Another week, another blog post?
Throughout August, I was following the 1 ride a week routine. I wasn’t feeling well (let me tell you, vestibular migraines are the worst kind of hell), but I mostly forced myself on once a week. Mostly? I walked. Walking was good. Trotting sucked. Cantering didn’t make me want to pass out. But, in order to canter? I had to trot.
For the most part, this worked. We walked. We worked on bending and building muscle. Nay was super good. If I felt good we did a tiny amount of trotting and then cantered a lap each direction. Otherwise we just walked.
2 weeks ago Nay just wasn’t feeling it. He was GREAT at the walk and then promptly had enough. Of course this coincided with other horses joining us in the ring, a puppy playing under the deck, and me not putting on Nay’s sound muffling bonnet. Nay decided that this was just too much to handle. We could NOT go anywhere near the deck. We did a lot of backing and a spin or two and were generally an utter turd. I managed to get my trainer’s daughter to walk us past the deck twice and it was fine. And then a few minutes later? Turd mode. At this point my vertigo was in full force and all stimulation was…not helping. Nay thought the pony having a lesson (basically walk trot) was the best thing to… spook at because of course he did. Mostly, he was bored and needed a good butt kicking. At this point, one of the girls who works for the other trainer offered to hop on when she untacked her ride after one more spin, I hopped off (and then almost fell over from dizziness) and we waited.
And that was probably the best choice. He was actually a good boy though she admitted that he has a really good spin to him (yep! He won’t buck you off, but he is quick with the spin). But, after a couple smacks with the crop that he deserved, Napalm learned that it is MUCH EASIER to trot past the deck vs spook at it. Way less work. And with that? He was good. He trotted, cantered, and picked up both leads. He needed the work.
The following week (this past weekend), I was feeling better, but decided not to push my luck. I lunged and then hopped on. Nay said way too much work, but was utterly perfect. Again, he picked up his leads and his canter was lovely. We trotted a tiny fence to end. Nothing major (we were both exhausted), but we jumped for the first time in a month. More of a miracle? We rode Sunday too. We’ve been struggling with the left bend (this was our good way, but we’ve improved to the right so much) so I ended up adding a left spur and it made all the difference. We also rode with 2 pony kids and usually I end up not doing much when the kids are in the ring because kids. But, the one was actually told to stop chasing me and stay out of my way so she doesn’t get kicked (Nay doesn’t kick, but “stay out of my way” didn’t resonate where as “don’t get kicked” seemed to) and I had a lovely ride. They let me canter solo (I have no issue cantering if I know where others are going, but I can’t do the 3-ring circus stuff (especially during a vestibular episode–Sunday was definitely verging on one)) and I popped over a small fence at the trot twice and canter once to end.
Monday I felt beat up. I didn’t have it in me to haul out to ride. So I pulled a page from Stacie’s book and decided on a bareback snack hack. Nay HATES riding at home and decided to be Napalm for a while, but eventually after grazing near his friends, he calmed down and I felt safe enough to hop on….except I couldn’t figure out how. I tried stacked buckets. Nope. A ledge. No. Eventually, not wanted to die, grabbed my mounting block, carried it down by the other boys, and got on, but seriously? Once I was on, we snacked more, walked some circles, and snacked for 15 minutes and then wandered to the trailer and halfway up the driveway. I need to do this more often because I think it’ll be less of an issue the more I do this. Anyway, way more work than I planned, but the actually sitting/snacking part was completely fine.
There was also an incident earlier in the week where Napalm left me with a bloody and potentially broken nose, but we’re not talking about that…