the thing.  I know P like the back of my hand, and I ride him differently then I do other horses. The other night, I had to play a bit of a mental game with myself, riding every stride like I would if it were NOT a horse I'd sat on everyday for so many years. And guess what?  He was so much better. 

I've also realized that right now, P needs me to ride him different.  A couple days before his 'slip' I had an amazing Dressage ride on him, but it was probably amazing because I wasn't expecting for it to be so.  Since then I've been a little too demanding, rather then listening.  Finally on Tuesday night I listened to him, and had a fantastic ride.  So what if he needs to be a little longer and forward at the canter to take the contact evenly in both hands... there's over 3 weeks until our next competition, so plenty of time to bring him back up. So what if I need to walk, and walk, and walk, and walk until he's really marching and coming through.  So what if I need to ride Every. Single. Step of the upward transition and restart half way through it for a few tries.

By the end of the ride, I had my soft, free(er) moving, rideable horse and it was wonderful! 

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