Ahhh the dreaded learning curve. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how old you get, learning something new still has its challenges! Whether it’s learning to play an instrument and having to listen to the ungodly sounds you’re producing as you struggle to hit the right notes. Or learning to ski and finding you spend more time sliding down the mountain on your butt than actually standing upright. Or the anxious feeling you get as you await to maneuver the chair lift for the first time, unsure if you will actually be able to get off and out of the way before the next skiers coming behind on the lift come flying at you full speed. Or worse, that you’ll miss the opportunity to disembark and fly around the turn only to head back down the hill – still on the lift! This all holds true in learning horsemanship and riding as well. Only you’re also dealing with another living breathing very large animal with a mind all its own. There are some challenges and anxious moments!
I got my girl moved to an indoor arena! Just in time too. The weather has turned really cold this week. From the plus side to minus twelve Celsius overnight! I’m so excited to have her only minutes from home and have the facility to spend time with her this winter. However, we are both a bit overwhelmed and anxious in our new surroundings. The people at the barn have been super helpful and kind as we start to get our bearings and figure things out.
We moved her in Saturday, but the arena was booked out so we just turned her out with her new paddock mate Aspen, a young gelding about her age. I hung around and watched them for a bit to see how they got on but didn’t have opportunity to take her into the barn. Sunday I popped down in the morning to see how she was making out and have a visit over the fence. It was pouring freezing rain so I didn’t stay long, but it was such a treat to be close enough to just pop in on her. Sunday evening the arena was free so I went back to take her into the barn. She was really easy to catch, but really anxious as I led her in. Once in the barn she struggled in the cross ties and was antsy and straining to see what the barn manager was doing behind her. She was not her usual sweet self at all and I didn’t feel entirely equipped to handle her unfamiliar disposition. Thankfully the barn manager very willingly gave me a hand and suggested we take her into the arena to let her run and blow off some steam. We let her go loose once inside! What a pleasure to watch her run around on her own! She would dart off and make a loop only to return to us for a pat and run off again! I think I enjoyed it every bit as much as Lexi! Thanks Mackenzie!!
She calmed a bit after her run and was a lot more manageable, so we spent some time lungeing and then I put her on her lead and just walked her around the arena for awhile.
My coach was coming in on Tuesday so I asked her if she would have time to spend an hour doing some ground work with us. She readily agreed that would be a good idea! The key to learning is to have good support as you go and I knew I was in uncharted territory with Lexi’s uncharacteristic anxious behaviour.
Tuesday our session went very well! Lexi was still a bit tense though not as anxious as she was Sunday. My coach ran through some ground exercises and she gave me pointers on how to control anxious behaviour. It was so helpful!
So onward and upward!! As so many times in my new horsey adventure, we cross one hurdle only to face another! That’s what keeps it interesting! If it’s hard I know I’m learning something!
Truth be told – I just love it!!