I've chilled out a bit since last night and earlier today because my lack of sleep is finally catching up to me.
You see...I had one of the most fantastic rides on my Ladde boy last night EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! He seriously is a total rockstar and I cannot tell you how proud of him that I am!! In fact, I'm so excited that I might surely pop a vein or something!!! :) I was totally amped up and could hardly sleep a wink all last night, and when I woke up, the feelings were still there in force. Yes. It was that good. That horse-o-mine is mighty, mighty fine!!!! God Bless him...all the way down to his precious little hooves. Okay, now that I've got you all dangerously close to puking, I'll pipe down...kay? Sorry, but I'm just a wee bit proud of the big brute tis all. He really was a gem. No, he wasn't a perfect angel. But, he was 100% there. With me, attentive and in tuned to my every little touch and request. He performed as well as any out of shape horse with hardly any riding (let alone work) in the last couple of years could be expected to do.
We worked on so many different things that my head is swimming. For pete's sake, I'm just a trailrider...I've never had any formal training to speak of. I just ride. I've been to quite a few natural horsemanship clinics, was blessed to have ridden with Ray Hunt 3 times, Tom Dorrance once, Brad Cameron twice...but nothing that even closely resembled dressage. I'm certainly not accustomed to thinking that much while I'm riding. The greatest blessing in thinking a lot while riding Ladde, for me, is that I'm way too busy to start fretting, or worrying about what he might or might not do. I was too busy to be scared. What a huge relief for me that was!!! I've turned into a "nervous nellie" in recent years, and I'm just uncertain as to why, or where this nervousness or fear is coming from. When I try to figure it out, I know now that it comes from a variety of places or reasons.
* Ladde is huge. Everything the horse does is big. And, it's intimidating to be riding an animal that is so incredibly powerful. I'm not accustomed to big, very forward moving horses. You Warmblood riders will understand this.
* I'm the only person who's done any training on this horse. Apparently, I am less than 100% confident in my abilities as a "horse trainer/teacher". Giving the horse his due here, this is certainly lower on my list of worries, though. This horse has a good, sensible mind.
* When Ladde was a 2-year old, he was neurologic for unknown reasons for about 7 months. We did a spinal tap for EPM and treated him with meds for that amount of time, but what my vet didn't bother ever telling me was that the spinal tap was negative. Assuming it wasn't EPM, we never did any other diagnostics to determine the cause of the neurologic symptoms. If you've ever witnessed a horse who is neurologic, you'll understand just how scary and serious this situation can be.
* I'm getting older, and I certainly have to admit to being a lot less physically fit or agile than I once was. I've gained a lot of weight over the years...this one reason plays a big role in my confidence as a rider. Physically, I'm rather top-heavy and have shorter legs than I would like...I question my abilities in sticking to the saddle in the event of a rather large "spook" event.
* I have hurt my back. It hurt a lot and it hurt for a rather long time. I hope to NEVER experience pain like that again. No, this was not the outcome of a riding accident, but I remember how much it hurt and I really don't want to get hurt again. (this is a big one)
* Riding Harley the last several years and having him become increasingly more spooky and unsure of himself and becoming increasingly less sure-footed did a number on my confidence as well. Now, I know the reason behind his actions...he was losing his eyesight. I, however, was completely clueless. Not for a single minute did that possibility ever cross my mind.
* Re-reading this list has confirmed that I'm a mental case. I have no concrete reason for my lack of confidence, except that I'm an old, fat, scardy cat. *sigh*
* But...I'm just stupid enough not to care enough to EVER give up riding or trying to improve!!!
I gotta brag a little bit more about my other amazing "STAR" of a horse. Harley. He's going to be the official "spokeshorse" Appaloosa for a soon-to-be-published book by Linda Kuhlman. Yep, yep, yep. She and her husband came out to our house a couple of nights ago and shot a bunch of pictures for her upcoming video trailer for her next book. How cool is that!!?? My sweet, little ole Harley's going to be all over the internet...he's gonna be a star!!!! Of course, he's ALWAYS been a star in my eyes. It's about time the rest of the world came around. :)
Have a wonderful weekend...
Lorie at C-ing Spots Appaloosas