dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Boss is Back

I arrived home on Sunday to a beautiful, warm and sunny day. In about 5 minutes I was changed into jeans, rubber boots and a flannel jacket. I spent the rest of the day walking the dogs and grooming the horses. They are in full shed mode and I ended up coated in horse hair.
no matter where I go these woods hold my heart

I believe that everyone was happy to see me. Guinness took advantage for the relaxation in rules but I honestly don't think that he likes it. Ed sent me this photo. Clearly Ripley (my son's dog who we're babysitting right now) has no qualms about being on the couch. Guinness is looking much less certain.
G: I'm missing the rules, this chaos is making me uncomfortable. 
Now that I'm back, G seems quite relieved to be on the floor. Ripley is not so impressed.

in time for the weather to deteriorate into cold and snow.  I am not sure why I'm surprised. Having snow in April is not unusual. I think it's just that my desire to deal with has gone.

ugh. hate snow right now

The weather is now on it's upswing and Julia suggested that we get together on weds to groom or ride. I looked at the snow and it was light and fluffy with no ice underneath so I decided that we could ride. 

Irish was all excited to be tacked up. Carmen less so. She seemed to have a lot of emotions all at once about this idea. I spent some time doing a bit of groundwork and light lunging. She was fine. Looking around but fine. I hopped on and we walked off. 

I'm trying to figure out the line between directing without getting into a fight or pushing her towards something that causes her fear. I may have swung a bit too far with letting her stop but honestly it's a feel thing and I'm still working it out. A few times I gave her a bit of a kick when I was sure she was just asking to stop and not worried about something. 

Overall our ride was pretty good. She wanted to go fast in the trot but rated really well with just a seat aid. When she gets in her head and all knotted up physically I'm not tightening the rein but helping her move forward and find her stride. This is not new- especially when she's out of shape. 

Carmen did bolt on me once but it was totally legit. A red truck raced down the road with much squealing of tires, revving of the engine and going much too fast for our road. Carmen wanted to run to Irish, I just called out to Julia asking her to stop Irish so he didn't join in the fun and steered around in a circle. Again, she had feelings about that too but I refused to grab the reins and give her someting to fight, instead I kept the rein steady only apply pressure to steer and sitting in the saddle. She came to stop pretty quickly. When the truck raced back I was prepared and let her face it with a loose rein. That seemed to give her confidence (and probably me). 


As for the rest of the ride, it was nothing to really write about.  We did mostly walk and trot with a short canter. Carmen was not impressed with the clods of snow hitting her in the belly and kept going between 'yay, lets go FAST' and  "goddamnit something's hitting me'.  Again, just light rein contact, ride forward and relax the seat. She came back to trot and then walk pretty nicely. And the canter was not all discombobulated. 

Things are rusty, she's expecting to feel pain I'm sure, so is being defensive. I'm riding her through it so she figures out that the pain from the ulcers is gone. Her teeth probably need to be done (appt next week) and the saddle may be a bit tight with the extra, ahem, fluffiness. That will go quickly. We were able to do a lot of walking on a loose rein which is great. Overall I was happy. 

more times looking at ears and less time looking at snow

The snow should be gone in a day or so. My plan is to get back into a regular ride schedule and rebuild our fitness.

20 comments:

  1. Youre back! Where did you go?

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    1. I was in Ontario at a conference for wrk and then a visit with my sister

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  2. I concur completely with lacking desire to deal with snow after a certain point. I can't be mad that it happens ('cause it is kinda normal in April) but ugh. All patience for it is just gone!

    Hopefully Miss Carmen continues to improve more and more as she realizes the pain isn't there. I'm glad you were able to enjoy a ride despite the snow!

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    1. We didn’t even plot the driveway! Just drove over it. It’s pretty much gone now. And I’m feeling positive about Miss Carmen.

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  3. Your writing about the ride is a lot more relaxed and calm too with a lot more certainty. The time you have put it on the ground is already paying off even if you don't see it yet.

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  4. I can't believe you still have so much snow!! I think we're about done with the rain here, knock on wood.

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    1. Well it is Canada. 😁. Rain is difficult too so hopefully your rainy season is over.

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  5. omg that snow just will not quit!!! i wish i could send you our perfect weather right now plus all the blooming flowers etc ugh. hopefully it'll be gone soon enough tho, and at least you got to get in a ride!! sounds pretty darn good, all things considered ;)

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    1. I will take your weather now but keep our summer weather. The snow is getting me from the ring now and we can get going.

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  6. Ugh. Snow. Stop it already!
    Hope spring time shows up for good soon!

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  7. Woohoo!! Glad you were able to get out for a ride despite the not so great forecast. Seriously snow, you need to knock it off!

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    1. Yes, the snow needs to go! Fortunately the weather is warming up and the snow is melting. M pretty sure that’s the last of it.

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  8. I may be biased, but that's QUITE enough snow, tyvm.

    That line with how much to guide without picking a fight is so tough to feel out and varies so much from horse to horse. It sounds like you're well on your way to feeling out exactly how much is enough. I call it the Goldilocks principle: too much, too little, just right! In the case of reactive or spooky horses, I prefer the "too little" approach until I get my bearings really firmly in place. You can always add more pressure later, but it takes a little longer to fix pushing too hard too fast.

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  9. Honestly, I don’t see how you can go wrong with this new plan. That softness has to translate to success when she forgets the past and gets used to it. The Goldilocks method sums it up well. But it takes courage to err on the side of too little. Although, I put too much pressure on BG before she blew last summer, and she demonstrated to me how little control we actually have when our horse decides they’re done. Better to keep the partnership intact. In the end, our aids are an illusion—it’s the horse keeping itself together.

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    1. I agree that Carmen needs to keep herself in control. my only worry about being 'too soft' is that we won't make any progress at all. But I also understand that it's probably me worrying too much.

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  10. It's always nice to come home after being away for while. But not to snow! Enough is enough. Glad you got a ride with Carmen. I'm sure you and she will have a wonderful riding season this year.

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