So I've been really frustrated with Soda & I's progress lately. I'm actually mad at myself for buying him when I did... I feel like it was really unfair to both of us. I don't really have any time to work with him and he's a pretty young horse.
It's like right after I bought him I had plenty of time to work with him because I lost my job and was only taking one college class. Then spring semester started and I was really busy with school, but it didn't really matter because it was way to cold to ride anyways. As it got warmer I was able to ride more (not as much but I could still put a couple of hours a week in). Then then end of the semester came and I had an entire summer. Basically I worked and I rode. My friends had new boyfriends so they didn't have any time to hang out so I had more than enough time to work with Soda. We didn't progress a lot in terms of actual training because I'm learning with him in that respect, but we made a lot of progress with trust/respect/groundwork/etc. He really started to listen to and trust me to take care of him.
Then I moved him home and fall semester started. It was crazy busy, I had some really tough classes that were very time consuming. So basically I pretty much stopped riding. Soda was lucky to get an hour a week. He still got attention and grooming when I went out to feed 2x a day, but nothing really in terms of training/exercise. Then the winter started and it got even less. Finally the spring comes and I start riding again. I still don't have any time to really work with him and it showed. He was rearing and really barn/herd sour. But I found some extra time (don't know how) and we worked through it. By the time the semester was over we were doing pretty good. I felt like I had made up for the non-riding of the previous 8 months.
Then about 2-3 weeks later he got hurt, strained his stifle because I thought I'd try a bitless bridle on him. He hated it and was resisting/fighting the pressure and wasn't really paying attn to his footing and slipped and almost went down. So he was lame for just about the entire summer. He was finally sound towards the end of August, but now I was too busy trying to finish my summer internship and make ends meet, so once again no riding. And now the semester has started and I don't have any time... again.
I'm just so frustrated with the situation. I really feel like we could make a lot of progress but I don't have any time to work with him. He gets attention when I feed (like 15 mins 2x daily) and I make time to trim his hooves, but lately all the spare time has been taken up by getting the barn/pasture ready for winter. Argh. Lately our rides have just been bad. I know (at least I hope) it's because of the long lay off and such, but it's frustrating and I don't really know how to fix the problem..
Alright, sorry for the long whiny rant. I just needed to get it out of my system and hopefully now I can figure out something to help fix the situation. Thankfully I'm done with school for good in December and can really focus on Soda and I's skills.