Confidence Building journey with one Ginger Ninja and his owner / rider
March 4th: Confidence is a funny game
The wind was quite strong on Sunday and it started to rain. The Ninja hadn't been ridden all week due to the weather but some how my brain was projecting confidence telling me to get on.
Tacked up with no issues. The injections seem to be working well for his back this time. Mounted no issues, no tightness, no fidgeting, stood to have girth done up.
The walk was a little tight as we plodded through the muddy gate way but we were so...on walking on a ok rein length around the poles scattered in the middle of the field.
The walk wasn't as relaxed as I had hope and all of a sudden my brain confidence switch flipped to unsure mode. No real reason other than the stride wasn't as relaxed as it could have been.
Poles, thank god for the poles. From out of no where the brain switch turned back to confident.
The ground was wet and slippery but barefoot we had good footing so my brain said ask for trot. Then brain changed its mind ''don't rise its not safe stay sitting so you can feel what's going on'' We did the slight uphill and flat stretch then walked the slight downhill section to the field. Nothing bad happened so off we went again but now my brain was on overdrive ''what if we slip, what if he jumps at the fence tape flapping, what if the rain and wind gets stronger''
Back to the poles. Brain flips back to ''you can do it''
A few trot walk trot exercises round the square I had mapped in my head with a few turns on the forehand and then we walked back to the yard on a long rein pleased with ourselves
March 12th: Game plan
We decided to head out onto the quiet roads for a quick leg stretch to see how the Ninja felt after his Thursday Chiro visit. We forgot to put on the batman hood and without calmer we cant tell him off for having a bit of a hoof spin at the rather lively hand waving kids that were all excited walking down the road to their footie practise
I was pleased with myself for keeping calm letting the jig jog do its thing. Because I remained relaxed and kept my leg on nothing happened apart from a bit of sideways then straight then sideways again
As we jig jogged up the road we decided not to touch onto the grass path which was probably a good idea as we lately found out someone had tipped a load of wood onto the narrow track.
Feeling fairly confident nothing too drastic was going to happen we didn't turn round and go straight home, instead we went up the other quiet village road and had a little trot round the circle before heading home.
Neck was tight and trot strides were choppy but I didn't expect much today so the fact we got into trot and stayed on was a bonus, although rider kept hold of neck strap at all times just in case !
March 15th: Confidence and Partnership building along our Ninja Adventures
There was enough light last night for a quick block plod after work
With a lighter exercise programme over the last week I had reduced the calmer so it could have been a rather interesting ride
As discussed with Back2It Chiropractic girthing was tightened on the right instead of the left. We stood still to mount and retighten and off we went down the drive with a longer more confident walk stride.
With rider relaxed and Dad aka horse sitter taking a short cut we decided to trot off solo down the next road and meet Dad at the grass.
Having let the trot bowl on with a fairly loose rein we cheekily popped into a few canter strides. A mini disagreement as to how slow we should be going as we put hoof to the grass track gave a choppy stride with a tightened neck.
Feeling fairly confident taking a few rider deep breaths and we were soon walking with a longer stride again
We had the Ninja Batman hood to avoid any distracting noises. What we weren't expecting was cat melt down !
Yes a cat in the overgrown grass next to the single path produced a rather active rein back that any Physio would have been proud of.
Cue Comforter aka Dad as we stood with hooves planted neck rigid and heart beating to near explosion. Rider breathing was also a tad erratic knowing that any minute we could revert to a shoulder drop bucking spin.
Comforter in place, a few neck strokes, carrot mind diversion technique added and we both let out a deep breath as our heart rates drop we took a step forward.
No cats jumped out to eat us as we stepped forward so it must have be safe to head home !
Once we stepped onto concrete the stride length increased and we actively walked home. Practising our halting from time to time to allow Dad to catch up