Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day Ride

Well, it was a long time coming I guess. Bobby has been so good lately that I haven't even been able to blog about my flat rides in weeks. Usually there's at least one dramatic interpretation of a rabid llama on ice skates attempting to do a tango. The key to recreating such theatrics is to bring Hubby along, tell him that you just want some video to show off how fancy your horse is doing on the flat lately, and assure him it will be a super quick ride because it's snowing and you don't want your car to get stuck in the barn driveway.

And did I mention, my horse has been so good lately?

Kiss o' death, dear readers.

there's my rabid little drama llama dripping foam from his crazy face.

Our warm up was brief and mostly correct. Bobby felt like he might be a little footsore, but there's a solid layer of ice over all the snow and the arena is currently hard packed from the cold so that was perfectly excusable. He was a rocket ship in the canter, and his back felt more like a metal rod than the usual softness I've been getting out of him. I pulled him out right at feeding time though, so I expected a little sass.

I finally got geared up to run through Training A because we've been on the struggle bus with the canter work in Training B the past few rides.

For those of you that don't want to watch me work through a three minute test in five minutes....

....don't worry. I'll break it down for you.

A Enter working trot: Scoot past naughty dogs.

C Track left: Try to keep horse from dropping his poll too much and ducking behind the vertical too badly.

E Circle left 15 meters: Almost run over dogs. Keep going anyway.

FXH Lengthen stride in trot: Glad horse knew that by picking up whip it meant he was actually going to have to lengthen his stride. Wish he hadn't spent five minutes with his head in the air shooting around the ring like I was holding an anaconda until I dropped the whip to get the lesson.

H Working trot: Wonder how we ended up so far past H when we hit the rail....

B Circle right 15 meters: Keep horse soft to the right, keep him soft, keep him, you're not slouching enough, slouch more!

KXM Lengthen stride in trot: Auto pilot lengthening as you mentally prepare to fail at the next several movements. Consider just ending the test right there.

M Working trot: Half halt with all your bodily strength in hopes it keeps horse from flying across the ring when you start to let out rein.

C Circle left 20 meters stretchy trot: Nope.

C Working trot: Oh, thank god.

H-E Medium walk: Do not attempt free walk on short diagonal. Turn early at H and go all the way across.

E-F Free walk: Horse is calm, keep breathing, who cares what this actually looks like, at least he's not running away.

F-A Medium walk: Horse briefly considers a tantrum, but is soothed by your calming voices and quiet aids. Gosh, you are so good at defusing these things.

A Working trot: Horse wants to he does. Quickly fall back to a tense, braced trot. Try not to get annoyed.

K Working canter right lead: Picked up the canter--again--and promptly switches behind. Bring horse back to walk to correct. Horse gets stuck because OH GOD YOU SAID CANTER AND THEN YOU SAID WALK AND WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM HIM. Walk horse calmly back to F and try again while taking deep, soothing breaths.

E Circle right 15 meters: Wonder where horse's beautiful, soft canter went to. Try not to pull on his face. Pull a little bit anyway.

M-F Lengthen stride in canter: Worry horse will take the opportunity to change behind so scratch lengthening. Horse has random spaz attack and darts forward for a few strides anyway, perhaps doing his own interpretation of a canter lengthening.

F Working canter: Admire horse's head in your face.

KXM Change rein: Run through the aids, nearly miss the turn, and flail sideways a bit. Come to a halt because there's really no need for flailing. Regroup, pick the canter back up, and try again.

X Working trot: Don't canter, don't canter, don't canter....

C Working canter left lead:  Please canter, please canter, please canter....

E Circle left 15 meters: Does it still count as a circle if horse swings his haunches out and makes a corner on the quarter line?

K Working trot: Almost done, just finish without another flail.

A Down center line: Whoops, who needs to half halt anyway?

X Halt, salute: Horse has a great halt. He goes forward into it, he halts square, and he doesn't fling his head up. However, to stay consistent, this time he immediately wanted to step right off again and instead settled on just dancing around in place.

Since I wasn't too impressed with that, I decided to break down the part where we always struggle the most: free walk to medium walk to trot to canter. Only Bobby had reached his limit of cooperation for the day. He didn't want to just dance, he wanted to just run.

So every time he went jetting off on his own, I backed him up. And we did that a lot. I finally gave up for a minute, got into half seat, and let him canter around in hopes it would settle him.

It didn't.

I tried to run through the test again and it was just a big ole pissy fit. We got halfway across the ring in the free walk and Bobby went into full on meltdown mode. I told Hubby he could retreat to the heated viewing area because nothing else was going to get done at that point.

bobby doesn't rear or buck--he just flings himself around and reverses in high speed. 
my leg is off in all of these because i'm mid-ass kicking/rib thumping.

After an epic battle of wills spur vs. obstinate horse, I finally got the fucking beast to move forward in a linear fashion for more than one stride and got off. I stripped his tack and turned him loose where he proceeded to run.

And run and run and run and run.

And then he changed directions and ran and ran and ran and ran.

Once he was to the point where he was stumbling over his own feet, he came back down to the trot and trotted for another few minutes. It was really the silliest display of racehorse I've ever seen.

It was a complete write off of a ride, and I'll excuse Bobby because he hasn't been able to actually move faster than a crawl in his paddock for awhile now. Ponies need to get their pony romps out.


  1. Sounds like this week has been the month of racehorse flashbacks... hopefully Miles has nothing to flashback TO.

  2. Now that's a dressage test I can master!

  3. Haha. Yeah, I haven't actually tried to put any sort of test together yet. We'll see how that goes. ;-)

  4. poor bobby just needed to express himself lol....

  5. Off the Track TB plays On the Track TB? Chloe goes into TB meltdown too. Sometimes I get off after we have successful, non-jigging walk steps. :-)

  6. I will never get over that Colbert Report episode. Best. Ever.

  7. Bobby looks great in the video, a lot of really really nice moments! :-)

  8. That lengthen trot, tho.
    Bless him. Cracks me up how offended he gets.

  9. I looooooove your quarter sheet! And I also love how much Bobby is drooling in that video!

  10. Sorry to lol at the recap as i know how frustrating these types of ride are. Hopefully getting his zoomed out helped his brain re-connect


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