Creature of Habit

I sort of had a mini freak out at the barn tonight. This hasn’t happened in a long time.

Let me explain:

So we moved to a new barn over the weekend, which was a pretty stressful process. Our coach expected everyone to chip in, because she has A LOT of stuff. She used to own her own place, so she’s fully stocked. We had tack lockers, chairs, wheelbarrows, etc., etc. to move, along with tidying up the new barn, which was basically unliveable for horses last week.

Our new barn is really run-down. It doesn’t have an indoor ring. I’ve never been at a barn like this before.

So the stage is set for why I had a mini (interior) anxiety attack today.

I like things that I know, and this place is very different from any other barn I’ve been at. To make things worse, the fencing hasn’t been fixed in the paddock, so the horses were being kept in the outdoor ring today, and my friend, Ellen, and I had to ride in the paddock.

I am majorly an arena person. I rarely venture out on trails because they make me nervous (read my post on how I would be the spookiest horse ever for more details on my nervous nancy tendencies).

To make things worse, Gordon was extremely fresh. They haven’t been out much the past few days because of the fencing issues. He’d barely gone out today when we showed up to ride. He was pulling and tossing his head, and the bugs were bad. He shot up his head, hit me in the lip and it started to bleed. I got shocked by the electric fence. It just wasn’t a good night.

I was debating whether I’d even bother to get on, given my frustration and nerves. But my friend Ellen was super soothing. She’s much braver than I am, and Merv (the horse she was riding was super chill). Once she was up, I mounted too and we walked (and trotted a little) around the paddock.

Now I can’t say that I ever really relaxed during this twenty minute paddock ride, but I did enjoy myself a bit and I was happy that I convinced myself to overcome my fears. I just need to head out again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, until suddenly this strange and scary new environment becomes the norm to me (and Gordon!).

It’s just tough because I really can’t school Gordon at all in the paddock because the grass is extremely long and the ground is uneven. When things are sorted out with the outdoor ring it’ll go much better. BUT our next show is coming up in a week and a half and we’ve barely worked since the last one. I need the ring to be ready yesterday so I can get myself (mostly mentally) prepared for our upcoming competition.

Hopefully I’ll have a better experience to write about tomorrow night!

Happy trails!

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A few photos from tonight. Looked way more relaxed in these than I actually felt! Thank god for my friend Ellen (foreground selfie-taker extroadinaire) who is able to keep things more relaxed and fun with her great personality 🙂

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