Long time, no post - I know. It has been a crazy couple of weeks, but that's not really anything new. Between April coming back into work and Robyn being at the beach for a few days, it got a little hectic but I feel like we are starting to get back into a normal rhythm - finally.
April and I started hitting the regular schedule again about two weeks ago. She was finally sound enough to go back into work, and we squeezed in a couple of lessons before Kelsey left for Europe for two weeks. We were able to get in three lessons, and it was a roller coaster. We went from a fantastic flat school, to a really rough jump school, and then the last lesson was a fantastic session over fences again. Our rides on our own were following a similar pattern - no consistency, very up and down, and a lot of temper fits. Robyn and I got to talking through it last night, and I decided to try a little experiment. When I rode that night, I noticed how strongly she wanted to go after Linkin every time he was in sight. Then I started taking into account all the different mareish behaviors I had been seeing lately, as well as how often she had been in heat that I could recall.
The verdict? My mare is a whore. To make matters worse, the gelding pastured beside her is a man-whore. So, needless to say...not a good combination. So Saturday began what I am fondly referring to as "Mare Detox" - aka, complete separation from the wee-wee, wang, whatever it is you like to call it.
The first few days we flipped turnout for her, and she stayed in at night and went out with Rosie during the day. Robyn and I also decided to mix up our schedules and ride separately, rather than together. For one, April needs more sessions on the flat; whereas Linkin benefits from more hacking. Secondly, April tends to obsess over Linkin whatever we are doing, so this was just one more method of splitting them up.
In the back of my mind, I really thought that Tuesday's ride was a fluke. Then we saddled up for another school on the flat, and it was even better than the night before. She is so much more focused and willing when she isn't going nuts over whatever boys are around. Her attitude is improving TREMENDOUSLY.
I also have a confession to make. I think I'm finally learning how to put a horse together. Sad, huh? As long as I have been riding, I have never really "gotten" it. I could see that my horses were muscled up incorrectly, I could tell that it wasn't quite right, but I just couldn't get there, no matter how hard I tried.
Then I had a lesson the other week that somehow clicked. I have spent hours obsessively going over every little detail, and this time, for some reason, it is starting to make sense. I'm starting to feel when April starts to use herself correctly. Not always, and it's definitely a work in progress, but I feel like we really got somewhere big while working on it alone this week. I was venting not too long ago about the fact that I can't seem to do things by myself, and how frustrating it was. I could go into a lesson and do fine, but without an instructor holding my hand, it fell apart. Two days in a row now, I feel like that might be changing. And it is a huge step in the right direction, and I hope to continue it by leaps and bounds.
And now, to leave you with another dose of humor - I'm throwing in a picture of my gelding. As a matter of fact, this was shot last week, after a horrible ride on April - the same night that I was venting about not being able to ride. No sooner did I get it out of my mouth, and Samson, the comedienne extraordinaire, starts scratching his butt on the gate. (Of course I had to go help him....) Ahhh, a little humor can fix anything.