Today was a CRAZY day. ;)
I started off my morning cranky and irritated because it was drizzling and misting out and I wanted to ride. And then I was cranky because I didn't want to ride.... in the rain. ;) I texted Beth and she said it wasn't raining there yet and wasn't supposed to start til noon. So I manned up. And I'm so glad I did. #ItoldyousosaysBethanawfullot. :) Don't get me wrong, I got pretty wet. But it was so good to get a ride in and it wasn't terrible.
Danny however started his day off cranky as well. Or just... obstinate and then wild. I turned Fleck out in the front pasture and then went to load Dan. He wasn't being crazy.. .he just did his "I'm going to plant my feet and not move and not load". Sigh... Remember I said I was cranky? So.... I tried to be patient and then I started swinging the lead rope. He didn't react... so I swung it more. He didn't react... And then he jumped sideways and tried to run. I managed to keep him from getting away and then he started running in circles around me at a canter. On the lead rope.... in the slick mud. Sigh... I tried a few times to get him to yield his hindquarters ("crouching dragon") and he would start to but then take off again. He wasn't even trying to get away really. It was like... his brain just needed oxygen so he had to move his feet. Fast... and Now. So... I tried to keep him from losing it and falling or slipping and let him run around me a little bit. And then all of a sudden he just about ran into the trailer. Weirdo! But whatever... we were now running late, so he got a cookie through the window and off we went.
I spent the ride telling myself to get right with Jesus and get out of my pissy mood. And I listened to 88.9 the reach and it helped. By the time I got there I was in a good mood. It was misting at Morning Run but I tacked up and put on my rain jacket and we headed out. We had a great ride!!
We worked on the free walk and stretchy trot today, as well as continuing with what the last lesson touched on too. So.... again, tracking to the right, I rode slight haunches in. And he was great! Then tracking left, which is way harder, slightly shoulder fore. My problem is that I forget to keep the right rein steady so that he can't throw out his right shoulder, but then I want to cross his neck with my left hand for some reason. And I throw away that inside rein too. Beth kept having me shorten it and make sure I was at my knee and not my crotch. Plus I needed to keep my elbows heavy and at my side as they kept creeping forward. But it was better and I was able to do it right much more of the time than I wasn't.
We started off on the free walk. Beth was saying that Dan thinks he can free walk and stretch only if he goes to the buckle and drops the contact. So we worked on keeping the connection in the free walk. So... I was to slightly and slowly leverage out the rein and bump the contact to keep him connected. If he rooted or pulled or bounced above the bit, I was to kick him forward back into the contact. Essentially the same as if I had him on the bit on a short rein. It took a few tries but we started to get the hang of it.
Then we worked on the downward transitions. So... from trot to walk.... Keep my elbows at my side, sit up tall and don't collapse or give, and ask him to come down by sitting a few steps first, and then bumping my legs rather than squeezing. This kept him from slamming down into the walk. Then he started to walk every time I sat... So for homework, even on trail rides, I need to sit the trot randomly so that he doesn't associate it with a downward. But we finally managed to do it well a few times. :)
Then we worked on the stretchy trot. Same thing as the walk, but easier because of forward momentum. We found that tracking to the left, he did better if I let out the inside rein first and tracking to the right, I let out the outside rein first. I think. Crap!!! Maybe it's the other way around??? Argh. Oh well, regardless, I can use that to my advantage. I need to make sure I've got a nice solid trot first before I ask for the stretch. And I need to stay tall and slow my post if necessary to avoid him falling on the forehand. Then when I bring him back up, I need to make sure that I bring him into the short rein connection so that he rocks back to his hind end and doesn't get long and strung out and on the forehand. :)
It was a great lesson. Very helpful and very productive. But about 3/4 of the way through I got hot and steamy in my raincoat. And the rain started coming down a bit heavier... Still a drizzle, but a drizzle for sure. And I noticed that suddenly my pants felt wet, like I had peed my pants. I think the rain pooling on my rain coat was dripping off the short coat into my saddle seat. And because of how I was sitting.... it ended up soaking my crotch and bum. I could have wrung it out it was that wet!! Great..... pleasant ;)
So then I figured as wet as he was, I'd just turn him out. I had to adjust four horses so he went out in the front little paddock. Well then I realized that Cindy was supposed to check his saddle fit so I went to bring him in to dry. And he was filthy!!! He had rolled and literally had clumps of mud on him. So I hosed him off as well as I could quickly and put him in a stall to dry with his cooler on. He wasn't great, but wasn't too bad. Eventually we decided that it was stupid and we could easily adjust his saddle on Tuesday when I wasn't doing other things and it wasn't raining. So I pulled his cooler off because he was wanting to roll. I figured he'd get filthy but at least the cooler would be clean. So he rolled. And then got up and then went down and rolled again. Unfortunately he rolled right over into the wall and got himself cast. He was literally upside down with his legs in the air straight above him. He just kind looked around like "Um... hello... can I get some help here please?!". :) So I went in and he just stayed there chill and cool. I had to almost straddle his head to get to his knees and as I was trying to move him over... he tried to bite me on the butt!!! DANNY!!! Bad baby horse!! I swatted at him and he was like "sorry... but it was RIGHT ... THERE...!"!. hee hee. So... then I had to get Shirley to come in and move his hind foot a hair so that I could get some levarage, but then he flipped right over and jumped up like "thanks ladies"!. Such a goober!
SO yeah..... He loaded up fine to go home and I made it home with just enough time to turn them out, hang the hay net and change pants and go to my hair appointment. I hope I wasn't too smelly. ;)