Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Denali

Denali had a good birthday. Her dad took off of work early (thanks honey!) to come see her. He went and got her from the field, and she was a very good girl. We took her to the front field and let her eat grass then brought her in to eat her cake. She wasn't really into it. She eats hay with much more gusto than she ate her cake. The other ponies LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the individual cakes I made, so I don't think it's my cooking.

I got enough courage to ride her. She was really calm, really good, but about 2 minutes into it I got scared and quickly ended our short 10 minute ride. I don't know what my problem is. I need lunge line lessons on her to feel good on her. She's such a good girl. In my heart I know that I'm being ridiculous and stupid, but the fear that overtakes me, it's so real and it's so scary. I talked to my old trainer tonight (I MISS YOU!) and was trying to explain to her how I felt about riding Denali, she's good to bounce ideas off of. I asked her how "wild" Denali was at our last barn and she agreed with me that she was a !@#$ing basket case! I need to get over the fact that was a year ago and she's calmed down a lot. She has a good 45 days on her, and hasn't been totally out of control for some time. I KNOW I can ride her, I KNOW that I can stay on if she bolts, but I just can't get it through my head. As I sit here I'm still sick to my stomach. I'm ridiculous!

We also had Marianne come visit us! Denali liked to feel so special! It was a good birthday, aside from the fact that she is afraid of her Lik-it in her stall. lol. :)

Also sending good vibes to Kristen and Laz!! I'm praying for a miracle!!

I've had a long drama filled weekend. Check back tomorrow for THAT explanation. I didn't want to taint Denali's birthday with drama.


Jooles said...

Sending birthday wishes to Denali.

I can totally empathise with your feelings of fear and then disappointment in yourself. I am just the same. I go to the farm full of good intentions and when I get there I find all sorts of excuses why I can't ride - its raining, too windy, ground is too wet/icy, not enough time, etc. Then, when I get home I'm kicking myself for being such a wimp.

I look at the videos of myself a year or so ago and its like looking at a different person.

My friend once told me "what goes on in the brain, goes down the rein" and consequently, when I ride I'm constantly reminding myself to relax/breathe/shoulders down. Sometimes it works.

Perhaps we should take a hip flask to give us some Dutch courage before mounting - that might help!?

The Gals on the Scale said...

I for one totally support the hip flask - liquid courage is better than no courage at all.

I'm so glad you rode yesterday! She's been such a doll, you have nothing to worry about. Remember, everything going on in your seat she can feel, so she feels your stress. Hopefully, she'll stop being off so I can start riding her more consistently again, and she'll get even better. Maybe you should take a lesson on her once a week or something like that. I'd like to ride 5 days a week, so she'd be in full time work and probably by all business. Then YOU could take her to shows too! ;o)

~ Megan

Frizzle said...

So,what is it that Denali used to do when she was wild? Run? Buck? Bolt? I'm sure there are some techniques that your trainer could teach you to deal with these behaviors (for example, the one-rein stop for bolting) and maybe that would make you feel more in control and help you relax.
And, hey, you've got Denali on Ex-Stress -- maybe you should take some, too! :-) Maybe try some Valerian, which is a natural calming supplement. Or talk to a sports psychologist -- they could give you lots of "tools" to help you get over your fear of riding Denali.
Just bouncing ideas around. I know you love Denali and spend a ton of money on her care -- I think it would be great if you could enjoy riding her!

Denali said...

Oh I know Frizzle. Denali does nothing. She's great. Sometimes she doesn't listen to me, but that's rider error and not horse error. She has been great!

When I came back from Denmark she'd charge at me teeth bared, she'd turn and try to kick me, she'd take off at a dead run unprovoked.

I kid you not when I say I had to back her everywhere we went. If I gave her her head (while leading her) she'd rear up and try to strike out.

She scared the bejesus out of me.

I agree about the valium or something. I did deep breathing yesterday for about 20 minutes while I got her ready.

She's just so sensitive. She's such a good, good girl and I need to get drunk before I ride ;)

Denali said...

My old TB, use to TAKE OFF if you leaned forward. I perfected my one rein stop on him. He was an old eventer and if he saw jumps, or was given a large arena WATCH OUT! It was fun though, but he wouldn't stop. :)

Nicku said...

You're such a good horse mommy. I was going to ask the same question about what exactly she does that you're a little scared of. I can sympathize, my mare likes to try to dominate me too sometimes and it takes courage to stand up to them (safely). I am sure you two will work it out and it sounds like you're already making awesome progress. You go at your own pace girl, there is no timeline or anything! Loving the blog!!!!!

Denali said...

She doesnt' to anything now to scare me. She's a good girl. Sometimes she's wired, but I just lunge the hell out of her until she's blown off the steam. Mostly I just turn her loose in the arena to let her run around before I even tack her up. That helps a lot. I just can't get it through my head that she wont' hurt me. Ridiculous? I know! Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Here is a are lunging the bejezzies out of her o settle HER down, why not take up long lining. Get a good instructor to show you how. Let me tell you after trotting after her for 15 minutes you will be SO relieved to get up that you will relax and have a good time. If you get tense...well off you go and trot around some more! Use adverse conditioning for your brain. At my school what I teach is to locate a problem, create an excersise and work out a solution. No rider is bad, they simply need to develop the muscle memory to do the drill. YOU need to work on mental memory!

Denali said...

Thanks Anonymous!! That is a really good idea, and I've thought of doing that with her, but just never got around to. I think your reason for doing it is brilliant!

Jennifer said...

I've been in a similar situation with near paralyzing fear and it's awful. ((((((HUGS))))) For me it took time, reliable school horses, and then the right gelding to bond with. But it still sneaks back in occasionally. Totally not fun! But horses are worth the hard work and patience to overcome it.