Monday, November 21, 2016

Two 'Okay' Rides

Flex boy!
So I did manage to get to ride Thursday and Friday like I hoped! Thursday I got out there a tad later then I liked but we did get a good ride in, although it was dark by the time I was done with feeding and all! 

I think he really has caught on to the vertical flexing and I don't automatically get a brace against the bit each time I ask for it now. There is a awesome place where there are posts stuck in the ground, three on each side about 8 feet apart in two rows, (it was supposed to be support posts for a barn they never built) and we have been using those to weave in and out of, do serpentines, circles around, etc. Friday I even used them as a place to practice our square halts in between. Its a great area!

I have also started using the round pens in the middle as our place to practice our circles at the trot. I have realized I haven't really worked on bending with him at all moving. So I started to really ask for a bit of bend to the inside of our circles around the pens and when we go around the posts. Gotta get him soft and bendy all over!

Now, I usually don't have a bad part of my posts. Like when my perfect pony isn't so perfect. Well today I do, boo.

So the first thing I was not pleased about happened Thursday. I had my oldest (6 year old Chloe) who wanted to come in and brush Harold with me before I tacked up. Well ever since Shelby got attacked by him that time two years ago when he was eating (Still An Animal) I really haven't had the kids near him at all. Chloe picked up a brush and started brushing him at his shoulder/leg and I saw this look come over him and then he made a move towards her like he was going to bite! Sigh. So I quickly made an eh! sound and kinda waved my hand at him and he went back facing forward. I was already standing between his head and shoulder just in case something like this happened. Chloe had no idea what was going on or she would have high tailed it out of there. But I really wanted to know what was wrong with him and see if I could figure out how to fix it. Well he tried one more time and I jerked on his rein and after that he seemed to be fine. We did both sides. I could still see he was a little different than normal though.

I've been thinking about it on and off and I just don't get it. Does he just not like kids?? Has he been abused by them before or something? It's kind of crazy. I never would have thought he would act like that. I haven't seen any of this behavior except while he is eating or being brushed. And this is the first time I've seen it at grooming time.

And to go possibly be related the next day,Friday I was spraying some conditioner in his tail and mane. He was totally fine until I made a move toward his head to spray his forelock and he flipped out - ran to the end of his lead rope, reared up and jumped forward until he finally backed up again and stood there having decided I guess that he couldn't get free. GEENA HORSE. He was completely freaked out about my spraying him in the face. Which apparently means someone has either smacked him around a lot in the face or sprayed him in the face/eyes a lot previously.

He has always been a little weird off and on about his ears, and also bridling lately he has been a bit touchy, but totally fine after the bridle is on.

After this episode I untied him and worked him some more on the lead before tieing him back up and doing some desensitizing with the spray bottle and then my saddle pad. I sprayed him all over around his face but not on his face. Then I took his saddle pad and flapped it all around his head and above his back etc until he was totally chill about it all. I was really sort of trying to get him to have another 'episode' if he was going to and then work him through it. But he never even got close. I guess it was a panic first instinct sort of thing.

And all of this happened after I had worked him quite hard on the line doing lots of ground work and lunging for respect stage 1 and 2. And lots of cantering for a change. So it wasn't like he was fresh.

He did pretty well with all his lunging except for the cantering part. Which is my third thing I wasn't real pleased with. We don't canter a whole lot and it showed out there on the end of his lead. He was all over the place, didn't want to stay cantering, etc. Which it was kind of asking a lot of him to do it out in the middle of the pasture with uneven ground and quite a short line. He did put in a pretty good effort for all those circumstances, really.

I tried the sending exercise with him Friday! He did pretty good although I could see him looking at me like, what is the point of this?? He also did a lot better going to the right then left, not sure if it was something I was doing, or him. Maybe both, lol.

Well thats about all for now.

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