Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Going right for a change

With all the issues I have been encountering with getting into the saddle, this past week things are going right.  I rode 4 times, more than I have ridden in a good while!  The new riding buddy is completely content to ride in the arena with me at night and is completely smitten with the TWH.  She rode the App and liked him but she had forgotten to grab the encouragement stick and was getting frustrated with his inattentiveness and laziness, something I completely understand.  She didn't want to borrow my spurs and didn't want to bother getting the stick, she said she will definitely remember next time lol.

RB4 and I are getting along pretty well, she has horses of her own but can't ride due to current weather conditions and she is out of shape.  She does have a couple of hackney ponies she drives which I think is super cool, she said I can come over sometime and we can drive them.  How cool is that?  I will eagerly take that opportunity as I haven't actually done more than ground drive and drive from a wagon once.  I haven't actually ever harnessed a horse (or donkey) and think it will be fantastic experience.  Gotta know how to do it if I want to drive a donkey right?!

RB3 came over and we went on the x-long loop, a 7 mile loop on the dirt roads, and took the new dog.  Things went really well until about mile 3 when the App, whom I was riding, decided to start spooking at stupid stuff like a large rock.  That we ride by fairly regularly.  And the spooks were becoming worse, with him spinning to face it instead of continuing to walk and/or jumping sideways only when cars were trying to pass.  The rock was the third random thing he was spooking at so I gave him some strong kicks and made him face and stand next to the rock.  I made him stand there for a few and then we continued on.  He was kind of spooky as we walked over a cement "bridge"/large culvert and then decided to be a butt the rest of the ride.

He alternated between jigging and walking quite fast for the rest of the ride and completely refusing to listen.  Halts to allow cars to go by required way more pull than should be needed, leg halts were completely ignored, moving off of the leg was completely ignored.  I finally untied the dog from our saddle and gave her to RB3 so I could really work to try to fix the App.  Every time he started doing anything than a normal walk we would back up.  We did this for a full mile before I finally gave up and tried galloping him.  I galloped him over a mile, at a full gallop, and thought all was good as he put his head down and plodded back to the TWH.  When we turned around to continue heading home, however, he went back to his previous self and was again jigging and going fast.  I finally gave up and just rode with extremely short reins so that neither of us enjoyed the rest of the ride.  When we got home I immediately put him on a lunge line and made him gallop for another 5 mins so he didn't think that going home would mean rest like it normally does.  Urgh!!!

All in all I had a good ride as I enjoyed the company.  We rode for a little over 2 hours and everyone is on their way to becoming fit again.  RB4 is coming out a couple of times this week and I am scheduling a lesson next week.  Here's to hoping it keeps up!


  1. Ugh that is the most annoying trail riding bad habit!!! Bad App! Have you tried the Clinton Anderson one rein stop? I was watching his series where he's restarting a Thoroughbred off the track and he used it to teach the horse to rate himself. He would ask for a walk and as soon as the OTTB would try to trot he would do a one rein stop and would continue to flex him laterally in both directions until he relaxed and stood still. Then he would ask again. It works at all gaits, but you do have to teach the one rein stop first! If you want more info or the link to the videos (free) let me know!

  2. Thanks for the tip! I have heard of it and used it a little but didn't stick with it. Unfortunately we were on a timeframe to get back to the house (RB3 had to leave for work immediately when we got back, the App almost made her late as it was). I gotta figure something out though lol.