But really. Everything is broken.
Fortunately, every time I say that show season starts in just a couple weeks, a week goes by and we're still a couple weeks out. Eighteenth winter has sent us into a weird twilight zone. May 4th is approaching at some point in the near future I can say with certainty at least. It just might be snowing then as well. That leaves me with plenty of time to fix things... or everything.
|current state of dressage.|
this picture makes me laugh and laugh because i honestly have no idea what's happening.
Things that have gone to shit in the past fifteen seconds. Because we started out last week with some really good rides, and then towards the end of the week we couldn't horse at all. Currently the halt, the connection, the hind end, the forward, and the sideways are all missing. What can we do?
|i haven't broken the walk yet, praise baby jesus.|
Alright, I'll stop being dramatic. Things are kind of falling apart, but we're talking #childgenius here which means I just put the pieces back together. His tummy meds have seemed to help with his general life anxiety while I'm around although BM reported that he spent one evening last week twitching out of his skin in his stall for no apparent reason so I added a magnesium supplement to his diet as well. He seems mentally able to go to work now though.
From the beginning!
The halt is a product of working on the rein back. Opie is A Good Boy at the rein back. He knows he's A Good Boy, and he knows he gets A Good Boy neck scratch every time he performs it well. Now when I ask for a halt, he pauses for a second, and then wants to show me what A Good Boy he is. Which is all well and good, but that leaves me with no actual halt. I've scrapped the rein back for now and instead have been convincing him he's An Even Better Boy when he just halts and hangs out. He's suspicious of this change, but we came up center line at the end of our ride this morning and he threw down a 10 halt. All is not lost there.
|nobody can do a broken wrist like i can.|
The connection is fine as long as I don't do weird things with my hands. FAT CHANCE OF EVER STOPPING THAT, DRESSAGE. Thank god for Hubby being dragged out over the weekend because I was like, "Dear fucking Christ, this has reached new levels of weird." My ride this morning was much improved when I stopped bending my poor horse's neck and steered with my legs and seat instead.
|made lots of square turns at the canter today. it was clearly needed.|
The hind end, the forward, and the sideways are all tied in together. None of them want to participate.
|for fuck's sake, just gooooo.|
He was being such a fucking slug yesterday I finally just booted him and chased him down the long side. When I brought him back to the trot, he was vastly offended but at least sort of went forward.
|"lady, have i mentioned lately that you're the worst?"|
Then we got into an argument about not bashing my leg into the wall. My right knee has been killing me lately. The weather has been weird and both my knees are pretty fucked up in general, but this has been some next level shit. Yesterday I was all, "Wait. This feels like deja fucking vu." Last year around this time I was dealing with massive hip pain in my right leg that went away once BM discovered Opie wasn't using the right side of his back at all and was throwing me painfully out of whack. This year it seems like my knee is being thrown painfully out of whack having to work double overtime to (unsuccessfully) try to get my horse to stop blowing through my right leg.
Bring in the sideways problem, and then bring in our friend Mr Tappy, Mr Spanky's long necked cousin.
|no rail work for you|
I'm not good with the dressage whip. I never use it because I've never had a horse that's taken well to its very existence. My experience with whips has been occasionally carrying a jumping bat, but beyond that I got nothing. I'm perfectly proficient with spurs, but my poor old lady knee needs some backup.
I used Mr Tappy a couple times last spring with Opie when I first started teaching him about moving over. He understood the concept, I put Mr Tappy back in my trailer, and there it remained for the rest of the year. When I brought him back out this morning, Opie was convinced the tickle on his bum was for going forward instead of over. A couple of corrections and restarts of the ask, and suddenly I had a horse stepping the hind leg over promptly. He got all the scratches and good boys, and the entire rest of the ride not only did I have over, but I also had a very easy forward. I think it's time to learn to ride with Mr Tappy more often.
|not always grumpy when he has to do real work|
So things are breaking, but they're getting fixed. Thus is riding horses which brings us to the age old question of why do we torture ourselves with it? I don't know, but I feel like spending more money will make me feel better! Tomorrow Dopie gets his teeth done and then he's officially set to kick off the year.