Friday, February 10, 2012


Ok, I want to clear up the issue I've been having with Bobby. I guess my posts make it sound like he's just lah-di-dahing around all strung out and pokey and happy and I'm trying to strangle him into the dreaded "frame". Not so.

Here's an example of what Bobby looks like on a "good" head in the air day:

bobby's "i'm only being half a dickhead" pose.
Here's what he looks like when I first get on and we're just walking around doing absolutely nothing:

no offense to arabians. imagine nose and head pointed straight
up like this, but in motion, and you'll have grasped the idea.

double the length of this horse's neck and it's also a good example.
but he does this even at the walk on a loose rein.
Now, I am NOT trying to achieve this:

Or even at this point in his training, this:

I'm not a complete idiot. I know he's green. I know he needs a lot more muscle before he's ready for real dressage work that involves a lovely headset. I know he's not completely balanced, or fit, or strong, or ready for hard work yet. I just started riding him again at the end of December guys. It's early February. I'm not expecting a miracle to have occured by now.

BUT, I do expect some cooperation on his part. I know--because I have ridden it--that he's capable of performing some really nice stretchy work. I also know that he can carry himself in a bit of a frame (and I'm loathe to use that word because it can be taken wrong) for awhile. Not the whole ride certainly, and really not even more than a circle or two, but he can do it.

Now, I'm not totally willing to just say he's a dick head and likes to make things hard on me until the last ten minutes of a ride and it just magically clicks on about the time we're getting ready to be done. Keep in mind that I have literally known this horse his whole life--from birth until now. I know every little quirk and injury he's had from paddock injuries (he ran through a fence as a yearling and has a little white scar on his RH), to hereditary issues (his dam is known for her babies having stifle issues).

not to mention he's just kind of dumb.
He's not a mean horse with bad intentions. He doesn't go into a ride thinking, "How can I piss Mom off today? I love it!" So I'm going to pin my efforts on the physical. Things that are going to get picked apart until there is no possible way they're to blame:
  1. Saddle Fit. I'll have BO and both BMs give their opinions of both my dressage saddle and the jumping saddle I've been using. I'm extremely confident in their credentials to do this. They're not professional saddle fitters, but they've been around thousands of horses and I have complete faith they'll be able to give me some really good feed back.
  2. Teeth. He's getting all his vet work done next month, which includes a float, but I'll tell BO next time the vet comes out for anything to have her take a peak in his mouth. She's out relatively often so hopefully this can get check soon.
  3. Chiro. Ok, I know for a fact this is partially to blame. He needs his neck and probably hips sorted out more than just my stretching and massaging can help. This is also on the March vet list. Unfortunately, I just don't have the money to get it done until then. I'll keep plugging away on massages and carrot stretches and leg stretches, but he needs to get adjusted.
  4. Bit. He goes in a copper egg butt. He doesn't like a plain dee at all. I don't know why, but he throws a huge fussy fit whenever I've tried it (Red used to go in it for his western tack so it sometimes got thrown on Bobby when we needed an extra bridle). He doesn't really seem that busy with his mouth when he's doing the whole Head In Face schtick, so I'm not inclined to blame it on that. I'll try a couple others that BO has though, just to cross it off the list.
I'm open to other suggestions of things to check out. Obviously this isn't going to be an overnight thing that makes me go "Tah dah!" I don't want you guys to think I'm getting pissed about him not going around with his head perfectly aligned with the vertical, a big overstep, a relaxed back, and second level dressage movements performed at a thought. I'm upset because he's not working with me at all, and I know he's capable of doing more than just dicking around with his nose in the clouds. All I want is a relaxed partner that will work with me when I ask him to do simple things--like not knock me out with his head.

I hope that explains things a little better. Please keep this all in the back of your head whenever I start venting about what a shitty ride we had. And please keep in mind that some of the things that work for your horse(s) will not work for mine. It doesn't mean I'm not trying.

bobby's sire: where 100% of the asshole gene comes from.


  1. Just wanted to clarify that my last comment wasn't about getting your horse to go in a "frame", just to help with the head in the air.

    I think if it is as you say it is, he is trying to tell you something.

    Didn't mean to upset you with my comments, I was trying to offer some suggestions.

    1. Not at all!! Trust me, getting helpful comments like yours make me charge into the next day like, "Alright! I'm not totally retarded. This is half you not being capable. There are things I can do for this!" I appreciate the tips!

  2. Ugh. Nasty issues. Best of luck sorting it out--I think you're on the right track.

    That said, if he vets all clean and happy, then get your draw reins and mean it.



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