Remember when I had a panic attack on Shyloh?
The solution to help me get over my anxiety is to ride Reba. I mean, if I can ride a Shire, I can surely ride a Haflinger.
There are a few steps to riding a Shire. . .
1. Find a saddle with a flat tree. Because the back of a Shire is wiiiide.
2. Find a girth that is taller than you. Because the Shire is rooouuuund.
3. Find a ladder to get on the Shire. Because the Shire is taaaall.
Once all those steps have been completed, you can ride the Shire.
|Me and Reba!|
Terry gave me lessons on her horse, which was super nice. Even though Reba is way out of my comfort zone height wise, I knew she was not going to do anything overly stupid. After I got used to the English saddle, her larger strides and her slight clumsiness, oh and then her bullheadedness, we were all good.
My main focus was to be able to ride a steady horse and work on my balance. So we did lots of exercises like walking around with my eyes closed and my arms out to the side, reaching up to Reba's super far away poll, leaning back in the saddle as far as I could, walking without reins and doing crazy arms, and putting my legs over on the same side of her in the saddle. I worked a lot on trying to not lean forward and I feel I was semi successful with this.
I also worked on adjusting to rein and leg pressure. I am not sure of anyone knows just how difficult is it to move a Shire when she doesn't want to move. Let my legs tell you, it is hard! And I am always a bit timid with my leg pressure because Shy is so sensitive. So I had to learn to use more pressure. Reba also responds differently than Shy, so I had to adjust my cues as well.
Steering was also addressed, since Reba had a need to be on top of Terry at all times. Trying to steer her away was a chore, but I did it. We put out cones and boxes and used what we had to make a course for me and Reba to go through.
Most of the lessons were in the round pen, one lesson was in the pasture (we put the other horses in the round pen). I felt that lesson was the worst, but Terry said it was the best. I think because after the balance exercises, I felt I had no goal, except to walk around the must larger space. And Reba did not want to walk. And, I believe Reba kept trying to knock me off on the tree branches.
The longer I rode, the more relaxed I became. If we had a week's break between lessons (fair week), it was like starting back at square one. But even so, the initial couple minutes up on that horse sends me into a high anxiety mode. I think that is just the way it is going to be. It calms down after those first few minutes though, usually. I'd like to continue my lessons on Reba and also get Shy going. I think it will be good for all of us.