Thursday, September 24, 2015

Naughty boy... and redemption

What a day! I was getting awfully frustrated with life in general and had severely overbooked myself for the day. But I was determined to have a good ride on each boy. So as I'm hauling I noticed that my parking lights weren't working again. ARGH! I got so frustrated that I almost started crying. It was just that stressful of a week.... it pushed me over the edge. So I called a Merhow dealer to ask them if there was any way to prevent rats/squirrels from getting in to the area and the guy mentioned that I should check the plug. He said it was weird that a squirrel would keep chewing the same wire and I should check the plug. Maybe there was a short or something. I told him that he was brilliant and that it made sense since this time I noticed it after I had unhitched and rehitched. And then... it dawned on me. Danny was coming to investigate so instead of finishing hitching, I moved the trailer out of the pasture and finished hitching. But I totally didn't remember plugging in my plug! DOH! I totally left it unplugged. So yes... I didn't have parking lights but I also didn't have breaks!! Of course once I got to silverthorn I plugged it in and my lights worked. So I felt a lot better about my day then. :)

I rode Fleck first and Dan was fine in the trailer. But I guess he got bored. While grooming him he pulled back and broke the hay string and then meandered around for a bit. Then when I went to get water, he untied himself and wandered around again. Sigh. It was also the first slightly chilly day and overcast. I figured that with those factors, and the fact that he hadn't been ridden but once that past week, and we were at Silverthorn where he's only been once before, I would be smart and lunge him a little first. And I'm soooo glad I did.

I walked him up to the arena and as I get to the corner of the small arena, he suddenly reared straight up int he air, toes a flying towards my face, and then lands, turns, and kicks out at me. Oh NO SIR BABY HORSE YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT!!!! I was so pissed! I ended up dropping my stick but still had the reins and the parelli lunge line with the big snap on the end. I backed that baby up so fast and so quick and was wailing away with that big snap on the lunge line. I got him on the neck repeatedly and then used the rope only part on his nose I was so pissed. Then he would look at me all bug eyed and still and I would decide that he was SOOO rude he deserved more beating. (And really... I wasn't beating beating him... but he deserved it. I mean, yes, he didn't touch me, but he came scary close and it was definitely out of the blue and him being an ass instead of scared. He really honestly could have killed me had he gotten me in the head). So I made it abundantly clear that his behavior was NOT acceptable. Once I had him thoroughly mullified I walked him back to the corner and picked up my stick and then we went to the big ring to lunge.

And of course, while lunging him he got loose and went running amuck around the arena. He was doing that super floaty trot where he literally hovers in the air, with his tail flipped straight up. Beautiful but... turdy. After about 7 minutes of him showing off, I finally caught him. And his little butt worked! We did lots of transitions, lots of yielding the hindquarters, and lots of backing. He finally got a soft eye and was starting to pay more attention to me. So I got on.

And he redeemed himself! He was spectacular! Even Kelly said that he finished the day MUCH farther along than she expected. And that she had some big adult horses that didn't even do the exercise as well as him. :) She later sent me a text saying  that he was worth holding onto. :) Yay!

So anyways, I told her that he was still just pretty clueless with the jumping and it was hard for me to not try to help him and I was getting frustrated because he didn't really seem to be learning. So she set up a grid. It was 4 poles on the ground in a one stride between each. Kelly had us trot through it a few times and then we worked on halting on the backside. After a bit, I told her that he tends to fall into his downwards and splat into ickyness. So instead of halting we started cantering on and doing a courtesy circle. Ha! She laughed and said she felt bad having me do them after giving me such static with Fleck. :) So anyways, we made our way through the grid and she kept building it and building it. Eventually we ended up with 4 one strides with crossrails but they were almost at the highest hole on the sides.

In order to make him rock back and use his hiney and not just throw himself over and roll over his shoulder, Kelly had me trot in. As we got 1 or 2 strides out, she had me half halt and just slow the trot down a second or two mph slower. That meant he had to sit and think for a second instead of just barging through. And he had to use his butt. It was awesome. He actually got some really nice jumps and bascules in. And the crossrails made it easier to keep him straight because when he did waver, he ended up really having to use himself to get over the fence. And once or twice he may have rolled over his shoulder or knocked it. BUT... he actually was learning!!! He actually tried to lift up his shoulder and jump clean when we drifted right hard core once. And he did! He really jumped big because we drifted to the high side of the X. It was so nice.

When we were just about done Kelly had me do the line again and come around and jump the vertical planks. We had jumped them before at the show while warming up but Kelly made them fairly high! At least for me and Dan. They may have been beginner novice height but dang did they look big! So we came up to it and I was counting I think but saw that we were getting there on a half stride. I waited and got left way behind because Dan took the flyer. Kelly told me to trust it... of course, not to jump ahead, but to trust it. So we did the grid once more and came around to the planks again. And this time I was definitely counting and I could feel Danny locking on. I saw that we were going to get the distance and he jumped it beautifully! And he wasn't even holding a grudge that I got left behind the last time he jumped it.

Then he was all puffed up and prancy, showing off. He's such a ham. But I'm so proud of him. And me for allowing him to figure it out and make the mistakes and not getting frustrated. Although honestly, it went sooo well, it wasn't hard to not get frustrated. He felt great and proud of himself and had fun. :) :) I told him that I would take him home now instead of leaving him with Caroline. ;)

And my day was salvaged and wonderful... until I had to load up and get back on with my busy hectic crazy day. But at least part of it was wonderful!

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