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31 January 2007 @ 02:37 pm
Stupid sore throat is back. Now not only do I have an awful, dry cough but also a throat threathening to split my windpipe to match.

Anyways, I finally had my first fall off a horse today!! After half a year of waiting for it to happen, it finally has! Alas, it wasn't anything remotely heroic or dramatic at all - not bucked off, or thrown off, or kicked off, or falling over a jump - nothing exciting like that at all. In fact, it was most unexpected and probably most embarassing.

I was feeling pretty bad today, with the sickness kicking in again, but I went to ride anyway. I rode Pirellio and he was being funny and irritable - probably because of the wind, or something, I don't know. Anyways, after a while, my instructor told me to dismount so he could get on Pirellio and mess around with his manners a bit. So I was coughing terribly and my throat was such a hacking dry piece of wood that I felt like I might throw up (god forbid, a vomit-covered horse is not something the stablehands would appreciate!) and my legs felt like jelly - and I don't know what happened - but it was easily the World's Most Ungraceful Dismount.

I think my legs were so jelly-ish that it caught on the saddle as I swung it over - and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground, on my butt, covered in sand. Pirellio turned to snort at me in astonishment and I've never heard my instructor laugh so hard in his entire life! Oh man! I can't believe I fell like that - during a dismount, at a standstill!! People turned to look and to my horror, Dad was there and he saw it too, I don't know if he was worried or what, but a few stablehands sitting nearby started chuckling.

I laughed then, but now when I reflect, I'm willing the floor to open up and swallow me whole. Good grief, Yin!

Ah well, at least the first fall is over and done with! No more anticipation! :) And it wasn't as bad as I expected either, though probably because it was a small fall, already halfway off from the saddle.


Another close call was when I was cantering Pirellio to the right and, well, let's just say this horse has a reputation of deep, extreme loathing for my instructor and tries to attack him any chance he can get. It's quite amusing, but when you see him actually go for it - teeth bared, ears back, lunging forward at my instructor - it's quite alarming.

Anyways, so I was cantering and my instructor was standing in the middle of the ring, and all of a sudden Pirellio made this MASSIVE leap inside towards my instructor and struck out, trying to snag a good amount of flesh off him. The look of terror in Instructor's face as he jumped back was Priceless. I never thought I'd see a grown man so afraid!

Well, from the huge, unexpected leap, I was immediately caught off-guard and almost flung from the saddle, but thank goodness my foot was caught firmly in the stirrup (god, damn, they really need to get some easy-release stirrups) and I managed to swing myself steady.

That was a close one, took us a few shock-ridden moments to compose ourselves lol. After that, I've never kept a firmer hold on the outside rein than I did today!

Yup, interesting ride today. But please, just don't tell my mom I fell off, because she's already firmly laid it down that the moment I fall will be the moment I will be banned from riding forever. =/

I gripe a lot about the bad aspects of riding at this place, so maybe I should focus on the good. Well. I like how every horse isn't a frickin' push-button schoolmaster pony. Every horse has something flawed about it, from drifting to bucking to hard mouths to dead sides. etc etc. It keeps you on your toes.
That's about the only good thing I can think about this place. =/ It's not to say the horses are well-looked after either, I think the horses at my old barn were miles better off.

Midnight, I miss youuuuuu~~~ D:
Current Mood: blahblah
30 December 2006 @ 02:40 pm
Aaaaa Midnight. I need you SO BAD. I've ranted about my new riding place about a thousand times already, but a thousand is not enough! Raahh! It's not just the people I ride with, but the whole place, even the instructor. RAAGGHH I feel so underestimated there! The instructor is alright, and I don't mind him being so strict and harsh, but I hate being underestimated! I've ranted before about the lack of jumping, but sometimes he underestimates me so much - the last lesson he wouldn't let me canter! Whuuuuuurrrrrttttggghhhh. And he always has his attention elsewhere, so he doesn't watch me do things he tells me to, and then he accuses me of not doing them.
Like the last lesson, he plonked me on Fortune, that ass of a pony so that some other girl could ride Pirrelio. I'm alright with Fortune and I kept him going at a good pace behind the other horses. Obviously I had to hold him in else he'd be right on top of the front rider.

