Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Junior was very antsy today. He was actually pulling on his tie when I was grooming him. Not violently, just antsy. I led him out to the outdoor. Seemed a waste of sunshine to ride inside. On the walk he was really on the look-out for horses out in the turn outs, but there were none. Two of the horses he gets turned out with were being ridden. Since he seemed so antsy and hadn't been turned out because it's Saturday, I tried to lunge no avail. He didn't want to. He played a little, but kept stopping like last night. I always feel like I must look like a complete fool who can't even get her own horse to lunge properly. I've done it with and without a whip and neither seems better. It's almost like if I shake or crack the whip he stops. Isn't that supposed to send him forward? He's not afraid of it, I made sure he wasn't. Maybe he just thinks it's a waste of time, or perhaps he likes making me look stupid in front of other people.

I went ahead and got on. By that time one of the other horses had left. He was VERY difficult to keep attentive to me. This bothers me mostly because when he doesn't pay attention to me he tends to stumble and I'm afraid we're going to hit the dirt one of these days. I am quite fearful of being hurt in this way. I know he wouldn't DO anything to put me in danger, he his inattentiveness has the potential to hurt both of us. I had several fights with him about attentiveness. Each time we even got near one of the other horses (It's a busy barn so there's always someone coming or going, especially on a Saturday.) he would ignore my feet and my hands and try go get near them. He also has a tendency to get himself above the bit at those times so I am in even less control. I was admittedly getting frustrated with him, but he started to listen more so I continued to reward him for moving out in frame and keeping his eyes in the direction we were traveling and NOT on everything else.

I decided to try loping him. Tough lead first to get it over with. He wasn't too bad, actually. WAY faster than I want him to be, but from what I understand it's much harder for horses to canter slowly so allowing him to build muscle at a faster pace is okay, as long as the horse isn't charging. He wasn't charging, just not really anywhere near a western pleasure lope, and probably faster than what's even desirable in HUS. No stumbles, though, so that was great. I made him stop and pick up the lead a few times but was also able to do some good laps of the arena with a more even bend. Although a few times I ended up stopping him after the long wall because I felt him resist when I "asked" him for a turn and that if I "made" him turn he would have dropped his shoulder and then it's stumble city. It didn't help that there were three playing kids visible from that corner and he was quite interested in what they were doing. AND at one point there were two yearlings running in the nearest turn out.

His right lead was fine, but he kept picking up his left lead at first. Then once he picked up the right we were off nicely. Much slower this direction and with less of my correction. I was able to give him a looser rein.

I do wish he'd work better on the lunge. My seat is still getting fatigued if I lope too long and I know that much flopping around doesn't help him balance. I wish he'd lope along on the lunge so he could build those muscles more, without my interference.

I walked him a bit more and he was in an even better frame and had sort of stopped paying attention to the other horse. The kids had gone to play somewhere else. He kept breaking into a jog, though and I don't know why. I suppose he wanted to go more, but I made him walk until he stopped breaking gait and then i asked him to jog a bit more. We were alone in the ring by this time. I decided to work on opening the gate with him. I think he'd be great at it if the gate was taller and didn't drag on the ground. But THAT gate is short enough that I have to bend down (darn 16.1hhs) and try to lift it up. Of course I don't have enough leverage to lift it AND ask him to sidepass. So I just sort of shoved it open wide enough for us to pass through, and since the arena was empty I could leave it open. If I had to close it again I think I would've had to dismount. I watched KAT and a schoolmaster push the gate open with his nose once. We walked around the buildings and down the fence line and back. I turned him out while I cleaned his stall and his water buckets. The food guy put grain in while I was finishing up the stall so I went out and got Junior and brought him back in. Pretty good day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I saw you post on the VLC blog and thought I would stop by and say hello. I just got a new horse (not my first though) a few weeks ago and have been blogging about my experiences as well. Best of luck with your new horse!