I haven't enjoyed my horse in about two months. He has been a real turd. He is fighting me and will not get on the bit. He has been injured. He has been just annoying. I've really not been looking forward to riding. And, as everyone knows, when you are a self-supporting, full-time-working, adult-am, you need to enjoy the thing you are spending all of your extra time and money to sustain. So... I called in the big guns.
Our new trainer Heather got on last weekend while I was out of town (at my parents' celebrating my... (gulp) 26th Birthday). She reported that my horse was being a bit of a jerk and he hated his bit, but she got some good work out of him after about 15 minutes.
So... I ordered a bit (or two). Enter the happy mouth eggbutt with a mullen mouth. And, Granite is much more relaxed. Not perfect, mind you, but relaxing his jaw and actually being more supple for me! Don't you love progress? I do!
And to put the nail in the coffin of getting back to good with Granite, I called our trusty horse mentor and equestrian therapist (that's how it feels, she can literally talk me through anything-- mainly helping me get out of my own way and that of my horse's). You may know by now that I'm talking about Ms. Jenn. She came to visit us on Sunday to ride. Now, she's coached me a dozen times but she has never gotten up on the big giant herself. This time she came decked out and ready to ride. Bless her heart, her mare has been out for almost a year with a stifle injury and she hasn't ridden anything in two months. She was brave to hop on the 16.3 hand solid beast of a horse after two months off, and did I mention that she is petite?
Anyway. She got on and warmed G up on a completely lose rein. Then she slowly took come contact and asked him to carry himself. By golly, she got it. The horse looked fantastic! I was so proud. I LOVE watching people who ride better than I do make my horse look phenomenal. I don't give that animal credit, if I would get out of his way, he could let out his inner rock star/ show stopper more often!
So then she had me get up there so she could see exactly how I was getting in his way. She was a huge cheerleader and basically helped me to discover that I'm asking my horse to be a dressage horse. I'm asking the big baby to collect and get really round and I'm puuuushing him from behind for everything. What I'm not letting him do is be that hunter that I keep saying I want him to be. I don't let him be long and low and floaty. So, without further pause, I show you what Granite can do while being coached by Ms. Jenn and ridden by yours truly:
Here is to continued success and BiG Strides :)
PS: I may have some additional exciting news.... suspense!