I even had a little canter, because Fortune was fresh and I gave him his head. Then at the end of the lesson the instructor tells me, "Oh, you'd better not canter on this pony. Next time, on a different pony." And I'm like, "Why?" And he goes, "Well, you can't even get him to trot, how can you canter?"


HEY MISTER. If you weren't so busy yelling at the other riders and instead glanced in my direction, you'd have seen that I was trotting all throughout the bloody lesson! There wasn't a second where I wasn't trotting! And mind you, it wasn't a slow, lazy trot either - I was actually holding Fortune in!! We practically flew down the long side. We bended and flexed in and out of our corners, we sped up and slowed down at the exact right moments, we were on the right diagonals all the time. But did you see that?! Oh, no, your whole attention was to yelling at nobody in particular to keep their hands soft. Rah. RAH. RRAAARRGGGHHH.

You don't give any praise, you don't give any encouragement, you don't give anything. I don't need your praise or encouragement, but to have you accuse me of not being able to do something I'm perfectly capable of doing is enough to make my brains explode. I know I'm no Olympic level rider and have lots of things to fix up still. My hands need to be softer, my back needs to be straigher, my heels need to be lower and I'm fairly stiff in the lower back. But I can ride and I'm not as crap as you make me out to be! RAAHH! If I was, I wouldn't be ranting! I mean, wtf!?! Alex would be completely astounded if she heard that you thought I couldn't trot or canter. She and I canter for hours on end, in serpentines, figure eights, 10m circles, 20m circles, the entire arena, even cantering over jumps and you say I can't even trot?! Excuse me, mister!!!! ARE YOU BLIND?!?!?!

Oh man, I miss Blinkbonnie so much. The horses, the people, the smell, the atmosphere. Ahhhh I hate hate HATE this new place, and that's saying something, because I never thought I'd actually hate any place where there's horses. The horses are alright, it's the people that make it detestful. URGH.

When I land in Melbourne, first thing I'm going to do when I have a day off is zoom off to my barn and throw my arms around my sweet, willing, patient Midnight. And then ride him in pure joy around the menage with my awesome awesome instructor, Alex, and JUMP.
11 December 2006 @ 06:53 pm
I'm so awfully horse-sick. This riding school is the worst. I mean, it's not the worst, but I'm not enjoying my lessons. Fact is, I'm actually not enjoying riding at all. The place is so cold, not temperature-wise, but atmosphere-wise. The horses are in stables 24/7 and obviously not happy. The mare I ride doesn't click with me, every lesson is a huge fight between me and her. It's very aggravating. She hates me, and it's quite plausible I don't quite like her as much as I should either. The only interaction I get with horse is taking the reins from stablehand before the lesson, and handing the reins over to stablehand after lesson. It irks me to no end. The instructor doesn't seem to like jumping or even using the entire arena, instead he confines us to strictly flatwork, the same exercises every lesson and uses only half the arena which makes me itch and itch to canter away and over the fence. I haven't jumped since returning to Malaysia, and I miss it like oxygen. The group I ride in on Sundays makes me dread waking up to ride. Those arrogant girls that think insulting others is a career goal. UGH.
I can't believe I'm not happy.
I've tried to be happy, when I was trotting Starshine in yet another small, repetitive circle, I tried to feel the wind in my hair, the feeling of absolute freedom and thrill that I get from riding in Melbourne - but nope, it's not there.
It's just .... this whole.... thing. The intangible feeling of pure bliss. It's not here.
Can you believe it, my father offered to buy me a horse today. A horse of my own! I almost jumped out of my skin.
But he wanted it kept at the stupid center, and I said No, flat-out. No horse of mine is going to stay at that place. No way. Not tied up in a stable 24 hours of his miserable life, not a patch of grass to be seen except on the 'out of bounds except for rich people lolzz polo field', no lush green grass to canter or roll over.
Ugh, it was so hard to turn down the offer of actually having a horse of my own! It's not that it's a waste of my father's money, he could afford five horses if he wanted to, but if I had a horse of my own, I'd rather earn for it myself, not as a gift, because then he would truly be mine. And a horse is a huge responsibility. There's the vet, the feed, the worming, the shoes, the livery, the tack, etc etc etc...the list goes on.
No, if I have a horse - and I swear I will, sometime in life - he will have a good pasture to run in, a paddock mate, good feed, a warm stall or shelter, and a reliable owner who has enough experience and financial aid to ensure his keep.
Not now, and certainly not here. Not in Malaysia, never in Malaysia. It's alright in other countries like Australia or Europe or even Mongolia, because there's plenty of open grassland and I can easily get agistment or other if I couldn't afford my own property, but not in Malaysia, nay, certainly not in Malaysia.

