I feel so ashamed.
You know it's a bad night when you leave the barn in tears, seriously considering selling or giving away your horse and never riding again.
Monday night I rode (see last post) and I feel like I completely messed up my horse. None of what happened was his fault. It was entirely me. I was angry. Hungry. Frustrated. Completely forgot the entire point of riding. Hormonal. (And how fair is it to be three years past my last period and still dealing with PMS type symptoms?) I was mean. I was unfair. I took out everything I was feeling on my horse. I acted like an out-of-control adolescent idiot. And I knew it while it was happening, but couldn't find the stop button. My only positive on the night was hanging with Ashke in his stall afterward, doing carrot stretches and hand feeding him carrots.
I called my mom on the drive home and cried.
I sobbed in J's arms for a good five minutes when I got home.
I have tears in my eyes right now thinking about it.
Ashke still loves me though. He whinnied four times between when I said his name walking in the door of the barn and getting to his stall. He met me at the door and stuck his head in the halter. He sounded "sound" when we walked to the grooming stall and was nuzzling me for love and carrots.
I don't deserve any of that. It just shows you how big his heart is. And how forgiving.
She was calm and gave us great direction, even though her personal horse, Pico, was colicking at the time. (That's why you can see her lunging a horse during our lesson in some of the pics.)
This is Ashke at the canter toward the end of the lesson. (Pics are also out of order.) Cassandra was able to help him figure out what I wanted and he actually put up with my unbalanced, ungraceful nonsense.
I really struggle to get all of the things I'm supposed to do happening in the correct order at the right time.
Cassandra at the canter. Ashke really tried. Really hard.
Cassandra makes him look so much better. Even if it is blurry.
At the trot. Or maybe the canter. Or a transition. So hard to tell.
Getting tired. And not wanting to give to the inside at the poll.
Pretty grainy pics.
Working on warming up.
My feeble attempt at posting. I have finally gained enough core strength to try, at least.
My hands get too high when I ask him to canter. Might this be part of the issue?
Things you don't know: Cassandra uses the term "Soften" to mean, tighten the rein on the inside and ask him to give at the poll and jaw and bend to the inside. "Soften" to me means ease up on the pressure. I was doing the opposite of what Cassandra wants.
We had a conversation (you can watch the video) and agreed to discuss terms. I am a newbie in the woods and need to be treated as such.
He tried so hard. And gave big, body heaving sighs when he knew he was doing it correctly.
Cassandra pointed out that he is going to be super sensitive to my emotions.
Next time I need to do something different.
(Actually, I knew that then, but couldn't stop myself. Rage will do that.)
Ashke was tired, but still licking and mouthing and foamy at the end of the ride.
Cassandra says she can tell I am working on riding him the way she is showing me, because of the muscle change in his body.
This picture brings tears to my eyes. Look at how happy he is.
Cassandra was focused on us, even while lunging Pico. Thankfully, Pico is better today.
At the end of the lesson we gobbled up the rest of the carrots, while doing stretches.
And just hanging out.
To the more difficult side.
The boy was tired and not really interested in doing any more.
J was videoing. I love it when she comes out to my lessons.
Much better lesson this time. No tears and no frustration.
Discussing the finer points of dressage language and method.
I'm not being firm enough in my contact.
I am releasing pressure instead of increasing pressure to the inside, which causes him to bend to the outside.
My idea of increasing pressure to the inside is not firm enough. It is not a twitch of a finger, but rather a flex with the hand. Maybe we can progress to a twitch as some point, but not yet.
I think this was the last work of the night. I may have to bring my dressage whip for these moments, which will hopefully get less as we progress. We had been riding for an hour and Ashke didn't want to continue. He wasn't sweaty, just that it was hard and he didn't want to try any more.