Crunch, crunch, crunch. Rip. Clunk.
Yes, folks, that’s the sound of me grinding my teeth, shredding my January dressage competition entry form and lobbing it into the bin.
All a result of this morning’s equine activities.
I can honestly say, that I cannot remember riding as badly as I did this morning, for a long, long time. Worst of all, while this has upset me hugely, I am more concerned that I successfully managed to annoy my peaceable (huge 17.3) equine partner so much, that he put in two big bucks. I’ve been riding him on and off for a number of years and he’s never done that to me before.
So, what went wrong?
First up. Total lack of sleep. The Offspring had friends over last night, for the night. I was tired anyway, but having to keep getting up to tell them to stop talking and GO TO SLEEP, was a bit of a drag. My final trip out of bed came at 2.40am. Was woken again, after this, by one of our cats, trying to get into the Offspring’s bedroom.
Second. Early morning furniture delivery meant that I was sitting in the kitchen decked out in all my riding gear at 6.45am. Ugh!
Finally, my temporary riding instructor’s idea of getting Harry warmed up was quite different to mine. I’ve ridden Harry quite a bit and I know his issues – main one’s being that, like me, he’s oldish and stiff in the joints until he warms up.
I always follow a set pattern of activities with him, namely quick transitions on circles, with gentle encouragement to bend his neck on his stiff side. This seems to be successful at getting him listening and, whilst we don’t rocket round the arena, we can still manage to leg yield and shoulder in (better on one rein than the other for both of us) and move at a reasonable speed.
My instructor’s idea this morning was, leg, leg, whip….whip, whip, whip, whip. And neither me, nor the old boy liked this at all. I’m not a great over-user of the whip, as I’m a massive softy, with a huge affection/sympathy for my riding school mounts. Having said that, I do always carry one, as I’m weaker on one side than the other, so a gentle flick can assist.
However, this morning, this whole change of approach just blew my brains and I just couldn’t ride how she wanted. Final indignity was when Harry bucked, which was definitely a case of him saying ‘I’ve had enough, WHAT are you doing?’.
Sorry, old fellow. I really am.
Hopefully, this was a one off and I can focus on February.
Have a good week.