Well, I did not reach my goals for the month. Much of the time I could have spent at the farm was taken away by the rain, work or illness. So far I have had 2 lessons this month but do have another scheduled for tomorrow so I am excited about that! It is important that I ride more to overcome my fears of riding Arrow. As much as I hate to admit it, there have been days that I just broke down in tears wondering if Arrow was too much horse for me. He gets moody and protests and his spooking is unpredictable leaving me to feel like I could go off at any moment. He is absolutely not a ‘bad’ horse and I really don’t think he would ever purposely try to make me have an unplanned dismount. He has such a large leap when he does spook that I have gone off and it did hurt bad for weeks so I know I am fearful of that happening again. What ends up happening is if he starts to act up during a lesson, which will happen with most any horse, I start to gets tense and it just snowballs from there. He knows I am tense and starts to get anxious. I am so thankful for Chloe because without her I probably wouldn’t ride him at all. She helps me to push him through any issues he is having and reminds me that I cannot let him have his way. Horses are smart and they quickly learn that if all they have to do to get you to stop riding for the day is freak you out a little it will continue to happen. I do want to mention that even with the fears and the tears and the wondering if I can ever really just ride my horse, getting a different horse is not an option. Unless, of course, it is an addition to our family. Arrow is my horse and while he has some issues he is amazing and loving and will live out his life as a Greco!!!
One thing that adds to my fear is my recent realization that Arrow is afraid of black dogs. Not really small black dogs but medium size or larger. Over the past few weeks I have had a few situations with Arrow and didn’t realize until today that there was always a running black dog around. I never thought about a dog being a problem because there are tons of dogs around the farm. They run around Arrow’s legs and Chloe’s dog would run around at our lessons and Arrow didn’t really acknowledge them. None of them are black. A few weeks ago I was lunging Arrow in the arena and while cantering he reared up and started backing away so fast I couldn’t hold him and he took off out of the arena at a full gallop with his lunge line trailing behind him. This was a catastrophic accident waiting to happen. That rope could have gotten caught on anything and who knows what would have happened. It took some time to catch him with the help of about 5 other people. A new dog to the farm a few days before had come running into the arena and that was when his eyes went white and he freaked out. It was a black dog. A week later I was walking him out of his pen and the same dog came running out of nowhere and Arrow took off to the other side of his pen leaving dust in his wake. I still did not put any thought into it being the dog because he never had an issue before. Today I was leading him back to his pen after grooming him and the same black dog came running out from behind a trailer and Arrow spooked enough to almost fall. His eyes were white and he wouldn’t take them off the dog and started breathing hard. He started prancing around and I just pulled him forward to get him moving and he settled down. He walked a little faster towards his pen than usual. The light bulb went off when I thought about the common factor in each situation. I’m guessing that he just sees a giant scary black mass and doesn’t know it’s just a dog. This is a little frightening to me as I worry that I will be trotting around the arena and the dog will run in. The good thing is that I now know this and will keep an eye out during lessons and just riding around in general. I’m hoping he gets use to the dog and that will be that! Fingers crossed.
Arrow had his 1st real hair removing grooming as the shedding is starting. The weather is warming. I love my sleekez! I must have removed a small trash bag of hair. One of my dearest friends and 1st friend ever Becky, is coming from Minnesota (my home state) with her son and boyfriend this weekend. Arrow wanted to get his sexy on as this will be his 1st time meeting them. He doesn’t want to look like a wooly mammoth. He did. It was a bit challenging as the winds were blowing and there was a trailer door around the corner that kept creaking loudly. And the dog! My big baby horse was not happy. When he stresses he sways and he was doing that occasionally. We made it through and he even let me do his hooves with all the commotion going on. Baby steps.
I’m excited that the days are getting longer. I am going to start taking at least 1 lesson during the week day after I drop Tyler off at school. I have enough time before work and this seems to be the only way I am going to get to take lessons other than on weekends. As the summer approaches, the afternoons get a little too hot for my liking. The picture of Row Row this week is him after his grooming session. There is still a fair amount of hair but he definitely looks a lot better than he did!