Friday, May 10, 2013

Went to the Fights, and a Hockey Game Broke Out

Or, in our case, we went to a dressage clinic, and a Roadster Under Saddle class broke out.  The experience was embarrassing and demoralizing and a lot of other things that weren't good and didn't make me at all happy about the way the only-outing-I-could-afford-this-year went.  But with Bad Eventer as my lemons-to-lemonade (or limes-to-margaritas) role model, I've elected to shake it off and see the humor in it all.  Here goes.  All photos by my amazing friend, my rock, my documentarian, and co-conspirator, Bonnie.  All captions by the BBW himself.

What do you mean go in there? I haven't been turned out yet today!

Yeah, Sherm was a little up, a little overwhelmed by the circumstances, and a little speedy.  And a little disobedient.  And this was just walking in.

Perhaps you didn't hear me when I said I wanted to go out.

Yeah, right, obedience is what dressage is all about.  Yeah, we don't quite have that yet, even when we think we do...

I'm taking off when I get to the corner...

Though our "course walk" around the arena wasn't brilliant, he still stands beautifully at the mounting block, and after the horses I've ridden these past six years, I'll pay cash money for that obedience.

Ladies in the gallery, get ready.  You're going to see my fancy.

And he was pretty with all his dapples and fancy duds on...

Damn, I'm good-looking...

So I mounted, and he stood. And he plotted his revenge while he quietly munched his TicTac.

Number One, prepare to engage Morgan warp drive.

And then we began our Roadster Under Saddle class.  The awesome thing I did learn at this clinic is that I can ride a Roadster Under Saddle class and not really even break a sweat doing it.  So maybe if Sherman can't get into the U. of Dressage, he'll make it in his safety school, Roadster State.

This is only half as fast as I can trot...

What's that about relaxation and swishing tails again?

I told you earlier, I want to go out!

And then the clinician said that I really needed to take control.  So we began to have a conversation about steering.  It went so well that I'm thinking about having a logo made out of this one:

We both know I can go in two directions at once.

And so we did some steering and running...

Steer all you want; I can run for five days.  I'm a Morgan.

And then sometimes we seemed to be following the action on the polo field...

I'm still not tired...

I practiced my grip of death on the reins, which alternately irritated and was ignored by Sherman...

Pull all you want, human. I'm still running.

Late in the game, we got a couple of decent circles...

I can do this, but why would I want to?

And we talked more about steering, using the wall as a barrier to keep him from stepping away from the rein pressure.

Take a look, Ladies.  I'm sexy, and you know it.

And then Sherman said what he thought about that approach...

I told you the first five times, this is stupid.

And then there was more running.  And more steering. And more running.  For about 30 minutes.

And then the poor clinician prayed that we would go away and stop making everyone frightened.

Are we done yet?

So we did.

Finally, what we should have been doing all along!

Sherm got a little grass and a brief roll.

Ack! The stink of obedience!  Get it off me!

And then he showed me how he really felt about the day thus far...

I don't do this in the arena, you know.  But I want to.

After this all-too-brief respite, it was time to put him back in his stall in the very busy stable.

Back INSIDE? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

In the end, I decided that after this outing, 24 hours in a stall in an unfamiliar (and much busier than he was used to) setting wasn't going to make our next day's ride any better than the first, so I scratched and brought him home.

It wasn't the outing I'd hoped for, not even close.  But we came home alive, generally undamaged, and with a lot to think about.  And we've got amazing pictures.  So, hey, sometimes it's like that.  Thanks to the inspirational good humor of Bad Eventer, I am able to laugh at it.  Though we mere mortals can only dream of riding as well as what she considers a horrific ride, her model has gotten us through this lousy outing, and we shall live to ride another lousy outing in the near future; I'm certain of it!

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