Matter of fact, I would keep a horse at my riding school in Melbourne in a heartbeat. At least there I know the horses are always number one priority, happy and comfortable - and most importantly, allowed to be horses. I doubt the horses at this Malaysia equestrian center even remember that they're horses. In a way I feel kind of sorry for them. I wouldn't want to live there if I was a horse.

I shouldn't be complaining, because I did want to ride there so badly, and I did save up all my money to pay for the fees, but really - it's not like I have a choice. It's either this or not ride at all, and I'd rather die than not ride. SIGH.

And I miss Midnight to the moon and back. I told my mum today that I really really missed Midnight like crazy, and I need to see him soon or I'll possibly die, and she looked at the clock (it was 8pm) and said, "Midnight is only a few hours away!"
I said, "Midnight - the horse, not the time."
And she replied, "Oh."

Midnight's not perfect. He's not what you'd call a handsome horse, and he hasn't got good confirmation either. High, flat croup, sunken head, skinny condition with boney hips and a scrawny neck. But he's got a large, intelligent eye and the gentlest nature you'd ever find. The kind that would go for you until he drops dead. He's not beautiful on the outside, but he's more beautiful than anything I've ever seen on the inside, and we understand each other. I would give the world for Midnight. Argh, nobody understands how insanely I miss him. I'm so used to getting him in from the paddock, grooming and tacking him, talking to him, turning him out, feeding him, watering him - everything. I looked after him like my own child, agh, it's so hard not to do anything with horses now except ride. I'm going out of my mind. I need my Midnight. And this is bordering on crazy stalker mode. SIGH.
15 November 2006 @ 08:03 am
Trust me (or horsey people in general!) to put off going out of the house to do some much-needed grocery shopping, just because 'it looks cloudy!' but to gleefully pull on jodphurs, jump into chaps and run out to ride even when it is hailing killer ice-cubes outside with wind strong enough to topple an elephant over.

Hail? What hail?

Oh, I am in seventh heaven. I've been with Alex, a new instructor, for about three weeks now, and I've also been riding Midnight for about two weeks and I could cry everytime I get on him, he's so perfect. I swear that horse tries extra hard to please. He's such a good boy. &hearts My new instructor is pretty great as well, she's so hands-on, and we click really well so all-in-all it's a very good deal.

Anyway, I am just in an incredibly ecstatic mood and therefore just have to scream at everyone I meet, including you people on LJ, about my progress which is literally putting me on the moon! Let's just hope I don't get over-confident and come crashing down in a muddy, crumpled heap anytime soon.
I had my first full canter-jump-course (excuse the un-professional term) today! Whilst this may not seem like anything to be excited about to all you equestrians who have been riding for years and years and years before me, it is definitely something to be excited about to me, pretty much still a crappy novice who can't keep her heels down. We jumped about 3 feet, and that's tiny, I know, but it's the biggest I've ever jumped, and at a canter too!!! And not a hair out of place!! :D

Words cannot explain my happiness. I seriously thought I would end the lesson with a broken arm at the sheer size of the jumps (well, not really, but you know. LET ME EXAGGERATE.) so to actually clear them all again and again really sent my endorphin levels to a record-breaking high.

I also had my first canter flying lead change!

