Friday, July 4, 2014

Cautiously optimistic

I'm almost afraid to post this and jinx us.  But June's over, so..  should be okay, right?

Three mile solo ride yesterday morning in which Confetti was mildly awful.  Sound, but spooking at everything and generally being obnoxious.  This is how she gets when we haven't done enough Real Work in a while.  June was generally a mess in terms of Real Work, so I should not be too surprised.

AHHHHH a downed tree!
I experimented with the idea of making her work when she refused to go forwards at a suddenly terrifying tree.  Leg yields/turns on the forehand were my tools of choice - I tried turns on the haunches and that failed spectacularly on so many different levels.  Unfortunately, I am not convinced that we got anywhere or that I made any kind of communication success with that idea.  It was probably ten minutes of cueing every. single. damn. step. before a hiker came along and we followed him past the tree.  It's possible we even went backwards in our training of 'scary things' (though I'm confident this one wasn't actually scary), since we were quite literally going backwards a good chunk of the time.  I hate when she does that.  It's mostly not an issue, but this horse will back up practically forever when she's so inclined.

Funder's idea of throwing stuff at the blasted horse actually sounded very appealing.  It wasn't even that she was spooking - it's that she was spooking at the same tree that she walked by and nibbled on when we first saw it down last week.  I settled for simply swearing at her instead.

Canoe in the river.  Not even slightly terrifying.
Tired and irritated, I went home and regained some patience.  I headed back out in the afternoon with a friend as the lead horse and pace-setter, aiming for brisk.  Almost immediately, I had my horse back.  Forwards, energetic, willing.. and sound still.  Medium trot, brisk trot, even a moderately quick uphill canter and a bit of downhill trot.  The unevenness that's been showing up the past week seemed to be completely gone.  I did push her a bit yesterday; I need to know if this sort of ride is going to exacerbate whatever she had going on, or if she's really healed.  If she's lame today, or even lame again at all this weekend, we won't go, no question.  If she looks okay today and the next two days?  I think we're on.

Happy pony ears crossing the river to home.


  1. Sounds just about exactly like a ride on my horse, Rosie. We've been working diligently on her for the herd boundness and me on the consistent and firm leadership for the past year. Makes me wonder if these issues ever do go away or if they are always lurking waiting for a chance to show themselves in a weak moment. Beautiful trails you get to ride on :)

    1. I think you're right - she's never going to be 'fixed', the issues just get managed. Sigh! At least we're hitting 'normal' faster now than we used to.