It’s official: I’m on a roller coaster with Miles and I want off. And I’m not talking about the double loop or the corkscrew; I’m on the Top Thrill Dragster. Let’s recap my week:
- Thursday: I ride and Miles is terrible, horribly stiff and I freak out. I also lose my shit over his coat condition (See: Stressed).
- Friday: I ride again and my friend N watches us and gives me some pointers. Miles is not stiff, and I’m starting to feel better.
- Saturday & Sunday: I again ride both days, incorporating our new warm-up and grooming routine. I feel fantastic, albeit slightly bad for totally wigging out (See: Steps to De-Stress).
- Monday: It all comes crashing down.
Monday evening I scheduled an extra group lesson to make up for the week the polar vortex took. I was pretty pumped and went out feeling great after my AHA! moments from the weekend. We started with a flat exercise and Miles was fairly grumpy, starting with his classic head in the air, I can’t move forward routine. I pushed him through it, and got him to canter. Halfway through a canter circle, he bucked. I stopped him, backed him and made him move on.
Next, trainer set out a small gymnastic — a bounce to start with. We trotted in and that went fine. She moved it up to a crossrail with one stride to a 2′ oxer. We went over, landed and Miles took off bucking, rodeo bronc style.
My life flashed before my eyes and I really thought for a second I was going head-first into the wall. Somehow (no idea how) but I stayed on and got him stopped. After that, I was terrified; totally shaken up. We trotted around for about 20 minutes while the rest of the group finished their lesson. I made Miles bend, circle and move up all in a frame.
One of the working students got on Miles and he was grumpy with her, even on the flat. She took him over a few jumps and after about the third one he landed and TOOK OFF running. She did that jump a few more times, stopping him hard when he took off and he finally did the jump like a normal horse.
So what the fuck happened? I’m still not sure. We cut his feed down, and we’re going to see if maybe the group lesson format isn’t really his cup of tea.
I’m going out to ride tonight, and I have a semi-private flat lesson scheduled for Thursday. Here’s hoping I get to ride my horse and not a bucking bronco.