Two things became very obvious in my lesson with N (our barn manager) last night:
The first is that a month of traveling with JLE and only being ridden by her has done Dandy a world of good. He’s still a tough ride but there’s a steadiness and consistency that wasn’t there the last time I rode him. Maybe he’s finally starting to grow up and put his grown-up OTTB pants on.
The second, and the most important, is that having a few lessons on JLE’s school masters did me more good than I realized. I had just spark of my old confidence back and felt comfortable up on Dandy. I thought that when this month of No-Dandy was over I would be leaning towards selling him and finding something easier but now I’m starting to believe that I can get over this.
We have the Spring Fling Derby this Saturday and since I haven’t ridden my horse in almost two months I really felt like I needed to get on him and at least run the test. So N stepped in to run it with me since JLE wasn’t available. While waiting for my lesson to start I was warming up my pony and I just couldn’t believe how good it felt to be back on him. It felt right. I was doing lots of changes of direction and circles at the trot to warm up and I couldn’t believe how good he felt.
Then I went to ask for a canter. He bucked HARD and tried to bolt. A month ago this would have crippled me for the rest of the ride. I know because it happened when I tried to have a lesson on him before the Aspen Derby in early March. But on this ride, with my re-found confidence that I wasn’t a sack of potatoes, I just laughed, pushed my heels down, and rode through it. Of course it’s not all so simple as that but I really do feel like it was a first good step towards regaining what Dandy and I used to have.
N was wonderful about working through the new 2014 BN Test B me. There are some moments in it that come up really fast, like the ending, that we spent several passes on. I think we’ll be prepared for this weekend but either way I’m excited to get this show season started!