Practicing discomfort

Last night was a beautiful night, and I was looking forward to riding outside.  However, the kids next door have a new toy in the form of a Carryall type utility golf cart thingy.  It’s bigger, louder and faster than your typical golf cart.   They were ripping up and down their side yard, hooting and hollering.  I decided that as much as I’d prefer to avoid this sort of thing that riding with this distraction would be good for both me and Derbs.

As I led him out of the barn after tacking up, the cart zoomed by, its occupants whooping.  Derbs spooked, levitating away from me with all four feet off the ground, to the end of the reins, snorting excitedly with his eyes bugging out.

I regained some control, and led Derby, who was now doing his “scaredy-snort” at regular intervals, to the outdoor.  Christy was riding Liam out there, and Liam was totally unconcerned.  Derby mellowed out as I girthed him up and ran my stirrups down.

Once mounted, I had to work on bringing my own focus to my horse and that moment, rather than the kids in the cart.  It took a lap or two but pretty soon we had some decent walk.  However, when we started trotting, some tension returned as the kids in the cart momentarily increased their racket.

I worked on employing the tactics Christy had used with us the prior evening.  For quite a while I struggled.  Yes, his head was down but he wasn’t on the bit, he was bracing, and he wasn’t round.  Finally, however, we got there.  Despite the racket and goofiness we got a nice round trot.

So, it wasn’t the most eventful ride, but that’s kind of the point.  Sometimes, eventful really isn’t the goal!

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital marketing executive and strategist with a long track record of success in content marketing, social media, demand generation, event marketing, sales enablement, product management and business development.

3 Responses to Practicing discomfort

  1. Way to get your brave face on! I had to do the same last night on the trail…the neighbors were having landscape work done, including 2 men buzzing around the fence with weed whackers. Poor Cloud…I was determined, and he HAD to walk by the fence, literally 3 ft from a weed whacker. Gotta love oblivious neighbors right?? But it’s also great practice!

  2. Net says:

    Good for you! I’m going to ride Tucson away from home tonight… first time without “adult supervision” that I’ve had my first ride on him someplace new ever. We’ve gone so many places lately, I’m hoping it helps me have a more peaceful ride tonight! He’s staying at a different stable through the weekend, then probably going to my trainer’s so we can confront him with all kinds of uncomfortable situations for about two and a half weeks, culminating in a night hunter show happening at the stables where my trainer is.

  3. Sarah Skerik says:

    Liz, next up after the Paddock Hills show are the trails, I’m going to start mimicking what you did with Cloud walking Derby around the property and (eventually) doing mini-trail rides out the back gate.

    Annette, the “sleep-away” camp you have planned for Tuscon sounds like it will be a great experience for him! Hopefully he’ll start to associate shows with dressage, and not act like he’s heading for the start box on the cross country course! Keep us posted! 🙂

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