I’m boarding my horse at a friends house for a few months in order to take advantage of her beautiful, plentiful, trails. But… It’s presenting a problem with my dressage training. I was finally able to mow down a section of the field way out behind the house (actually, my husband mowed it).

So after 20+ days of really not doing anything, we’ve started our training again. Monday was horrible. I had to work her in the round pen for several minutes. I should preface this with an explanation…..

I rode as a kid. From 11 to about 20 years old I rode everything and anything. I trained (with the immense help of Bernadette Radke) my half Arab to third level, broke out two horses which went on to be successful well behaved riding horses. I had no fear, and was very successful in my showing career.

Fast forward 16 years. I hadn’t ridden since I was 20 and the first horse I buy bucks me off every other ride.

A few years ago I compression fractured 3 vertebrae to the point that I lost half an inch in height. Falling hurts now! I’m stiff in ways I never knew I could be. I am petrified of getting hurt again. I was scared to death of that little horse, but every day I went out and rode praying nothing too serious would occur. I finally admitted defeat and sold him, and purchased Ava. A cute little friesian/paint cross mare. She’s a little fiery at times, but over all very safe. However, I’m still petrified of being bucked off, or having a horse rear and flip over on me. Anything else doesn’t bother me. But the “what if’s” kill me.

So, back to Monday… Ava was so determined she wasn’t going to bend, turn, stop, or stand. We worked in the round pen for a bit until I felt she was listening a little. Then braved the wide open field. I put my right leg on for a leg yield, and nothing. I bump her… Nothing. I whack her with the whip, and she kicks out. This is the mare that would effortlessly leg yield across an entire arena with a soft shift of weight. I hate starting at square one again!

By the end of the short ride, she was moving away from my leg. Not straight, and not with any real ambition to trot out, but she was at least moving away. So we stopped there and went for a walk.

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