A Blog About My Journey Riding and Training Sora, My Soulmate

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Feeling Down :-(

I'm already having problems with the riding schedule I wrote about in the previous post.

We had about five days of constant rain and cold wind. It literally went from about 70*-45* overnight, add rain and you've got a wonderful recipe for mud and rainrot. I've been keeping Sora dry in the "best blanket ever" which is one I bought for about $25 dollars on sale from State Line Tack. It has kept her ABSOLUTELY dry. I really can't believe it but I'm really happy with my purchase :-)

At any rate it has been impossible to ride and then yesterday (Wednesday) on my day off it was beautiful. In the sixties, sunny, just a little windy. I couldn't believe it and after doing some much needed barn chores I scooped my saddle up from my bedroom, brought it out to the barn and got Sora.

Since it was warm and sunny she was sleepy and loving in the pen and I was really thinking we'd have a great ride. She was nuts! I don't know what was going on, she's not in heat, but she was really nervous, whinnying, jumping all over. I knew I didn't want to get right on her so I took her out to lunge her and all hell broke loose.

When I first taught her to lunge if I asked her to canter so would FREAK out and start galloping around in a circle, breathing hard with a wild look in her eyes. Usually I would do what I could to stop her, get her calmed down and then end our lunging session. She just looked so terrified that I hated to continue pushing her and hurt her or have her slip. One time she even went so nuts that she fell :X (in a deep snow bank) This summer I started calming her down and then continuing and it worked but as soon as it got hot she stopped doing it completely. I thought that was the end of it but apparently not.

Now, I'm not proud of myself but on Wednesday I lost my patience a little. It was obvious to me that she is no longer terrified of me or the lunge so instead of trying to bring her in and let her stand and calm down I just kept insisting on a trot. I wasn't beating her or anything, as if I could ever do that to her, but I would jerk hard once on the line while giving her a voice command. Sora would just keep galloping, I would jerk again a little hard this time, Sora would keep galloping, I would pull really hard a third time and Sora would slam on the breaks and look at me like "hey mom you don't have to pull!" (insert winy voice here). I would push her back up to a trot and the galloping and heavy breathing would continue. Rinse and repeat :X.

We did this about five times going to the left before she finally was trotting nicely. After having her trot around me (mom I'm so tired when do I get to stop?) about five times. I turned her and had her go to the right. Same scenario except she was already tired.

I really don't believe in spending much time on the lunge and I was frustrated after. I just don't know any other way to deal with it and since kindness has gotten me nowhere with this problem I think it's time to try a little stricter approach.

I wasn't frustrated until she started galloping so I really don't think she was picking up on me and I was happy and relaxed when I took her out so I don't think she was getting that from me either. I hope dearly that I won't have the same situation on my hands again next time I take her out. On Wednesday I didn't end up riding because although she probably would have been great (she was MUCH calmer when we finished :D) I just hated to put any more stress on her body and I REALLY wanted to ride. I know it's not all about riding it's just that I feel like I'm doing continuous ground work and she really needs some good hours under saddle. Yesterday she fell apart again when I went to put the saddle on from the right side. She never used to have a problem with it and I've been doing equal desensitization on both sides since she started being nervous about it a few weeks ago.

Gaaaa, I am really happy that I'm training her myself but sometimes I want to pull my hair out!!! (By the way, she wasn't even sweaty after our work out on Wednesday. I wish I had that kind of stamina :D)

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