Busy Week

So I didn’t get out to ride since I went out on Sunday. My best friend is moving out of town so I have been spending as much last minute time with her as I can. Which means spending time with her while she is packing after work. So no horse riding for the last couple of days.

I am expecting to get out the rest of the week. I need to get back into riding consistently again. It’s been a problem since I got back from Japan. I need to have more discipline with what I try to do. It’s too easy to just say no I don’t want to today. And that is okay occasionally. But its not okay to do all the time.

I’m going to give boot shopping one last try. There is another store in town that may have some tall boots available. I’m going to go down there Saturday morning and see if they have anything in my price range. If not, I have two options for online. One is purchasing the only pair that are in my price range from SmartPak. SmartPak now has free returns for things that need to be fit. Extremely important when purchasing boots. Dover has more options within my price range but its a $12 shipping fee in order to return. I don’t really want to pay $12 for the privilege of trying on the boots. The other option is to purchase the ones I already have again. I’m thinking about going up in width to see if that will help with the zipper problem I’ve had on mine. I’m not entirely sure if that will work. I’d have to measure my leg if it came down to that option. Mostly I’m just crossing my fingers that there will be some option at the store this weekend.

Better

After the awful ride on Monday, I was soured for going out to the barn for the rest of the week. That alone may not be the best of excuses but it happened that my week got busy with other things as well. So the next time I rode was on Saturday. 

Wow what a difference. Scarlet was still quite spooky but he was listening much better. I felt like we were able to work through the kinks and get a good workout in. We didn’t really do anything specific either. Just a basic w/t/c in circles. 

It’s amazing how different your mood is based on how your ride goes. I was in a much better mood on Saturday than I had been on Monday.

Sunday’s ride was even better. I went out with a plan and was able to actually get it done. I wanted to do some walk trot trot halt transitions and get them to be fairly responsive. Scarlet was able to do that for me. I also wanted to do simple changes across the diagonal for cantering. We did that really well. I was quite happy with Sunday’s ride.

While grooming, I did notice that Scarlet’s back feet had flared out quite a bit to the outside. After the ride, I noticed that the flares now had some good chips in them. I’m going to talk to my farrier and see if he thinks it’s because we are just about due for a shoeing or if I need to put back shoes on him.

Bad Ride

I rode on Monday and that was it this week so far. Unfortunately, it was not a great ride. Scarlet started off the ride by being spooky even when being tied up for grooming. It was windy so I was willing to let it go somewhat. The wind always gets him really tense and twitchy. I get that it is scary so as long as he isn’t really spooky, he gets a pass.

Scarlet normally fidgets a bit at the beginning of a grooming session but then settles down after I insist that he stands still. Not so this time. He kept trying to eye over his shoulder and stare at the trees that had wind blowing through their leaves. It was quite noisy so I didn’t think too much of it.

I should have probably called off the ride when we just couldn’t get going to any rail of the arena in a straight manner but by the time I realized that the ride was going to be a total battle, it was already too late. I couldn’t get off him at that point because it would have been a reward for completely ignoring me.

Now, I know its hard for him to focus when he is spooked by things. I’ve had him for most of his life and know that he is spooky. However, Monday was a level we hadn’t had to deal with in quite a long time. He completely ignored all my aids. Legs, seat, hands. I had to fight to get him to move forward and then towards where I wanted to go. Eventually, we were able to get to a decent forward trot. The trot definitely had extra bounce to it but it was acceptable otherwise. I was exhausted and sore by the time I got off.

Objectively, the ride probably wasn’t that bad. No real spinning. No getting bucked off. But it felt like a failure. I’ve been having a hard time feeling positive about riding recently. I feel like any an all things that I try are just getting progressively worse. He isn’t respecting my aids, I can’t tell if I have connection through his body etc. I know that I should set small achievable goals for myself and be more flexible with what I’m achieving but sometimes its hard to stay objective and not feel like I’m wallowing in the mud of failure.

New Boot Search

I got an unexpected sacking out lesson on Thursday. It was really windy and I figured Scarlet would be a little more “excited” due to the wind. He usually can get a bit flighty when everything is blowing around. What I didn’t think about was that some of the things in the neighbor’s yard are covered in tarps. So the tarps flapped. Lots. To be fair to Scarlet, his reactions were very good. He crab-walked away from the tarps for the most part and listened to me when I insisted that he walk near them. During the gusts, he planted his feet and started a few times. But planting ¬†is preferable to spinning. All told, I think that his reactions were very good and that it was a beneficial ride.

