OK, so I’ve not been posting for a while. Life and butthurt feelings got in the way, but here I am! What, you don’t care about my feelings? Well then I don’t like you either.
So Ollie and I have been on the road to redemption lately. And I have one person to thank for taking jumper cables to my brain and balls to jumpstart me. And that is Nick Larkin. Who doesn’t remember Nick Larkin, that awesome man who won Rolex on a $500-ish horse? Yeah, so I wasn’t the least bit nervous when he came to our barn for lessons. Cause I’m not the nervous type at all.
HAHAHA. Yeah. So I was terrified at first. Not only was it cold and late in the day, but the horses had been in for days because of the bitch called goddamn winter (which also means I hadn’t been riding much). It was the perfect storm for a potential Spookmaster 3000. Now, let’s just all set aside the fact that Ollie’s “spooks” that rarely happen consist of pointed ears, moving faster and reacting more quickly. Essentially, making him behave like a normal horse. I SAID LET’S ALL FORGET THAT.
We started the lesson, and even without giving him our full life story, Nick could absolutely tell that I was a nervous Nelly, and Ollie had my number. The no-turny thing? It’s because my balls had shrunk to infant levels. My new mantra was to be “own every freaking step.” He didn’t let me – or Ollie – get away with anything. He was encouraging, but held me to a high standard. God, why he gotta be so
mean helpful? He also got to witness Ollie’s lack of self-preservation, evidenced by him running his giant noggin STRAIGHT INTO THE WALL. Because Ollie.
We had three private lessons over three days, and by the end, Ollie was yes ma’aming me so hard that I felt like a drill sergeant. During our jump exercises, Nick assessed what was going on with us and my
inability failure to make Ollie do as I ask WHEN I ask.
“I don’t think he’s TRYING to be bad….I think he’s just a little hard of hearing.” So, he had us trot in and canter out of a wee wee wee little crossrail, and then get Ollie to halt afterwards. Like immediately. No “1-2-3, Processing,” per the usual. SO THAT WAS HARD. We finally halted in what I thought was a reasonable amount of time, and he blankly told me I could do better. Repeatedly. GODDAMNIT, NICK LARKIN. And then when we got that, he put up two jump standards reeeaallly close together and said to halt in front of those, directly in the middle. I was pretty sure I was going to die.
But, we did it. And progress has continued ever since. No more no-left-turny madness from Olls. The balls are slowly growing back. He came back a month later for another set of lessons, and hopefully he’ll continue to keep coming back. I think I need Regular Nick Larkin in my life. I mean, really – I have a Rolex winner teaching me and my Very Special Freight Train…. it’s kind of awesome. And I feel like he speaks my language. I need someone who operates like a slightly encouraging sadist in the name of improvement. OK, maybe I’m the only one who sees it as sadism, but whatever. You don’t suck as badly as I do.
In the meantime, regardless of whether or not he comes back, it’s nice to know that I’ve started to halt our regression into the Land ‘O’ No Balls.
In other good news, the cocker spaniel’s tail has started growing.
I need to enter a show ASAP so I can still aim for sympathy points in dressage. Shut up, you know you’d gun for that too.
I’ll close it out here with a couple randoms of me and the Olls.