14 hours ago
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A good day and a bad day
Horses, like people, have good days and bad days. Since Armani's English speaking skills are not exactly on a first-grade level, it can be hard to understand what is bothering him on the "bad days". Sunday was one of those days. He couldn't stay focused on me, was behind the leg, temperamental, and spooky. I had a cold that day, it was windy, and I'd been away for two days before. I know him pretty well now. And based on previous "bad days" I know that all three of those things bother Armani.
Since he was stressed and I was feeling sick, I decide to take it easy. We gave up on dressage and took a (fizzy) walk through the fields and went home.
Then on Monday we had a lesson. There had been work men and bucket loaders in the arena all day putting up new siding. Armani and I were the first "Guinea pigs" to try riding in the arena. Would there be fireworks today? Yesterday he was afraid of his own shadow. Today was another day though, I thought. My cold was better and the wind was quieter.
Armani gave me one of the best rides so far. He used his back without (much) argument. We leg-yielded and even side-passed. He even tried something new, halt-to-canter depart. He understood the request and only took a stride or two to get into canter. Our instructor praised his canter work and said it was getting even better than his trot. (That is saying something for a half-Morgan. They're known for their trots.)
Sure the pendulum swings pretty widely on Armani. But everyone has good and bad days. I just accept and forget our bad days. I feel good about where time and work has brought us so far and how much we've both grown over the last year.