I think I have talked earlier about the big middle finger my Appy likes to give me? That has become more and more regular, despite groundwork and pretty firm insistence on good ground manners? I do hope that we hurry up and get to the point where I enjoy riding the App alone again, right now I really hate riding him by himself. Constant screaming for his buddies with a total disregard to what I am saying or what is going on (like a car driving by a-hole!) is getting old.
Had a pretty good weekend and decided to end it on a trail ride, trail rides are riding on the roads around our "block" which is a 3 mile loop. Not a bad ride, all dirt roads that is only moderately traveled. Some days we see 5 or 6 cars in our time out, other days we see 1 car. Despite my wanting an easy ride, I knew I had to ride the App and chose the pelham so I could have a snaffle rein and a curb if/when things went badly. It started well, as in getting out of the driveway and out onto the road. About 5 minutes in the screaming started. Gave a hard kick (forgot the "encouragement stick") told him to put his head down. Continue forward, do some lateral work and another scream erupts and he turns/bounces the other direction. Yanked hard on the curb chain and made him stand with his head at my knee. Turn the right direction and continue forward. After a few minutes of him being relaxed I am thinking maybe things are going to be okay and we stop to let a car drive by. As they approach the App screams his head off and jumps about 2 feet sideways into the road. OH. MY. GAWD. HORSE! WTF is wrong with you!?! Put him back on the side of the road and let the person pass. Continue forward and he screams again. Yank as hard as I can on the curb to get his head down and stand with his head at my knee again. Release and kick him forward in a trot. Of course, he screams again. I smack him as hard as I can on the neck and spend the next 10 mins making him walk with his head down, doing laterals, circles, anything I can think of.
Finally get to the first stop sign and we have only gone .7 miles but he seems quiet. We walk in relative peace for another 10 mins and we pass the second stop sign and the screaming starts again. In the thought of making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, I kicked him into a canter. Safe? Mostly, while the the road is snowy it is in the mid thirties so it is soft snow and not hard, slippery and compact. I made him canter collected and didn't allow him to fall into his forehand or go faster. Made him continue until he kept the canter himself and he was good and tired so I then allowed a walk, we had went a little over a half mile in a canter but success! We were finally able to go the last third of our ride in relaxed peace.
Am so over this separation anxiety BS he is pulling, we dealt with it when we moved here and it went away after a month. It reared its ugly head again when the donkey arrived and was turned out with them and we are now on month 2 of this BS. Grrrrr, he is turning 18 and knows better. Really wish I had another place to put him or other horses to turn him out with for a while but alas I don't. I guess more and more groundwork it will be. Am very happy the TWH doesn't do this crap, at least I can enjoy riding one of my horses.