Saturday, 21 January 2012

Questionable Intentions

Title applies to both Kika and myself - don't worry though ... Nothing untoward has happened!

Got to the barn last night and tacked herself up, she was most distracted in grooming area - staring at her reflection in door window, or at least so far as i could tell anyway! Perhaps there were horses walking around up at walker but i couldn't hear them, so methinks she's just the vainest creature going - and I'll tell you this for nothing, that she does not get from me!
HATE mirrors *shiver*

Anyways, she rigid/stiff as anything tacking up as she stared at herself?! And rain was hammering on and off of the roof above us, due to said rain and her full fleece being at the cleaners i didn't fancy going out in the gale to the arena we typically work best in as i didn't want tack getting wet. I have an excercise sheet for her but it's one of the cut away one which don't cover the saddle - very handy for covering my legs with when hacking in the cold, but i'm going of topic as usual!
So basically what i am getting at in my predictably long-winded way is that we opted for the arena attached to our stabling block which is the oldest one on the yard - the original and IMO the noisiest despite it being 8pm and most people being gone is closest to the road and attached to stable block so all sounds of other horses and feeding, car park road/roundabout/motorway all in the vicinity and all sounds that can be heard as well as the wind and rain. One woul thing i am building excuses to bad behaviour - but for once it wasn't really the mare's fault!

She is in no way as innocent as her chocolate brown eyes might attempyt to convince you and is partly to blame, but i absorb more of the blame upon myself!

We walked around with me on foot for a few laps - i always start my warm up this way, get both of us accustomed to sounds/layout of arena and has Kika walk for an extended period of time to warm up (between 5 and 10mins depending on how we are feeling) as she isn't the best to walk under saddle to warm up - she starts fidgetting and fussing and looking for distractions - so we start our warm up calmly walking with me on foot. I am cajoling her - but i know from experience that this works best for us (me). She wasn't really settling and was getting herself stressed over lower corner where door is onto carpark with a roundabout on & off a motorway at the end of the drive - so plenty noises to put a windy horse on edge. Not courting trouble i opted for the chicken option and decided to ride in upper half of the arena as at this stage i could tell it wasn't going to end well if i forced the issue, so rather than make a big deal out of it and get into an argument - i changed my plans.

