Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Runaway

Some of you may remember the amazing, sassy British trainer I got the chance to work with for a few months before she passed from cancer. Everyone that ever rode with her loves to throw around Val-isms because she had a way of phrasing things that made you collapse with laughter while still making a completely valid point. Few rides go by without a Val-ism popping into my head over something I or my horse is inevitably doing wrong.

Starting with last week's reintroduction to lateral work in hand, one of the things she yelled at me with Bobby came screaming back to the forefront with old Dopie Horse.

"HE'S WALKING OFF WITH YOU."

It's like running off but without the running. Equally as fucking effective though.

On the ground, it took shape with him trying to evade by bulldozing over the top of me. He never once broke from the walk, and the evasion probably leaned more heavily towards trampling than walking off, but it was there.

But in my ride yesterday it was everywhere.

I cleared the ring of jumps so there would be no temptations lurking and got down to a good dressage school. Once again he warmed up great with the highlight being the canter. He's even starting to really own the counter canter.

After a quick stretchy walk break, I picked him back up and started to leg yield. Right away at the walk, he didn't really want to step under and was basically just angling towards the center line walking quickly so that tah dah, we've arrived at out destination! I grabbed a Mr Tappy and tapped the haunches to ask them to get in on the game plan. That was offensive and we had a brief interlude to work through a tantrum at the trot/jog where--sad story--he still had to leg yield with his hind end involved even if he wanted to flail about instead.

Once he got over himself and the whip in my hand, we went back to the walk. I wanted him to step over, but I wanted to get it done without him being a locked up tense rage monster.

And here I got walked off with again. Each time I asked for more reach, he'd walk off with me instead. He's sneaky. He doesn't rush or hurry, he just opens up his patented power walk with his gigantic step and whoops, somehow we've run out of ring.

So he got kicked out of kindergarten leg yields and put back in preschool. One step over. Halt. One step over. Halt. No matter what form the evasion takes, you don't get to ignore the aid, sir.

Visiting the haunches in, same thing--he doesn't want to step the hind leg under while keeping the bend. It's one or the other and he will walk right out of it if he can. I ended up remedying that by coming into it out of a 10m circle, getting a couple steps and then sending him into a big trot as a reward.

A chiro visit will get scheduled when I can afford it to make sure everything is in alignment back there, but in the meantime he can certainly do the movements on the basic level I'm asking for. Without being a wild walking horse.

Does anyone else's horse try this slow motion evasion?

29 comments:

  1. Gwyn does this!!! And it doesn't really rear its head until actual competition because I don't ride in an open ring like a dressage arena except at shows. So she'll make her turns nice and bendy like until we're in a dressage arena and suddenly it's 'just' a cavaletti or the opening at A and she could have her nose at my left toe and she'd still be moving right or forward out of the arena. It's the big thing that's preventing me from pushing us up through dressage (and rightly so)

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  2. Thats basically Pennys life mantra. My dressage coach says "she barges through life. Through the barn, over you, and and through the bridle". Ms Bargy and I have been working on this for the last year, actually getting better now LOL

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    1. Ha! I think that mantra can apply to Opie too!

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  3. Pretty sure he's saying "Can't do dressage if you are outside the ring" also "can't use Mr whippy if you are outside the ring too" lol

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    1. Oh man, I so do not need another ring escapist!

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  4. Ok, you scared me because "runaway" is also a term used when driving. And it's used when a horse fucking bolts and literally runs away with you. So... thank god that didn't happen!

    But yes, Annie does it too. "If I walk faster and keep shittily *trying* we'll magically be at the other end of the arena!!11!1!"

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    1. The cart is tarped and in hiding until we have real ground again to drive it. Sooo...June? lol yay winter!

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  5. 100% and it drives my trainer crazy. He gets to powerwalking with his balance out over his chest and sticks out his underneck and just takes over. Glad I'm not alone in that!

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    1. Why use your butt when you can just walk away from real work?

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  6. Dopie isntrying the hardest he can to win this. He doesn’t know who he is up against with you though :)

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    1. Haha right?! His tantrums have yet to get a rise out of me because they're so pathetic compared to a certain giant bay moose.

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  7. Katai did the EXACT SAME THINGS to me yesterday. Now at least I’ll be able to think about being walked off with and giggle next time 😂

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  8. Lol dopes you can run(sorta) but you can’t hide!!

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    1. I feel like this is probably as fast as he went on the track as well.

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  9. I need to remember the preschool suggestion! Gav will sometimes just ignore what I'm asking until I run out of ring.

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    1. Preschool is one of favorite hangouts most days lol

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  10. Cisco does this, on the ground and under saddle. He's a forward walker, and on the ground he loves to push his shoulder into me. When he stops paying attention I love to do a bunch of quick changes of direction, dragging him behind me. He figures out pretty quickly to pay attention to me.
    Under saddle it's just a green horse problem at this point, usually when asking for right bend.

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    1. I had to do a ton of that on the ground right when I first got Opie because he'd just pick a direction and off he'd go, with or without you. Fortunately he's much better on the ground now except apparently when lateral work has to be done there too!

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  11. Grif used to do this, too. But we're back in preschool for awhile after he had so much time off. Nice to know other horses play that game, too, tho!

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    1. Hopefully a visit back to preschool will nip it in the bud!

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  12. Heehee, I call that "taking over". Suddenly we'll be going along and I realize I'm not actually driving the boat anymore, T is. It's kind of ridiculous that I let my 3rd level horse get away with this and have to go back to kindergarden for it, but... there you have it.

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    1. It's so sneaky. Who knew the walk could be so nefarious?

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  13. Ah yes, being run off with at the walk. I never realized it was really happening to me before I started working with current trainer (who would constantly ask, even in warmup: "Did you put his feet there or did he?"), but I would let P get away with whatever at the walk. Now in rehab, it's hard NOT to manage every little thing.

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  14. Ugh yes. May loves this choice. She'll just lock up her whole body and go forward.... She decides that I have no say in anything other than what gait we're in. At that point, the aids get stronger, she usually has a small meltdown, and then POOF she can majikally do the thing I was asking for.

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  15. This is Bast, 100%. Not so much at the walk and the trot, but at the canter. He just goes stiff like a board and says "NOPE! LALALA! NO LEG. CANNOT FEEL. BAI." So utterly annoying.

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  16. Yep. I've had it at the trot too. Trainer thought it was HILARIOUS! (And she wasn't wrong.)

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If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.