And just so this isn't text only...some pictures!Collapse )
Current Mood: horsey
Current Music: hoofbeats

Salvation? Where is my Salvation?

It is not at the gates of Judgment nor is it in the fiery pits of Hell. My Salvation is at my barn. I am saved there. I am safe there. I am happy there.

I love this place so much. The smells, the sounds, the atmosphere. When I step over the treshold of the gateway, the wind always picks up and the long lines of drooping willow trees gracing the driveway will rustle their winds as if to say, "Welcome home." It's a place where all my worries and stress of everyday life is melted away as my boots take the first crunch onto that pebbled driveway.

Today, I found a new partner.

He is Midnight, 15 hands of pure awesome and raw power between my legs. Pitch-black, with a star and clipped ears which twitch with restless uneasiness at every little sound. I've never ridden Midnight before, and I certainly haven't ridden in a martingale either, so it was a new experience. I wondered how Midnight would be, because he's easily the jumpiest horse at the barn, but - he was PERFECT.

The moment I mounted him and my legs wrapped around him, I felt it. The compatibility. Midnight was made to be ridden by me! And let me tell you, today was one of the best lessons I've had in a long while. Tina's gone now, and with the way things went today, Midnight's shooting up there with her into my Top Favourites.

We worked hard, and poor Midnight did everything I asked him even though by the end he was exhausted and I could actually feel his body rocking underneath me from panting so heavily. He tried so hard for me, it was incredible. I didn't even have to move my crop at all. I didn't even have to kick him, not once, not even to wake him up! He responded from the slightest pressure. It was AMAZING. I was focusing so hard, and we were cantering long round the arena, and Midnight's got a gorgeous swift canter, I felt like we had transformed into the south wind - and halfway through somewhere my hair tie snapped and my hair unfolded out like a blanket in the wind, black, as black as Midnight, and I didn't notice at all until after the lesson lol, and we kept cantering and cantering and did some jumps - and shit, Alex raised the jump to about I think, almost 3 feet - it was certainly higher than two feet, maybe two and a half feet? I've never jumped that high yet as basically the advanced riders jump three feet and Midnight went over like a pro, landing on the right leads and cantering off, it was so Awesome.

It was a really good lesson. I fussed over Midnight like an anxious mother hen after that. ♥ He's such a good boy!!! One of the best rides I've had, easily.
But oh man, I'm going to be so sore tomorrow. I went home and changed and actually discovered that I rode till I bled! Yes. My skin was all rubbed raw and oh @#(@*# IT STINGS LIKE HELL ESPECIALLY WHEN IN CONTACT WITH WATER. There's blood stains on my jods and chaps and shirt LOL. My lower back is killing me, my legs are dead, and I want to scream everytime I make the slightest movement. I think it's all that insane exercises me and Midnight did today. Alex always works me to the bone. Which is good, actually, because then I feel like I'm really learning. =)


Horse riding is so therapeutic. It really gives you a natural high. Here I was, all stressed and mopey and depressed, and so close to the edge - why didn't I think of riding it out?? But of course, the best cure for the blues is riding. Thank you Midnight. ♥ You were wonderful.

Oh, this will keep me running for quite a while. =) I still miss Nugget, but I'm not depressed anymore. I still am stressed out over money and work, but I'm not frazzled anymore. Everything just dissapeared, like the wind that blew between the horse's ears washed it all away.

And one of the greatest joys is just so much as walking past the paddocks and having the horses nicker in greeting and trot all the way up to you from across the yard to rub noses with you. Even greater, is that not just the horses you know greet you (Oh Banner!) but a new horse did that to me today, whom I've only looked after once. D.Lee, the pretty Arab cross. <3 I was pleasantly surprised, but so happy.

Without a doubt, my barn is my salvation.
05 November 2006 @ 12:36 pm
Nugget passed away from colic.

It was on Thursday. The very day I had told myself I would go to the barn to ride after work, but in the end didn't, because I was too lazy. Too lazy! What horrible words! If I had gone, I would have been able to say Goodbye. I would have been able to kiss those soft eyelashes and stroke the soft muzzle.

