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Cheating on Eeyore

You know what? I just deleted this entire post and I’m starting over. Why? Because the first five paragraphs were me defending my choice to take a lesson yesterday and screw that shit. Everyone makes their own choices and weighs the risks and benefits. I work in healthcare and I know the stats in my area. I’ve independently researched the virus, it’s effects and the real mortality rate and I’ve made my own choice. I won’t defend it and I won’t apologize for it. Shamers be warned. I won’t tolerate hate.

With a spattering of half days on my schedule thanks to a dwindling clientele who need to be seen at this time, I scheduled a lesson up at Trainer’s open air facility yesterday. Then Eeyore got hurt (he is still lame today but not fatally so so he should be on the mend. It’s hard to tell with him because he is a huge wimp) and I figured it would be canceled. Trainer didn’t let me off the hook that easy though and instead offered up her Appy mare to ride with the restrictions that I had to use her personal tack and not enter any of the buildings.

I’ll admit to being a tad nervous. I haven’t ridden any horse except Eeyore in 2 years and not that many prior to that. I was game though and soon found myself astride a very leggy, young Appy mare.

Trainer was a cold hearted killer from the start. In fact, she watched me mount and had me immediately dismount and do it again because I sat down a tad too heavy. I knew I was under fire from the get go. No more excuses because I was on a fire breathing Eeyore. This mare is well behaved and honest and now it was time to focus on me.

It took me a bit to adjust. The mare is lazy and requires a lot of leg to get going but then once there you can maintain. With Eeyore, his rhythm and pace are all over the place with no two strides the same. It’s a constant dance of moving him up, then bringing him back. Not so with her. I got her where I wanted her and then relaxed and let her go. It was….odd.

We did some flat work to warm up then started with a gymnastic line. Trainer apparently really liked what she saw on the flat because right before we started jumping she ran to get her phone to video. She never does that!

Anyway the line was a trot pole, vertical, two canter poles set one stride apart and then a gate. I was to trot in then let her canter the rest. It was scary at first. I’m not super brave and I’m definitely not trusting. She was honest though and did no wrong. The biggest thing I needed to learn was to get the trot in where I wanted and then….do nothing. That was hard. Eeyore loves to jump and gets very rushy and bully like in front of a jump so it’s a lot of sitting back and holding. With the mare though, all I had to do was set her up and flow.

It was pretty cool in fact. We did it a few times to get my relaxing and trusting her before we moved to a small course.

I have no media of the course. Maybe she didn’t take any. Maybe it sucked that bad she didn’t want to share it with me, who knows?

Started with a vertical, sharp right bend to a stack of barrels, continue right bend to four stride combo, then a sharp left bend to a gate. The first time I was a bit everywhere. My steering was nowhere to be found and I stuffed her through the turns. We made each jump but it was icky. The mare’s canter is weird. It’s not the rocking horse canter Eeyore has. It’s like there is a sideways motion included or something and I honestly had a rough time getting used to it.

As we cantered around the course, I always felt off balance and unsteady. Some of it was the saddle that was not my beloved deep seated BC, but most of it was trying to figure out her motion.

Trainer had me do it again and this time went way better. I really like the mare. Maybe not her wonky canter, but her brain is fantastic and you can tell Trainer has been the one to get her going under saddle. She really is foot perfect and is only 6. Trainer backed her at 5. We talked about all the things I need to do better (stop hunching my shoulders, stay more centered in the saddle, look ahead to where I want to go, stay in two point longer on the back side of the fence, etc..) and I think the plan for now is to take more lessons on the mare so I can work on myself. I’ll still ride Eeyore at home, once he is sound again, but for now it’s going to be me centric in lessons for a bit.

13 thoughts on “Cheating on Eeyore”

  1. This is awesome – honestly there is so so so much value in getting to ride on other horses. Esp when it comes to riders working on honing and refining new skills. Like. I probably need to jump way more than Charlie does just for my own sake, and often wish I had more opportunities to do so, ya know? Actually Eeyore was the first mom Charlie horse I had ridden since like… 2017 or 2018?? A long time, anyway lol. Glad you leapt at this chance!

