A Week on Cloud 9
As I succumbed to the overwhelming feelings of success and pure joy seizing my life, I found myself lost in a trance of complete tranquility last week. Kidd is back in my life after a near-miss of re-homing him, and I couldn't be happier. He's at the barn on inside board, looking fabulous and seems genuinely stoked to be back to work. Last week I felt as though I floated on a cloud comprised of sheer bliss; a true high I couldn't even begin to describe.
Tuesday was my first ride back on Kidd and while it certainly wasn't worthy of ribbons, I think I smiled the entire ride. It was painfully apparent how out of shape I have become, but I didn't care and honestly I don't think he did either. I left the barn eager for more.
Wednesday I decided to skip the barn and just go home, because I was feeling terribly ill and couldn't imagine bouncing around would make myself feel any better. Not to mention, i'm sure I wouldn't do Kidd any justice riding in that sort of state. Much to my surprise, I spent the better part of the evening wishing I was at the barn, riding my horse. I caught myself in disbelief because I truly could not recall the last time I felt that genuine longing; more recently it has been replaced with relief and guilt. I allowed myself to carry that remorse over, and fuel me through my Thursday until I could get to the barn.
As work came to an end on Thursday, I hopped in my car and drove the whopping quarter mile to the Pavilion. I’m blessed enough to get off work at 3:30 every day, and the Pavilion where Kidd is boarded is on the same Campus where I work, so it’s easy and quick to get there before the crowds start piling through the doors. Thursday was my second ride back on Kidd and once again, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Given how out of shape Kidd is, I kept things simple once again, focusing mostly on straightness and suppleness. Kidd was willing, happy and responsive. Out of curiosity and hunger, as I trotted around I switched to sitting and once I was certain he was still loose through the back, I closed my legs on his sides, engaged my core stronger, half halted and much to my surprise, Kidd very willingly rocked back into a piss-poor but happy collected trot. After a few strides I could feel the struggle, and allowed him to trot out again. I hadn’t cantered yet, but I was so pleased I chose to just get off at that point. Kidd has become sour in the past, so I am really trying to keep him happy, comfortable and eager. In achieving that, I feel that I will also feel happy, motivated and eager for more.
Friday was interesting. History repeated itself as usual – work – barn, however today Kidd was different. Today he was hot, sensitive and anxious. Regardless, I tacked up, gave him a short lunge session and swung a leg over. Our ride started off fairly well, but after an excited, galloping, snorting and boarder line out of control horse entered the arena and her owner sent her out on the lunge, Kidd was keeping a very watchful eye on the situation. As the anxiety built, Kidd took note of her using her lunge whip, and by then I had fully lost Kidds attention, so to keep our streak of happiness going, I looked for a good note to end on and got off. For those who don’t know, Kidd is ‘funny’ about whips which is why you see that I rarely ride with one. Additionally, I very rarely lunge with one and have him trained well to respond to my voice cues.. In fact, if he’s being lazy all I have to do is bend down as though I’m picking up a whip off the ground and suddenly *poof* - forward!
Saturday I hadn’t planned to ride, but with my saddle fitting booked for the next day I decided to go for it. My plan was to check a few things off my to-do list on Saturday and I had to haul C’s horse into the arena to be boarded so we arrived at the arena around noon, and I tacked up and hopped on. I decided not to lunge him first as I don’t necessarily agree with lunging to ‘tire them out’ before getting on, but I do like the idea of allowing them to warm up on their own without additional weight and influence on their back. Much to my surprise, I had the best ride I have had to date. Kidd was fantastic and I couldn’t have been happier. Once again, it wasn’t a record setting ride by any means and we didn’t do anything exciting, but he felt fantastic and genuinely happy. Though, more than anything, I was so glad to be on him and loving every minute of it.
Sunday was our saddle fitting appointment and things didn’t go quite as planned, but I will save that for my next post!