Monday, November 3, 2008

Frustration. Level. Rising.

So I had Cameo (yet again. Kristy likes giving us one horse for several weeks before she switches us to someone new) tonight. Kristy wasn't teaching though, as she's on vacation, so we had someone else (whose name I can't remember for the life of me right now).

I didn't magically fall off on my feet this time (thank goodness).

But I did have a bitchy horse.

It's weird, because the first three or so times I've ever ridden her, she was pretty cooperative. Just last week she started with the "no, actually, I don't want to do what you want to make me do" routine. Tonight that mostly manifested in her popping her inside shoulder and doing the noodle-neck routine as she tried to move into the middle of the ring. Though I think she did get a couple of little bucks in, too, when I was trying to make her canter.

So yeah. That going to the inside of the ring thing kept happening for probably a good half of the hour or so lesson. I couldn't even cross the ring (to keep her from running up onto a slower horse in front of her) without her trying to stay in the middle of the ring and so on. And my first inclination (to pull with the outside rein and pull her back out) doesn't really work because she just noodle necks. Intellectually, I know I need to create a wall with my inside hand and leg and move her whole body over but actually putting it into practice is rather easier said than done.

So this kept happening. And I kept feeling like an idiot. And there was a new teacher (and someone else in there observing) and nobody else was having this issue. So the frustration was really there. For a minute there I was almost in tears (such a baby, I know) because she just wouldn't settle in and work (last week it didn't take nearly as long to get her going) and then there's this new person instructing and I just kept thinking she must've been wondering why I wasn't back in some beginner class or something (again, intellectually, I doubt she thought that, but who ever said I was always rational?).

Fiiiinally, she did settle in, though not after I'd worked at getting her to canter to the left several times around. But by the time we switched to going to the right, she was ready to go and that was just fine. I didn't really have any trouble with her after that (thank goodness).

I will be doing working student lessons again starting on Friday so the extra time in the saddle again will likely help. That and I'm going to try to set up an extra private lesson with Kristy on my day off next week and I'll ask her to work with that with me. Maybe I'll even ask her to put me on Cameo for that.

Though, honestly, there was a point in the lesson tonight I was tempted to write Kristy a note saying "put me on anyone but Cameo next time, please." But then I figure that's just giving in to the bossy mare and I want to learn how to ride the difficult horses (and I'm sure she isn't the worst I'll ever have to deal with) along with the easy ones. So the note will stay unwritten. :)

Substitute!instructor did say that this is a thing Cameo does a lot and if she's been in more lessons lately with kids who aren't ready yet (or strong enough or whatnot) to make her mind, then she's more likelLinky to be inclined toward thinking she can get away with it. Which might help explain why she was easier to ride for me before as compared to lately. Or it's possible it's the change in the weather (now that it's cooler) that is also at play here.

Anyway, I figure if nothing else, it's research for the novel I'm writing for National Novel Writing Month. I'll torture my main character with a horse like Cameo. ;)

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