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    1. I get really nervous on new horses. Most are so good but it takes me a while to trust them. This mare has a great brain and is honest as the day is long. It will be good for me to ride her some more and focus on all my bad habits.

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  2. Awesome!!!! Glad you got a chance to ride a different horse that would let you work on you 🙂 She sounds like a fun little mare and a good way to find those naughty habits that Eeyore hides/creates. I rode my trainer’s horse in a clinic a few years ago and it was so eye opening on all the bad habits I’d developed from riding Chimi all the time- glad this is going to be a regular thing too!! Nothing like some downtime to change things up 🙂 Yay for great lessons!!!

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    1. Trainer was mean, well not really maybe strict is a better word she is never mean, during this lesson. I couldn’t get away with anything. Which is good for me. I’m excites to ride her again tho her canter feels so odd to me

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  3. Ah there is a hater. Thanks for posting! Though I must warn you that I won’t waste my time responding in the future and will simply delete.

    My choice to ride in an outdoor space alone with a single person was weighed against the knowledge I have with close ties to our healthcare system in my area. Every week, every day is different with different data sets coming in to those who read beyond the words of the politicians and those with agendas that have nothing to do with bettering society.

    I kept to the standards of my state. There were two of us who stayed more than 6 ft apart, closer to 12ft at all times. Outdoor recreation is permitted in groups less than 3.

    But I won’t defend my decisions as I said in my post. I have closer first hand knowledge and behind the scenes experience than the average person and there is a lot going on that is hurting people with much dire consequences than a virus which has proven to be way less deadly than originally thought.

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    1. Hello Anne! I looked back and fail to see any other comments. Oh wait: you come out of the woodwork solely to be a troll. That’s real cool. Thanks for all your prior uplifting comments. Oh wait. You never made any.

      So we are on the same page here. I didn’t start a blog to complain about my patients. I adore my patients. But I guess you read things as you want.

      I’m aware of a lot. Are you? I’m aware of the fact that we have an entire hospital set aside for Covid patients that sits completely empty and has done for weeks on end. I’m aware of the over 900 health care professionals on furlough because there isn’t enough work for them to remain employed. I am aware of the daily ER census that remains so low that staff are continuously being sent home and losing pay.

      I’m aware that my trainer relies solely on the income from lessons to keep food on her table. I’m aware that two people standing in the middle of 90 private acres while remaining over 6 ft apart is way less exposure than a single trip to the grocery store or a gas station.

      I’m aware that I’ve been consulted to see COVID patients myself. I am fully aware of the daily census of patients awaiting test results, being tested and with active positive tests.

      My planet? Ha! Every single second of every single day of my life has been completely altered by this virus. I have people relying on me to pay them so they can pay their mortgage and the daily stress of figuring out how much longer I can do so is overwhelming. While other doctors have hid from the dangers of this infectious disease and closed their doors to those they deem “not essential” I have turned my office inside out, nearly literally, to make it safe to provide care and keep my patients out of the ER and out of the hospital.

      You sound like a real winner. I hope you got enjoyment out of this comment. That you are sitting there with a smug smirk and go about your day happy as a lark that you wrote a nasty, judgemental comment on a complete strangers blog. You know nothing about me or my life. My decisions or my perspective.

      I hope you are nicer to those under your care. That you have empathy and sympathy for those “on the front lines” with you and the decisions they make with the information they have. Now excuse me while I comfort my 7 yo who can’t have an egg hunt, return to school, see his friends or hug his grandparents and isn’t quite old enough to understand why.

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  4. it is ESSENTIAL to get lessons on other horses, particularly when you own. riding the same horse over and over does not improve your riding.

    the best growth i had as a rider was from not owning a horse for so long. Riding something new every week (or every day, when I was in college) pushed me more than anything else ever has. Good on you for getting a lesson on something else!

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    1. I agree. I’m way too in my comfort zone on my own horse. I don’t adapt very well to others and get super nervous. Plus Eeyore knows my ways and makes up for them. This mare definitely questioned why I was doing what I was doing. It was nice to get the feedback. Hoping to do more lessons in her or another Trainer horse.

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