Where Art Thou?
It did stop raining for part of the day, including when I got home. But after I fed the Boys, I sat down and that was that. I am lacking motivation. I supposed I could come up with a hundred excuses, but I won't. I just didn't feel like riding.
When I boarded the horses out, I would go to the barn every day. I rode six days a week. My horse or horses were all super fit. I moved them along in competition levels at a good rate. In the hunters/jumpers it was basically a level a season, more if I qualified for the next level. It used to be that first place ribbons at one jumping height moved you up to the next level. Eventually, my horse was an "open " competitor in the smaller shows and in the rated shows, an amateur owner hunter in the 3'6" division. In eventing, I moved up to Training Level which at that time was the 3'9" division. Once I started serious dressage, I was a level a year, with Russell ending up at 3rd level, while PJ and Toby each finished up at Intermediare I.
Tucker is now 9 years old and he has not competed beyond first level. While I am training him at second--when I ride--with an eye for third level, he is quite behind schedule for my usual plan. Why?
He has not been an "easy train." Attitude and ulcers slowed us down at the start. And, to be frank, he intimidated me. It's not fun getting on a horse quite capable of bucking you off. While he only did dump me twice, I was jarred loose more than I care to count. At shows, in the warm up arena, he was downright scary. I am not as young and "bouncey" as I used to be, so going off is even more worrisome. While he and I have come to a basic understaning about things and he has improved tremendously since the ulcer treatments, his training has not been all roses since.
Tuck is still hard to ride. He does not soften to the rein easily as he does not always stay forward. He does not accept my leg as well as he should and driving him forward with the whip still can produce bucks. I know how to fix it all, but I don't have the nerve to do it as I should but have rather found ways to work around his disobedience instead of confronting it and being done with it. Thus, his training progresses at a much slower rate than I am used to. An example is the flying changes. I know with a little determination, and a willingness to sit through the inevitable buck/kick outs the changes produce--as they will with many horses--I could train them quite easily. But the bucks are there and I don't feel secure about riding through them.
Age? I think so. My two bad knees do not help either. I do not have the confidence in my seat I used to have. My brain knows I CAN do it, but overcoming the other instinct of "WHAT IF" is harder than it used to be.
So, here I am, not riding as much as I can or should. I will get Tucker trained, I'm sure, but I need to stir up my motivation again. Right now, it's too easy not to ride, and I am out of the routine. The long, icy winter put me off and I've just not gotten back into the swing of things.
No excuses. The only blessing is that the Boys are here in the back yard where I can see them every day and take good care of them so I know that lack for nothing--except regular work.
I'm not sure they mind too much.