Well I went out to the barn after work, again. I picked up a friend-Natalie-from the train station at around five or so. It was kind of trying to rain, spit, sprinkle, and then sun. Really, I was hoping it didn't downpour. We had the clouds for it, frankly.
So we drive out and I pull into our local tack shop. There are two I go to, "Saddlers' Row" which is super big, it's out in barrington-about a 40 minute drive for me. I'll go there for tack and whatnot because of the variety. They also have some fun bits.
She, unfortunately, didn't purchase anything. I got a new pair of gloves. I go through them like no one's business. It's a bit unfortunate, really. But I wear through the fingertips, either because there are no gloves that really fit me, or my nails just grow and I'm too lazy to cut them. Probably the second, but still.
By the time I get that picked out it's actually sunny outside! Gasp. So I hightailed it to the barn and she met Eagle! Unfortunately, the ponything was not on his best behavior. I'm slightly embarassed about it. I think he, for one, was partly irritated with the fact that I was back again.
"What are you doing here?"
We shined him up (Not too difficult-there wasn't any excessive mud, considering I had fun with that earlier. Ugh. My horse loves to roll just a little too much.) and then took him out. Walked him around a bit and let him graze, and then I opted to walk down the driveway and turn him out in one of the pastures.
He always kicks up his heels a bit, I think in token protest to being so mistreated and being kept in a stall. Yeah. Right. Hard life there, kid. I don't buy it.
However, most of my pictures of him are of standing and grazing. There's a reason for that. Once he runs a lap or two, we're done. And down to gra-uh, I mean business. One and the same, really. I sincerely hope she got some decent pictures there, because I think that's about the only moment where there were some truly beautiful moments.
Long story short, brought him back up to the barn. tacked up.
She expierenced the wonderful "Horse does not stand for mounting block' phenomena. (Mounting outside-his first time in a year or so. I'll give him a pass on that.) Spun him around. Stood him again. Got on. It only took once. So at least he's getting better, eh? Though now he's not really thrilled to walk up to the mounting block.
I may have to do something about that in the near future if it isn't something that he was just doing today.
Annd, instead of riding indoors-it was nice enough, and still light enough at this point, to go to the outdoor. It's not in the best of shape, I don't even know the last time it was grated or anything, but it was good footing. Soft and damp but not wet, and not too dry.
This is the first time I've ridden him outside since early october, I believe. The last set of pictures in my facebook of me riding, "fall break". That was the last day I rode outside. So it's been a while. A long while. And I don't actually think I've ever taken Eagle out to the sand ring at Fox Meadow, so that was another first.
Looking back, I can't say I should have expected him to be 'good'. But damn, I was disappointed that he wasn't better, I guess. We had some good trot work, but he was very, very forward and very much ignoring the bit when I said stop. I may have to switch it up jut to get a little bit of 'kick' outside, anyway.
I don't know. He needs, regardless, to be better about stopping because when I say stop? I mean it. I don't give a damn what's going on, when I want him to slow down-he had better slow down. End of story.
I'm beginning to get annoyed with it not happening. I might need to do a session back in my dutch gag. I hate it because he comes down behind the vertical, but it does get him to stop. Maybe reminding him in a "Hey. You. IDIOT STOP DAMNIT." will freshen him to the cues and I can go back to a D. Worth a try, I suppose.
As it stands, I'm actually surprised it went as well as it did. I looked at some of the pictures and I think I had a case of being my own worst critic. Certainly there were ugly moments-I had a wonderful 'chair seat' going at some points, and one of my huge flaws-locking my back-showed itself particularly in the canter. It makes it harder for me to stay in the saddle.
Despite that, though, there were really quite a few 'good' moments to the ride. Looking at the pictures, I'm actually quite surprised. Eagle was moving forward and through, and so I suppose I'll take what I can get, eh?
Unfortunately I haven't been out to the barn much, since. My 'monthly affliction' has shown up in full force and, beyond being overly emotional and sensitive (and hyper-aware of every single slightly awkward situation) I also am hurting beyond belief. It's rather difficult to ride when you can't even sit up straight, eh?
Yesterday, I turned him out in the cross country field and dozed in the sun. He, as per normal, was stuffing his face, quite happily. But he kept me company-and there's nothing quite like waking up to a big, black muzzle right near your head. I suppose someone would be disconcerted by the proximity of hooves to them, but.. really, maybe it's foolish-but I trust him.
He knew I was there, and he came to me.
So Eagle's been spoiled and has spent six hours outside today (as per a friend of mine helping me out). I'm really quite blessed, I guess. Either for my horse's charisma in getting people to want to be involved with him, or the fact that people are willing to help me out..
It's both, really.
So he's had playtime out in the fields, and apparently he's behaving himself.
I'll go out there tomorrow, regardless of how I feel.
I just wish things, for once, would start looking up.
So for now, I guess it's better that I keep this close, keep him close to me.