Yes my friends, I am in a hurry. always. But to hurry with a very large three year old? Is silly.
I think our issues are stemming from my personality and ultimately my drive to accomplish (and accomplish quickly). I have always ridden fairly aggressively through my seat and legs. I push horses up and forward. I tend to "pester" to get more energetic gaits as well (and seeing that my pony is a dead head-- I've felt the need to do a lot of this). When he gets something right, I don't let him take a beak, I ask for the next thing in the sequence. I push myself to my limits with regularity and I've pushed my horse PAST his.
I was given a supple and willing 3 year old (after 2 months with Becky) and in less than 2 weeks-- he has turned into a resistant, protesting and unhappy individual. It breaks my heart to know that it was all my fault.
But I received some inspiration in various forms in the past week. I took the week off from the barn. I had a lesson with Becky on Tuesday of last week so that she could see what was happening and begin to help me address the issues. Then, I stayed gone. I needed to clear my head and get a grip on how the situation was making me feel and to regroup and examine how I was going to progress. Solitare Mare over at A Good Horse Blog lost her partner this week. And she found the courage to get on and ride again. And look forward to new horses and new journeys in life. If she can deal with that and move on, I can reexamine what I am doing wrong with my horse, enlist the help of his trainer and begin again.
So this afternoon I headed to the barn after work with 2 boots (both left.... so I wore rain boots-- that was pleasant... NOT) and a new attitude (and bit of apprehension). I took lots of deep breaths and reminded myself to be light, soft, gentle, forgiving and every other pleasant adjective I could conjure up.
The ride wasn't great. But it wasn't worse. We had a nice forward, free feeling trot. We did some collection at the walk and lots of walk on the buckle. We did transitions and serpentines and took some rest breaks. It was OK. And I can handle OK. We have a lesson tomorrow, so lets hope for some improvement.