So yesterday…. was a beautiful day. In more ways than one. Not only was it 70-something degrees on this lovely February day, but, I ALSO WON BIG. NO WHAMMIES. Sadly, no prizes either, though. Left turns happened. Amazing flatwork. And slightly bigger balls emerged.
So during our last ride, Ollie had acted the fool, and I had turned into a complete crazy woman. He was pulling his antics, and I totally let him run his head into the wall when he was trying to not turn left. My legs were wailing on him, and I turned into the most demonic, terrifying version of myself that I’ve ever become, but I won. We turned left softly four times after I put the fear of God into him, and then called it a day. So I wondered if the lesson was going to stick for the next ride.
I arrived at the barn feeling good already, and Ollie was waiting at the top of his paddock for me. He was ready to rock and roll. As we got ready, I thought I might try using his Thinline half pad again. The saddle fitter had said to try not to use it, as it made the saddle fit a bit tight, but I thought….. ya know what? Worth a shot with all this no-left-turny shiznit. So I plopped it on him, and off we went.
Melissa and Felicia were going to go play in the big jump arena, and asked if I wanted to go with them. I firmly told them nope…. I
wanted to be exasperated was gonna work on feeding and watering my balls while starving Ollie’s.
We began walking around on a loose rein, and then I realized – oh hell no. Let’s not give Ollie any rest today. LET’S JUST GO FOR IT. We framed up and I started asking him to do square turns every which way. You don’t like using your hind end? Well that’s all we’re gonna do today is use it! You’re gonna have the booty of a Kardashian after today!
So we did tons of transitions. At first, he was all like, “Oh you said to halt? Wait just a minute while I make myself a ham sammich. Oh, that’s good. Maybe I need some chips too. Oh, are you still asking to halt? K, lemme think about it a minute.”
And I told him, hell no. The good life is over…. I ask you to halt, and you need to ask, “How quickly, and do you want some of this sammich I made? It’s really good.”
So we halted a lot. Did cavaletti.Backed up, and he got OhMyGodYou’reSuchAGoodBoy when he actually backed up properly using his back and not like a drunken octopus on roller skates. I kept changing the game on him every few strides, and it made him flick his ears back and forth so fast that if he had had a flux capacitor, we’d be riding in 1955 right now.
AND OH MY GOD WE TURNED LEFT. SO MUCH LEFT. He only THOUGHT about not turning once, and I whacked him and called him awful things, and he straightened right back up.
We even did several turns on the forehand. To the left. I squeed so hard that they probably heard me in Oklahoma. And through everything, I didn’t let him move an inch out of where I wanted him to be, and gave super-specific instructions. Like, better than my typical IKEA-grade instructions that I tend to give him.
At the end of the ride, I was left wondering if it was the magical half pad, or if me acting like a crazy woman during the last right is what made the difference. Maybe a bit of both? Or maybe my crazy seeped into the half pad. My crazy gets everywhere, yo. Just ask my husband.
Speaking of husband, look at us all Texas’d up for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo! And look at all the ponies. OMG.
So I am feeling renewed and hopeful that Ollie and I are going to make it as a team. And those balls? Fricking huge right now. BRING IT ON, WORLD.
OK, maybe let me still take my anxiety meds, though. Let’s not go crazy.