Tuesday, August 23, 2011

one month!

It was one month yesterday that I brought Shyloh home! And I celebrated by riding her. And what I call riding is sitting on her while I am led around. . .

Shy has come a long way in that one month! When I brought her to the barn, she was terrified of people, she did not know what an apple or a carrot was, she would not let me pet her head or brush her hair, and she jumped at every little noise. Now, I am able to touch her head and brush her mane and forelock. She eats like a champion. She is really warming up to people and I believe that she looks to me for comfort or when she is unsure. She is still jumpy, but less so. She approaches me and does not run. I can catch her easily, as long as I have grain. Kathy was able to catch her without grain! Don't get me wrong, I know that we have a loooong way to go, but it is reassuring that we are making progress!

I am not sure how to describe yesterday. . .I did get on Shy. Maybe I wasn't ready to ride, Robin did not think so and I am not entirely convinced that I thought so either, but I did it. It's like this with me. . .I am terrified of roller coasters, but I will go on them. I convince myself to get in line and have panic attacks the whole time while I am waiting to get on the ride. Then I get on and I am tense. The coaster starts going up the first big hill. . .I have my eyes closed and I am holding on for life! After the first hill, I open my eyes, even though I am scared, but I never let go or put my hands up. Actually, the pictures of me on the rides are quite hilarious! When the ride is over and I am off, I am thinking,  that was fun, let's do it again! So that is kind of what getting on Shy is like. 

Shy is not like Mia. Mia was pretty much bomb-proof. To even get Mia to move, I pretty much had to kick her, not squeeze. When she tried to buck and rear me off that one time, I was scared, but not terrified. I stayed on. When she chased that van when we rode down the street, I was able to handle that. When she pretty much galloped (or it felt like a gallop) back towards the barn that same day, I stayed on her. I never once felt unsafe or that Mia would try to hurt me. Sure, I had an adrenaline rush and I was out of my comfort zone, but I recovered.

With Shyloh, there are a lot of things that are different. She is much younger than Mia by over a decade. Mia was a lesson horse that tons of people rode, so she was pretty much desensitized to everything. Shy is much more reactive and I do not know her as well. And I am not confident in how she will react yet. I am also not confident in my abilities. I have not taken lessons (yet). I am lucky enough to have some friends who know what they are doing help me, but I do need formal lessons. But we will continue to work on trust on confidence building with each other. 

At the very least. . .I got on Shy without falling off the other side! However, getting off was a whole different story. As I dismounted, I leaned forward to swing my back leg over the rear of the saddle (I need to start doing stretches!). When I leaned forward, the saddle horn must have gone between my boobs, because when I slid off, I heard rrrrriiiiiipppppp, and my boob popped out! Terry was doubled over in serious pain laughing like it was the funniest thing EVER (and it kinda was), but here I was standing, one boob out of my ripped up bra and a horse that was like  WTF just happened? That is my first, and hopefully my last bra casualty, and I really liked that bra. 

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