Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Child Genius

Sometimes with a heavier emphasis on child instead of genius.

idk where the rubber stop on my standing went so it's duct taped.
things is klassy around here. also, real talk, opie has maybe not the
most attractive profile out there. 

Opie returned to work Monday after a week off while I was in IL in which BM reported that he spent one night screaming his brains out for an hour and a half while one of his buddies was doing a lesson.

BM said, "Oh noes, Opie, your mom hates screaming. You better learn to be quiet!"

And then I said, "You have my permission to kill him."

And then he tried screaming during our ride and learned maybe piping the fuck down is the better option in Carly Boot Camp Land.

"oh hai, i missed you. JUST KIDDING YOU'RE THE WORST."
-opie, probably.

It was a rough re-introduction to Land of the Rules for this kiddo, but hey--at least it kept me from whining that things are too easy with him, right?

I started him off on the longe to give him a fair chance to get any sillies out, especially since we had to have a minor Come to Jesus in the crossties about standing still to get our feet picked. He started off with some zoomies at the trot before wildly bursting forth into the canter...for three strides and then quitting. Wow, Opie. Much wild. Such sassy. I finally got him going both directions w/t without being a lazy cow and quitting, or being a lazy cow and going fast for half a circle before quitting.

We, once again, had to have a little chit chat about standing at the mounting block, but fortunately that seemed to be a quick regression as he was a pro today. 

I really wanted to get after him about picking up the canter yesterday, but he ended up being such a spicy firecracker--on an Opie level which means he kind of trotted fast and had slightly less steering than usual (which is saying something as sometimes bouncing off the wall is still what turns him)--that I spent way more time working on transitions and settling into a quiet rhythm. He ended up offering me really good stretches at both the walk and trot, and since he'd also w/t over rows of ground poles a million times throughout the ride I let him quit there.

i went full #tackho and ordered him a new bit and bridle
simply because i don't like the way the brown micklem looks
on him. black micklem? fine. brown? no. he likes his bit while
he waits for his bridle to get here tho!
This morning I was set that we were going to tackle the canter. I didn't even need him suddenly going laps and making circles and picking it up in ten different spots and yada yada. I just wanted him to pick it up when asked and not immediately quit because hard

He was much more settled this morning than yesterday afternoon, probably because all his friends were still in. Whatever, I'll take the wins wherever. W/T, lots and lots of circling and changes of direction, and finally I set him up for the canter and asked. He ran into a faster trot which is his go-to, but right when I was about to regroup and try again he picked it up. Maybe four strides, but that's about twenty strides less than it took before I could even reel him back in from his Standarbred gait in previous attempts. He made it one whole lap before he thought about quitting. I legged him on and made him finish another half a lap and asked for the walk. 

For everyone that calls dibs on him for their pokey hunter pony, sorry. This kid has the natural knee action of once fancy (Yeah, I went there, Emma!) AF dressage horse. You know, down the line when he's not a lazy, non-steering, carriage horse. I'll try to make Riding Bestie get video on Friday!

in the meantime he's the best at strolling about on the buckle
after rides. 

We finished our ride in the outdoor where the never ending rain and/or snow melt (haha, missed all that while I was gone, suckers) has created two decent sized puddles down one long side. Opie marched right up to the first puddle, stopped, stuck The Snoot in it, and then marched through and on to the next. 

He also trotted through both without a moment's hesitation as long as I had both hands on the reins for steering, and not one hand occupied with my phone. 

Are we sensing a theme here? #steeringishard

getting so good about just hanging out, something he thinks
is a way better idea than working.

29 comments:

  1. Omg new bridle! And it's black! I 127% approve. Black looks good on everything.

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    1. Addendum: from my baby OTTB to yours, steering is the worst. OMG. I wish mine was as chill and cool as yours is, though.

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    2. I've had a black Micklem since this spring, he's getting a new brown jump bridle. And trust me, ain't no chill when SCREAMING OMG SO ALONE.

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  2. lol yay fancy Opie ;)

    also tho i feel you on those canter depart (and, uh, maintaining it) struggles. i haven't tried to get charlie to canter yet since getting him back under saddle... but back last fall (winter/spring too, let's be honest) it was just a constant struggle. we played with every different kind of trick in the book - riding snowman-esque figures of 8 and picking up the depart at the change of bend. using ground poles as launch pads. tear drop half turns back to the rail. you name it, we tried it. some worked sometimes and not other times. idk. i just really hope i'm not consigned to reliving that same fate this time around!

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    1. I know I should probably work on them more, but ughhh so annoying with the fast trotting.

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  3. I think steering is optional on even the BEST baby horses. My race bred QH is still called the Zoolander pony because he only became an ambi-turner in the last 6 months. Occasionally turning left becomes the hardest thing EVA and requires time to stop (literally) and think before he bounces back into gear.

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    1. Eh, Bobby was schooling Third and still sometimes couldn't make right hand turns. Kind of amazing these creatures survive on their own :P

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  4. Hanging out is definitely better than working, Opie knows whats up. Glad he learned to hopefully, stop screaming. I hate it when they scream lol

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    1. I'd honestly rather have the weaving than the screaming. Can't STAND the screaming.

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  5. Much handsome! So glad you are also a baby horse boot camp instructor haha
    I am however oogling over your brown micklem... Just saying

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    1. The brown Micklem is probably going to get hung up with the bridle on the rack of things that might never get used again but I can't part with because I'm a sentimental hoarder.

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  6. Yay Opie!!! I'm loving all of your updates on him. He is seriously the cutest :)

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    1. You know why he's the cutest? Because he's actually keeping himself pretty clean. WINNING.

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  7. Already getting that canter transition under control? I'm so jealous. I never actually achieved that with Romey. Sorry he's trying to be a screamer, hopefully he gets that out of his system quickly! But hey, they can't be perfect in EVERY way, can they?

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    1. I have to remind myself when he does things that annoy me that in the grand scheme of things he's pretty fucking easy.

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  8. Screaming is so annoying. Irish learned to not do it under saddle although he would try to figure out how quiet he could scream so I wouldn't get after him. Which was kind of hilarious.

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    1. In addition to being SO ANNOYING, it also makes his brain short circuit for a couple minutes and ain't nobody got time for that in the middle of a dressage test!

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  9. That stupid rain ruined my week all the way down here too. Hoping Opie becomes the super fancy AF dressage pony and you earn some medals on him eventually.

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  10. If you are trying to keep your grey horse clean, splashing thru mud puddles may be counterproductive.

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  11. I found "learned maybe piping the fuck down is the better option in Carly Boot Camp Land" is the best damn sentence I have read in a long time. Love it! App was a screamer, HATE screamers. Good luck, it takes a while but you can convince them to shush.
    I found a lot of success with both Mia and App to have a raised ground pole when doing canter transitions. They weren't talented/trained enough to trot it so they hopped and *voila* were suddenly cantering. Maybe that would help? Good luck, baby horses ahh fun!

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    1. He is soooo not motivated enough to jump when he can trot over/through something. Not even a little bit lol

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  12. YAY to all the baby things! We're just starting to break into proper canter work now and yo, it's hard for the baby:)

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    1. The coordination required is just too much sometimes!

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  13. I think we finally have a decent canter depart... only took 7 years!

    I publicly shame Gav when he screams. I'll tell him he sounds like a little whiny bitch. Not sure of that technique's efficacy, but it makes me feel better.

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  14. Black looks way better on grays than brown. I wanted very much to find a black jumping saddle but Tekna just doesn't seem to offer them for decent price in the US. Bummerrrrr.

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