He had colicked for two days and succumbed on Thursday. We don't know when exactly he got it, but we assume it was sometime between Monday and Tuesday. I thought he was a bit funny at the end of Saturday. But because he was grazing happily, I thought he would be okay. I didn't go in on Sunday, but the other girl working didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. The barn is shut on Monday and Tuesday. They stayed up with him all night on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He was put down on Thursday.

I went in to the barn to work today. I had bought him some apples yesterday and had cut them last night to bring in to him today. Because I had always promised I would bring him some apples, but I never had - so today I was determined to fulfill my long overdue promise and bring him apples. My heart gave a little funny skip when I saw his name crossed off the feeding list. I went into the paddocks and he wasn't there. I went to do the feed and my boss came walking by. I plucked up my courage and called out, "Christine - where's Nugget?"
She froze, and there was an arkward pause.
"Where's Nugget?" she repeated my question in a strangely hoarse voice. "Nugget's gone to the great, horsey heaven up in the sky."

I felt as though my whole body had been suddenly and abruptly drenched, like someone had thrown a pail of cold water over me.

And we went back to work, and occupied ourselves with everything that needed to be done. We still have horses to feed, groom and tack, paddocks to clean, stalls to sweep, hay to collect. The world moves on, even if it feels like it's stopped entirely, in your head.

Nugget was the very first horse I learnt to ride English on. He taught me all my correct basics. He was the first horse I rode when I started at Blinkbonnie Equestrian Center. I still remember, he turned around and bit me on the thigh when I said my first Hellos. But after that, he was my friend, my partner, my teacher. He tolerated so much. He gave so much, and asked for so little. Whenever I went out into the paddocks, he would come up to say hello. When Steph took half an hour catching him, and even then she still couldn't catch him, she gave me the halter and I caught him within five minutes.
Nugget was the horse that gave me the insane, blissful feeling of cantering with the wind in our manes, and the sky stretching far out above. He was forgiving, and he was my main confidence-build up whenever I rode him because he tolerated so much of my crap riding.

Every time I'm there we interact as if there was no such thing as colic, no such thing as twisted gut, no such thing as Too Late. But it was too late. I didn't get to say goodbye. I didn't get to give him the apples. And everywhere I go his presence lingers like a sore thumb. His bridle and saddle hangs in the tackroom, untouched, a haunting reminder of his presence.

Christine came over and put his rug on Sheikh, and burst into tears. Lori covered her face with her hands and just stood there. Duart looked stonily at the floor, expressionless. I was just rooted to the spot, not a word could escape my throat, which felt like there were invisible hands clasping it tight, dry, rasping, painful.

We smiled and laughed and joked as usual, only with this heavy feeling in our hearts. And we all went home our seperate ways. I tried so hard not to. I sat on the bus and held it in. But I couldn't help it. They came out. I sat there, furiously wiping my eyes, but they wouldn't stop. I cried all the way home in the bus, and when I got home, I grabbed the bag of chips and sat in front of the tv, with my back facing my brother, because I didn't want him to see my face, screwed up into a knot, trying to choke back the silent tears that were flooding the bag of chips. I can't stop crying. It won't stop. It won't stop. The grief is overwhelming. I don't want to think of his painful moments before his death. I don't want to think of him rolling in anguish, heaving, panting, bloodshot eyes. I have nothing to remember him by, not even a photo or hair from his tail. Nothing but a memory.

He was a good horse. In a way, it's a good thing. He's old, and he's worked long and hard all his life. Now he can run free in God's endless pastures, the wind blowing his tail like a fountain, his hooves striding the earth, free as a horse should be.
When it's my turn to go to the great beyond, he'll be standing on the other side of the fence, greeting me with a nicker. And I'll be able to give him those apples I promised.

I've experienced death of beloved animals before. My dog, my fishes, my birds. But this is my first horse death. And I've never felt so cut-up in my life. Animals are more human than humans themselves. People who have never owned an animal, something to truly love and be loved - they will never understand. They may sympathize, and say they understand, but they don't. You can't understand. You can't understand how it feels. Don't even try. Please, don't even try. Not unless you've truly experienced it yourself. No matter what you say, you won't understand.
Lori put it right when she said, "I divide my life into two parts. One, is before I put my horse down. The other, is after."

