Yesterday was my first "official" day with Ms. Vera. I got to the barn around 4:30 and proceeded to grab her pretty face from her beet pulp deliciousness. She wasn't happy. I had to try a new saddle out because the one I was using
I opted to ride in the indoor arena since there are walls, and I am afraid I will come off and not be able to catch her! My lesson was changed to next week, this week my trainer had to run off to UPS to send off a horses passport to be renewed to go to LONDON! How exciting.
What went well in our ride:
Lots of bendy circles, she went on the bit and was able to carry herself a bit farther in frame than she was the last time I rode her. We rode longer than we have, and she was listening really well...at the start. I did a better job of keeping contact in the outside rein. I would like to think we looked "less drunk" than we have been looking.
What we need to work on:
We did some walk/canter/walk transitions and going to the right she was a total peach! It felt great, and I was super stoked! Then I decided to do the same thing going to the left. I don't know what happened, but have been analyzing it ever since. I asked her for the canter and she did three-four beautiful strides. Then she decided that she should take her head and throw it between her front legs. For a brief moment I thought she was going to do a somersault forward. I instantly thought, "OH HELL NO!" and had visions of Denali dancing in my head. I brought her back to a trot and took up a bit more rein (thinking I had them to long...that HAD to be it, right?) I half-halted and then kicked her back into a canter, one, two, three, DIVE. WTF Vera! Seriously! I did the same thing again, and brought her back into a trot since she was wanting to go down and up, and not forward. I could not figure out what in the hell she was doing. No one was in the arena so I called over a friend from the outdoor to watch us. I didn't know if this was a poor excuse for a buck, if it was her head diving, she was tripping, or just trying to stretch. One thing I have learned from the Mare-Wolf is that if you let her get away with it once, she will keep doing it. I don't think Vera has a mean bone in her body, but still....
My friend came over and watched, I did some figure 8's and then kicked her into a canter. Nothing, nada, good as gold. HORSE! Seriously!
Did she buck? Maybe.
Did she dive? Maybe.
Did she trip (twice?) Maybe.
I have no idea. Then I realized that staying on is a newly developed skill. I am trying really hard at not fixating on trying to figure out what Vera did. I was told that she has only ever bucked once in her life. If it was a buck, it might have been the new saddle that I had on her. I didn't fit in it at all (AT ALL- I was singing "Fat girl in a little saddle" most of the ride.) It seemed to fit her, but who knows. She might have been trying to stretch to loosen up her shoulders in order to canter. I asked my trainer about what she thought it might have been and she said she likes to stretch out A LOT. My friend who was watching, said "Maybe it's the hunter canter?" Who knows. I do know I need to focus on the good things. 1. I stayed on and made her "fix it." 2. I kept riding her after the cantering issue. 3. We had a really nice ride.
It is driving me NUTS not knowing what she did. NUTS!!!
I know how easily I talk myself into believing a small thing is a huge deal. This is not a huge deal, and the fact that I had zero problems staying in the saddle (even when it didnt' fit me) made me feel pretty good. My friend is going to let me borrow her VLX which is a bit bigger than the one I was using yesterday. We'll see what Princess II thinks of that.
My days with her are Tuesday/Saturday/Sunday for now. I need to talk to my trainer about seeing if we can have a lesson a different day so that I can ride her with "supervision" and make sure that I'm not doing something to piss her off. It's the first time that I don't want to just give up. I want to figure it out, so that's good.
I faxed off Denali's papers today to her new vet at Retirement Farm. Her paperwork should be ready to go by the end of the week. I have decided to go visit her this weekend. Knowing her, she will be super loving and sweet and make me question my decision. UGH! Positive? Even if she's an UBER-bitch I won't mind.
I sent off crazy-lease to her new "owner." The wording of the lease is that
The "Term" of this Lease shall commence on: May _____, 2012 (“Commencement Date”) and shall not be terminated.
Then there are stipulations that I can cancel the lease at anytime (and under what terms,) but if he cancels the lease I get 3 months to find her a place to live before I take her back. If she comes back in less than a year, he pays to haul her. If it's more than a year, I pay. It's 4 pages, but I had a lawyer look it over and make sure it was something could hold up in court (if it ever came to that.) So far, so good. I'm sending it off and waiting to see what he says about it. I went over it on the phone with him, and he said he had no problems with it.
I'm excited for her new adventure, but will feel better about it when she is there and I don't need to worry about her in a trailer for 9+ hours.