One cowgirl.One horse.One dream to compete in AQHA's Versatility Ranch Horse Classes. The journey and challenges to be read here.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Mean Girls and Fractured Toes
Remember my last blog entry on "Balance"? Well that also means balancing the good with the bad! Since my last entry I have worked the Hydra Bull twice with Hayden and have managed to ride him a only handful of times in between.
On the night of the second I was starting to feel "blah" with a sinus infection.By the following Wednesday night I was on a Z-Pack that made feel even sicker.Plus the night before,Hayden decided to spook and do the splits on to my toes in the concrete hallway! My toes were so pretty! I might add that you don't know how much you use your toes while riding (especially in the stops)until it hurts very much badly when you do! WOW! But all is well and I think my toes are maybe only fractured. But enough negativity!
So let me tell you about our Hydrabull runs! The week before last (sorry no pics!) we managed to do 4 runs. He got better and better each time and the 4th go I even went to one hand for the last couple of turns! It felt great! Just before we went in for that last go I had been loping him around working on trying to get comfortable riding him in one hand. He did awesome! Head was down, and he was relaxed and stopping nicely on his hind end. Probably the best he's felt at the lope to me!I think I was more excited about the loping in one hand than I was with his Hydrabull work!
The way we've been working with 8-10 riders is everyone works the Hydrabull 5-10 minutes each time and going 3-5 times.We all go in the same order each time.I wish I could watch all the gos of everybody but even standing on the fence off of Hayden's back, he would get stiff before my go.So I try and watch at least one of everybody's just to be supportive and try and learn new things.
There were no pictures taken of my practice session from the 2nd but this last Wednesday night my dear (non horsey) hubby joined Miss Dee,Miss Lisa and I for the evening and took pics. He did a heck of a job!
This week I tried a new strategy. I warmed him up longer before our first go which Steve lets us go slow for. He was more settled and his stops were great! After Steve told us to quit,I would get off of him (which I have been doing all along) and watch the person who goes after me. Then I would get back on him and walk him out then work him on bending and flexing,stops,90 degree and 180 degree turns. When the person that goes just before me is starting their go,I lope and add a few stops.My new strategy seemed to work well! We had a pretty decent 2nd run but our 3rd run was super fantastic! Hayden was stopping so hard he was throwing dirt onto Steve in the Hydrabull! He was doing most of it himself and the most I had to do was lift his inside shoulder up to remind him he had to back up first before turning.Even that only had to be done a few times and when Steve bumped the speed up a notch, Hayden was more ready than I was! He felt awesome! When Steve said that was good and probably the best he's seen Hayden do,we stopped for the night on 3 runs! Made hubby happy since that meant leaving an hour earlier (9pm) than I usually did!
Remember I mentioned earlier that you have to balance the good with the bad? Well that translates around here into that I need to ride my other gelding,a 4 yr. old APHA gelding at times. He's really not a bad horse.In fact he's pretty good considering he really doesn't have that many hours under saddle.But he's not as fun to ride as Hayden is,so I don't ride him as much! So when I do ride him,usually just on trail rides,he will resist doing basic things like going down a hill or up a hill or into water.I know with more time and practice he'll be great but I am so focused on Hayden that it's hard for me to switch gears and ride this "other" horse.I know-poor poor pitiful me! I hear you playing your violin!
On Thursday I rode him ("BullsEye" aka Sharp Shootin Peppy) with some wonderful women at the Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve in Atmore,AL. I should have ridden Hayden since he's just been schooling and working in the arena but he'll get his trail time next month at an AQHA ride!
So what have I learned these last few weeks? 1.) Work my horse smarter-NOT harder! 2.) Mean girls suck! 3.) A supportive husband is gold! 4.) Not everyone is going to like you or support you but for every person who tries to pull you down,there are at least 2 others who who will lift you up!
This quote came to my attention this week and it seemed fitting although I am not sure who said it: The road to success is not straight. There's a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, caution lights called family. You will have flats called jobs. But if you have a spare called determination, an engine called perseverance, insurance called faith, a driver called Almighty GOD, you will make it to a place called SUCCESS.