One step back, two steps forward!

I think we’re on ride #20 on the VLC. I am losing track!

The bad: I was trying, yet again, to pick his front feet. He didn’t want to keep the left one up and started pawing with the right. OK, I figured I’d go around and grab the one that was up in the air anyway. When I tried to hang on to it, he cow-kicked at me. Um, not acceptable. Not in any universe. He got the good old-fashioned boot in the gut for that one. And no, I don’t want to hear a word about that – it’s exactly the punishment another horse in the pasture would have doled out. He understood completely that he had grievously erred.

I don’t think he does it to be mean. He just doesn’t get that this is not acceptable. I am admitting defeat on this issue. I’m too small and weak and every time he pulls his foot away from me, it hurts my lower back. I am going to need to pay a professional to train this horse to pick up his feet. I am not experienced using ropes and do not want to get hurt/get him hurt. I have a trainer in mind that I think could offer some very valuable assistance with this issue, and I’m going to see if there is any way I can set up a session with him this coming week.

The good: After our showdown about the feet, I was not in the mood to put up with Any More Shit, and he knew it. For the very first time, he stood stock still for mounting and even stood after I was up. He isn’t stupid.

And he rode fine. Not quite as soft and pretty as the previous ride, but we did work on something new and he did well with it. Our arena is a converted old dairy barn and so there is a fence running down the middle of it (that cannot be removed as it is holding up the roof!). The arena is, my guess, 50 wide so half the arena is 25 wide. There are openings in the fence at the center and both ends, so we can do figure 8’s and circles, but today was the first time I asked him to jog a circle within that confined 25 foot half of the arena. The first time he stalled out but then he caught on and actually did very well, both directions! He is a big horse so I give him a lot of credit for being able to catch on to maintaining his forward motion through a small circle like that.

We cooled out with the reins attached to the bit again, which is funny. As soon as he realizes the reins are attached…whomp, the head goes to the knees. And stays there, on a loose and flopping rein. He is ready for the World Show! Heck, he might actually be too low. It is not going to be hard to put a headset on this one, ha ha.

Then I did ride #3 on the SSG. This time we walked without assistance right from the start and he did fine. He still wants to be close to Josie, so we worked on circles around Josie. Of course he’s super green and did stall out at points but I kept encouraging him to move forward and we got a pretty decent circle at the end. (We did determine that there’s quite a nice natural sidepass on this one! Hey, I like horses who can move laterally. It’s very useful in numerous ways.) He also did better with halts today – the previous ride, he would immediately snap his nose up and resist (and of course all I’m riding in is a halter so it’s not like the poor darling was being abused, LOL!). Today he figured out that if you just stop when you’re asked to, the reins go slack. Nifty! I think he’s basically going to be an easy one but he does have a bit of a balk in him which doesn’t really surprise me as he has it on the longe line, too. It’s actually going to be easier to fix from on top of him. As Josie observed, she often wishes when longeing that she had an outside leg for help!

So – for the most part – an uneventful evening of greenie riding. As I’ve said before here, if the VLC throws something at me that I can’t resolve myself, I’m not going to be shy about asking for help. He’s riding fine but I am going to need some assistance to resolve the foot handling issues. Hey, at my age, I’d sure rather have that than a bucking or rearing habit!

How is the weekend going for the rest of you?

Published in: on June 8, 2008 at 4:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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