Today I told myself very firmly, "I will not
ride today." I haven't had a weekend off for four weeks. I turned off my 10:00 alarm in favor of sleep. At about 11:30, I awoke again and got some breakfast, still steadfast in my decision not to ride. My phone started ringing in the next room (playing my theme song, "Dog Days are Over"). I answered and spoke to my grandmother. She offered to take me to the farm so I could ride. I declined. "Well, if you change your mind, call me back," she said.
I wandered over to the window and pulled back the curtains. The sky was huge and blue and alluring... I called my grandmother back and told her I wanted to ride.
I have no will power.
Anyway, I arrived at the farm about 2:00 and got Baby Girl from the pasture. The question was, to saddle or not to saddle? I was feeling bareback, so no saddle.
We went to the round pen and did a little walk-gait session. My grandmother filmed us so I could see her gaiting... Pacey, pacey, pacey! Grr...
The trainer arrived and I was kicked out of the round pen, so I went to walk around in the field in front of the barn. Remembering yesterday's "dressage", I decided to pretend to a do a pattern. My poor pony is terrible inflexible... She wouldn't bend properly around turns, and her turns were terrible in general. She rushed, dropped her shoulder, and all the other things that don't make good turns. Her circles were equally bad; she couldn't bend her body in an arc to save her spotted hide.
So, we worked on turns and circles for a while. Eventually, she at least did the "pattern" at a walk, quietly and without rushing. I've learned with her to ask nicely, ask for little, and reward generously, so we went on a trail after that to mentally cool down. Being a trail horse, turning properly and flexing to any degree is mentally straining.
While on this ride, she was still hyper and jiggy, as usual. She had been hyper all that day. After a few calm steps, I decided to heck with it, let's do some stupid stuff. So I took up on my reins, grabbed some mane, pointed her down the trail, and let her gallop.
I'd never galloped bareback before, so it was very exciting. She kept on running and I was afraid to stop her, because she would hit that crazy pace and bounce me off before returning to a walk. It seemed like half of forever before I got the nerve to try and slow her down.
I remained mounted through deceleration. We returned to the barn with minimal jigging.