Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Slow Down, Mom

Monday I got a chance to ride Milo. Sarah was gracious to let me continue borrowing her saddle and elevator bit this week, so I threw those on him. The arena was full (whats new?) and I was stuck on about a 10m circle the majority of my ride. Although I had some thing to work on that didnt require full use of the arena (this time). Milo was moving pretty well, and was actively lifting and bending his back easily to the right (most likely because its easier on that side for him to bulge out the left shoulder). Working to the left was still hard for him, but I accepted the try and got about a full step of a correct position. All we did on Monday was walk and work on keeping his shoulder up and not bulging when he would get the chance. Good Milo! He mustve thought about our Friday ride all weekend long, I thought to myself.

Tuesday was a bit different. I warmed him up and was still experiencing quite a bit of resistence to yeilding his shoulder and ribcage to the right (so think of it as hes always leaning on your left leg, and Im constantly bumping him off ) lean, bump, two steps off my leg, lean, bump, one step off my leg, lean, bump, one step off my leg, finally decide this game is getting old, and make him arc away from that leg keeping his shoulders up and his back lifted. Than he would be good for about three minutes than go back to leaning and the whole scenario would play out again. I understand his muscle memory is saying its easier to just lean on that leg and bulge my shoulder out, and this is something that will just take repetition and time, but it was still getting frustrating.

Than I worked on yeilding his hindquarters to prepare him for our counter arcing (the lift and bend exercise). He was moving off my inside leg (and I was supporting with my outside rein - Im catching onto this!) both sides nicely. Than I went to put it together. I walked him out forward and straight, than would lift up on the outside rein, hold my inside leg, than reach my outside leg back at C and ask for a hip in with forward lifted movement. He got it easily going to the right as he was doing the day prior. Good Milo! Now lets work on your harder side, I asked the same way and his initial reaction is to lift his neck, hollow his back, and then move the hip. So I persisted, he resisted, I persisted, he finally gave a good step. Good Milo! Than in my hurried self, I brought him up to a trot and thought I would ask for the coutner arcing at the trot. Even on his good side, Milo would just plod along and seemingly ignore my leg at C. Maybe he would bulge his shoulder out, but he jsut blatently ignored my aid. Which made me more frustrated. I put him back onto a trot circle to restablish some of the aids we already know. Stopped, and backed in a circle both ways, encouraging lift and bend but backwards. He did fine, got a little stuck arcing to the left (probably because he couldnt bulge his shoulder out) but did good. So we stopped and sat for a few minutes. He licked and chewed. I went back to asking for a counter arc at a walk and got a few good steps both ways. So I got off.

Walking out of the arena I just had this feeling of unaccomplishment of the ride. I was thoughtless on the fact that it is still requiring time for Milo's body to adjust, and I tried to push too far and ended up setting us back - which may or may not be the case, I just felt that way. The barn was now empty, and I put Milo in the cross ties and got ready to put him away. I hurriedly put his blanket and neck cover on, ready to just put him away and go home. As I reached for the snaps on the cross ties and prepared to lead him away, Milo stopped my arm movement twice with his nose. He just pushed his nose into my arms and chest. I stopped for a moment than realized he was telling me to slow down. To let it process. I wrapped my arms around his face and he blew a heavy sigh into me. It was as if he was telling me he was sorry he couldnt do what I was asking but was requesting from me to understand that he just needed time. I know it might seem crazy, but thats just the words that appeared in my mind. And thats what I think he was really trying to let me know.

I kissed his nose and he rested his muzzle on my shoulder, than sighed again and said Ok, lets go now. So we did.

I forgot to mention, I did officially leave the Thunderbird Drill Team last night. For a number of reasons, but I decided that when my drive and enthusiasm is gone, its time to give someone else a chance to be a part of it. I had an amazing three years and took away a lot from the experience. But its time for Milo and I to open up new chapters in our lives. 

5 comments:

Kate said...

Love the header! It's always a temptation to push forwards too quickly - I've done it on many occasions myself. I wouldn't worry too much about it, since you're aware of it and know what to do. Slow and steady wins the race!

Mare said...

I love that header! That's a cute very picture of Milo...I don't think it seems crazy, sometimes Missy just tells me that she's had enough for one day, so we move at a slower pace. That's just how it is sometimes...

Amy Lou said...

I just read the article "9 things to try when a ride goes south" in December's H&R and one of the trainers said something to the effect that if you ride 5 times a week, 3 rides are going to be for maintenance and 2 will be for learning.

paint_horse_milo said...

Amy Lou- I actually only skimmed that article. Thats a really interesting thought...

THanks for the comments on the banner! I was bored at work..lol dont tell.

in2paints said...

What a great way to end your ride. :)

I'm sure Milo is trying his hardest for you. That's one of the most difficult things for me to remember when I'm riding... he/she's trying, but sometimes it's just too soon and they haven't got the hang of it yet. It'll come.