First ride on Big Guy in probably over a year. He’s been on rest for 7 months since the pelvis fracture and the three months before that we were in a temporary boarding situation that did not have a safe place to ride.
Honestly, I didn’t want to ride since that was post-Barn Manager fiasco with The Monsters who employed me. Those first six months I was in recovery myself – both mentally and physically – as I had been rode hard and put up wet – and was, in hindsight, at the point of collaspe – or perhaps just being one of the Walking Dead.
Now back to today: I’ve been hesitant to ride him because I know all to well how a rider’s obsession to get back into the saddle is sometimes to the detriment of the horse. I did not want him to be in pain. I was not sure he was ready for it either.
Hubby met me at lunch and helped me mount. Big Guy has reverted to his old tricks of dancing around the mounting block. I am sure he was thinking WTF!? after a year off too. He has always wanted to be retired; as things go he may pretty much get his wish if things don’t start improving…
Once in the saddle, all the stirrups were wrong so I just dropped them. Riding him, I could feel how hesitant he is about stepping out which watching him I could only guess at. His hind legs minced.
He also reverted to his favorite posture, learned so long ago by his former owners, of going behind the bit, getting heavy, and thus on the forehand. He has the neck of an eel and is pretty elastic in ducking for that pretty picture that Hunter Under Saddle people seek for that Kodak moment in the showring. GAG.
Now I’m in a dilemmia about this – because the method of correcting this evasion is to demand more forward movement as it comes from the hindquarters – but that is the very place he had injured!
We did some walking and feeling each other out. At one point he reverted to his favorite stunt – ducking head, way behind bit, taking the bit between his teeth (so to speak) and bowing for a duck and run. However, he just didn’t have the energy to carry through with anything but three steps and I (bit of a pat on the back there), held my seat (now with no stirrups) and perserved.
Hubby (my budding Animal Communicator) said that BG wasn’t sore but just uncertain that he could really do it so fretted himself into a fit. That’s his special sort of resistance, which comes out of a petulant “I don’t wanna!” coupled with uncertainity and lack of confidence. It drives some of his riders crazy but it doesn’t offend me.
Just rode 15-20 minutes and have decided to re-do my training on his riding part. Will just add it into a regular workout and keep it very short so I can build up his confidence that yes, he can do it and get stronger too!