Ms. C called me late Sunday afternoon and asked what we did to Ike while she was away teaching. She said he was a zombie and just wanted to be left alone – completely out of character from his normal demands for all her attention and any treats she might have on her person. We are hopeful that he will be unable to “infect” any of the other horses while they are sleeping in their stalls, but if things start to get out of hand, I will notify my readers as soon as possible so that you can arm yourselves and shelter in place.
Ike’s catatonic-state was brought about by his busy weekend. It has been a while since his social calendar was so full. Our weekly lesson with Ms. C was pushed to Saturday since it took a few days to melt the ten inches of snow that fell at the barn on Wednesday. We still had to work around some snow piles, but most of the ring was workable enough to have our lesson Saturday morning. Sunday was Ike’s first off-property event of 2013. We had a clinic with Rebecca Langwost-Barlow at a local barn…very glad that the snow didn’t stick around and force us to miss the clinic. Also very glad that Ike remembered his trailering skills from last year and walked on the trailer without too much fuss or protesting.
It is interesting to me that despite the different methods of teaching and explaining the concepts, both Ms. C and Becky had the same message to me that boils down to, “Stop pulling the reins backwards and start riding forward to your hands.” I don’t mean to pull back and quite honestly don’t realize that I am doing it until an instructor points it out during a lesson.
My over-reliance on my inside rein has been well documented in my blog posts. [Alison:inside rein :: Linus:security blanket] It is one of those bad habits that I should have considered giving up for Lent. I’ve heard “inside leg to outside rein connection” over and over, yet when Ike gets strong, I digress back to my happy place. And yes, I know that by stifling the neck and shoulder by constantly pulling backward, the hind leg can’t really step up and under Ike’s body. When others ride, I can easily spot when the rider overuses their inside rein. I am aware that you straighten the horse off the outside rein. It doesn’t seem to matter what my brain knows, the pulling is now an involuntary movement. It is going to take strong measures to stop it. Maybe I am the zombie and someone needs to whack me in the head? Who wants to take a swing?