Day 03- Your best riding
This is a hard one for me. I personally don't feel like I've had a day of best riding. I know I have so much more to learn and grow with and any progress I've made has been so small and gradual that it's hard to see the changes unless I compare it to where I was years previous.
The biggest thing I can think of is when I was in regular lessons with Jim and I was able to get Gwyn working consistently on the bit during the lesson. It's something I struggle with and that Gwyn struggles with. I'm not sure she has the muscle strength to do it right now because of how long we've both been out of regular riding work but I'm hopeful that I can change that.
I say that as all my plans for this afternoon are shot because it's thunderstorming. I was going to do a lunging session with her with some raised trot poles to help start redeveloping her topline.
Maybe I'll get it set up for tomorrow.
Day 04- A ride that impacted your life
In general, riding is impactful broadly for me. I am in better moods after I've ridden, regardless of the quality of the ride and having horses around acts like an antidepressant.
Probably the most impactful ride was the one that I was forbidden from doing. When I was pregnant with Hazel, the blood clot and subsequent blood thinners meant that riding was really not a good idea. All of my doctors said to stop.
I tried to follow orders and worked on trick training and clicker training. I took Gwyn for hand walks on the trails while Kaylee was at preschool. But ultimately I found myself really not feeling good and ended up having an anxiety attack at a prenatal visit. Too much had been pulled out of my control and I wasn't able to cope as well since my usual coping mechanism was part of the things I wasn't allowed to do.
There was a glorious february day. I had a window of an hour or so where the temperatures climbed into the 50sF. I told Eric I didn't care anymore and that I was going on a trail ride. He knew, bless the man, that I needed it. So we made a deal, that I would check in regularly, and if I missed a deadline, he'd call 911.
It was the best damn ride. Gwyn was a little snorty, but seemed to realize that this had become something special and she better not blow it. We were all by ourselves and it was just... wonderful. I felt better prepared to tackle the stressors of the clot aftereffects. I found a doula and I took back control of my pregnancy as much as was possible.
And I started riding again. No more than 30 minutes, always lunging first to evaluate Gwyn's excitability. I aborted at the first sign of funny business from her. And if I was alone, always with a dead man's switch, checking in with Eric regularly. It was a life saver.
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