I'm sure tomorrow I will think of Nugget and smile. But for now, please let me mourn.

I miss you, Nugget. Rest In Peace.

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
~Ronald Duncan, "The Horse," 1954

28 October 2006 @ 02:21 pm
We got a new pony at the barn! Rocko, he's the CUTEST thing ever. He's all a bit nervous and high-strung though, and I personally would have given him a few days to settle down before being ridden, but oh well. Natalie rode him well.

Lesson was fun. I had Tina, and we make the best team, so whee! Dart went a bit crazy and bucked Emily off. We were all a little startled as he bucked his way up to us and I felt my heart stop as he got his legs caught up in his martingale. Luckily noone and no animal was hurt.

Tired, so shall keep this short.
21 October 2006 @ 12:30 pm
I almost ran my instructor over today, lol. We were jumping in the menage and I was riding Scottie and he was being an absolute prat, and over the last jump he went a bit crazy and decided to take off, so I was trying to slow him down, and he ran straight for my instructor, and his sudden leap forward took me by surprise, and I lost my left stirrup and fell over to the left, but somehow I managed to stay on and he kept going, tossing his head, and Lori (my instructor) was chuckling, "What, are you going to run me over?"
I guess she missed the look of desperation on my face as I tried to halt and regain my balance at the same time, and then lost my other stirrup and went flying off Scottie's forehand, and we were just galloping hard and fast straight up to her, a crazy horse and a crazy rider struggling to get back into the saddle, and we were like an inch away from crashing into her, and the look of alarm on her face was just priceless. She just kinda froze, and I could see her moving jerkily, as if trying to decide which way to run, which wasn't helping much because Scottie was also debating which way to run whilst running, and time seemed to stop. In that wild, crazy, moment, I heard Scottie's pounding hoofbeats and his panting snorts, Lori's wide-eyed horror, the gasps of the fellow riders in the arena and my own heart grinding to a halt in my ears.
At the very last second, seriously, no kidding, about an inch away from Lori - we were so close I'm pretty sure Scottie would've been able to kiss her, somehow I managed to get one foot in the stirrup and halfway back in the saddle and pull desperately on the outside rein before I killed my instructor - Lori flung herself desperately to the side and me and Scottie did a sharp swerve-massive-jump to the other side and - Oh God - there was the fence, right in our faces, just a second away.
I just remember thinking in that split-second, "Shit, here we go." and I seriously thought Scottie was going to plunge straight into that wooden fence and break his neck, and with that desperate thought I somehow - I swear God grabbed the reins from me and in that short moment pulled him to the inside and he came to a crashing halt just centimetres away from that fence and swerved sharply to the right, sending dust flying, and I was thrown off and I thought I was going to be thrown over the fence and break a leg, but miraculously, I held on. I was flung over his neck in a mad flurry of leather and reins and sweat, but I didn't fall off, I just grasped onto whatever - and I don't know what I grasped onto - and I don't know how I didn't come off - but I stayed on. GOOD LORD.

And I turned Scottie around and there was Lori just staring at us, white in the face, like a ghost. I thought she would be furious and was going to scream madly at us, but somehow - we burst out laughing. Lori laughed and laughed and I absolutely cracked up, and there I was, just sitting on a very ashamed-looking Scottie, clinging my sides and laughing till the tears rolled down my cheeks. Lori was on the ground laughing her head off, and the rest of the group was just gaping in wide-eyed horror and amusement, and the barn owners and my boss were watching and began laughing as well.

Oh god, what a freak accident. It could've been really dangerous. Oh dear, I feel traumatized. Duart, the barn owner, proceeded to spend the entire day telling everyone how Yin almost killed her instructor. I was so embarassed.
15 October 2006 @ 11:35 am
Went into the barn to work today. It was okay, Lisa came in which was awesome. She helped me a bit though I had to do most stuff by myself mostly. Still, it was good.

