Anyone who has read this blog while I have been riding Macy knows it has been a bit of a rollercoaster. But for the past few months, it’s kinda been smooth sailing. At least in the head tossing, bolting, spooking department. We have had some really nice, relaxed, rides.
Well, don’t worry, the Macy we had fallen in love reading about is back.
I’m actually not sure I can completely blame this round on her. See, I’ve been a bit lackadaisical in my riding. I am riding both she and Georgie 4x/week, and riding 8 times in a week on top of a full time job that frazzles my brain at times, and trying to run every day makes it so that sometimes, I just don’t want to have to ride a horse like Macy and so I don’t. Or, I ride half heartedly, not really working on anything other than staying in the arena.
Well, as you can imagine with a horse like Macy, this lack of work and purpose doesn’t really make things better. And then, when you decide to take a jump lesson with a friend, even though Macy doesn’t exactly thrive in group lessons on a good day, it can all go to shit.
And it did.
Jump lesson was supposed to be fun. But I had a cold and was exhausted and about 70 minutes into Trainer Sarah telling me (yelling at me) to do the same thing over and over to TRY and get Macy to be less reactive, and me unable to do it, I was DONE. The lesson went on for another 10-15 minutes, at which time Trainer Sarah agreed it was so bad there was no hope of making it better and she hopped on Macy and schooled the poop out of her. It took her approximately 7 minutes to get the result I couldn’t achieve in an 80 minute lesson.
Macy was being a bitch, there’s no denying that. She was rushing to jumps, not listening to my aids, so so tense and throwing her head high in the air in protest 2 strides before the jump. She’d grab the bit and throw me out of balance and while I didn’t fall off, it was more reminiscent of this:
In fact, it was so horrible that my friend got like, no instruction, the entire lesson as Trainer Sarah had to break it down to the basics and all Macy and I were allowed to do was jump a 2′ vertical on a circle. And we literally couldn’t even do that without theatrics.
I was DONE with this mare. I don’t need a horse that makes me feel like I don’t know how to ride at the most elementary level. I don’t mind a horse that has to throw a hissy fit in order to figure something out. But I couldn’t handle a horse that is being a bitch just to be a bitch.
So, I did what any adult amateur does and I went home and cried. (Right? We all do that, right? I blamed it on work stress and my cold, as I am sure they contributed to all the feels)
Interestingly, because of busy schedules, Trainer Sarah and I didn’t mention this lesson for days. Until I mentioned I would be down to ride Macy on Monday. To which she sent me an email working through the past lesson. We agreed to meet and talk through it all.
And so we did. And I explained my situation, and how riding HAS to be fun or I am not going to spend what little extra time and money I have on it, and she explained that a group lesson was a bad idea and things shouldn’t have spiraled as far as they did before she hopped on Macy.
And then she helped me successfully canter over a ground pole with minimal fuss and Macy was an angel again. Ok, no she wasn’t. I just had the tools to shut her down and she was like “FINE, I won’t bolt after the groundpole.”
And then we had ANOTHER lesson where things went even BETTER over a groundpole even though there was another horse being ridden in the arena.
So, basically, I’m like the champion of groundpoles (I can go over two on a circle without a Macy reaction like 76% of the time).
While I will say that riding Macy isn’t my favorite thing in the world, I really think she is going to make a baby horse with strong opinions way more manageable.
So here’s to getting Macy to be loose and relaxed and rideable over a groundpole. It should be a super fun winter.