While I was riding, my boot split again. My right boot zipper hasn’t been able to zip up completely since I had to fix the zipper again myself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like my fix is going to be enough to make my boots last a bit longer. I had hoped that I could keep using them since they aren’t really worn. I was able to un-zip them to get them off and they did zip up again when I rode on Sunday. But I don’t think they are very structurally sound. My sister and I decided to go boot shopping at the tack store after our ride on Sunday. Unfortunately, though this tack store does have a decent sized English section for the area, there weren’t too many options in my price range. I tried on the boots they had in my size but none of them fit right. So no new boots.

I know that I can find many more boots in my price range online but it’s really hard to purchase boots online. Especially because I may end up returning them a lot of times in order to get the correct fit/size. I looked at Smartpak since they have free returns but there aren’t any options in my price range either. So I’m left continuing the search for the moment.

Wind + Shedding

Equals hair EVERYWHERE. On my clothes. In my mouth. Even somehow inside my sports bra. It is definitely not very comfortable. However, shedding is awesome since it means that Scarlet will be able to cool off better after our rides. And I do love his sleek summer coat.

I rode on Monday and Tuesday, short rides each day. We only walked and trotted. On our Monday ride, I really wanted to do more and canter but when I took a walk break, I could tell that my lungs were having a hard time. My breathing was slightly more raspy. So I erred on the side of caution and decided to call it a day. I’m sure that Scarlet could stand up to more working but I don’t want to push myself and end up bed ridden for even longer.

Tuesday was more of the same. It was fairly windy so Scarlet was more worked up. Everything in the neighbors yard was a monster and he had to look at it as he crab walked sideways. It wasn’t too bad overall as far as spooky goes. He focused enough on me that I could get him moving forward at a good pace so I let him look at whatever it is while we moved and didn’t fuss. I did laugh at him when he started at a chicken flapping it’s wings. Such a big boy to be scared of a little chicken.

A slightly scary moment happened when I groomed him. I picked up his right fore to check if it needed picking and a rock about my thumb’s width had gotten stuck at the bottom of his frog in between the ends of his shoe. It was lodged in there pretty well too. My hoof pick wasn’t doing much to get it loose. I had a brief moment where I panicked slightly. The rock wasn’t pressing against his frog nor was it causing him to limp but back when I first owned Scarlet, we had an incident where he got his hoof stuck in the fence and I had some flashbacks to that. I had been going out to feed him and I saw that his hoof was caught and he was going crazy trying to get away. I ran out and got him to calm down by talking to him and touching him when he wasn’t moving. However, the wire was lodged really far underneath his hoof and I didn’t have any clippers on me. When I tried to move away, he freaked out again and I was so terrified that he was going to break his leg or something. Eventually I was able to yell loud enough to get the attention of my family who was still inside and my dad cut the wire but it was a scary moment. In comparison, the rock was hardly even close to as dangerous but it still caused me some panic.

I ended up being able to wiggle the rock down and out from his shoe and that was that. So bizarre that he stepped on a rock the perfect size and angle to get lodged like it did. But that’s horses for you. If there is a way to get hurt or have something happen to them, they will find it.

A Slow Recovery

As excited as I was to be back from Japan, the germs in the US were even more so. I got hit with a super bad cold that transitioned into a fever by the Monday I was supposed to go back to work. I was down and out for a good two, two and a half weeks. I basically lived on meds for a while. Since I could barely breathe for five minutes without trying to cough up both of my lungs, it also meant that I was unable to ride.

I did try and ride again a week ago Monday. However, while the ride was good, my lungs weren’t too pleased with me. My coughing had calmed down a bit by then but it kicked back up. Saturday I was able to ride again without my lungs complaining.

It was a fairly short ride as I’m very out of riding shape. We walked and trotted with some circles and serpentines. Very simple. A nice bonus is despite not having much time riding in the last month, Scarlet really didn’t have any spooky moments. Yay!

I’m hoping to pick up riding a lot more in the coming days now that I’m mostly healthy again. I have to be careful as to how much I ask from myself and how much I ask from my horse. I’m positive that if I don’t push, in two weeks we can work on more serious riding again.