Monday, 16 November 2009

Shaken up

I'm feeling a little shaken up this evening.  I rode Dee this morning – this is becoming a regular Monday morning ride.  This morning we had a lesson rather than going out for a hack.  The lesson was great.  I learned a lot and Sarian of Briwnant is a great teacher.  I understood things that I think they had tried to teach me at Pontcanna but never clearly enough – or perhaps I was just being dense.  Dee responded so well to the slightest aid it was a pleasure to experience what might be possible if I knew more about what I was doing.  I had given up on lessons because of the frustrations of trying to progress when different teachers would contradict one another, but I might have a few at Briwnant.

Unfortunately Dee clicked into riding school mode and became a mare I haven't seen for a few years.  When her ears went back, I got scared and let Dee get away with being aggressive.  I sat the bucks as she kicked out at another horse – but only just, and it left me feeling quite shaken.  The other riders kept well away from her after that and I don't blame them, but I feel sad and embarrassed that they had to.  I think I feel shaken from two perspectives – the first is that I felt unsafe, and the second is that Dee hasn't behaved like that for such a long time and I find it upsetting that it happened.  I thought we had moved past that.  Sure she is a dominant mare in the field with the herd, but I have had no trouble with her with other horses on rides for years.  It feels a bit like a failure.

It's made me think that I need to get a different saddle.  Now that Dee is getting fitter and I am riding several times a week regularly, I need a saddle that has a bit more substance to it.  I guess as Dee gets fitter her strong personality comes through more, and I need to know I am in control.  I need to know that if Dee spooks or plays up that I have the best chance possible to sit it and be in charge.  My treeless saddle is too close to riding in a bareback pad.

The rhythm beads have arrived and the new hoof boots.  It was too wet and wild today to try the hoof boots, but I wore the rhythm beads around my neck while I groomed Dee so that she could get used to the sound they make.

I've posted a picture of the Briwnant duck pond today.  Dee seems to be fascinated by the ducks, and always asks to stop and watch them for a while when I lead her past the duck pond.  She steps up onto the bank so she can get a good view.  She's such a sweet mare in so many ways.

1 comment:

Victoria Cummings said...

Sorry I haven't checked in with you for so long. I hope that things are working out better with Dee. I was wondering what she is being fed. With Silk, once I cut out the alfalfa and really reduced the amount of grain she got to a minimum, I was amazed how she settled down. It is very unnerving when something like that happens in the arena with other horses around. Horses can certainly give us a lesson in courage when we least expect it. I wish you and Dee many happy, calm rides in 2010!