Great news- June had her teeth floated, veterinarian found a couple of sharp points, filed them down, and in the two rides she has had since, the head tossing and rearing have ceased.
I hopped on her Sunday, not knowing what to expect, as she hadn’t been ridden since having her teeth done. I haven’t ridden her since Sarah started putting some training rides on her except for my lesson last Tuesday- where she was not feeling her best. Therefore, I hadn’t really been able to feel the work Sarah has put into her.
I went into this ride with a plan. I wanted to continue what we had started in my lesson last week and ride her as if there was no issue. If the head tossing started again, I would call it a day. But until that time, I’d be riding her as a training ride, not a plod around and see what happens ride.
From the moment I got on her back I was asking things of her. Go forward, bend, no running through your outside shoulder. I tried to remember everything Sarah has been working on. We had a really lovely ride. She tried a few antics to evade work but they were very short lived. She was so light in the bridle, so responsive to my aids and she had come so far in her connection and ability to do what was being asked. She honestly felt like she had been ridden by a pro for a month, not 4 times.
When I started the journey with June, I was hung up on me starting her. I wanted the journey to be about me and June, even if that meant we went slow and spent longer working through things. I didn’t want to put her into training with a pro, and felt like, with regular instruction, I could get June going how I wanted.
And then we had the Gary Mittleider clinic. And I felt frustrated and like I was in way over my head.
And in retrospect, maybe that clinic was a blessing. Because it made me realize that I can still have this journey with June be ours, even if a pro does put some rides on her. Helping me through issues doesn’t make June any less “a horse I started.” And, quite honestly, for a horse like June, having someone show her exactly what is expected is really good for her. My confusion led to her confusion. My inability to get her to do what I was asking led to her thinking it was ok to be heavy in the bridle or take over during rides.
After just a few times of having Sarah ride her, I’m in a spot where we can move forward instead of work on the same issues. June is less confused, I have more confidence, and I now have a horse who I know is capable of what is being asked.
So, all in all, I’m happy I have an incredible friend and talented trainer to help me in this process. Someone who can hop on my horse and work through some of the kinks. I’m thankful that I’m not letting pride get in the way of doing what Is best for both June and I. I’m hopeful I can continue to enjoy this process no matter who is in the saddle.