I found myself muttering to myself that Letterman is in need of a good gallop to blow out the pipes and settle him down. He is not exactly a fun ride when he is on small paddock turnout with no buddies. You would think he would have lost some fitness in the 6-8 wks off. Oh no that is not the case at all! He feels so good right now and getting him to focus on any kind of real work is just not happening. I am trying not to become frustrated with him but OMG seriously he is worst than all the babies. I have taken my own advice about making sure he is not hyped up on anything. He gets just timothy hay and a ration balancer. He looks like a million dollars. I just can’t turn him out on uneven footing or with other horses due to that plate on his foot.
My rides have been going a bit like this- OMG jumps sitting in the corner. Will die. Will not go near them. OMG run..spook..run faster. The wind is blowing..the trees moved..omg the trees are moving. Panic. Run. Spook. Was that a noise? Omg what is that noise? Is somebody after me? Look around frantically. Spook. Run. The other horse left the ring. I am all alone. OMG I’m alone. I’m scared. Panic. Spook. Invent more things to panic about.
None of this really bothers me but there is not a lot of relaxation in our rides at the moment. Kurt and Jess were laughing because he was just being so stupid. Kurt moved the gate and Letterman about shot me right off his back with a scoot and spook. Really, the gate moved and you thought that was spook worthy? You can ride and ride and ride and he doesn’t seem to relax.
Lunging doesn’t seem to help with him. You absolutely have to lunge him with equipment on (side reins or something) because if not he is way too silly. I do think I should so some more lunging to at least see if I can try to get him focused a bit more but he just wants to go and go and go.
When he is tough like this he just spooks and grabs the bit in his mouth and you don’t have a lot of power to influence him the right direction. I am sure if he wanted to be really bad he could be but he never has ever wanted to take it to the next level. He just creatively gives you the finger in a way that makes your ride unproductive. I will say all the dressage work has made him more rideable when he is being silly because I can at least move him laterally but I do feel like I am having to be very strong with him. He is a tank of a horse and when he locks up he feels like 1200lbs of solid muscle. I get a work out just trying to resist his attempts to blow me off.
I think that a good gallop to really blow out his pipes will help. He does seem to do much better if you just let him have a good gallop. He will spook the whole time you are galloping but it allows him to let go of all that tension. Right now it has been hard to do that during the week because of the lack of daylight to get to the trails. It isn’t like I can free lunge him either because our smaller ring is muddy (just grass footing) and he builds up way to much speed in the big ring not to mention he tears up my footing and that isn’t allowed. Once he can get the plate off his foot than he can start getting turned out with other horses again. That should help him burn off some of his energy. In the meantime, if you are out at the C&R and you see a bay horse having a good gallop and a girl with a grin on her face. That will be me 🙂