One thing May has really lacked as we have bumped up her fitness is true connection. Sure, she’ll put her head down and look cute, but the back end wasn’t taking on the workload like it should. Part of this was likely the soreness of the hind end that has since resolved with the injections. My original plan was to do a long and slow walk on Saturday, when the weather was supposed to get up to around 50, and then do real work on Sunday when it was going to be a bit cooler.
Instead, about 40 minutes into our long and slow walk, I realized something. I had no breaks. She wasn’t “running” away with me, but any aids I gave to halt were met with straight up refusal. The head got flung in the air, and she just barreled on. No mare… That’s not how this works. So I spent the next 20 minutes establishing a halt, and I decided that we probably needed a few minutes of actual work.
I hopped into the outdoor arena and began asking her to move off each leg, and I was met with… nothing. I swear some days this horse puts in ear plugs, decides that she knows how to be a trail horse, and that should be her true occupation. Today, however, I had my Dressage whip in my hand. So after she ignored my rather wrong leg aids, I gave her the slightest tap with end of the whip just behind my leg. Cue May flinging herself sideways and throwing her head around like I was beating her to death. The yield got rewarded, and the dramatics got ignored.
After a few more leg yields each way, with less and less drama and definitely no more of the whip, I asked her to step into the trot… And I got “ER MAH GAWD, RUNNING NOW!” I just concentrated on keeping my body still and slowing the front end. Slowly, the weight rocked back, and we finally got some solid work in.
I added in a couple of minutes of canter. (the canter was really nice, and we we were over the dramatics by then.) Then, we went back to walking for another 15 minutes, and we sprinkled in some really nice, soft halts. See the math? Ended up being an hour and a half ride… because she didn’t want to halt.
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I did end up getting some (rather poor) media from this. May looks mostly the way she felt, which is a good thing, but GOOD LORD what are my hands doing? Definitely putting more of on emphasis on bending my elbows and riding her up into my hands again. However, I am really happy with how well she is doing with trot poles. This has to be the clearest point of improvement for her after injections. Before, she would try to stuff an extra step into the poles or even just knock them around. Now, she is properly pushing through them, even when she comes in under powered.
Does your horse ever have days where they prefer to be in charge?
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I think she still looks cute llama or not 🙂 HA OH MAY. Isnt it funny how if they just did what we wanted it would be easier on them BUT NO DRAMA must happen then before you know it an hour and 15 minutes have gone by (YES done that and got the tshirt 😉 HA!
Spring Sillies are making the rounds!
she’s looking good! and charlie’s pretty much convinced he’s always in charge, tbh
She feels incredible. Can’t wait to really start jumping and doing things again! If he ever needs a new show name, “Charlie In Charge” might be a good choice! hahaha
Yup – it’s Spring!!! Annie was a bit of a hot tamale yesterday.
Amber has actually only recently started showing an opinion about things, but usually her opinion is when we were doing small crossrails and I’d pop her mouth and she’d shake her head. But she’s usually a very honest, whatever-you-say type of horse. She almost never says no – even thinking back when there were definitely times in training when we had rough patches and she wouldn’t do something, it mostly was because she didn’t really understand. I actually don’t think there’s ever been a time where she’s blatantly just been like nope! lol I lucked out on her being such a sweetie. Her full sister and pasture mate were absolutely more like May tho! LOL
haha errebody gonna be a drama llama some days! I know the story well. You know, they have this llama kid book series. We should write a drama llama issue lol
Hahahaha, that would be hilarious! Although – I think it might end up looking a bit like a Thelwell comic if May were the main character!