Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crazy, eh?!

I just knew my lesson would be great last night. I started smiling in anticipation on the way to the stables last night from work. I couldn't wait to get there.

The herd was turned out to pasture just over a week ago, a couple of weeks later than usual because of the soggy conditions. Gem got his little turnout field back and is loving it! Last night was the first time this season I had to bring him in (usually he's brought in for me). I could see him dozing under the trees and I called him as I walked through gate. He looked and then trotted over to me! I did my usual greeting, gave him a rub and then hooked his lead rope. It was a great way to start our time together.

It was warm (27C) and sunny, so our lesson was going to be outside. Unfortunately, the dry sand in the front paddock made A LOT of dust as we did our warm up. At one point, I wasn't sure where LA was - I could hear her, but couldn't see her! :-) Time to move the lesson out on the grass. You can actually see where we had our lesson in my header picture. :-) Normally when we are in the fields, I start feeling that nervous butterfly thing in my stomach and then I start gripping the reins . Not last night. I was first through the gate. Gem and I walked around, checked out the cavellettis and the poles and wandered around a bit in the tall grass. I wanted to see what the terrain was like and I wanted him to feel the tall grass against his legs.

We started our warm up again, this time jogging over the poles and the cavellettis. Yes, you read that correctly. Me, Gem, grass, tall grass, open space, JOGGING OVER POLES AND CAVELLETTIS. I know! Crazy, eh?! My classmates, including CA, were amazed at my lack of hesitation. LA was yelling encouragement. Gem never faltered. He plowed through the tall grass and uneven terrain like it was nobody's business. I overheard one of my classmates say to another as we jogged around them that I had good balance. :-)

Then we came to the part in the lesson where LA asks us what we want to do. Jean and BF were ahead of me and decided they wanted to lope circles. Of course the circle was much bigger than what it would be in the paddock. :-) It was great to watch them loping in the grass. My turn. LA asked me what I wanted to do. "Lope." I know! Crazy, eh?! She never batted an eyelash. "Show us how it's done."

Gem's departure was great. He was relaxed and frankly, so was I. There was a brief moment as we were loping through the tall grass that I had a flashback of doing the same thing as a girl. The memory made me feel good and I started to grin. When we finished loping, LA commented that it was nice to see me smile.

I JOGGED and LOPED a number of times last night. I even jogged by a couple of the old horses that had come in from the other pastures to the paddock gate for their nightly grain treat. Didn't faze me. Gem did everything I asked him to do. While CA and LA were arranging a private lesson, Jean and I walked further into the middle of the pasture to cool our horses down; another first for me.

As we dismounted, LA approached me and said that I had taken a giant step. I was very pleased. Gem made it easy. I think our bond was strengthened just a little bit more last night. I trusted him and I think he trusted me. I untacked Gem and had a hard time leaving him. It was such a fantabulous lesson and I didn't want it to end, sort of felt like a terrific first date - remember?? :-) Jean mentioned at Burger and Beers that she had noticed a change in my confidence over the weekend and was impressed at my performance last night.

I am a little stiff today, but it's a good kind of stiff. As I mentioned in my previous post, I think I am entering into a new chapter with Gem. I am excited about it. I can't explain why last night was so different from others. Was it the Advil I took before lesson that loosened up my muscles? Perhaps it was that I had a very productive day at work and was on a roll. Maybe it was the 1/2 fudge brownie I had late in the afternoon. :-) I think that it's probably my new negative-free attitude and Gem is feeling it. Open spaces! Loping! Jogging! Look out! Here we come!!.....I just hope my body can hold up.... :-)

What was I thinking....?


