And it was actually one of those days where they would have been justified in being tense and spooky. Starting at 7:30 a.m., the neighbor was using a compressor and a NASCAR tire changing nail gun. Now I don't think it was really a tire changing thing, but as a NASCAR fan, that's EXACTLY what it sounded like. The neighbor was repairing some broken fence boards, and to make the job quicker, he had his brother bring over the compressor that's built into his truck. It was loud. Very loud.
Every horse in the barn was a little freaked out. Both of my boys were zipping around their runs with their heads in the air. Sydney was rearing, bucking, and throwing in some serious squeals. Speedy was doing the same thing. Instead of saddling up like I normally do at that time, I turned each horse out in the arena so that he could run off some of the anxiety that was quickly building.
Speedy was a total wild child. Unfortunately, he took a divot out of his foot, just above the coronet band. After a quick betadine scrub, the wound looked innocuous enough, so I did saddle up. The neighbor assured me that he would be done with the job within the hour, and true to his word, he was. But you know how it can be. Once the horses get that riled up, it can be hard to bring them back down to Earth.
Even though he was tense in the cross ties, Speedy brought his "Rock Star" persona to the arena. He was simply pleasant to ride. I have had some pretty big AHA moments with him over the last few weeks, and yesterday, a lot of things just came together. I am finding that I am riding him back to front with more regularity. When I sit up and use a lot of leg, his head comes down and he gives me a really nice stretch. And that outside hand thing that I spoke of yesterday? I totally addressed that and feel like I am on a good path with him.
And Sydney? Let's just say that when I finally got off of him, I leaned my forehead between his big, brown eyes and just let out a little sob of relief. He and I have been working so hard to pull this whole thing together, and yesterday, he rode like the Steady Eddy that I know he can be. We did walk/trot/canter to both the left and the right without a single misstep. He was right with for me every stride.
The morning started out looking like a disaster, but when I let the have to get it done right now thinking fall away, my rides were perfect. At a lesson a few days ago, Sydney reached down to scratch his face. I gave my trainer a quick oops and a sorry, but she explained that sometimes, it's better to let our horses know that scratching is okay because we aren't in any hurry.
That really resonated with me. I am in a hurry a lot. But yesterday, I wasn't, and I got something really great as a reward.