Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This dreaded day...

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. 


Sally said...

Completely normal. Don't beat yourself up about it, following your gut is the right thing.

Shanster said...

Hey, hey, hey --- I totally "get it"... remember how I led Rosso out in the arena and just could NOT get on... yeah, feels like total crap and I felt like a total and complete FAILURE.

But the reality is that you are fine. It is a whole new thing to have a LIFE inside your belly and it's o.k. to just "be" with the new thoughts and emotions you are experiencing.

You arent' going anywhere. Boomer isn't going anywhere... it's not like you are in the Olympics. Cut yourself some slack k?

All things happen for a reason and all things will work out the way they should. You want Boomer in your life and he will be. Just maybe not right now in the way you "think" he should be. There are many ways he can be your horse and when the time is right you will be up and at 'em and schooling and improving and moving on like you want to do.

Trust me... man, I have really really struggled mentally with a lot of this and it's just ME being a big ol' weenie... I don't have another life to worry about!

Be kind to yourself. K?

Heather said...

Thanks guys...
Sally- I am so encouraged by you getting your family involved with horses and still being able to do your thing with a full time job AND 3 kids!

Shanster- I know you get it too. It is just so hard to reconcile where you think you should be or what you should be able to do with what is actually going on. Its a big adjustment. I like how you said that there are many ways he can be my horse right now. That is so true. I need that right now. I'm not sure I know HOW to spend time with him without having goals. Maybe now is the time to figure that out.

Sally said...

You know, sometimes all we do is feed and groom, but we're doing it together! I hope next year we'll at least be able to do a playday...I actually am encouraged that you trained Boomer yourself, it gives me hope for our horsey future :)

Heather said...

Boomer was under saddle for almost a full year before I would say he as 'broke'. And now, after two years- I think he is right on par with other horses of his age. I am confident that another person could get on him and ride and not die. *grin*
So, it is a LONG process and the biggest thing I learned was to GET HELP when I needed it. Boomer spent 6 weeks with a professional 'come to jesus' trainer and then we had about 12 weeks of dressage lessons and those two instances where we worked with professionals was where we made some of our biggest gains.
I look forward to hearing about your play days in the future! I hope you can take your guy on the annual B-ville rail ride some day too!