With the promise of a 40ºF day, come hell or high water I was going to ride. Well, I didn’t get either of those but I did get an unrideable ring and strong winds. The only place where I could safely negotiate was the driveway, which was just a muddy road on a steep hill. But hill work is good, right?
I spent the first 10 minutes trying to calm us both down. PJ spooked every time we got to the top of the hill and I was nervous every time he looked around because I was anticipating his spooking. Of course I was being silly because he just jumped in place and stopped when he spooked, but my brain imagined him bolting, slipping on the ice, and killing us both.
At either end of the trip, there was very little room to turn around. At first, because I was anxious, I pulled his head around, and even worse, backwards, and I kicked with my outside leg. It didn’t help that PJ wanted to swing his head around and look at whatever it was he was apprehensive about. Our turns were atrocious.
Going up the hill I tried to concentrate on pushing him forward, and going down the hill I worked on making him sit behind. I also worked on changing bends. Eventually, he started listening and I relaxed enough to stop pulling and kicking. I began to follow his mouth and push him off my inside leg. Once that happened, we got a couple of descent turns, both at the bottom and the top of the hill, so I called it a day.