Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I just got done riding and I wanted to write this before I forget.

We had a fairly productive ride but with a major battle. She seems to like her new saddle and was excellent for tacking up (generally she wiggles a lot and acts girthy) so that was a big win. We went up the road on a long rein and went to the left and up the big hill, it is a dirt road without much traffic, we did a big canter up the hill and stretchy walk down the other side. On the way back up the long side of the hill I asked for a little leg yield to the left and she just shut down, first bracing off my leg and the when I pushed her she started doing the really annoying spinning, almost rearing, backing thing she does when she is pissy. I don't know if she is sore on the side or it is just harder for her. After a couple tries I ended up getting off and asking from the ground, mounted up and she did a really nice one to the right but was still being pissy to the left, I got a couple good steps and called it good.

I rode her in the field a bit and she was being really wound up and hot, did a lot of circles at the trot and asked her to soften to the inside and stretch and got some nicer ones. Then we went in to the arena and schooled over the cavalettis which I had tricked out into scary looking jumps (blankets over them, buckets in front, ect.) to my surprise she was excellent even though she was keyed up. We jumped them a couple times then we walked up the road the other way to cool out, did a little leg yielding and she was better, less resistant. I am not going to try and"fix" anything, because that doesn't work for her, what works is improving her obedience, submission to the bit and continuing to ask her in non confrontational way, forcing or dwelling on it won't help. But I will note it as a weak spot and continue improving on it. In most ways I am glad she is my horse, sometimes she is a pain though.

Joy is not an easy horse, she may look sweet and she is very affectionate for a mare but she has a stubborn streak a mile long, generally she is really good but when I engage that stubbornness watch out! The key is not to engage it, sometimes it is really annoying when she decides she has forgotten completely how to back (has happened twice) and we have to have an argument over it, she is getting better and more relaxed so I think there is hope.

Joy's Coggins came today! and the ride times should be posted tomorrow. So we should be moving forward. Now I am just worried she will hurt herself or come up lame or something, she rarely gets injured but it always seems to happen right before an event. So I submit this prayer.

Dear Horse Gods,
Please keep Joy healthy, happy and sound for our eventing clinic.
Thank you,
love Ruth

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