Monday, July 27, 2020

Five Times in A Row

This weekend was the first time since March of last year that I rode five days in a week, and five days in a row. Wednesday was a short ride of only about ten minutes due to the sudden storm that blew in while I was riding with a friend in the outdoor arena. We went from pretty warm but overcast to so much dust we could barely see the barn in about 30 seconds. Ashke and I had just started our canter work and as we turned our circle toward the barn we were met with a chest high tumbleweed that hadn't been there two seconds before. Ashke did a bizarre movement that seemed to be a jump, shy, stop thing as it hit his chest, which was so awkwardly funny that I burst out laughing until I heard my friend say something behind me. I turned around and she was stock still on her 16.3h Friesian. I could tell she wasn't comfortable and starting to panic a little at the conditions. I swung down off Ashke and walked over to grab the horse, who in his defense did not move a single muscle despite the weather conditions, which had added lightning to the mix. He stood stock still until his rider was on the ground. I never worry about Ashke, since I know that I can ride anything he is going to do, because I also know he would never try to hurt me. I don't have that confidence in other horses, but this time, the big guy stepped up and took care of his mom.

I rode Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was very good, even though that was basically the only thing I did on the weekend. The rest of the time was spent doing nothing: I mean, I read, watched some TV, cooked, did dishes, watered the lawn, picked veggies. But no projects. I'm feeling tired, which I think is stemming from depression. I spend a lot of time alone. I'm not lonely, per say, but I am alone. This feeling is pretty familiar, since it is how I have been feeling for years and years now, however, even when I was feeling alone with my ex, there was another person to talk to about meals, or house cleaning, or grocery shopping. Some interaction. I was expecting an end to that feeling sometime this year, but Covid has other plans.

Anyway. it was a quiet weekend, with only riding as my source of excitement.

One of the things we have been working on is changes where Ashke keeps his body straight through the change. He's gotten so much better and is no longer swinging around a corner and throwing his body into the change without waiting for me to ask. Now, he waits and tries to give it to me when asked instead of improvising. Along that goal, we routinely work on tempi changes, which were exceedingly challenging when we first started, but have now slowed down enough mentally that I am able to count strides. When I sit up, look up, and swing with the motion, they are pretty cool.

Not too shabby.

Sunday, we were practicing and when we got to the far end of the arena, he suddenly started throwing changes everywhere. I brought him to a halt and conversationally asked him WTF, dude? Amanda's mom, who had been watching us, started laughing and explained that Laz was coming around the corner toward us and Ashke was reacting to him. They really act like rival stallions in the barn and neither of them really like the other. Ashke is the only other gelding in the barn working on the kind of things that Laz routinely does (he is a FEI Grand Prix horse). 


  1. Ashke is an amazing partner for you. I’m sorry that you are so alone. Hopefully this pandemic will end soon.

    1. Don't hold your breath, because we have a petri-dish south of you that we are using to explode the virus.