Finally a weekend with good weather! This winter has made getting any consistent riding a challenge. I turned aways several people who were interested in sending horses in during the winter because I don’t currently have a ring (I will if the weather cooperates!) and even when the weather is good the lack of daylight makes it hard to ride a lot of horses. I work full-time and typically get home around 4pm. I can get 2 horses ridden right now if I hustle so that is quite exciting. It’s the little things that make me happy 🙂
The horses are making a ton of progress in a short amount of time. Getting in new horses is a lot of fun but also very challenging as you have to take the time to figure them out. Every horse is treated as an individual at my farm and it might take me a few rides to figure out what type of program they need, how to ride them, saddle they like, bits they like and what makes them tick.
For the most part, I will ride anything that comes my way. I enjoy a challenge and the process of figuring out what makes them tick so that I can get inside their heads. I even like really tough horses as long as they aren’t going to kill me. I expect to hit the dirt as it is part of what I do but a horse who doesn’t improve or one who has no sense of self preservation just doesn’t have a place in my barn. Riding is supposed to be fun not putting your life on the line.
Parker arrived with an attitude. He had been getting some training from someone who is 100x better of a rider than me. Something about the relationship between the two of them just didn’t work. I didn’t understand his attitude because I remember him as this horse.
Our first few rides went fairly well but he was a bit pissy about life in general. Then our trip to the indoor resulted in me testing out the nice footing 🙂 I wasn’t at all worried just still working towards figuring out a plan of action. Changed the bit, got the chiro out, did a bunch of trail rides and went back to see how we have progressed. I rode in the ring twice over the weekend and it went really well both times. I see some general attitude changes happening with him.
For example, when he first arrived he fought me hard when I tried to put on the bridle. Head straight in the air with his teeth clenched. This weekend he almost took the bit himself (I am using the HS duo). He was not interested in people at all and would walk away from me. Now, he is following us around everywhere. He was antsy in the cross ties and didn’t seem relaxed. Now he stands there sleeping mos of the time or looking for treats.
I felt like he was just anticipating something happening while being ridden. Can’t really say what he was worried about but he sure was worried. He spends a lot of time either being behind the leg or flying off with his big trot making me giggle. When I would correct the trot rhythm he would get very pissy but now we are on much better terms. Contact..mmm very fussy to the point of throwing a real fit. The bit change has helped with that some but right now I am going for a fairly relaxed contact just riding him forward and not worrying about frame or anything else for that matter. The canter is a mess and that is his real challenge at the moment. He just plain throws a fit the first canter transition every single ride. The good thing is that they are getting less and less severe each ride so progress is being made. I think part of the issue is that he is lazy and the other part is that he is expecting something from me and anticipates it. When nothing happens he goes oh okay and canters nicely the next time we do the transition. I can’t get him to canter very far at the moment but he isn’t strong enough and I refuse to hold him up. I could pick a fight about it but I don’t see much reason to do that in the initial training. If he physically isn’t strong enough then why should I force the issue. Just keep hacking him out until he gets stronger and has no more excuses.
Allie told me that Parker was a favorite and I can easily see why. He has got to be one of the sweetest horses and he has a wonderful personality. Yes, he is a bit of an ASS at the moment but you know that is really a minor issue 🙂 He wants to be a good horse so I have a job to do to bring out the good horse in him again. He reminds me of a big overgrown pony who has excuses for everything. He loves to stop at the gate, if you take your leg off he just slams on the brakes, he complains about everything when you are riding him, he feels the need to question everything I tell him and he just thinks he should get to have an opinion about everything. Totally cracks me up! I love horses with these big attitudes because once you get them working with you it is all so much fun. Parker also loves food and would do anything for food. I think food will be instrumental in his training along the way. He will follow you around the barn like a big dog and he just loves to cuddle. I have spent a lot of time with him trying to bond with him and let him know that I am on his side so please stop fighting with me..pretty please 🙂
We took some video and please don’t judge to harshly. My regular big 100×200 ring is unrideable at the moment and this is a small area that was very slippery and it has lots of slopes in it. Just look at the nice moments and imagine how cool he is going to be.
Now a bit on Indy’s Chic aka Dee. You will not meet a sweeter horse than her. She just loves people and loves attention. She is kind of shy but then all of a sudden she is licking you and rubbing herself all over. She loves to be brushed and fussed over. She is a picky eater and has let me know that she will only eat certain treats. She will do anything for a carrot 🙂
She is an interesting horse because she gets really nervous but she is never bad just nervous. I was walking her up to the front of the house to let Kurt know I wanted him to come out and get a bit of video. Poor girl about had a heart attack each time she saw something scary but the funny thing is she just wants you to be there she isn’t trying to jump around or do something bad. She left me a nice pile of poop in the front lawn. She seems to have a never ending supply of manure coming out of her. What fun that is.
She was a bit looky in the new ring unlike Parker who is about as brave as they come. I wouldn’t say Dee isn’t brave she is just more cautious. I walked her once around in hand and then went to the mounting block. She wasn’t keen on standing so I just stood on top of the mounting block and lunged her around it. She got really bored with that so I hopped on and she stood really nicely. We walked a few laps and then she wanted to go so we just trotted along not worrying about much at all. I am not asking her to do anything at this point as she is not capable. She doesn’t have hardly any muscle on her and you can just feel she is a bit weak. When you go to the right she can’t hold herself straight. At the end of our ride I asked her to go a bit into the contact and she was really willing. She is going to be really nice even if it doesn’t look it now. She is so eager to please and that is half the battle right there. Give me a horse with a good attitude who is smart and progress is easy. She has a really nice comfortable trot and canter. She is quite balanced for that really small area. We have no right lead but I expected that. I think she will need another few chiro sessions and just some basic rebuilding work. I really enjoy her and can’t wait to see her come along.
I need to get some weight on her but I think that could be a slow process. She recently went on a one day hay strike? No clue why because she had been eating really well. She gets locked in am/pm for her food and gets the skinny horse alfalfa. Her rain rot is starting to clear up and she just has a brighter look in her eye. I think she is ready for some trails so that will be the next step.