09.07.25: In the Valley

I'm in a bit of a slump right now, and it is greatly frustrating me. I am only hoping that the valley before the mountain is brief, because I am growing weary of this.
I rode Friday and Saturday, experimenting again with the smaller banana shaped pad in an effort to reduce the dry spots that are appearing on Storm's back. I have trouble believing that it is my imagination over reacting to Storm's feedback about the fit of the saddle. It definitely feels much better with the banana pad in there, but he is reacting only marginally better. Saturday he actually gave me a bit of trouble mounting, which he has not done in a long time. He just resisted bringing the saddle to me, I had to ask him to turn a couple times before he finally moved forward to the correct position for me to swing over. In the process I did manage to swat one nasty horsefly, ending up with squished bloody bug all over my hand. Yuck!
Finally, he let me mount, and I just hung out for a while. Jim was working with Tali, so I watched him and offered some guidance to help him find the "right" answers a little faster for him and Tali together.
Finally, Storm and I walked around a little bit, and it feels like he is just sluggish and does not want to respond to cues. We did a few laps, and managed some good moments, but overall, his responses were not consistent, and it was a struggle to get him straightened out when he decided to try to make a turn or change that wasn't following our pattern.
My next experiment will be using a folded towel instead of the banana pad to try to add more cushion over a larger area rather than the narrow width of the banana pad. It rained this evening, so there wasn't any riding with the lightening and thunder. We did get to enjoy polo in the afternoon, which was a lot of fun with a big crowd of people, and way too much food.
I sent an email to Kirsten to see if she can help me sort it out. Hopefully she'll get back to me soon. Here's to finding the top of the hill soon.

Next Page: 09.08.29: Just play
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