Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baby Horsie.

Oh, wait. That's just Robert. Having a Baby Horsie moment.

It started off well enough. There were three older riders in the ring on two totally chill horses and one young but mostly chill horse. Bobby warmed up well, not paying attention to them, even with the young horse longing in the middle when we first got going. We walked for a good fifteen minutes, then I stood in the middle while they did an exercise on the quarter line for their lesson. We trotted on the rail alone, then with them. Bobby was going okay until he started anticipating backing up each time we stopped and started flying backwards sideways across the arena. I didn't even touch him. I asked for a halt and away he went--in reverse.

The riders took another break in the middle of the arena and I got to work on the rail constructively. I focused on keeping him going forward on kind of a loose rein and just sitting up and ignoring any offer he gave me to get into a fight. Eventually, he calmed down and started working. We were even able to do a few trot-halt-trot transitions without any spaz attacks.

i tried to get a picture of the FOAM beginning.
 Then the lessoners started back on the rail and I went to the middle of the ring to get off. Nope. Not going to happen. Baby Horsie went "ape shit" as Hubby would say. Baby rears, baby bucks, flying backwards, flying forwards, spinning in circles, total melt down mode. I kept trying to just get him walking calmly with my reins waaay loose and my legs waaay out to the side so he had no excuse to be nutty, but he was having none of it. BO finally suggested doing tiny figure eights until he got bored and wanted to stop on his own.

It took literally ten more minutes for him to go from jigging nervousness to fast walking to calm walking to offering to stop and stand for three seconds. I got off when he agreed to stop without immediately going back to a walk. BO said it looked like he was anticipating getting in trouble for being naughty the whole time, but that certainly wasn't coming from my end. My only move was a squeeze with my calves to try to get some forward motion then immediate release. I think he just got a little overwhelmed and had a "I'm a greenie and an OTTB and still a baby trying to learn being with all these other fast horses in a small arena ahhhhhh!" moment.

He'll learn eventually. Better in the arena at home than in the middle of warm up before having to go do a dressage test.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, excellent learning experience. You handled it really well from the sound of it. He'll figure it out, eventually.


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