Remember, feed yard horses hay both morning + night. Hard feed is a serve of feed that is larger than the normal serve.

Nosebands have to be tight enough to be resting on the nose bones.

Saddles need to be forward.

I should be alright. Next week is my assesment, and I am nervous as hell. But hopefully I'll be alright.

Had a ride on Scottie today. I had to go in the kids group lesson, and in the beginning it was really a bit too basic for me. But not too bad. I rode Scottie well, I thought he was going to play up, but no, he was fine. A bit tricky to get going, and then a bit tricky to calm down, but overall he was excellent. We jumped out in the jumping arena again, and me and Scottie went wonderfully!! It was such an awesome lesson compared to my disastrous failure last week. We rode so well, Lori had us be the leader up front most of the lesson.

And after the lesson, one of the kid's parents came up to me and told me I was the best rider in the group, "The star of the lesson!" I was so flattered and pleased and happy. =]

I don't think I did all that well. But I guess it's because I was placed in with those kids which make it seem like I was a better rider. I am a bit more experienced than them, after all.

Still, I'm grateful. Good boy, Scottie! I love you now, more than Cedar, haha!

07 October 2006 @ 06:45 pm
Group lesson.

We went out to the showjumping arena for my first time ever to do a jumping course. Exciting!

Cedar has this really bad habit of refusing the jump right at the very last second. A comes to sudden, flying halts and I was almost thrown over his head a couple of times. To be honest, I don't know what's wrong with me today either. I forgot my helmet, I found myself wandering, I couldn't remember the course right, made so many mistakes. Cedar got all hyped up and just wanted to go. Coupled with my bad state of mind, we were terrible. He cut corners and I lacked the concentration to put him through his paces. We did some bends and flexes, and Cedar has a tendency to fall in on his inside shoulder and I had to exercise a lot of inside leg to support him, it was incredibly tiring. He's got a really hard mouth as well, so when he gets hyped up it takes me quite a bit to calm him down again. We approached jumps all wrong, there wasn't enough impulsion to pop him over them, heels went up, back didn't arch, so many things.

At one point I was almost in tears because Lori (the instructor) kept pouncing on me for some fault or another. I just felt awful. The tears were there, I wasn't scared. I think she thought I was scared with the very fresh Cedar, but I wasn't. I wasn't the least bit scared. I've never been scared on any horse in my life. I was merely frustrated. I was more frustrated with myself than anything. Last time I felt this bad was in Queensland when I just burst into tears on Chester.

It wasn't as bad this time. But still.
But.....Lori said to me (and the group), "The reason I'm coming down so hard on you (Yin) is because out of all the riders here, I know that you want this the most. I know that you are really determined and really want to excel in this, don't you? You don't want to give up. I know you go through a lot just to be here, and because I can see you want this so badly, I feel it's really important for me to - and I want to - be hard on you and give you as much constructive feedback as possible so you can get better and better."
And she turns to the rest of the group, "Do you know Yin comes out here every time she can by public transport?"

And I know it's no big deal - catching public transport to the barn - but everyone seemed impressed. O_O Um.

But yeah. I almost cried at that point. I love my barn so much. Lori and the rest of the instructors and owners know about my history with horses. They know that I started work to pay for my own lessons and they know about my parents. I think that's one of the reasons why they're so supportive. They can be strict, but they all sincerely want the best out of me, and I know it. It's......great.

And after that we did the course one more time and me and Cedar cleared it perfectly. I managed to get him in control this time, not letting him canter off as he likes. Everyone applauded and I felt slightly better. Duart came up and said, "Cantering over jumps! We'll have you in the Advanced Classes before you know it!" And Lori smiled and said, "We'll make a rider out of you yet!"

So yeah. I am still a crap rider. But I am trying. I am trying very hard. And I get really frustrated when I don't do perfectly. I get really upset when I don't push myself to what I know I can achieve. But I am trying. And hopefully I will get there.

Anyways, stayed and trained with Lisa. She's one of my favourite people to train with. She's so fun and awesome. <3