Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Back in my comfort zone

Thanks to everyone for the comments on my show post, and to everyone that reached out to me privately as well. I don't drink, but I can assure you I went home that night and ate more garlic bread than I would recommend to anyone, and then spent all of Monday stuffing my sad, pouting face with chocolate. It did make me feel a little better, I won't lie.

so did adding this creature to the fam on tuesday!

Bobby obviously got Monday off, though how much he needed it I don't know since he led his geriatric, crippled friends on several squealing, bucking, farting gallop laps around their pasture the second I turned them loose.

We didn't do much in the way of work yesterday. My butt was still like, "Ughhhh, why did you sit in that saddle for what felt like ten hours straight?!" It helped that Bobby came out ready to get back to work and just went around and did whatever I asked.

His canter started off like it usually does: kind of braced and...I don't know, just yuck. Everyone always says how nice Bobby's canter is, and we always score well on it in tests, but honestly it's my least favorite of his gaits. He doesn't bend his hocks much so it looks ugly to me, and keeping a thirty foot long moose packaged together is hard fucking work.

so is being a kitten. sometimes you just can't even.

Determined to get a better canter, because it is in there, I made him shorten up his stride and neck and really over-bend at the walk. He wanted to get tense because he feels trapped when I do that, but I just pushed him forward calmly until he started stretching out over the top of his neck while still staying round.

I asked for the canter quietly, he thought about flailing, but I just kept quietly, calmly, almost invisibly asking him to go forward until he went into a really nice, round, bouncing counter. I kept leg on, kept pushing, kept rewarding and telling him how good he was. We got it both ways, and he added on the best canter-walk-canter transitions. I let him be done there and we finished with a trail ride.

tails are so sneaky.

Today we started with a trail ride during which Bobby spooked at everything he could think of. His spooks aren't more than a fast step sideways, but it was still a little ridiculous. We headed out to the outdoor to work, and since his trot was a little spastic, I brought him back down to the walk. Lots of shoulder-in and haunches-in got him round and bending again, and he was in such a good place that I just had him go right to canter instead.

His canter was fab and totally carried over from our work yesterday. Counter canter, simple changes, both there, both fabulous. The trot was pretty mincy, and since BM had mentioned a couple other horses that had gone to the show had come back a little footsore from the footing in their indoor, I went into ours instead and Bobby was immediately improved.

Lots of trotting, working on going forward while staying balanced and relaxed, and then back to canter. I wanted see if his flying changes were still operating since I felt like we had the perfect canter to do them out of. He's been doing them without issues while jumping, or even just while flatting in the jump saddle.

more on kitten in another post once she finally gets a name.

They were not in working order today. He was getting very wound up about them and throwing his haunches out every time we made a turn. Since being straight is, you know, kind of key to changes, it wasn't working.

So I brought out Mr Tappy.


But then he also got the clue that maybe Mr Tappy wouldn't even have to visit him if he didn't fling his butt in the opposite direction it was supposed to be going. There was much snorting and eye rolling, but any actual dramatics were practically nonexistent. And we got the change both ways the first time. I doled out his candy and then let him go soak his worries away in the pond for awhile.

Second feels very easy and doable right now. I'm hoping Mr Prancy Anticipation The World Is Ending Pants can keep his shit together in the ring Saturday and not make me look like a fool for saying that.


  1. Why do they have to anticipate so much?! It is the worst

  2. I'm so glad you had two great rides. Bobby sounds positively dreamy!

  3. Mr. Tappy makes the world go 'round.

  4. Sounds like you are both bouncing back from that hunter ring fiasco. Wow. I'm really taking this HP -> DQ transition seriously.

  5. Alli + Dino is right, Mr Tappy makes the world go round! And OMG kitten. Was never a kitten person until I got mine last Sept. OMG KITTEN SO CUTE (And yes, tails are very sneaky. And suspicious)

  6. Dude you guys can totally do second, glad you took your time to feel better (and kitten how cute!) and that bobby was ready for work when you were :)

  7. Kitten is so cute!!

  8. Glad you are feeling better - I also have to admit that I giggle every time you blog about Mr. Tappy. Also, that kitten is the cutest!

  9. Glad you're having good rides! So nice that Bobby isn't always a drama queen. :)
    She is the most adorable kitten EVER!

  10. If I got a new animal when I had bad horse shows I would be in trouble! ;) I already want to take all of them home with me!

  11. Sounds like things are getting back to normal. Hope you have a better show this weekend!

  12. Cute kitten! Glad to hear things are back to normal.

  13. Who is this cuteness-devil! Lovith the kittay!

  14. I fully admit to not reading this post to speed scroll for PICTURES OF KITTIES!!!! I mean, I guess like good luck w that horse stuff tho?


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