I rode the Squeaky Muffin tonight! Woo Hoo! Now my lower back is paying for it, big time. Thank goodness I have an appointment with my most amazing chiropractor on Saturday. I made the time for my honorary little sis Nicole tonight. I've bailed on her 2 Sundays in a row, so I hung around until close to 8:00 tonight so we could ride together. I fully expected the muffin man to be fresh, and he was. I was figuring we'd ride in the ring, so when I tacked up, I put on the dressage saddle. As we were putting on our bridles, we decide to ride in the mare's pasture. Oh well, I went with it:)
The boy was dripping sweat this morning when I brought him in, so I had to hose him off before I fed him. After I put the hose away, I was doing something (can NOT remember what!), and he spooked and pulled back in the crossties. Tonight, as I led him into the crossties, he spooked AGAIN, and went yanking back yet again. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY HORSE?? WHY HAS HE BEEN PULLING BACK SO MUCH? THIS HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM BEFORE. I would appreciate some feedback as to what could be causing him to sit back so much.
Anyway, I had clipped whiskers and bridle path the other day, and hit the mane today. It was a hot mess, let me tell ya! I'm keeping up with shaving the tail, as well. I've finally got it the shape I really like, so as the sides grow out, I just hit them with the clippers again. Pretty much every time I do whiskers/bridle path, I do the tail too.
So, back to the whole point of this post; the RIDE. We mounted once in the mare's front pasture, then walked up the hill and through the gate to the back one. He was FINE. We walked about half the perimeter while we figured out what we were going to do, then got to work. My plan was some semblance of field dressage. Shortened my reins, and he felt very stiff and tense. My horse does NOT like to be out of his usual routine (riding at 8:30 at night is most CERTAINLY not his usual routine), and he does NOT like riding with other horses. Especially when we pass head on. So Nicole did her thing, and I did mine, and 2 of the mares were turned out up there, but they eventually wandered away. Muffin was really craning his neck, trying to take it all in, semi-spooking just a tiny little bit. He shook his head every time he saw Sparky out of the corner of his eye. I just kept at it, and eventually achieved a LOVELY trot. For about 5 seconds. That lovely trot eventually deteriorated into a pretty dramatic bucking spree. My horse is not a bucker. He will throw a crow hop every now and then, but for the most part, all 4 legs stay on the ground. He really put that head down and got into it this time, so I yanked him up so hard he got a little light in the front end. Because of that, I smacked the top of his head as hard as I could. Made him walk on contact for a minute, then let him relax on a loose rein.
As I said, I expected resistance, stiffness, head shaking, staring, and even a little swishy swishy bucky bucky, but not a full on head down, stiff leg bronc. I let the both of us chill out for a second, then trotted some more. Had a decent trot going, and I rode pretty defensively. I didn't pick a fight, though! Cantered both leads, and got some tempi changes at one point, and on the left lead, he was SO lofty with the front end, it felt as though we were cantering over bounce poles. I finally quit on that semi-good note. As I said, my lower back will pay the price tomorrow, but it should be put back in place on Saturday.
Current plan; ride Tues-Sat of next week. Start with a light hack in the cc saddle and the 'jumping' bridle, then the dressage tack, then a ride in the 'jumping bridle' with a pretty serious pole course, then dressage tack, then something out in a field with the Waterford. I haven't used that bit in awhile, and want to start "tuning him back up" so we're ready to do our best in September. July 16 is the third show of that Mud Creek series I've been going to, so my goal is to get up at 4:30 so I can get to the barn by 5, then ride him before I feed. I have no camp next week, so not a big deal, but the following week leading up to the show, I do. It's only fair to my horse if I give him every opportunity to succeed, so if I'm not fit and he's not fit, we're not going to the show. It may "only" be a schooling show, but every time I'm out in public, I'm representing myself. All you have in this business is your reputation, and I don't want to hurt mine. Hope everyone has a happy 4th of July!