My, my…time is flying by! Somehow it was much easier to find time and energy to post things during vacation.
This years fall shows itself at its best and we really can’t complain, this must be the nicest fall in decades here in Sweden. We had a lot of sun, almost no rain at all and still pretty warm temperatures. Just two days ago we had 18°C in the afternoon when we were on our way to the stable. Everybody sais that it will be a harsh winter with lots of snow, but let’s see, don’t want to get wound up over something that hasn’t happened yet. If it will be the case then I have time enough to complain about it later on. 😉
So, as promised, here the story about what happened a few of weeks ago.
E came to the stable a little upset and we all know that the best medicine against being upset is a nice trail ride, so we saddled up and got on the way. Our horses were happy so we started trotting. E’s horse is also quite young (and cute as a button, I might add!). The mood shifted quickly. E started cantering and right after she had slowed down I saw a butt rising in front of me, two small bucks and then it was all over. E was suddenly on the lower left side (read: ground) of her horse, pale as my Mom’s bed sheets. Just a second later E’s horse went past us and Barley was about to follow, so we got to use the one-rein-stop we have trained so much on. Thank God, it worked! I dismounted and went to check on E, who already claimed that she is fine, so I turned around and fortunatelly here horse came already towards us after he had recognized that he had no followers anymore. I took him by the reins and went the few meters back to E. Still pale as a ghost she promissed me that everything was fine…except the leg. No open wounds, head was fine thanks to the helmet, even the glasses were still on, but the leg was not really fine. And the worst thing…just that day I did not have my phone with me and we were about 2.5km away from the stable. Oh, I was so mad at myself!!! What to do? E’s horse is 1.70m – 1.75m tall, no way that she can get up there, I thought, so, let’s switch. I asked Barley to stand still so that I could help E somehow at least a little to mount from the right side (as it was her left knee that got hurt) and I still had to hold her horse with the other hand. Barley stood like a sculpture (*soooo proud, because with me he sometimes can start walking off before I am in the saddle) and then it was my turn. Wow, I can tell you, I was soooo scared, to mount a 1.70m tall horse, that has an english saddle on it’s back and that just had bucked off it’s rider….my heart was beating like a rabbits! Of course I couldn’t admit that…gotta have some pride, right?! Cowgirl up! 😛
Barley was the perfect ambulance, he was so calm and nice, a perfect Gentleman! Back at the stable we put some ice on the knee and A and T took E to the hospital while we were bringing her little horse to bed. Three days after she had finally received the diagnosis (oh, don’t even get me started on the swedish health care system……..mmmmpf), her knee was broken so E had to go into surgery to get some screws in there. I was so shocked!!! During the whole thing (mounting, way back home, dismounting, etc.) she didn’t say a peep. She promised that the pain was not that bad, but it’s a little hard to grasp that a broken knee is an “ok” pain to endure. Well, good news is, the surgery went fine and E is fine (although quite bored, of course) but still hobbling around on crutches waiting for the cast to come off. Yeah, that’s one day I wish for to get a different ending.
Last weekend we finally had the George Maschalani clinic. George has won everything there is to win and I find him to be an excellent trainer. You can feel that he is putting his heart and sould into the clinics…although I am quite positive on that he is just pitying our poor, poor horses for what they have to put up with as “riders”! Can’t blame him, if I were my horse, I would have kicked my ass into the orbit a long time ago! My horse must be a humanitarian…can’t find any other explanation.
So, expectations were high but I would never ever even have dreamed of getting the results we got out of two days. Some gallons of sweat, some cramps and real, real sore muscles later I had a subtle horse that was soft in the face, lifted it’s back and listened to my legs. George rode him for some minutes, because I would definitely not been able to fix it. In short…I have a complete new Barley!!! The best thing is, for the first time I really felt like I was actually RIDING my horse and not only sitting on top of him, flapping with my legs and pulling on his reins. During the past weekend I actually learned to get him between my legs (this is what experts call it, hihi), drive him to the bit (yep, gold star for that one, too) and to give him the possibility to get into form, lifting his back and become round and relaxed. The feeling is hard to describe, after two years we are finally there. Not that I want to claim that we are perfect, but that we at least start to get the hang of it. I still have to work on my timing, especially when I need to release the reins after he takes down his head, but I couldn’t be more happy (and this is THE understatement of the year!!)
We have been riding back at home three days again and when he is back in his box his back muscles and hint muscles are soft and wobbly like jelly and I can put half my hand between his neck muscles and his shoulder blades. No sign of stiffness or tension AT ALL!!! His eyes are so soft and he just looks so relaxed and balanced standing there, chewing on his hay, I could just squeal and hug him….and that’s exactly what I do!
You might think that there aren’t propably words to describe my emotions…on the contrary (if I may quote a good friend of mine):
Now it’s time for some sweet dreams!