Thursday, May 2, 2013

Melt down in the outdoor

Well, after two good dressage schools in the indoor, I got ambitious and decided to try my luck by taking the show to the outdoor. Bad decision. As soon as we entered the ring, Bobby's periscope went up and his head went every direction. I put him right to work at the trot to try to focus his attention and it actually kind of worked. Not great work by any means, but he wasn't giving himself whiplash.

After the mediocre trot work, I brought him back to the walk and tried some leg yields. He wanted none of it so I grabbed a long whip off a barrel in the ring and we discussed moving the hindquarters over. There was a little drama about me holding a whip, but he remembered his dressage whip tap-tapping that didn't kill him and scooted over. The leg yields carried over beautifully at the trot tracking right, and then we switched directions and lost everything.

He would not bend to save his life--and I threatened it. Shoulder in? NO. Bend through the corner? NO. Bend on a 20m circle? HELL NO. Grrrr. It was hot, there were flies out, I'm PMSing, and I already have a short temper so before things got out of control and he totally shut his brain off from me fighting with him, I made the smart decision and headed down to the indoor to resolve the problem peaceably.

I put him on a 20m circle and we walked until he relaxed and softened and bent. Then I picked up the sitting trot and we stayed on the circle until he was rhythmical and bent. Then I very very quietly asked for the canter that he calmly stepped into and we were able to move off the circle and eventually do a couple of shallow counter canter loops.

buttercup head goes for a walk.

We had a mental cool out walking up by the paddocks.

skye was the only horse that bothered lifting his head when we went by.
Got back to the barn and gave the nasty beast a bath where his attention span quickly dwindled.

watching star graze.
helping weed.
raiding the bath stuff.
It was not really the last flat ride I would have wanted before a show, but oh well. I think we'll both enjoy having tomorrow off.


  1. That was probably a very good decision. It's okay, bad ride before the show means a great show! ;)

  2. You guys will do great this weekend! :)

  3. Have to agree with SheMovedtoTexas - I had an absolutely awful ride before our last jumping show, but the day of she was awesome! So good luck, hopefully it goes well :)

  4. That's usually how Pony will relax...she takes comfort in repetition if she loses her brain. She'll blow up if her brains not in her head and you try to redirect her energy in different ways, its gotta be a long time on one circle or a figure 8 and you'll literally feel her entire body relax and drop.

  5. P.s. Last time I took Pony to a gymkhana, the ride before she dumped me twice....but she was so good at the show!

  6. Have fun this weekend! Great job on being able to diffuse the situation and prevent it going from bad to worse!

  7. Don't be concerned, today Koda had MAJOR tantrums about not being allowed to walk home, so we were having some CTJ discussions as well. You'll be great this weekend! Brush it off and kill it :)


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