First, spurs are an amazing, magical invention. On Friday of last week, we had a really great school with the canter departs and even cantering over poles. I'm not sure what was so different, but it was a great ride. I didn't have to work hard at getting what I wanted, once we got going. (It's usually a challenge to get that first canter transition, and then we're off and running, as it were.)
When we were done, I went ahead and took her outside to just kind of wander around and enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, this plan was scuttled by frisky tobiano horses of a couple of different breeds out in the pasture. :) She spooked once; all was well. She spooked twice, and I decided that this was only going to escalate, so I hopped off and led her through a series of ground poles several times so that she didn't get to quit by spooking, even though I didn't feel like staying in the saddle was going to be productive for me.
So Friday was awesome. Of course, on Saturday morning in my lesson, I couldn't reproduce the results. :/ Trot was ... okay, not great. I had trouble and trouble and trouble getting the canter depart, and I had trouble keeping her in the canter, and just ... trouble.
About 10 minutes into the lesson, MT pointed out that my stick just isn't really useful any more for me, and then he went ahead and had me drop it.
About 12 minutes into the lesson, MT said, rather pensively, "yknow, I think a little spur might help you a little bit -- get her going without you having to work so hard."
About 20 minutes into the lesson, I got the dreaded "Okay, stop. Just stop. Come to a halt," complete with hand-waving gesture. *laugh* (Okay, it's not dreaded, but it's one of those things when you just know you're Not Getting It. :) The quasi-working-student, as opposed to the actual working student, had a laugh over lunch about this phenomenon and the inevitable mental "ah, dammit" we get when we hear it) He unbuckled the spurs from his feet and stuck them on my feet, then told me to just find her sides with the spur. Not use them, just ... find her with them. Let her know they're there without any pressure.
And then we walked on.
Holy crap, the difference!!
I didn't really have to even use the spurs. Just a normal leg aid, and we were trotting in a nice working trot. Normal seat and leg aid, and we were cantering without any indication that she was going to fall out of it. Over the poles in a canter, and no problems. Suddenly I didn't have to work so hard with my leg aid to get a reaction -- I could just work on my seat and my balance, without worrying about the forward as much or as hard. Downward to trot, through a second set of poles through X via B and E, back upward to canter, back over the canter poles on the long side, back to trot, change direction ... hey, it WORKED! Awesome. :)
So she's had Sunday and yesterday off, and we're back to it today -- I'm looking forward to riding, a lot.
Of course ... now that I feel like we're actually getting somewhere, I got a call last night from someone who's really interested in coming to look at Reveille and maybe buy her.
If this person had called two months ago, I'd have been much more inclined to be excited about it. Hell, if she'd called one month ago I would have been interested.
But now ... I don't think I want to sell her. Especially given what's going on with my poor little dog -- it feels like the universe is threatening to take my dog, and now my horse. Annie the dog will be okay, but the surgery is going to be very expensive. I could certainly use the money I would get from selling Rev for that and for a couple other things -- I can't deny that selling her would make financial sense.
But there's so much more than finances involved in having a horse. There's my heart involved too. I've given this horse three years, which is way more than a lot of other people would have given her when her bucking was a problem. I have sunk so much time and money and love and patience and stress and thought into her ... am I really willing to give all that up? Am I really willing to let this horse, this little bay individual with whom I've been building a bond, especially lately, just go off to someone else? Before we ever achieve anything I was hoping for? I didn't buy her to sell her. I bought her to keep, and to compete, and to just share life with. I'd thought I should sell her because I didn't have the confidence that I could ride her, develop her, et cetera, the way she needed.
And now, I think I can do all those things, with MT's help.
What do I do?
I think the answer is "not worry for now." The woman interested in her might not ever call me back. She might not really be interested; she might find another horse closer to her; she might not have the money ... etc. So I should stop worrying and keep riding and appreciating my horse for now.
Right? Worry about what needs worried about -- Annie, the other bills, work -- and not what isn't here yet.