Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cracked out. Cracked right in the dome piece.

Whelp, the HASHTAG STUNNING was short lived. It carried on into our warm up ride this morning, and had I quit right there as I did yesterday, I'd still be floating on a blissful cloud of light and fluffy dressage horse who can do no wrong. Instead, I decided to ride for more than ten minutes and actually ask my horse to do some work.

Even that wasn't too bad to start. I asked for a little more collection which he responded to just fine. I've been revisiting our trot lengthenings lately because they're in the Training tests, and it's a move Bobby generally finds easy.

We've played around with them to the left the last couple rides, so this time around I asked from the right. The right has always been Bobby's weaker side, but let's get real here. It's a lengthening of stride down the long side. We're going straight. It's not that big of a deal.

The lengthening itself wasn't an issue, it was continuing on straight, off the rail so he couldn't rely on the wall for support, and not doing a lengthening every time around.

This was cause for much angst. Surely if I asked him to do something, I wanted him to do it.


Only, no. I didn't. We trotted it out, and while it wasn't something he got over instantly once he realized we were just looping around the ring with no prerogative other than a soft back, at least it wasn't an hour of trying to reset his brain.

Finally, I had a soft, quiet horse again so I moved on to the next exercise: leg yields.

Lately, for whatever reason--one I'm sure I'll stumble across down the line--leg yields to Bobby mean running as fast as you can over to the wall.

From now on I'll only be asking for them off the wall to the middle of the ring, but today I decided on a different approach to try to slow them the fuck down: three steps over, carry on straight, repeat.

That was NOT OKAY with Bobby. I asked him to move over, holy shit he was going to move over because he knows what a leg yield is and look how fast he can do it and now it's done and move on I KNOW NOTHING STOP ASKING HIM THINGS AND THEN TELLING HIM HE'S NOT DOING THEM RIGHT WHEN HE KNOWS EVERYTHING.

Anticipation is a massive problem for this horse, and couple that with his inability to move on from a situation he deems stressful, teaching him variations of something he already knows is prime territory for a melt down.

He had a melt down. A really epic meltdown.

He knocked over an entire stack of winged jump standards. He side passed on top of three poles--as in, he ran backwards until he was standing on them, and then ran sideways stumbling on the top of them like a pole bridge. He sat down on the wall. He smashed his face into a support beam. He bolted forward so hard it whipped my neck back and almost ran head-on into BM (I owe BM so much liquor for putting up with riding with me.). He reared. He got stuck and refused to move.

All because I wanted three calm step sideways and then to carry on in a straight line.

Like all Bobby tantrums, this one eventually ended peacefully. After he bolted--and he never bolts--I think he scared himself so much that a little trickle of thought entered his spazzed out brain and said, "Maybe I should check in and see what my rider wants."

He softened right up and we did two lovely, relaxed laps of sitting trot before I turned him down the quarter line, asked for my three steps, got them just as soft and lovely as his trot was, asked him to go straight which he did without fuss, and I jumped right off.


much angst.

such gnashing.

very brain hurt.

it was 50* today. that's all anxiety sweaties. 


  1. Wow.

    What a little nut-bar! Come on Bobby, get your shit together!

  2. That moment of realization that he is your circus monkey. Sucks that HASHTAG STUNNING didn't last longer, maybe this ride will help him "remember" how to Horse tomorrow.

  3. Ugh. Bobby reminds me a little of my Paint horse, who would lose his mind if he thought he had done something wrong or if he anticipated a move and you said "no thanks". I swear his brain would ooze out of his ears and then it would just be gone, with no way to get it back. When he was with you, he was brilliant, but if he lost it, you were done for the day. Unfortunately I have no insights that are very useful - I just learned to ride the edge of pushing and learn the signs when he was getting close, then back off. I feel for you, and YOU deserve so much liquor too! Maybe give Bobby some while you're at it?

  4. hashtag stunning splat of brain from dome piece. c'mon bobby we all know you can do 'soft and lovely' more easily than that!! :(


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