Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

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[Riding] Banjo Backlog

Life has been chaos work-wise, and for the past week and a half I had caggles visiting before she moves back to Scotland (thus, haven't been online as much). Aside from a truly frightening backlog of posts on SFF.net, and falling behind on a spare-time coding project (Atlantis), and on revising The Last Page... I also neglected to post riding posts for the past three weeks.

I did, of course, ride; I have to be on death's door before I'll skip a lesson. So I'll try to summarize!

Two weeks ago, I was riding solo. Banjo was relatively well-behaved, and we followed mostly the same pattern as the previous two weeks. Trot and posture practice, cantering, then a bit of jumping. However, I got asked to do a bit of posting without stirrups, which... ow. Did I mention ow? Was good practice, though.

Last week, I was on Banjo... and FJ, who was down for a bit to also see our mutual friend before she leaves for Scotland, was on my beloved Roman. She learned that he can be a little stubborn about stuff, but also remarked that he was one of the most supple horses she'd ever ridden. I agree; it's part of why I love him, despite his being a brat!

Banjo, however, was an absolute little snot. I'd been riding him solo for a while, and so suddenly having another horse in the arena, any progress we'd made on breaking his bad habits was completely forgotten. He'd try to turn and join the other horse, wouldn't turn if it meant he'd go away, and all of that. Combined with Roman being his usual 'I don't wanna go fast' self, I ended up spending a lot of time slowing down and turning away.

Last week, my instructor was also on vacation, so we were taught by Jan. She made us do a lot of balancing exercises, a lot of two-point, posting without stirrups, and then let us do some cantering. It was a good lesson, but exhausting!

This week, I was warned that Banjo was 'in a mood.' I kind of disregarded this: it's BANJO, after all. My friend Brooke was riding in my lesson time again, and Banjo decided to try his little tricks again. I mostly had him doing what I wanted, though there were a few contentious moments. We did trotting and steering exercises... and then we moved onto cantering.

Banjo wouldn't canter particularly fast. I was urged, 'speed him up.' I tried to do so. He didn't respond, didn't respond... and then suddenly, bucked like a mad horse. I'm a better rider than when I started, but this was completely unexpected; I went off the horse, and smack to the ground with what my instructor called 'a really unpleasant thudding noise.' A moment later, Nitro (the horse Brooke was on) kicked up his heels in a way I wasn't used to seeing him do, either. For his part, Banjo looked absolutely horrified and stood there, nose down at me to make certain I was okay, though seemed a bit put out when I climbed back on.

We moved on to a bit more cantering, then jumping and practicing entering/ending a proper hunter/jumper course. Brooke, a more advanced rider than me, also did some of her jumps at a canter. Banjo, horrified that he'd pitched me, was suddenly a LOT more cooperative; he was more responsive to steering and all. When we finished, I talked a bit to Kara about what I might've done to stay on better.

Main thing that we discussed is that my right ankle -- which has been sprained several times through the course of my childhood -- is stiffer. particularly in cold weather; I have a lot of trouble keeping my right heel down. It was to the right that I got unbalanced and went off, and so I got the talk about how keeping my heels down is very much to prevent such a spill. Time to work on loosening that ankle to match the left, I guess. :)

By the end of the lesson, though, my ankle was starting to stiffen. By the time I got to the car after cleaning tack and feeding everyone, my whole side was stiff. (And right now, sitting in this chair is not fun; when I finish posting, I shall be relocating away from my desk.)

Upon getting home, however, I found out that there was a magnitude 3.5 or so earthquake during the lesson, right around the time I fell. I wonder if that wasn't at least a contributing factor to Banjo's sudden buck.

Now dinner is calling, with a side of ibuprofen...
Tags: horses
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