Today was the first time in a long time that I was a little nervous tacking Luc up. I had gotten it into my head that today was the day that I was finally going to ride Luc out on the trails. After our first attempt went less than favourably, I was a little apprehensive. With last week’s ride on Misty under my belt, I knew I was confident enough to walk, trot and canter in the field, but the question remained, would I be confident enough on Luc?
Sure he had been great last week when my sister rode him, but she rides him in the fields on a regular basis – and you know, consistently rides him and deals with his issues. She’s a lot less of a passenger than I am (I’m working on it!). By the time I was finished tacking Luc up, I was in full self-doubt mode. Pushing those negative thoughts aside I stepped up to the picnic table – my new favourite mounting block – and stepped into the saddle.
Luc didn’t move a muscle. I think that’s the first time ever when I get on. Of course that might have had something to do with the horse walking down the driveway that had completely captured Luc’s attention. I’m pretty sure he had no idea I had even gotten on until I gave him a small little kick to get him going. I did try squeezing first, but apparently he just thought I was a pesky fly and tried to give a little shake to get it off.
After getting Luc’s attention back on me I confidently (ok so I may have been faking it a little) walked towards the front field. I worked there for a while, walking, trotting and cantering to make sure I had a horse on my hands and not a ticking time bomb. I decided to head out into the bigger fields and onto the trails. As it turns out, there wasn’t a thing to be worried out.
As it turns out, I wasn’t on a ticking time bomb. I was on a sloth – perhaps the slowest of the slow sloths. Luc was more than content to crawl along, frequently stopping to rub an itch or admire the scenery. It took just as much leg to get him to go forward as it had the very first time I ever got on him. I’m pretty sure I went that lovely shade of purple again with the effort.
But since he was so inclined to go slow, and you know not gallop away with me in the fields, I kicked him (yes, I had to resort to kicking again – I should have brought the go stick with me) into a trot. He perked up a bit and moved on from sloth status to snail. My confidence boosted, I made the decision to ask for a canter. Nothing happened. I slid my leg back again, and this time we trotted faster. Huh? Wasn’t Luc supposed to be more forward in the field? Guess not. I asked a third time and we got a god-awful canter that immediately made me miss Misty’s. We were cantering, but I’m pretty sure we were going straight up and down, not moving forward at all. It was also like it was all happening in slow motion.
I put a little, well more like a lot, more leg on and finally got a nicer gait. It felt great to conquer my fear and canter Luc out in the wide-open space. Not surprisingly, he came immediately back to me when I asked. After walking home we walked through the open door to the arena and low and behold there was just this teeny, tiny little x-rail setup. I couldn’t resist. I popped Luc over it. Bad I know! But he was so good today I didn’t want the ride to be over. It felt great to jump, and according to my ground person, my position didn’t totally suck either.
I’m feeling encouraged and completely over the moon with what I accomplished today. I can only hope I get a lot more rides as great as this one in the future.