I'm a VERY new adult rider, trying to manage life with a bit-too-hot-for-my-level TB. Which isn't to say he's hot -- a more experienced person would surely call him lazy -- but he's silly and temperamental and a big challenge to me.
Anyway, over the past 6-8 mos, with a great trainer, we've come really far. My confidence issues are gone, and now we work on mechanics. Today we did a hard lesson (ok, again, for me!) - lots of figure 8s at posting trot, focusing on steering correctly (which, my trainer assures me, is especially hard on this particular horse. She may just be protecting my feelings, since I fail so often!)
Today Al (the horse) was HOT -- but in a good way. Super forward, we were really moving, and we nailed quite a few of our passes. Not all, but I felt I was getting it, and he was having fun, too. I should point out that he's an OTTB, 10, and has some knee arthritis. We deal with it right now with regular, gentle work -- today was an exception in that he was so forward and willing we worked HARD.
So, no surprise, at the end, he probably got a little tender/ouchy, and was DONE. Unfortunately, he was such a good boy up to that point we didn't have any indications, so we went from "whheeeeee!" to "NO!" seemingly with no warning.
This is all a very long way of saying I am so proud of myself, because when he bucked and went up, I didn't panic (I was actually too surprised to panic!) and I stayed on! I rode out the tantrum, asked him for a VERY easy 3 strides of trot on the longside (done with no grace, but done!) and called it a day. We walked, cooled out, and I felt like 'real' rider when I hopped off.
It wasn't that bad, objectively speaking, but for me, it was huge! I could never have sat through that a few months ago - I would have fallen apart and he would have taken advantage. This time, I knew he was just trying to tell me in his clumsy way that I was asking him for too much, and he needed it to stop.
How crazy is it that my horse's temper tantrum has me loving him more than ever?