I’ve never gotten to participate in the storied torture/tradition of No Stirrup November in my years of riding, so if being excited about it after my first lesson makes me crazy, I’ll gladly hold that title. After fretting over the microsleep at the show on Sunday, I had a great ride on Wednesday with M and then rode again on Friday with the pony club kids who were doing mounted games. In all reality, a few simple choices would have likely prevented the episode from occurring, and it does me no good to dwell on it.
On Wednesday Divine initially continued her lackadaisical demeanor from Sunday, but once she realized we were getting to do her favorite thing (canter), she was insistent on a trot speed that offered the best chance for falling into a canter. So that was slightly painful until after she had a good five minutes of trot-canter-trot transitions circling about the arena. M had an understandably more difficult time on Eli, who’s trot I would liken to a slow-motion, extra-springy pogo-stick that could quite literally bounce someone out of the tack should they start giggling (may or may not have happened in this lesson…).
Friday I was excited to do games like the egg and spoon race and whatever crazy relay they came up with, on Pretty, the 12 hand wonder/devil pony, but after my futile attempts to catch her, I was bequeathed with Rain instead. Rain is a WhoTheHellKnowsBred that most closely resembles a Dutch Harness horse. She came off the slaughter lot, learned a ton with trainer MS, was sold and then returned (but not before being almost completely soured) and has been worked intermittently since. I actually liked her a lot, but completely emphasize with M now – MS warned me that she has yet to sit her trot, and my measly attempts were met with some pinned ears from her and a quick return to posting on my part unless I wanted to eventually part ways with her. Even with a bucking fit (due to a loose girth, my fault) and a mini-meltdown from a hula-hoop (not totally unreasonable), I never felt afraid or like I was going to come off.
I mention that for two reasons. One is because when I started back riding in June after a over a year off, I was seriously questioning if I’d still have my nerve and “pick up the bike-ness” so to speak. Two is that it’s baffling to me that I can be so calm with a spooky or actively bucking horse and then terrified about some additional medical testing I’m having done this week. Objectively, I’d say that’s probably because I have a lot more experience with horses and a lot less with obscure diagnostics which I have no idea how my body will react to. And that seems… pretty obvious. But what am I trying to prove by admitting the later and building myself up with the former? Why’s that question important? I’ve got no answer to either question.