Got up and went to go left to start on our good rein - Miss was having none of it, she started with her threats which grates me as she knew they would work i was stupid and allowed her work herself into the position where she was facing the middle of the wall and with her not wanting to go the way i wanted her to gave her the perfect opportunity to start her wobbly, aka rear threats. She is also far from stupid and had twisted herself in such a way that unless i whacked her head off the wall to turn her, the only option left to me was to go the way she wanted - AWFUL START which did nothing to settle my nerve considering my last terrible saddle experience ... well not terrible, just unnerving as i had really thought we were passed this. Guess not!
So after a few strides i conned her into changing rein and going the direction i wanted - walked a little more trying to get her to relax, soften and listen to me - was far from picture perfect but moved up to trot. For some reason we always get on best in trot - it's a pace we are both happy with and she behaves impeccably (IMO) in trot. She went into a lovely soft shape (I can always tell when L was the last person to ride her - makes such a difference!) and was swinging in herself requiring light leg aids. Was lovely, changed rein a couple of times and we were going well - not anywhere near Prix St George level or anything but very good for us considering the start to the spin, we still encountered the odd sticking moment if she wasn't as responsive as i'd like on a turn and it ended up getting a little sharp - she'd toss up her head, but my response was always you've just got yourself to blame. Although that isn't technically fair as i know my legs are inclined to hang like wet blankets and don't support her as much as they should - tis no suprise we get ourselves tied in knots!
Anyways that's besides the point, we were going well with our trot so i figured we'd give canter a go and see how we'd get on. Canter is one of our main bogeys, as regular readers will know, the main problem i know is me - as when i can get it right she has a lot less issues with it - but alas this does not happen as often as i would like it to / wish it could / dream of. :-(
Yesterday was one of those days, i couldn't get the strike off right - despite now knowing what aids to give thanks to the wonderful lesson 2 weeks back with L (incidently it has all been downhill for me since then - the problem is i am too stuck in my head - obsessing, trying to hard and not just doing as i was which is what had been good - vicious cycle. What makes it worse is that i know i am the problem yet can't fix myself - so going to get L to help me again). Kika can feel the shift in me as i organise myself to give the aids, so gets excited and ahead of herself therefore tenses, loses her softeness and responsiveness etc etc - basically canter last night was a shambles - i only tried is twice on the bad rein and once on teh good rein, it was bad for 95% of it so i just dropped it and decided i am not going to try and canter without supervision and someone to keep me out of my own head / someone to yell at me to keep my heels down, shoulders back, look in, turn her head slightly and give the aid - cos it is obviously something going wrong in my head/mind when i'm on my own - and i know it so am hoping to fix it! We did get one or two nice strides, but that doesn't make up for the shambles surrounding it so rather than make a bigger mess of things i went back to trot and worked on spirraling in and out of circle sizes in rising and sitting trot - which is something we are getting better at. Anything in trot is manageable, shift us up a gear or drop us down a gear and i go to pot for whatever reason.
Had a chat with L about it last night afterwards as she was there when i dismounted and asked how we got on, i was so down in myself that she could see it written all over my face and my mother when i got in later - i really need to stop beating myself up about these things - it's not healthy. Although in saying that i don't dwell on it so long anymore ... resolutions were made today, ;-)
What get's to me most is that when we're going well it's great, but if i lose myself even slightly she takes advantage and throws the toys out of the pram with her rearing threats - which in hindsight i know she doesn't mean and is testing/taking the mick/taking complete advantage - it's is incredibly frustrating as that only knocks my confidence further and feeds/festers the self-doubt.

Gosh i should see a shrink!

Anytime i allow myself to think we're making headway and doing well something happens to put me back in my box and keep my feet on the ground. It's more mentally my problem, I am trying too hard and forcing things perhaps - which when doesn't work is frustrating me and hence her - senstive soul that she is. *roll-eyes*
That plus she takes complete advantage - any window of opportunity to doss or mess and she pounces on it with two hands and then is like a dog with a bone till i can co-erce and cajole her back out of bad behaviour!

My resolution might be seen by some as drastic but i want to catch this before it spirals - as i know myself that it is teetering on the edge of spiralling back out of control unless i can nip it in the bud, i can only hope once and for all - but if even just for now and to see that we can get it back on/ keep it on the straight and narrow.
I'm only going to ride under L or an RI's supervision - prefer L as she has worked with us this last year and knows exactly what the issues are and has the time to help on an individual level. Due to the decreased time the studyin is going to present i'm going to see if we can work something out, she has previously offered, whereby she'd school Kika on occasion (if i can't make it) and then go back to her giving me lessons when she has time during the week/weekend. Only for the forseeable future i'm not going to ride on my own anymore - it is just going to prove the undoing of me, i can feel it. Already the doubts are creeping into my mind and excuses will start forming, stacking up givine me get-out-of-jail-free crads to avoid riding, which is deffinitely not in Kika's best interest as she needs activity.

L is heading away for a few days and as i'm currently snowed under with legal reading; I'm hoping to share my plan with her in the morning as we let out the beasties and will give Kika a few days off till she comes back and till i can get to grips with the study. I'll still be going to the yard at least twice a day to turn them out / bring them in and feed O in the evenings - give them a loose school / pop them in the walker so that they aren't only going field/box - box/field.

So there ya have it, another hum-dinger of a "post" (novel more like), but due to Kika's questionable intentions - she has me questioning my intentions ... and the answer is i'm hoping to go back to lessons to keep someone's voice in my ear and me out of my own head!

Some may think me a chicken - but on this occasion I know myself and i think at this stage i know my horse and so that we don't end up in a similar situation to this time last year - i'm reaching out for help.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you and I have the same resolution to not beat ourselves up! We have mean inner voices.


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