October is supposed to be the best time to live in central Texas. You can expect mid 70’s to low 80’s during the day, and the nights feel like they just might be cold enough for a sweater. Everyone knows this, including Simon who is Texan born and bred.
So can someone explain to me why we’re having temperatures in the mid 90’s?
Saturday I went out to the barn in early afternoon to hack the pony. Right from the get go, neither one of us was feeling it. Usually Simon shows up to work ready to give me 100%, but on Saturday he was more of the “Meh… no thanks,” variety. For the most part, I let this go. I did insist that he continue to bend to the right instead of stare at the small pony like it was bringing the apocalypse, because I am a cruel and unreasonable horse mother.
Sunday we had a jumping lesson, which I thought would put him in a better mood. Instead, I got a Simon who didn’t feel like listening.
I think I have spent a lot of time in the saddle allowing this horse to save me, which is something he’s extremely good at. I’ll point him to a jump and think “Oh wow this looks big and I’m slightly terrified so I’m just going to sit up and trust he will get me over it.” The good news is that he will get me over the fence safely. The bad news is he will choose how fast, what distance and how to zoom through the corner afterward.
Largely due to a change in perspective, I’ve not really been scared of jumping lately. We’ve also put a lot of solid hours into flatwork this summer, and I’ve spent some time telling my core that it needs to be way more active at the canter. On Sunday, the goal was a lot more than just getting over the jump… I wanted to do it with a good pace and proper corners.
Simon does not like proper corners.
Several times I would ask for a change (we usually change in the front, collect for him to catch up in the hind and then canter on… it takes about 2-5 strides depending on how he’s listening) and he’d completely blow me off. He wanted to dive and scoot forward, and did not want to bend or listen. Therefore I sat his butt down in the middle of the course, and made him calmly move his hind end in the direction I wanted before proceeding. Basically I installed a listening cap mid-course.
Simon does not like the listening cap.
However, even though he was a little grumpy and not being allowed to run the Simon show the entire time… he gave me 3 flying changes on Sunday. That is 300% more flying changes than we’ve gotten all summer.
I’ll take some grumpy looking pictures* if it means a big jump forward in progress.
* Before anyone jumps to conclusions and thinks that my horse is in back pain because every picture of him jumping has his ears back, stay tuned to another post this week that has plenty of happier pictures from this exact same ride.