Tuesday, October 4, 2011
It's not always good
I rode Pal again last weekend. Saturday night he was pretty good with the exception of one 'bobble'. He pulled something that was a bit new for me. I had lengthened my stirrups a hole and we started out walking while doing some bending and softening exercises. Hand back to my hip, inside leg back, push the hip over. Circles to the left, circles to the right...
And while we were walking, I also worked on me. A few deep breaths, lengthen my spine. Reach down through my heels, deepen my seat and lengthen my legs. Soft and relaxed was on order for both of us...
Things were going well and I decided it was time to move on to the trot. Pal was responsive and light in the bridle, yet on the bit too and we were progressing. We were going around to the left and working on the rail. At about the middle of the arena I used my seat, legs and rein and turned him into the fence. As he made the turn I released the rein and urged him on, clucking to him and squeezing with both legs.
Mondo in the foreground playing with Pal.
I may have gotten one or two strides of a trot before Pal had other ideas in mind. He started crow hopping. He got about 3 hops in before I turned him into the fence again and made him stop. What the Hell was that all about? His usually reaction of pouting was to stop, stomp a foot, raise his head up and to the right, then kick out with his right hind foot. That was his idea of defiance. This? This was something new.
Apparently in Pal's mind he wasn't ready to move along yet. All righty then... We did some more walking. More stops, rock back a half step then push off and go forward with impulsion. It was slow going, but progress is progress and sometimes slow is all you get. When that happens, you accept it and work with it. You will get more later, but you have time to work towards that. With that in mind and our daylight fading fast, we stopped there and called it good. Things were looking up.
Mondo coming down the stretch...
Sunday night was a bit different. We were a little crunched for time. By the time I had Pal tacked and ready to go, the sun was already on the horizon. It was still light out enough to get some work in, but we would be in a pinch and pushing it to get much done. Something is usually better than nothing so I lunged him and got on. Things were fine. Pal was relaxed, head down, he was balanced, on the bit, light in the bridle and moved off my leg without any issue or indication of what was to come. We did a few stops, rock back, push forward and he walked on...
Lucky for us we were in the middle of the arena at that point. I had him bent to the left and was working on our stretches and softening work, breathing, deepening my seat and lengthening my legs when he started to blow. It was as if he tried to bolt, but then threw in the crow hopping again. He got about three or four jumps in before he was at the fence and found his common sense again.
Yes my hands were up in my lap out of position. No I'm sure it was not graceful on my part, but I stuck with him and when he stopped at the fence I dropped my left hand, pulled him around and he started to walk off. I let him because a moving horse has a bit of limited options as far as which direction they can go if they decide to get squirrelly again. A horse that is standing still- can go off in any direction. You may not be ready for it and could easily come off.
Hubby Johnie Rotten had been at the fence and seen this latest episode. What he seen and what I felt and remember are a bit different. When Pal stopped at the fence he turned but then started shifting his weight back and forth on the front end. He looked as if he were ready to go up. By dropping my hand and pulling him off and out to the side, I had diffused the situation and kept the option of up (and possibly over) out of the question.
We did some more walking, more bending and turning both directions and called it good. The extent of his 'punishment' was hearing me ask- "What the Hell was that and where did it come from? You know better than that." We were about out of light by then and going on would have been pointless.
A good friend of mine told me I should wear my helmet from now on. I am definitely keeping it in mind, so I will keep my mind in! Getting hurt or even doing an unplanned dismount is not exactly my idea of fun... I doubt it is anybody elses plan either!