Thursday, December 29, 2016

Temper Tantrums and Lots of Fun

Tuesday was dressage day and it was interesting. Danny and I were on and warming up and there was two other horses in the ring. We were doing just fine and he was happy as a clam. And then Cindy started to teach us and we were okay for a minute. There was a noise in the corner maybe.... or something. He spooked a little spook. No big deal. He spooked and it was over. Or so I thought. He then freaked out and got all rowdy and ridiculous. Not just typical shenanigans, but an all out temper tantrum. He was bulging left, wouldn't bend right, hanging on the left rein, bucking, cantering but on about 6 different leads, and just ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous. I tried letting him canter out and then I tried making him work, but I couldn't even get him to stay on one lead and give me the right rein. So finally I just one rein stopped him and made him yield. It took about 45 seconds of him circling before he finally sighed and stopped. And then we carried on and he was back to business. It was different than his usual sillies, so it was a little bit odd. It almost felt like he had gotten stung by something or had something under his saddle pad, but I know he didn't. Cindy thought that he got mad that he scared himself in the corner and then just had a tantrum. Interesting thought. But we had a decent ride afterwards so... who knows!? 

I'm trying to remember my pearls from that ride.... Oh! When we do our 10 meter circles I'm trying to hard to hold his shoulders straight with the outside rein. I think I'm being supportive but in actuality, I'm blocking and restricting. And probably creeping towards crossing his neck. So when I opened that rein a bit it improved dramatically! Yay!

So then today I had a jump lesson with Beth. It rained hard all night long so I left the boys in. I turned them out for about 10 minutes this morning before I left. It was about 50 degrees last night and that was the high for the day! So luckily my lesson with Beth was at 10 am because around 11:15 the wind picked up something fierce and was blowing the jumps over and the temperature started dropping. And Danny was bouncy enough as it was. 

We jumped in the field and it was SO MUCH FUN! Danny was a ball of energy so I had to work him and get him going at first. Beth said that while it would be nice to appropriately warm him up, it is what it is, and sometimes you just had to canter. BUT.... he needed to WORK not just play. Zero tolerance! We both knew it's just as much zero tolerance for me too. I allow it, because it's fun. So while I attempted to put him to work originally with gait changes and direction changes and lateral work. But he was still playing. So Beth had me just ride the canter on a circle and make him work in the canter. He had to be rocked back and bouncy and on the bit. Then I had to go bigger. And then bring him back. Oh.... not as much fun huh dan?! ;) 

Then we were able to start jumping. We did two or three cross rails to warm up and then... we took a huge flyer! Seriously, he left the ground literally 10 feet in front of the crossrail. The 12" crossrail. Doh! So then Beth told me to think about tightening my trapezius muscles as we were heading to the fences. Aha!!! I like it!!! It made a huge difference. If I focused on engaging my traps, and even alternating each trap, it was like a half halt. A whispered half halt that kept my upper body in the right position, thus my lower body in the right position and also my hands in the right position. It kept me with a connection with his mouth without rowing. OOOOHHH!!! I really like this.  Dan did too as he was jumping pretty darn good today. :) And I am finally getting it as far as my position I think. Beth didn't have to say anything about my landing gear today and barely anything about my hands. yahoo!!! 

oh, and... at one point he slipped a teeny bit in the footing and he had another episode like he did at Cindys. I ended up circling him until he got his legs together and on the same lead and got ahold of himself and we could carry on. I really think Cindy was right. Beth said that he was mad that he slipped and had a tantrum! And "hold his breath and flail on the floor until he got his way or turned purple"!. Silly silly boy!! I'm hoping that this won't become a consistent trend... Gonna have to nip that in the bud!!

We had a lot of fun. He's really getting ridable and fun. (I know I keep saying that!). 

Now... to start planning our 2017 year. :) So far... I'm thinking FENCE in April as our first recognized. And then the BN 3 day in May. And then... we'll see. It would be really nice to get to the AEC's this year. :) 

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