Monday, July 25, 2016

Fancy, dancy mustang

Because that's what Max is.

Yes, you, ya cutie
Sure, he'd be a bit fancier if he lost some weight and could get his legs under him, but he tries. After a discouraging second ride, I was pretty excited to have Miss El right there to help me with Max last week. Granted, that second ride was certainly the calm before the storm, and we're still in the aftermath, but the eye has passed over, and we can now move forward (literally and metaphorically).

As mentioned in Vlog 3, my ride on Tuesday was straight outta Tartarus. Basically everything we had accomplished on Sunday was completely gone. It was argument after argument with 0 softness and a ton of negative tension. My hands were heavy enough to break some skin, which doesn't happen unless I'm being excessive. Max shut down on me, rightfully so.

ne pas bien
No doubt I was upset about that, and I was ready to go crying to my trainer about how I'd ruined all her work. I took Wednesday as a day to settle myself. That's actually when I started writing that Goals post. I set up a lesson for Thursday and kind of went into it with a "whatever" attitude because I was convinced I'd destroyed this horse past fixing.

But let's be honest, most horses are pretty forgiving, and Max is most horses. He was still happy to approach me in the pasture, and he's quite cuddly by nature. I was just happy that the horse didn't hate me (and yeah I'm anthropomorphising a bit, but LET ME LIVE). Miss El got on him again, and yeah it took an effort, but she got him back to where we were on Sunday. Then, once I got on and we got going, we made even more progress. I had been thrilled with Sunday, but this was even better. A horse in the hand is a horse in the hand; there's no faking that, and it feels a helluva lot better than ripping open my ring fingers.

Then came Friday, and holy mother of all that is good. I'm on a completely different horse than I was a week ago. I mean, look at him.



Underneck where???? (ok, it's still there, but it's gonna be gone by the time I go back to school)

And to think I wanted to be done with trainers, lmao. He was wonderful on Friday. Right from the start, he was significantly less inverted. He responded better to just my leg and the cluck, and I could be lighter on my whip cues, plus I didn't get a huge reaction every time. We did some very nice serpentines, and he's gotten better about not dropping his shoulder or falling out/in depending on what we're doing. We even tried some extensions across the diagonal, an while those have a long way to go, he freaking did them. No questions asked. When I watch the videos, I get chills every time I see his neck muscles start working.

If I feel comfortable enough, I do want to show him. Miss El has told me that the canter will just need a lot of work on a lunge line because right now he just pulls down because he doesn't yet have the muscles to balance himself properly. For now, it's a lot of trot.

lots of rolling, too

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