Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Somethin' in the air...

Last night's lesson was not very relaxing, or refreshing, or even fun. I didn't have the worst horse in the arena, but I didn't have the calmest either. It all began with a scary in-stall incident for one of my riding buddies. Luckily I didn't even hear about it until afterwards, or it would've made me nervous. I should've tried to lunge him, but he's been such a turkey about it I didn't try. I didn't know, however, that he hadn't been turned out yet this week and the last time he was even OUT of his stall was on Sunday when I did a quick ride and before that he hadn't been out since the Tuesday before.... I don't really blame him for being a little high-strung, all things considered. There was a cute roan filly in the arena that he'd never seen before and all his attention was on her. He must've thought she was pretty cute. I had to use some strength to keep him moving in the direction of MY choosing. He had tons of energy and even though I trotted (not jogged) him for 15 minutes before we started it didn't even make a dent. It took all hour to get him to finally relax. But within the first 30 minutes he had spooked twice (he simply is NOT a spooky horse) and another horse, right after the rider mounted, did a slow-motion back up back up back up sit down lay down get up maneuver and left the rider on the ground. She was okay and she did get on and ride, but yikes. Nice reminder of the danger and unpredictability of horses. There was just something in the air I didn't like. There were only 5 riders in the arena and I spent a lot of mental energy just trying to stay out of everyone's way, and to keep Jr far enough away from the other horses that he didn't attempt to lunge towards them. He's so dang social that when he doesn't get his turn-out/social time he just tries so hard to get near other horses. If one rides up behind us he slows down and if one passes us he veers towards them. If we come up behind another horse he'll speed up to get there faster.

By the time KAT asked us if we wanted to lope I respectfully said I didn't feel up to it. I was having a hard enough time keeping his attention at the jog, and when he gets distracted at the lope is when he stumbles. Luckily no one really wanted to lope so we just did walk/trot. Just something in the air I guess. The chilly temperatures combined with a lack of turn-out/lunging can make any horse a little wired.

The awesome part about my boy is that even when he spooks, he doesn't really spook. He calms down so fast. I don't know why he spooked the first time. The second time I think he saw a horse walking up to the gate out of the corner of his eye in the dark. Both times he jumped forward and scrambled a few steps but that was it and he was fine. Because I spent so much time with spooky arabs I just expect more spooks and I expect the spooks to be so much bigger and more dangerous...his are no big deal. He's very smart. I do feel very safe with him, I wasn't comfortable to lope because of his severe ADD that night.

When we hit the end of the lesson he was doing better so I let my reins drape and walked him out using neck-reining. I just love him when I'm able to do those things. That's the kind of horse I wanted and the kind of horse I knew I had found when I found him. I'm sure we'll work out all the kinks eventually. He's a good boy, he just acts half his age sometimes. I know he's probably still adjusting to his new home and routine. I'm having KAT do some rides on him this week and next while I'm into Dress Rehearsals for my show. I'm sure that will help, too.

Before we rode I had some help hanging Jr's new stall toy. I had him tied while I did it so he wouldn't get in my way or knock me off the stool. When we were done riding and I put his jacket back on (I know it's called a blanket or a rug, but I think Jacket is cute) and unhooked him he didn't seem interested in it, but I'm sure he'll get bored and find it.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you made the right decision just to stick to the walk trot, I always think it best to go with you gut on things like that, even though you may feel like you are chickening out. I am a little nervous as to what my new guy is going to do when to real cold weather hits Minnesota and they cannot go out for long periods of time because of the sub zero cold.