I started out on Archie today. He was a good boy, but he was a little fast. I still had a pretty good time riding him, though, and I got to work on keeping a soft hand even when things are absolutely insane. We had fun together. He was shedding a whole lot in the stall, so I spent a lot of time rubbing him and pulling off a lot of loose hair. Archie's such a cute pony.
During our switch, I did one of my rotating dismounts, where I twist my body around so that I land facing forward once I touch the ground. Amber asked me if I was okay, and then Teresa commented on how I'm always doing "some sort of acrobatics" for my hip. Somehow my painkillers became the topic of conversation as I adjusted the stirrups on Chloe's saddle. I didn't bring them up; in fact, I hate talking about them in public. First of all, I don't like the stigma that comes with chronic pain. People feel sorry for me and people tell me I should hold back. I don't like it. I'm also not fully comfortable with letting people know what I take. Deep down, sometimes I wonder if people wonder if I'm addicted--I'm not. If I'm not in pain, I don't take it and I don't think about it. I also have this weird fear that people will ask me for some. Strange, yes, I know. Teresa asked me if I take one before every ride, and I answered honestly. Then she asked about what's actually wrong, so I explained what the chiropractor told me.
Finally I got to ride Chloe. She's a new horse at the school's barn. She's half Clydesdale, half Quarter Horse. She looks just like a Clydesdale, though, except her feet are only slightly feathered. I enjoyed walking and trotting her, and her canter might've been nice if we hadn't had so many...er, mishaps. Chloe was so WIDE though, nothing like skinny little Stella. I felt like my legs were all sprawled out.
Oh, I should describe our mishaps :P Well, Chloe had lots of problems with staying on the rail, and she definitely wouldn't go deep into the corners. She was very green, never bad, but green nonetheless. Her stride was massive. It was so massive that I could hardly sit it. We cut across the ring once and started to go between two jumps. Then, someone came up beside us and I had to make a quick turn in order to go through two jumps. The turn wasn't unreasonable except that I was on a gigantic horse with a very wide turn radius. I was amazed that she actually made the turn. I actually pleaded with an audible, pitiful, "Oh please..." Then, Chloe tripped and almost went stumbled headfirst into a nearby jump standard. Teresa freaked out because she thought we were going to die, and the girl who rode up and forced us to turn freaked out because Chloe's stumble scared her horse. Yeah, it was a tad frightening, but...yeah, Mac on the brain. Really, I don't think I'll ever let go of that.
I survived my ride on Chloe and we switched again. I got on Hodji, a small bay Arabian-like gelding. I've heard a lot of people say that riding him is torture, but he wasn't bad at all. We only did a little stirrupless sitting trot, and I did a normal posting trot while everyone else did it with one stirrup. I can't post comfortably without my stirrups. I mean, I can. It just involves a lot of physical pain. I can't wait for the day I'm kicked out of the ribbons in an equitation class for failure to perform that particular test. It's the only thing I worry that the judge will ask for. I've been in lots of classes where they ask us to drop our irons, but fortunately none have asked us to post without them. Hodji was very slow, even though I thought he would be a lot faster and a complete pain. But he wasn't.
It was a pretty good lesson.