Angels and Demons
|Oh I am so cute and innocent... JK.|
This weekend I got to experience the full spectrum of Dino-isms, from the truly evil to the divine. Sometimes I think he might be bipolar.
We'll begin with Saturday.
I had arranged to meet my friend Kate at the barn and go for a spin on her big beautiful draft cross, Charm. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL out, and we were all so happy to be outside enjoying the sun after the longest winter ever.
Charm was just hilarious - he's like a giant pony. So sweet, so safe, but so darn lazy! I felt like a little kid flapping my legs at him to goad him into a little jog; which was so tiny and comfy that I had a hard time posting at first. Mr. Charming was a bit confused as to why Midget Lady was making him do things like move forward and bend and use his butt. Eventually Charm conceded to cantering and trotting faster than a snail, and we ended by popping over a little crossrail, which made him super happy. I had such a great time riding him! What a sweetheart he is.
Then I got on Dino, who was apparently either experiencing some sort of depressive episode, or just woke up on the wrong side of the stall that morning. Kate and Charm were also in the ring with us, which of course is the perfect excuse for ponies to be belligerent.
The very first time I asked him to trot, he gave me HUGE attitude. Full-on tantrum mode. I've decided that I'm just not going to ever let his defiance escalate to bucking under saddle, because no one needs that, so I got off and made his life very, very difficult on the ground. Back up, go in a circle, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, back up again, go forward, back up, jog in hand, turn again, etc. etc. I had to do this twice (still better than the record 3 times from last weekend!) before he decided to trot forward. And as soon as he did, leg OFF reins LOOSE, big pats. I was not even trying for anything resembling contact or correct carriage, just an un-grouchy response when I pressed the go button.
|If you have snacks, we MAY be able to come to an agreement...|
And once we started popping over some little fences, a switch flipped in Dino's convoluted little brain and he became Superstar Jumping Pony. He was forward, and happy, and actively looking for the next fence. We jumped almost everything in the ring except for a vertical that looked like it was in the 3'3-3'6 range... we'll save that for another day. But we DID jump a solid 3' swedish oxer and NAILED IT. It felt so, so awesome to be jumping a decent sized fence again, and to feel my pony just float over it like it's no thing. And my position felt totally solid, which is a nice change from Floppy Mc Flopperson from earlier this spring.
On Sunday the weather was even BETTER, and I literally prayed before my ride that Dino would find it in his little pony soul to be a compliant partner for me. I don't know whether our Come to Jesus the day before did the trick, or he was happy from our jump school, or there was divine intervention involved, or he was just happy to be alone in the ring, but Dino's attitude was VASTLY improved.
I was able to Dressage, and while it wasn't the most mind-blowing work we've done this year, Dino was calm, and happy, and there was not a tantrum in sight! He responded appropriately to my leg, and accepted the whip & spur when I needed them to make corrections or ask for a little more oomph. I really focused on sitting on my right seatbone (curse you, crooked seat!) and keeping Dino bending throughout the ride. Lots of lifting on the inside rein to flex the poll and lots of transitions to keep him forward. It was, overall, a very positive ride! And homeboy got his first hose-down of the season since he was a furry, sweaty mess afterwards.
Please, please, PLEASE SHED FASTER!