I had some good rides and some rough rides this week. It was probably one of the most extreme weeks I’ve had in a while.
Stampede started off the week with a good lesson. He was quiet on the flat so I decided to jump a little. The jumping wasn’t anything spectacular, but not bad for over three weeks of not jumping and only being back in work for over a week.
Evidently I overdid things with him Tuesday, because on Thursday he was a terror. I was out-of-town for work training Wednesday to Thursday evening, so I had rushed out to the barn with husband in tow to get a quick ride in before dark. Stampede was tense and spooky. He found a ton of spots around the ring to take turns spooking at and when I would get after him he would do his patented rear and turn to try to run the other way. Nothing I tried seemed to relax him and at one point I just got off and dragged him to the side of the ring and made him stand. After that break he was manageable when I got back on at least, but it still wasn’t pretty. I also didn’t appreciate him scaring husband who I have a hard enough time getting to come out other than shows as it is. Sigh.
So on Saturday I decided to try to guarantee a good ride for Stampede while trying to get a gauge on his back since that’s usually the issue when he gets really difficult under saddle. We did our usual walk warm up for 10 minutes then proceeded to trot for 25 minutes with a few walk breaks. He didn’t feel that good to the left, definitely a bit sore to start and wanting to spook at some things. I just kept him away from the area he was being dumb about and tried to get him to stretch. Going right he felt normal and good and wasn’t spooky at all. I could still feel some stiffness when I went back left again, so I really focused on letting my hands go and pushing him forward. He got some pretty good trot by the end, but nothing like he can do when he’s up to par.
Decided to give the boy a few days of Robaxin starting tonight to try to get things going again. Always seems crazy that he could lose muscle tone that fast and get this sore, but he really struggles after time off.
I wrote about my rough end to my ride on P Monday already. My friend’s mom rode him Wednesday when I was out-of-town. I was hoping for a good ride Friday after my blah ride on Stampede the night before, but it was not to be. P was just insane. There were show jumps in the one ring and some in the field for a benefit our barn hosted on Saturday (Canter for the Cure – raising funds for pancreatic cancer research) as well as lots of bugs out, and he was just ready to go. Really P’s only vice while riding is that once he gets nervous and/or excited he’s hard to get to relax. So I tried letting him run around a bit, I tried making him go slow, nothing was really working. I generally avoid riding the older gentleman on a lot of circles, but that was the only solution that worked. So we rode on a circle a lot and he finally got manageable enough for me to call it a day. I hadn’t planned to ride him for an hour though!
Today I was hoping that sane Phoenix was back and he didn’t disappoint. We had a nice easy flat in the field with friends. Here’s hoping the boys will continue to get back on track next week!