Regression is a normal part of progress… at least that’s the mantra I’m repeating over and over to myself. Not that I jinxed my entire existence by bragging about my horse on this blog. Miles has been doing so, so well lately and then we hit a pothole last week.
Miles flatted great for the first 20 minutes. We started with about 10 minutes of work in draw reins, to begin to really encourage developing Miles’s topline. He lost a lot during his layup this summer and I want to focus on gaining that back. I kept the draw reins loose, just getting him used to them. We did lots of figures, staying mostly at the walk and trot with just a little bit of canter. Since he was so good, I took them off and let him stretch; I didn’t want to overdue it since that’s hard work!
After we relaxed for a few minutes, we worked on “standing up” in the corners, to help Miles not motorcycle around at the canter. We put a pole in the middle of the turn at one end of the arena, so that we both had something else to focus on that made us really concentrate on having a good turn. It worked great! Again, it’s a difficult task so we didn’t spend much time on it, staying at the walk and trot.
Then as a final exercise, we did some courses over ground poles. Miles did the first one wonderfully, except for a missed lead during a difficult turn, but that’s not unusual — he has trouble getting flying changes in the indoor and I’m not great at setting him up for success with them. So for now we’re just ignoring that and doing simple changes. Anyways, I went to pick up a right lead canter for a second course and Miles did the transition, but then decided to ignore my leg. And then he REALLY ignored it, put his head down and bucked. If he hadn’t stopped when he did, I would have been on the ground for sure.
I’m really, really upset about it. And ever since then I’ve been back to being “in the office” for every ride… plus a new bit… which, I’m not super stoked about (I don’t really like the idea of trying to solve a problem with more equipment, but I like face-planting less so, here we are). Miles has a lesson with the BFF in the irons tonight, so I’ll report back on how that goes. I’ve also started a riding log, where I’m giving every ride on Miles a grade: Good, Bad or Meh. At the end of the month, I’ll tally them up to see where we stand.