I said I'd do NaNoWriMo this year - that is National Novel Writing Month. It's a challenge to write a novel in a month of at least 50,000 words. It doesn't have to be good and the point is to get in the exercise of writing, as opposed to writing a little, going back and editing and obsessing on each little piece and then burning out and never finishing it. I hadn't been interested in doing it for years because I've already written three novels, but I'm going to try it this year because I've had such a huge lack of motivation to write down the stories that are hanging out in my head. And I have three good novels in me right now that I just need to find the motivation to get them written. So, I started yesterday and managed to write 855 words. To reach my goal I should've written twice that. And I haven't written anything today and am being a bum and writing in my blog instead.
But I have to write about my weird fight with my horse today. I took my friend, Jen's mom, Paula out to the stable with me just for a day out for her. She's in town from Columbia, MO to help with Jennifer's kids while she is in Sweden this week and I like her and enjoy her company so I invited her out to the stable with me. Being in the country is nothing new for her though because she's lived on a farm for years. But she seemed to like it. Anyway, I was telling her about Girl and what a great horse she is, but then when I got out to ride her she started acting up more than she has for awhile now. I think it's because I haven't had a lesson now for at least a month between my daughter's surgery and then having to catch up at work and me getting sick too.
I think I handled it ok though. I know that I'm not supposed to end things on a bad note so I kept that in mind and just stumbled through. Walking was fine and Girl and I worked on leg yields because I'm doing pretty well to the right but don't do as well to the left. At least I could tell when she wasn't straight and was moving off her front end more than her back end. So, we practiced those for awhile and she did well. Then we did some trotting and she did really well so I tried a canter, and she got a little excited and bucky, but our second attempt at cantering was much better.
My big mistake was trying to go into a canter from a walk. I don't think I should do that until I do it in a lesson because Girl is trained not to go into a canter from a walk, but a full on Western haul-ass gallop. And that's where things went downhill. She was irritated with me because I wanted her to canter and she had gotten all excited to finally get to do some racing. I did get one good circle of cantering in, then wanted to go back to trotting. But she did not want to go back to trotting and pinned her ears and bucked a little. I went through all the stuff I've been learning - loose on the reins with gentle half-halts, quiet hands, sit back and tall, contact with my heel but relaxed upper legs - and she was just get angrier because she wanted to run. Finally, after a couple serious little bucks and throwing her head really hard with her ears pinned I stopped, then asked her to back up. She reluctantly backed up and threw her head really hard, so we just stood at a halt (ok, I told her to stand at a halt and she did for 30 seconds then started dancing). Then we walked in a circle, then I asked to her halt, then had her back up again and this time she backed up really gracefully and nice so I praised her and gave her lots of pets. Then we walked around the arena a couple times and we tried trotting again and this time she did a lot better. She didn't do as well as I know she can do now but she stopped pinning her ears and didn't buck when I gave her half halts when she broke the canter.
I was really proud of myself for handling that. My instructor was home but she was running around doing stuff and didn't stop to talk to me so I figured she was too busy to be bothered today. Plus, someday I'm going to have to start practicing using the stuff I've learned and not go running off asking for help before I even try.