Rodney Suffers A Post-Lesson Relapse

I expected this.

I got this.


I’m not delusional. I knew I couldn’t waltz back into the ring and pick up where the lesson left off [Dressage]. However, I had expected status quo ante. Not so much.

Rodney has always had a strong ratchet response. Whenever he climbs a hill/works in the ring/jumps in hand, he expects the next hill/work/jump to be longer/harder/higher. We must drop back to little hills/essentials/crossrails until he winds down. I accounted for this. Or, I thought I did.

In the days before the lesson, I was entertaining the possibility that – eventually – Rodney and I might be able to venture out unsupervised. This went poof. Rodney was tense and quick at the walk. Ducking his head. Gnashing his teeth. Was the knot in his brain from having worked hard? Was the knot in his body from moving in a new way? Is there even a difference for this horse? We also had a cold snap, and Rodney has always been the opposite of Discworld troll, i.e. his brain works better in the heat [The Weather Outside Is Frightful].

On the positive side, 1) Rodney did not regress completely, say, 75% for quickness, but only 25% for head & mouth gyrations. And, 2) he continued to nail his halts [February]. He was able to come into the middle to get loved on and relax. There was a day he would not do that.

So, Rodney will make me pay for every step of progress. Rationally, I know he will come around. Emotionally, despair is not going down without a fight. Yes, my mental state is directly related to how my last ride went. This is not news.

Sigh. Slow progress is still progress.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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