Thursday, December 23, 2010

Freestyle? ever?

I'll admit I've been struggling with my emotional fitness while riding in the ring freestyle. Oh I'm fine out on the trails, ride with a casual rein, and keep my hips flowing. Most of the time. But spending time "just" riding in the ring has me worrying, doubting myself, trusting Cici.

Winter has definitely arrived, with a few inches of wet snow now on the ground. This is the stuff that compacts in the horse's hooves and creates snowballs or high heels. Not a good thing while riding on uneven ground, up and down hills. So its time for face the indoor demons.

Yesterday I was all set to play with stick to the rail, question box, circles, figure eights. Watched a piece with Linda working with a LBE and cones along the track. Thought of doing point to point with Cici at the trot.

Got to the barn and there were two people cleaning the stalls along the walls of the indoor. Not just cleaning, but stripping them. So lots of trips with full muck buckets from the stalls to outside the ring to dump them. Okay we can deal with this, playing on the ground.

When Cici is listening and partnering with me I tack her up. Now one of them asks if she can drive her truck into the ring to unload the bedding. Asks if I am going out on the trails. I said no, going to do ring work. And sure drive in, thinking she will unload and then drive out. But oh no. Unloads, sweeps the truck bed out, starts to spread bedding and do other things with the truck still parked in the ring.

And now they start to bring in their horses to check out winter blankets. And their horses do not trust the blankets so there is lots of spinning and snorting now going on.

I only had so much time to play and ride. Time is running out. My patience is gone. Not a good place to be even considering getting on my horse. So I untack her and leave. I'm whining again.

Today with all the snow and gusty winds sheets of snow are falling off the indoor roof. Cici is fine about the wind. But the unexpected sliding snow is too much for her. She will be trotting nicely online and then boom goes the snow and she spooks. The snow falls at very irregular times, spaced apart quite a time. So never know when they are going to happen. Have three different events and Cici reacts to each of them in a manner that is fine online, but not under saddle.

Decide that today is not the day to get on and ride. And of course today there is no one else around and I have the ring to myself. Sigh.

I am trying to figure out if I am psyching myself out and making excuses or if I am adhering to safety first. As they say in Brooklyn, "it is what it is." But this is not a satisfying thought right now. I am feeling that I am not progressing. Worry if I'm being provocative enough for Cici. Wondering where I am on my journey. Feeling alone and adrift. Whine whine whine.

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