Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Well, It's Only Natural

Have to write about the bad and the good, right? There's been a lot of good lately...a lot.

We didn't have a horrible ride today. Just off. My sciatic nerve is flaring again (yes, apparently I'm a 70 year old woman). I have an appointment for a massage next week (which fixed the problem for months last time), but until then it makes brisk walking, standing too long, and riding anything above a walk very painful sometimes. So, that's fun.

Today the weather was great, but humid, cloudy on and off, and with the threat of storms-basically, Silly Pony Weather. There was lots of activity at the barn and that didn't help. Mr. Miles first spooked at a child in a swing, then at a pole on the ground, then got distracted by girlie horses grazing in his sight-basically any excuse he could think of to be ADHD. I admit, my tolerance for his antics was very small, due to my being 70 years old with back pain. We had trouble with the right lead (again), though we did get it eventually. We ended the ride with a lovely canter to the left.

After our ride, as if to put a point on his state of mind, he spooked at a frigging BIRD as I was leading him out to graze. He hasn't spooked on the lead since...I don't even know. It's been that long.

The bright spots-he is sound, and sane, even when he's being a ninny. If my back wasn't being such an a-hole, I think I would have actually found his silliness funny instead of annoying. It was an out of character day for him, which is of course a plus. Finally, I was never once worried, or scared, or tense. Even when he's in a mood, I trust him not to do anything TOO stupid. Really, his spooks were tiny and never came close to unseating me. THAT is progress. Most of it is how much we've grown to trust each other, but truly I think a lot of it is going bitless. I can't punish his mouth, however unintentional it might be, when he scoots sideways or forwards, or both in some cases.

Reading all this, I'm actually really pissed at myself for getting annoyed with my sweet boy, who may be having an off day (as was I), but was still safe and sweet. He shoved his head into me after I dismounted as he is wont to do when he's trying to charm me-not for scritches, although those are always welcome, but just to stand for a moment.

My mom asked how our ride was tonight, and I told her he was spooky and distracted, not a bad ride but not worth blogging about or anything. I was wrong. And I can't wait until we can do it again.


  1. Even if he was a little distracted, I thought you guys looked good out there while my girlies were grazing. You forgot the Teragator out there spraying the field too! lol! And being sound is a blessing for sure.

  2. Aw, thanks Amanda:) I just have to remember that if we'd had ANY ride where we cantered both ways a year ago I would have been over the moon! He really was just LOOKING for things to be distracted by, Giant Farm Machinery and pretty ladies aside:) Most of the ride didn't feel great, but it's just because I know we're capable of so much better. And yes, a sound horse is a blessing. I try to never take that for granted.

  3. Chalk it up to unscheduled training opportunities :)

    Your trouble with the right lead could well have to do with the sciatica issue. My sciatica ( I too am apparently in my 70's) keeps us from turning left - I get so uneven in my seat trying to compensate for the discomfort. There are good yoga exercises - Shannon from a work in progress recommended them to me. She also has this issue. I'll email you info this evening.

    Good on you for counting your blessings!

  4. It's alwasy such a bummer to have a "meh" ride after a brilliant one. (Congrats on the jumping btw!) The universe gets even with us for our optimisim, it seems. Hoping you feel better soon and are back to that cross rail! :)

  5. Unsolicited advice for the back pain: Core strength, get some. Take this from somebody who's had back surgery after a YEAR of intense sciatic pain (I had a badly herniated disk).

    He might have been having an off day in reaction to your off day, you were probably stiff as a board from the pain...

  6. It's amazing how blogging about what seems like a bad ride puts it in perspective. I've had several rides where I just got off frustrated and upset, but after thinking/blogging about it, realized it was actually ok and we made progress.

    Bummer about the back. Mine is acting wonky, too.

  7. Ditto to SB's post! So many times I am near tears, but when I sit down and type out the words in my blog, I see the good that occured!

    Reading yours and all the other blogs helps, too. Hoping your back is 'sound' again real soon :)

  8. I'm sorry your back is causing problems. I can sure sympathize. Hope you feel better soon. I'm glad you realized that a sane, sweet horse you trust is a great reason to be happy :)
    Hope you feel better soon.

  9. I like what Calm, Forward, Straight said--unscheduled training opportunities. Or unintended training opportunities? :)

    Either way, good on both of you for taking the opportunity to learn!