Roller Coasters

cute jumpYesterday the Chicago area flirted with record high temperatures, reaching 66 degrees.   Wind and lots of rain also visited the area.  But what a difference a day makes.  Right now, temperatures are headed down to 10 degrees, and snow is covering the ground.

The horses have been in for a few days, and between the chaotic weather and being trapped inside, they’re starting to get a little loony. I was traveling Monday and Tuesday, and Derby wasn’t well behaved either day for the girl I had lined up to ride him.  She’s a lovely rider (much better than me,) and normally they have great rides together. However, Monday he would not go forward – refusing to do anything but a shuffling jog, and Tuesday he had a puffy leg and a nick just above an eye, so he just got a hand walk.

This morning I got up early to visit Derby before starting work.  I suspect his puffy ankle is from an aggravated bed sore on the front of the fetlock. He’s sound and there’s no heat.   The eye looks fine too, it’s superficial.  I was relieved.

In anticipation of riding tonight, I put Derby’s boots on for a little early morning exercise.  Once we were in the arena, I set up a little X for him.  He started taking himself over it even before I asked, and had a lot of fun jumping it both ways.  Not wanting to make himself sore, I took the X down before Derby was really ready to be done with it, turning it into trot poles which Derby then trotted and cantered.  Afterwards, he got a long walk, a good currying and some cookies in his haynet to help him pass the time.

When I went to tack him up tonight, however, I noticed that his wither area was a bit sore.  Not super bad, but not great, and given that he’d had some issues over the last few days, I left him in his stall, and went to fetch my good buddy Manny.

During our lesson, Christy noted that my hands were staying nice and quiet, and I told her that I believe I finally have the “feel” for carrying my hands independently.  Riding Tucker a couple weeks ago, I had a bit of an epiphany, and for the first time could really feel what I was doing in terms of following the movement with my seat but keeping my upper body and hands quiet.  Since that ride I’ve been able to replicate it, so I hope this means that it’s officially a new habit.

What produced this epiphany?  It’s hard to nail down.  I have been doing the work, riding different horses and working on my seat, including dropping my stirrups.  And I have been diligent about doing my homework, practicing what we work on in my lessons, and looking to the horse for feedback on how I’m doing.   Ultimately, I think that I’ve become a good student, able to synthesize and apply what I learn from Christy.

So yay.  Progress! Just in time for some wicked cold that is threatening to keep us grounded tomorrow.  We’ll see.

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital business executive and strategist with a long track record of success in team leadership, employee development, marketing and business development.

2 Responses to Roller Coasters

  1. Sounds like you’ve had some good rides and progress. 😀

    Hope that Derby hurts heal up soon. He looks adorable in that jumping pic!

  2. Cindee says:

    Love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing & I look forward to future posts! 🙂

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