So as I have mentioned before Phoenix has been a total pain in the butt as of late. I was hoping that it was just a phase. And since my lesson on Saturday I am thinking that I was right and that the phase of pissy baby horse is over! I am not holding my breath yet, especially since winter without an indoor means that riding is inconsistent at best, but it has been a long time since we have had a good ride that I am savoring it!
The last time that I felt like Phoenix was willing from the start of the ride all the way through to the end was at our last hunter show of the year on October 4th. Since then we have had many good lessons, but even those have had crappy starts, and not a single good ride when I was working on my own. I think that it was because I have stepped up what I expect from Phoenix and he was having a hard time adjusting to our new, harder, version of normal. In my lessons neither one of my trainers would allow anything but a good ride so we would always get there in the end.
Anyway, the rides have been long and hard, but I always still felt like we were going in the right direction. I suppose I should be enjoying the fact that Phoenix’s hind end is now strong enough to buck, kick out, and crow hop now. Honestly though, there have been some really beautiful moments in our rides, it is just a lot of work to get there. The longer I went without a good ride the more concerned about it I got. I wanted my sweet, willing Phoenix back.
I don’t know what changed but I got it on Saturday! I had a lesson with his owner and as of late I have been making her warm him up for me on lesson days because I want her to get on him at least once a week. It works out well because this way I know he is getting real training and he also is normally all set up for me when I get on. Anyway, his owner was running late so I got on him first to warm him up so she would be able to work him for 10 minutes before my lesson started for real. I got on expecting a tightly wound up horse since it had been almost a week since I was last able to ride. Instead I got on to a wet noodle. Phoenix was so relaxed and pliable!!!
Riding around at the walk and trot already had me smiling. He was such a good boy, he was really just trying to please me, and that is all I want! When his owner finally got to the ring I still had her get on, but she also got the instructions of “don’t ruin him, he is in a good mood”. Lucky for me she just made him better so that when I got back on for the second time I had an ear to ear grin. My lesson was great! I mean, we still make mistakes and everything, but Phoenix was trying so very hard to be good that it canceled out all the bad in my book. By the time we got off I was on cloud 9. I got my baby horse back! I couldn’t ride yesterday with all the ice we had here (I didn’t even see Phoenix because as I was turning onto the road where the barn is my car did a 180 on the road because of ice so I took that as a sign from God to go home) and I cannot ride on Tuesday so I am hoping that the good mojo will be carried over to next week. Even if it does not at least I know my good Phoenix is still in there waiting to come out!