I can't believe its been almost three months since I did a blog post! I kept meaning to post but once you get past a certain point it seems a little overwhelming to try and catch up.
I rode Cartman steadily through September, not a lot of long rides but enough to keep him fit enough for an LD at Jubilee.
In the beginning of Sept. I attended a riding clinic and it did not go as I had hoped. I was participating with Taj (Cartman's brother) and while we did get some really good lessons on ground work the riding portion was a complete bust. To the point I got to be the "bad example" for the rest of the weekend. Sigh.
I don't want to dwell on this but I'm going to get it out there, as it was quite upsetting at the time. I'm not a real "sensitive" person and have done a lot of lessons and clinics over the years and am quite comfortable with trainers being blunt or even barking orders at me- I did grow up with the H/J crowd after all! But this experience was a new one for me- I much prefer to deal with the problem in the moment- talking about what I should have after the fact doesn't really help me.
Anyway, Taj was such an ass that when we got 8 horse rider pairs going in the arena he pretty much had a meltdown. We were only working on trot, disengage the HQ and stop (basically one rein stops) but about the third or fourth time around he started acting up. He was kicking out at other horses and there wasn't a lot of room. I started getting really uncomfortable and doubting how many more incidents until he bucked me off, or we ran into or kicked someone.
I ended up going to one end of the arena and standing, then trying to walk circles. He proceeded to start trying to jig, and toss his head and just be stupid. My goal at this point was just to try and get him calmed down a little but he just continued to escalate.
Finally I managed to walk down to the other end of the arena and jump off. I really didn't know what else to do at that point- I felt it was too crowded for me to try and ride him the way he was behaving.
Thankfully my friend (a great trainer and rider) helped me do a little ground work while the other riders finished up so we didn't stop on a completely horrible note with the horse.
There was no way I was going back in there after lunch for the cantering portion of the day. Yes, I am a big chicken:(
I was so happy (and relieved) when offered a horse to ride for the afternoon session- so that I could actually practice the lessons w/o fear of imminent danger. I didn't know until I was walking down the arena again that this horse was the ranch owners Tevis horse!
What an awesome, awesome horse. I have never ridden an Arabian before and was not expecting him to feel so smooth and powerful! He was an absolute gentleman and I can't say enough good things about this guy. I love him, and I want one just like him :) How cool is it that they would share this wonderful horse with others??
This part of the clinic was a little more fun, although I still felt really self conscious about wimping out on my own horse.
The evening pot lucks were really fun and it was really nice to be around a lot of good horse people!
Next morning I took Taj back for the groundwork portion but again rode the fabulous Arab in the afternoon.
While everyone broke for lunch I did saddle up Taj and we worked in the arena. He was perfectly well behaved and we did walk/trot/canter and then took a little mini-trail ride.
All in all, I did learn quite a bit- the clinician certainly knows her stuff and it was really interesting to watch her work with some of the horses. It was kind of a confidence buster for me however and actually took several weeks to "get over", to the point I didn't want to write about it.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, next up: Jubilee with Cartman!