Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good rides cure any day

Okay, so it wasn't a terrible day. Just an frustrating one at times. I got to decorate at work today, which is fun, but I always feel massively unproductive since I'm still learning. In that span that it takes me to do a single cake from one of our novelty cake kits, the other decorators can get about 4 cakes done or any sort (except like, wedding cakes, but that's a whole different category.). I just feel so slow and useless, but the experience is good and I'm getting faster.
The frustrating parts were just a few screwed up orders that I had to fix and a joke that's been going around the staff for about a week now that I'm getting really tired of it. I didn't think it was funny at first, and the fact that it's still going now is kind of ticking me off. I'm trying to figure out a way to ask people to quit it without sounding oversensitive and dumb, it's just a topic that I particularly don't want to joke about for reasons that I don't want to explain.

After work I went to Barnes and Nobles to pick up a new Piano book, because mine apparently got eaten by the moving goblins (sad face...) and I've decided I'm going to start trying to learn again. I always stop by the horse section (all two feet of it) to see if they've got any new and interesting titles in, though I can't really afford to buy any at the moment even if they did. One caught my eye, "How Good Riders get Good". I picked it up and scanned the back cover, reading something about how life circumstances might not be as bad as they seem. "Ha" I thought "You have no idea" but I opened it and started thumbing through it regardless.

Bottom line, it ended up making me kind of mad and depressed. The basic message of the first chapter was to stop blaming the fact that you're unsuccessful in the horse world on your lack of trust fund. While that helps, there are choices you could have made that would have set you up for success. Which, in general, I agree with. But the examples that was used for a person who "chose not to be successful" in the horse world was a kid that sounded a lot like me, a "barn rat" who eventually made the choice to turn down a working student job in order to stay closer to her boyfriend. My frustration with this, was that I didn't make that choice. I made the working student decision and... it didn't work out. We'll just leave it at that. The experience was actually so scarring them I spent a few months just sitting in my parents house nursing my physical and emotional wounds. Moving in with my then-boyfriend was, in a way, just a way to escape a continuous loop of bad experiences being employed in the horse world. I just have bad luck, I guess.

So I left the store feeling depressed and mad at my situation again. I was already dressed to ride, but considered going home instead. If I have a really bad day and I'm upset when I leave, I tend not to go to the barn because I haven't been having particularly good rides lately, Indigo has just been in a "Sassy" mood and doesn't really have much interest in my whole schooling idea.

But I did go to the barn. And I had a great conversation with the Barn Owners' son about the principles of dressage and their similarities to what he does in the natural horsemanship world, and how we're not all interested in the crank 'n spank attitude. He ended up watching my ride while I explained the concepts of rhythm, impulsion, contact, etc. He's totally western and has no real interest in dressage, but is interested to learn. We might do some trades in training. He'll teach me some basics of roping, I'll show him the ropes of basic dressage. Awesome.

And my horse? She was awesome. I only lunged her for maybe 5 minutes because she was so responsive and attentive and relaxed. I got on her and it was the same thing. She's starting to stretch over her topline and relax into the bit and I can get her to start stepping into the bridle just a tad. We worked on starting to supple the shoulders a bit, and she's starting to think about engaging her back. Today probably would have been the perfect day to introduce canter work (no, still haven't gotten to that under saddle yet. It's getting better on the lunge, but I've been having such crappy rides lately, I don't want to add another skill while we're already fighting.) but I decided to just end on the good note of suppling through the shoulders.

But man, if I had rides like this every day, I don't think I'd have as much issue with the cold.


  1. glad to know I'm not the only one who feels like punching somebody out after reading those equestrian "self help" books. glad the ride went well :)

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