  1. Good deal! Sounds like a blast and like you're really enjoying your relationship with your horse!

  2. Ah! I love this post... had me grinning ear to ear. So, so, so happy for you!!

  3. Super-fantastic!!! I too couldn't stop grinning as I read this :D That's decided it -- you're going to be my role model! Joy xx

  4. I find my self smiling too! It really sounds like you and Gem are on the same page. How fun that must be.

  5. I like your new "I'm not going to take negativity from anybody" attitude. Work it girl!

  6. I know that feeling of not wanting to leave the barn after a great happy for you and your boy!! Also, I actually love being really sore after working hard on my horse. It's a nice reminder the next day of what a great ride we had.
    Also, I love your "What was I thinking?" tagline, but...I believe it's going to become out of place with all this confidence of yours exuding off the screen...just sayin...:)

  7. Good for you and Gem!! I'm thinking it had nothing to do with work or brownies, I think you let the negativity go and replaced it with confidence. Gem reacted to your confidence and you really showed them all what you can do. Yeah, I'm so happy for you.

  8. I think when you stood up to the advice givers you claimed your personal relationship with your horse. At its core, it's all about you and Gem and no one else, and it sounds like you felt that last night. I'm so happy for you!!!! Gem sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime horse. Enjoy.

    Beautiful Mustang

  9. HOORAY! I LOVE great rides! That's how I felt after this weekend with my monster.
    and I totally understand being "good" stiff. I am still a little sore from riding this weekend.


  10. Good afternoon everyone!

    Kate – I am! I think I am finally getting it.

    Marissa – Thanks so much! I am happy for me, too!

    Joy – You flatter me! You and Biscuit are well on the way to being a solid cantering duo!

    Mary – It’s almost illegal how much fun it was! :-)

    Shannon – I am liking this new me, too! I promise to keep working it!

    Sarah – I like being sore after a good ride to. It’s a reminder of a great time. I appreciate your observation re my tagline… think???... :-)

    GHM – I have to say that I almost feel like a weight has been lifted having let the negative part of my riding experience go. I think you are right – Gem reacted to my new-found confidence! Yay!

    Linda – ….. “you claimed your personal relationship with your horse.” I love that! Thank you.

    Goodtime – I was happy to read that your weekend with Piney worked out. The kind of sore we are experiencing is a good thing. :-) Thanks for your horrays!!

  11. Right on! Thank you for sharing such a fantastic ride. I'm ever so tempted to try the half fudge brownie method. Gem just sounds too cool for words. You know, I keep thinking about how you managed to get out from under the negative...and look what it did? I'm thinking this is maybe happening with my riding, too. My old barn had this ever growing dark cloud over it and it was showing in everything I did. My new barn is a happy happy place and I've had some of my best rides ever in the past week. I want to live there and never come home lol.

  12. Story - Gem is definitely cool. :-) I know what you mean about never going home!! LOL! I have been catching up on my blog reading and I did see that you moved barns. Your recent rides at the new place were amazing. Congrats to you for making the decision to move....sometimes familiarity makes us stay in situations when we shouldn't.

  13. Such a wonderful post! I could feel myself smiling right along with you, what a great feeling to enjoy such a great ride on Gem :)

  14. Hi Stephanie! Nice to hear from you! It was an awesome lesson. The bar is set now...all I have to do is be consistent so I can raise it again! :-)

  15. OMG!!!! That is fantastic! You are awesome! :)

  16. That is just sooo good to hear, and I know just where you're coming from. That feeling when you trust your horse and he trusts you back is like nothing on earth. Well done you, you've had a major breakthrough and I know that you and Gem will go from strength to strength. Fabulous! xx

  17. Nina - Awesome...I like! :-) Thank you!

    Jooles - I really think we have turned a corner. I am fortunate that Gem is so patient with me. :-)

  18. This post made me smile!! SO great to hear about you having fun with your horse, and feeling so confident. Yay!!

  19. Thanks, Calm! Glad I made you smile. ;-)

  20. Reading posts like this gives me hope for myself...:) Thanks for sharing all this.

  21. Hello Fetlock! Nice to meet you. There is always hope!...I remind myself of that regularly. :-) BTW, you have to try Maple Syrup on your french die for! :-)