So when you hear the phrase, “Back in the Saddle Again,” what musical act pops into your head? Is it Gene Autry or Aerosmith? The right answer? There really isn’t one. What does matter is that no matter what keeps you out of the saddle, that you get yourself back into the saddle as soon as possible. Your sanity is at stake and you don’t want to mess with that.
I attempted to ride on Saturday, but the footing was less than ideal since the moisture in the blue stone had frozen and there was absolutely no give to the footing. After 20 minutes of mostly walk and some light trot work, I toss in the towel and called it a day. Sunday was a sunless, cold day and I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Monday I spent the day out-of-town with my newest puppy while he had Femoral Head Ostectomy on his right hip; basically the head of the femur is fractured by something or someone and needs to be removed. [Here comes my soapbox speech.] The poor boy was returned to the local SPCA with this injury and the former owners said nothing during the intake. Seriously? Some people should not be allowed to own animals. I saw the x-ray – there was a lot of force behind whatever hurt him. I hope I never meet the people who did this. Luckily, the surgery went well, and he should have a full recovery with no lasting limp.
So after life’s diversions and my lack of motivation for riding in the cold, Ike and I got right back to it today with our weekly lesson. Ms. C declared that it was Lateral Day. Ugh – it is relatively new to Ike so mistakes are common. He doesn’t hear the bump of my leg so the hind end trails…only to be exaggerated by the fact that I forgot to half halt that outside shoulder so it is steaming ahead without the rest of the body. Then we switch directions only to find that we have the opposite issues tracking the other direction. More information to process and store. I also had a challenge today trying to establish a steady connection and throughness, so it made giving aids for the leg yield more challenging as I fought the giraffe neck and an unyielding back. Why was it challenging? Because a certain horse who I shall not call out needed to poop, but would not.
When we do manage to get all pieces and parts working together, Ike has a really nice reach to his lateral steps. There is a flow to the movement and it feels effortless…ah, that is the feeling I strive for with every stride and every stride of every ride. Guess I’ll just have to keep getting back in the saddle to see if we can find it again.