February 29, 2012

School and horses

I did fail to post about how my lesson, actually let me rephrase that, GROUP lesson on Monday went! Well it was great! I got to ride a level 2 dressage horse (Jealousy) which was interesting. Acutally, I rode Mr P for the first half of the lesson, mostly because of what happened this weekend:

Long story short, we had a Pony Club Retreat going on this past weekend. I was called into work on short notice (mostly because I am the only college student that would be up at 7 on a weekend). I went to work with the idea that I would hold Mr P while someone from the Pony Club gave a quick lesson on a horse's skeleton. He was painted on one half of his body, waited for the paint to dry, and off to the arena we went. As soon as the garage door opened I knew this wasn't going to be easy. The Pony Club had 2 vaulting pomels and very colorful mats in the arena, and also some miscellanous things at the far end. Mr P caught sight of the vaulting pomels and just forze! Eyes wide open, ears as straight as can be and just the "Oh my gosh it's going to eat me!" look on his face. I carefully coaxed him forward and tried to get him to walk on the outside of the arena before I asked him to go near the horse eating monsters. Oh did I mention that there was 100+ people in the arena who didn't really bother to be quiet, but hey they are kids I guess.

Finally I was able to get him into the arena, and he is near to have a mental breakdown, but boss lady and vet lady wanted to still try to see if we could do it. Well it got to the point where boss lady didn't think I could handle him and took him from me, and she said that I would handle the tours.

I had 2 groups to give a tour, and each group consisted of 26 people. Overal it was fun though and the kids really enjoyed themselves! After the first tour I got back to the arena and see that Jealousy was in the arena, and not Mr P. I finally got the chance to ask boss lady what was up, and according to her Mr P knocked her down and just lost his mind, so they got Jealousy who did perfect and didn't even give a second look to the vaualting pomels.

So fast forward to the lesson.

Saddie wanted me on Mr P because she had already seen that I can stay on when he decides that the world is out to get him and Syd was on Jealousy. Eventually we switched and I rode Jealousy. This was an interesting experience but a frustrating one. Jealousy is so well trained that if you aren't doing everything perfectly she will just ignore you. I realize this means that the problems we ran into were mostly my fault, but it was still frustrating. To top it off Jealousy had (or has?) gastric ulcers, so you can't kick her and if you do she backs up. To me a horse that is backing up without you asking for it is much more scarier than a bucking horse. When she was backing up ears all pinned I could only imagine her rearing and coming down on top of me. Thankfully, that didn't happen, and I did learn many things that I was able to transfer over to when I ride Mr P.

Unlike last week, it took me about 30 minutes before my calf got tired and decided that it was best for my heel to stay up. I try not to be hard on myself and say I am improving because before it was more like 10 minutes, but I still get frustrated with it. I ordered a elastic band similar to what they use in physical therapy in order to work on strengthening my calves since I don't have stairs.

Thanks for reading!

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