Now that I have that off my chest....
A woman came out today to look at Poca. We had communicated via email for a few days, and I was under the impression that Poca was a good fit for what she wanted. I had told her in no uncertain terms that all we've ever really asked Poca to do is walk. The same goes with her previous owners. She seemed ok with that.
Fast forward... Girl comes from Ocala with trailer in tow. Although Poca has been on a horsey vacation for several weeks, she was an absolute angel. She stood still as always while saddling and mounting. She walked around calmly. She neckreined and even gave me a sidepass when asked (good considering she is still learning that). I thought she did well.
NOT! I was not prepared when the girl asked me to canter Poca around the paddock. I told her that I'd put her on the lunge line and show her how she moved, but I wasn't comfortable doing it under saddle. Essentially, I chickened out and blew the sale.
So after she left, I did some soul searching. Why wouldn't I canter Poca? I know how to ride. Right?
This is what I came up with:
- I have always cantered Poca on the trail. I've never asked her to canter in a circle in an arena or pasture.
- I didn't think it would look good. I knew she wouldn't know what I wanted, and it was gonna be sloppy.
- The BIGGEST reason of all - I was scared. Apparently, I am still fighting Faith and Izzy demons. I was afraid Poca was going to do something stupid, and I would come off and/or get hurt.
|This is where Faith kicked me|
|My rope burn|
|Where Faith stepped on me|
I knew I had to face my fears and bust out my big girl panties. I took Poca over to the trailer and swapped saddles. (I love my endurance saddle. It's less bulky and allows me to actually feel the horse underneath me.) We headed back into the paddock and trotted a few laps to warm ourselves up. Then, I played it out in my head. I knew what I needed to do. Inside rein, sit back, outside leg... I took breath and asked. At first, she just tried to trot faster and turn sharply. We slowed back down, regrouped, and went through the motions again. This time I also kissed to her and said canter. There is was. A canter! It was not pretty, but it was there. We slowed down and changed directions. Same routine and tada, another canter!
I cannot tell you how relieved I was. There was no bucking. She didn't even fight it. She was just unsure, but she figured it out. Surprisingly, after 30 minutes or so, she was even picking up a canter from a walk.
They say things happen for a reason. Maybe I chickened out because this person was not the one for Poca. Maybe Poca was not through with me yet. Maybe I needed to be reminded that I have the ability. Either way, I am looking forward to working with Poca more this weekend and finding her the perfect forever home.