Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guess who rode a pretty pony today?

Yup, I did! There's a show tomorrow, but since I haven't ridden in a while I decided not to compete. It's a 2 day show, and Duke is being used both days, so I didn't want to wear him out with unnecessary extra riding. I rode my pretty pony Molly instead.

She was just a doll, slight attitude, but a doll nonetheless! My legs are aching from such little riding over the past month and a half or so. All I wanted to do was walk and trot. Last time I rode her I fell off trotting over some ground poles, so my confidence on her is still basically nonexistent besides walk and rising trot. Even my sitting trot is a battle.

I ride in the advanced lesson which has a lot of jumping. Walk, trot, and canter aren't a challenge, so I felt a bit out of place today. We started with a nice walk around the big ring. She was perfectly fine. We picked up a trot 3/4 of the way through, and then fell into the group circle. We just had a storm too, so the low spots were flooded. Molly wasn't thrilled with even getting near any damp spots, but I made her. It wasn't so wet that she would slip, just . . . damp.

When everyone goes to work on their canter departures, my trainer asked me if I wanted to try. I just said no thank you. It terrifies me to canter on Molly. That's where most if not all of my problems started with riding, so I try not to do it now. Everyone's cantering and I'm just trotting.

Then we moved on to the jumps. A friend of mine had knee surgery last year, and she's slowly getting back into riding. Right now, she jumps sparingly, and it's only over ground poles. My trainer set up a line with two ground poles and asked my friend and I to just trot over them and focus on being straight through the entire thing. Easy enough, except Molly has about the biggest drive to jump that I've seen in any horse. Remember, the last time I rode her I fell off over a ground pole. I was very nervous, so much that I didn't go over it the first 3 times before we changed direction. After we changed directions, I mustered up the courage to just do it. If I fell off, I wasn't near the mud so it was okay. We go up to it and I have her on a bit short of a rein. She's getting a bit nervous and on the forehand, but I kept my cool and just talked to her. She likes it when you talk to her. I'm expecting her to jump this ground pole, and to my pleasant surprise, she trot over it like a packer. I can't even exaggerate, and it was the exact same thing going over the second one. She didn't even bat an eye, just kept up that god forsaken attitude and stuck her nose in the air a few times.

We went through it 4 or so times before it was time for everyone else to do their course. My trainer had me trot the path but just go next to the jumps and change my diagonal where appropriate. When I finished, she asked me again if I wanted to canter, and I said no. She's very encouraging, and won't push you to do anything that she knows you can't do. She said, "Come on, just do it," but it was her joking voice. She repeated it under her breath, again joking, but I knew that she really wanted me to at least try. At this point, since I had just finished my course, I was still trotting. Something in my head must have messed up or something because, at that moment, I sat, slid my right leg back and asked her for the left lead. She crow hopped. Any other time, I would have grabbed some mane and given up, but nope, not this time. i pulled her head up, asked her again, and she went. I did about 6 strides before breaking back down to a trot. Any more and I would have went into panic mode, that's just how my brain works now.

In the end, I'm glad I tried and I'm glad that Duke got an hour to himself (I bet he's glad too!), but I still don't plan on riding Molly regularly again. I'd be back to where I was before, and I don't want to go back there. When I'm better, I'll try again, and hopefully that will happen near the end of this year. I'd like to be showing her again next year, but you know what they say. One miracle at a time.

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