02-04-2013, 02:29 AM
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I certainly know that feeling.
In fact only on Friday did I have one of 'those' rides. Spighi's brain was still back eating his hay in his stable, and not between his ears in the arena! For a horse training Medium level Dressage, we did not even have a stop/go/turn button.
I ended up just riding walk, halt, rein back, walk etc transitions and got off.
Saturday, I got on and rode him like nothing had happened the day before. A few times he tried to intimidate me into getting angry at him - giving him an excuse to carry on like a headless chook, but by just sitting quietly, putting my leg on and giving the rein while taking a few deep breaths and thinking happy thoughts, he got over it.
We all have 'those' rides. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten on my horse a week out from a big competition, to have it's mind completely gone and just want to yank and kick and have a big tantrum over it!! Anyone who tells you that they never feel frustrated is a liar.
The difference between a good, feeling rider, and a person who just rides, is that a good rider will be able to separate their emotions from the ride, and just ride it out. A good rider has a toolbox full of tools to deal with different situations, and is able to select the correct tool immediately.
When my horse loses his brain, wants to take off, threatens to rear and is a general pain in the backside, my favourite 'tool' is to simply sit quietly with my leg on and a very light contact, and just wait it out. Then ride forward as soon as he settles.