Wow. This day came sooner than I imagined. I figured I would just keep on riding until I was physically unable to hoist myself up into the saddle. But today, it was not a physical limitation. I tacked up and walked over to the arena. I walked around and tightened the girth. Put my foot in the stirrup and couldn't get on. Something just told me to stop. Today wasn't the day to ride. I have no other option but to listen to myself in these situations. I have no agenda or pressing goals, so there is no reason to push myself.
I was so disappointed I felt tears in my eyes. I'm lucky I have good friends and a supportive husband to be there for me in times like these. I don't know if things would be different if I was going out to work him more consistently, but I have only been getting out about once or twice a week. Boomer is definitely not a horse who is the same after not being worked with consistently. He always acts skittish and half-wild when I haven't worked with him regularly. So, maybe if I go out 4-5 times a week for the next week or two and get him back in to shape mentally I will feel more confident about riding him again. Then again, maybe not. Maybe this was it.
The funny thing is, I had only planned to do walk work with him today. It wasn't like I was planning some elaborate training session. You have no idea how hard it is for me to stand there with a foot in the stirrup, staring at the saddle, with my hand on his neck and to be thinking to myself "I can't do it".
I did lunge him in side reins today and we worked for a solid hour and did a bit of cantering. I had the side reins adjusted short and he was very consistently seeking contact and arching over his back and neck. I was very happy with his relaxation. He is still doing the funny head tilt to the outside when tracking right. Haven't figured that out yet.
I am giving myself until the end of the month to work with him and see how I feel. If nothing changes, I will talk to the head trainer about putting him in partial training starting in October.