Sunday, November 16, 2008

Update - (Abridged)

I'm a bit behind on updates. I'll try to summarize...

His lunging trouble came back at my lesson last tuesday. Had to get KAT to help. But then instead of stopping he jerked both of us around trying to get away from the circle. Eventually he quit the pulling and just went around in a nice circle until I got dizzy and let him stop. The lesson was pretty good. He's doing a lot better with lots of things. He still gets very tense when another horse is directly behind him. I don't think he's going to DO anything, but he's visibly concerned about it and I can feel his back tense up. Hopefully he'll just learn to get used to it.

Friday afternoon I had a private lesson so my mom (in town for a few days) could get video of it. I wanted to see what we look like. I took him out to lunge him and he took off like a crazy horse and wouldn't slow down. Unfortunately we didn't get THAT part on tape. I think he'd not been out of his stall since Tuesday night so he was a little high strung. It's been so wet here that the horses have not been turned out. He galloped around me and I just held on and tried to get him to slow down a bit. He did eventually. It was a little nerve-wracking for me because he would not listen to my voice command to "whoa" and no amount of my 5'4" 140lbs could physically make a difference. I jerked him once (made me nervous to do so....what if he is thrown off balance and falls?) because it was getting to the point where he was pulling me so hard I though I might lose my balance and fall and THAT would be REALLY bad. I decided to give him a soft jerk in....he lost a little balance and missed a step but he slowed down and I was able to pull him closer to me so I had more control. Yipes. And boy do my arms and shoulders ache since then!

He was good for the lesson though, really listening to me for the most part. A little interested in the chestnut mare in the turn-out next door (Seems he has a thing for redheads..) but paid attention to me quite well overall.

My analysis of the video is that he takes a good long time before he gives in and drops his neck. He'll get *almost* there but doesn't really get THERE for about 30 minutes or so. That's what I thought, but I'm not the best judge yet on how framed he is. I'm still learning what he feels like when he's in frame and I need to spend less time watching his neck and more time feeling his stride. For my part, I didn't look too bad. My feet still get ahead of me but they are WAY better than the last video I have of me. My mom asked if my core was too wobbly...I don't know I guess. KAT has never mentioned it... I know I'm supposed to keep my seat IN the saddle and since his jog is still a little bouncy....or a LOT bouncy depending on how far into the ride we are....that's how I absorb the motion. My shoulders and arms are pretty still so I *think* I'm doing all right. I'll ask KAT about that next time I see her.

Went out yesterday in the rain. Talk about a bad day! He did NOT want to do anything. He refused to take the bit and I mean REFUSED. Very new behavior for him. He just would NOT open his mouth and kept raising his head higher. Took me multiple tries and disciplinary action for him to finally open his mouth. I moved his bit to my english bridle. He opens his mouth a lot so I decided to get a cavasson on him. KAT said she'd ridden him with one so I didn't worry about trying it. Since I had ridden him the day before I didn't start by lunging him. He mounted fine but as soon as we started moving he was snorting and agitated and even threw a pathetic little buck. I did NOT feel comforatble and when I'm not comfortable and confidant I am not helping the situation so I had Mom go get the lunge. I tried to ride him out of it but he was so wound up I didn't like being on him. I stopped him, put the line on and made him work and I mean WORK on the lunge. I made him listen to me and go at all three gaits. He did okay. I still didn't feel like getting on him after all that so I didn't. I hope that's okay. I know that letting him out of work for that type of behavior is not good so I hope making him work by lunging is just as good as getting back on and riding. He did try his stopping thing but I was able to make him go again and none of that Kentucky Derby crap he pulled on Friday. Do you think he gets too much feed/energy for the amount of work he does???

His blanket was filthy and still wet! I took it off him on Friday and it was wet from? Sweat? Water bucket? Pee? I don't THINK he went outside but maybe I'm wrong? Whatever the reason, it was STILL wet on Saturday even after hanging on his blanket bar for 24 hours. This is why I hate synthetic fabrics! I decided to take it and have it cleaned....I'm pretty sure I was robbed on the cleaning bill, but I paid for convenience. The damn thing weighs almost 8 lbs! Next time I'll bring a book and sit at the laundry-o-mat and do it myself for $5.00. First time mistake. I'll go pick it up today and hope it was worth it.

If I can figure out how to digitize my analog video I'll post some of it, but don't hold your breath.

1 comment:

  1. Do you use a rope halter when lunging? I've found them to be better at controlling their head.

    Here is my suggestion--which you probably already do yourself. When I have a problem with them being stiff on a lunge--I

    1.) Bring them in right next to me--I stand at their shoulder and tip in their head as far as I can to the shoulder--I hold it there and until they relax and give for 10 seconds or so. Then I give the head back and bring it around again.

    2. When they relax their neck for me I work on disengaging their hind quarters. I bring the head in slightly and move toward their hind--if they don't move away, I pop them with the end of the line--I do that from both sides until they're crossing their legs nice in back and relaxing their neck

    3.) Then I disengage forequarters--both sides.

    I do these simple exercises every time I work one of my horses--mostly to get them bending, but also to see if they're respecting and listening to me.