Ridiing in my first Clinic today - and I'm petrified!
Today I ride in a clinic with Sarah Martin at our stable. I have been excited about this all month. Cinny is doing really well but we are still working on forward motion as well as moving off the leg (he thinks any leg pressure at all means go super super fast). Yesterday I had a wonderful ride and was very hopeful that today would go very nicely, until I saw which arena Sarah chose.
The last few clinics have been in our indoor arena, so I never gave it any thought. But we do have a dressage arena, outdoors, surrounded by fields for miles and no fence. When I ride Cinny in the fenced outdoor arena he is a complete brat and acts like he has been fed oats for weeks. Just so hyped up and hard to control. I always figured we had time to work on control, then revisit working outdoors with the fence and work our way up to the dressage arena with no fence. But now, today, I am just petrified.
It's not that Cinny is a BAD horse, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body, he's just really really green and so am I. He just has authority issues at times (he thinks he's in charge). I know it's not fair to ask Sarah to move indoors for lil ol me, so I'm not even going to go there, but now I'm debating whether to even ride at all and just lose out on the money but keep my neck safe. Or maybe I'll just pray really really hard for rain!
You can do this, girl! Give him a chance to do well...and if he doesnt, dismount, put him away and audit the clinic instead. Its better to try and fail than to never try at all! You guys have made such great progress! Try to focus on all the great things you are going to learn. You can do it! And Cinny can too!
I bet you can do it! You've come a long long way with Cinny and your own riding ability in a really short time, I bet the two of you will surprise yourselves. And, on the plus side, it sounds like he'll be forward! ;)
I don't know if you're interested in a story but I'm gonna tell it anyway and you can skip over it if you want. :)
When I first got Lacey, she was super green. Green green green and SUPER hot. She was severely obese (complete with copious pads of fat and a deep ridge down her back that actually had grass trying to grow in it because of all the dirt that got stuck in there every time she rolled) so the saddle fit horrible (one English stirrup was 4 holes longer than the other, and they were completely even feeling from her back), so basically, I was trying to ride lil Miss Green Perpetual Sugar High in a saddle that wanted to slip under her belly really badly and took 3 people to strap her into.
Needless to say, I was terrified of riding her. I'd get on and she'd immediately take off, bucking, rearing, sidepassing, prancing, any kind of rein contact meant "back up, FAST, until you are sick of it": basically doing every kind of evasion in the book. But someone had to ride her and even though I didn't want to, my riding instructor said "you can, and you WILL, ride her" so, since I trusted my instructor, I rode that horse. She routinely scared the bejeebuz out of me, but I kept going.
Then one day I realized something: the faster my thoughts were going when I was around Lacey, the worse she behaved. I had never seen that in a horse before. I had never been around one that was that darn in tune to my continual emotional rollercoaster. I told my trainer and she said "Yeah, you just need to trust her to do the right thing," so I worked on trusting this crazy beast that was the epitome of everything I feared in a horse.
And, in trusting her I saw that she really wasn't bad, she was just looking for a leader, and when I trusted her I could step into that leadership role and be everything she needed. Eventually, I learned how to shut my thoughts down and calm myself. But even now, if she's behaving badly and being "crazy" I know that I need to reexamine what's going on inside me and fix me. It's really not that she's not hot or "crazy" anymore, it's that she has the knowledge that I trust her and that she can trust me to lead her well.
Basically, the moral of this story is: trust Cinny, trust yourself. He's your boy, he loves you. He's made sure you haven't fallen off when he knows how to make people fall off and when you've made it easy for him to get you off. ;) He's gonna be there for you, you just need to give him the chance to shine. You can do it, I know you can. You have a good horse, now just let him show you that he can be great. Just relax and even if he does a few "questionable moves" that doesn't mean your ride is completely worthless.
You're so gonna rock this clinic out of the water. Just remember to trust your boy.
You'll be in my thoughts!
Thanx guys, I know you are right. I just need to shut out the thoughts of him taking off full gallop across the field the first time I correct him, and instead just ride him like he is already a seasoned dressage horse. I think I am radiating stress to everyone right now, I've even stressed out the baby so bad that all he would do is cry all night unless I held him. Cinny has given me no reason to mistrust him, so I need to just shove it all out of my head.
I found out this morning that we have no where to turn out as the other two arenas are taken, so I can't let Cin get rid of any steam before our ride so.... Maybe I need to rearrange my thoughts. There will be no turn out, I don't want to lunge too much and wear him out so..maybe instead of trying to be perfect, I should let all the imperfections come out. After all if we were perfect why would we need to ride in the clinic anyway? This way I can learn from Sarah how to handle Cinny at his worst and get him to pay attention and work under the worst circumstances. Maybe that's what we need right now anyway.
Thats a great way of thinking! How is she supposed to help if your perfect? She needs to see some imperfections so she can help you both get better! **hugs** its gonna be a great day! Live it up!
I would be a basket case myself but try and relax and have fun! I know...easier said than done but you can do it! You know you can! :clap::clap:
Best of luck to you both today and can't wait for the updates after!
We ended up with the clinic indoors because it was foggy all day. I had a wonderful yet hard lesson and I loved every second of it. Sarah really made us WORK, and she made me WORK Cinny harder than I have ever worked him. I gained a LOT more confidence in our relationship, and he has gained a lot more confidence in the bridle..yay.
Tired, will do video tomorrow (my fiance took video of parts of m lesson).
Good job! It sounds like things worked out for you. Did you have fun making him really work ;P Can't wait to see the video
Well, sadly, my fiance didn't take any video that I could really do much with...just a bunch of 20-30 second clips most of which Sarah had me purposely going out of position to learn what "wrong position" feels like in comparison with "correct position." He didn't get any of the correct position so I know if I put it on here it will get ripped up one side and down the other because nobody will know that is what was going on ha ha.
It was hard pushing Cinny but now I feel I can push him into what I want any time. First comes the "you will go the way I ask you to" ask, then he says "no, I'd rather not." Then I say "you WILL." and then we get the head toss, the crow hop and when THAT doesn't work his trick is to shift his balance...(yes, he's learned the art of balance shifting) and he throws it forward, back, sideways, tries to spin but I hold him. It's not really riding a bronc, but it somewhat feels like it when you don't know where he is going to throw his balance next. Then, after ab out 5 minutes or so he gives in and we go along nicely and smoothly....the way I want.
Sarah says his arguments will eventually ease up as he realizes it's less work and more fun to just do it my way in the first place....but probably not for at least a few weeks to a month ha ha.
So, is it fun to push him??? not really. But, we are at a point where it needs to be done.
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