Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shell Shocked Autopilot

I did say a positive came out of all the sadness last week. Saturday, I was so shell shocked I could not get up the urge to ride my horses. DaVinci looked at me like "Hey it is a great day. Why am I still not being ridden?" I just could not do it. Mentally I was not all there. Plus ride time was a time that Kayla absolutely loved. During the day, I did my normal chores and even trimmed Winston and Roscoe's feet. Then it was time to go ride Comrade.
In between all the drama of the week, I had made the decision that Comrade would go to the show. Of course on Friday Peggy called me to say she bought another truck, so all the ponies could go. This means that even though I really did not feel like riding, I had to ride Comrade. I just planned on working the steps for Ridden Cob: trot, extended trot, canter circle then a gallop. Gallop is tough in the small arena, but he had some response. Honestly, my brain was not engaged. My body was on autopilot.
Gradually, during the ride something started to break through my shock. Comrade was doing everything I asked, correctly without exaggerated motions from me. That realization made me engage a bit more in the ride. We did leg yields to the fence, trot the short end and extend across the diagonal both ways. Then we did the canter circles with a push forward on the straights preparing for the gallop. With all that great forward, I decided to try canter leg yields. Comrade acted like he did them all the time. He did not even cheat. A major achievement for him. I ended the ride on that note.
I told Peggy being shell shocked let my body do the right moves without my mind making them more complicated. Bless Comrade for giving me the ride I needed and not taking advantage of my autopilot.
Today I had to cut my ride short because the horse flies were attacking. Every time Comrade heard the buzz, he started hopping. He must have been getting attacked all week because he has not reacted that way before. We did get to do some backing up an incline. That earned me Cob grunts. Got his back up though. Some days we have to take what we can get.
And now for a body picture. Comrade was not cooperative, so neither picture turned out well. You can see he is less cresty already and his shoulder is more defined.

Haunches out

Haunches in...sigh

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