Dusty and I finally got a chance to take a whirl around the arena this past weekend. Our ride wasn’t exactly what I’d call stunning but it was a ride and I was happy to be back in the saddle again. We started off with no dramatics at the mounting block. By this I mean she stood quietly and let me mount up without swinging her butt out and having to be lunged. I thought we were off to a good start. I was wrong as usual.
She seemed to have a rocket up her butt. This surprised me because for the past two nights she refused to come in. The first night she convinced Nate and Mellon to keep her company and the second night Grady and Mellon. I assumed she would be tired and hard to get going. Wrong again.
As we started off on our warm up walk she was very forward and covering a lot of ground. When we started our trot work she decided it was still a good idea to travel at speed with a little counter bend and bouncing head thrown in for good measure. Now when she gets like this the only way to cure the problem is occasional half halts with indirect rein behind the wither coupled with a consistent following feel with her mouth. The other correction that seems to work with her is to circle her off the rail in corner quadrants of the ring until she decides to listen and adjust her speed. We worked this way in both directions until we finally ended on a good note and I dismounted.
My theories about why she was so resistant are two-fold: Dusty hasn’t been ridden in weeks due to the hectic times surrounding the holidays. I also have a feeling that she was tired from spending a few nights outside and not getting enough sleep. Sort of reminds me of a cranky kid who’s tired and amps up the energy factor and orneriness just because… Whatever her problem was I’m glad we ended on a good note.
Dusty did something on the way back to the barn that she’s never done before and caught me by surprise. As we moseyed along I was letting her take some bites of grass sticking up through the thin layer of snow. I wasn’t paying much attention and the next thing I knew she started going down for a roll. All I could think of was “No, not on my new saddle!” I quickly got her up just before she went over. Granted she’s got a full winter coat and was a little sweaty and I’m sure a roll in the cool snow would have felt good but not with my saddle in jeopardy. She got a nice towel off and treats when we were back in the barn. I hope it made up for her non-roll in the snow.
Until next time
Quote for Today
The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better.