The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and Autumn seems to be tiptoeing in gradually up here in the northeast. We’ve had some very cool nights and mornings with frost and then we had temps in the 80’s. The bugs are not as bad as this past summer, although fly masks and grazing muzzles are still required for now.
Rosie and I have been working together fairly consistently. This past weekend we saddled up and headed to the outside arena by the barn. We’ve set up four cavelletti’s for her to walk over in a circuit that makes a circle. She seems a little stiff in her hind end and neck so the cavelletti work should help her with that. We also work on her bending on both sides. The goal is to make her more flexible. We’re getting there but everything takes time. Carrot stretches are also on the agenda.
Rosie has always been fine longeing over cavelletti, but it must have been a different mindset for her when I was in the saddle. Her first instinct is to just say no and stop and assess the situation. A little squeeze and off she goes over them. She never puts up a fuss if you just ask her nicely to do what you want her to. My daughter brought Hanz in to join us this day and she was very distracted by that.
Rosie “What’s HE doing in here, I thought I booked the arena for a private this morning!”
Me “It’s okay Rosie he’s just here to keep you company.”
Rosie “Humph, if I needed or wanted company, I’d ask for it” with a big tail swish.
She proceeded working but was very unfocused by what Hanz was doing and where he was. So, after a while we ended on a good note and retired to the barn for after work treats. That seemed to pacify her.
The next day we saddled up again and to say she was really not in the mood would be an understatement. After mounting we walked up the long side and turned the corner, that was when she spooked at something in the woods. Now Rosie’s spook is one I’ll take any day after all the dangerously spooky horses I’ve ridden over the years. She just stops in her tracks and looks at what’s scaring her. If I don’t react, she doesn’t either. I just tell her what a silly mare she’s being and there’s nothing to worry about. Then a little squeeze and she’s willing to go on.
We proceeded at the walk for a few times around the arena and I thought a nice little trot would be in order. Well Rosie disagreed. She eventually picked up a trot but had her ears pinned back. This was new and something I’d never seen her do before. Okay, let’s try the other direction. Hmm, same ear pinning. There is nothing physically wrong with her and the saddle fit is fine. I think the problem was simply that she doesn’t like any contact with the bit. When you loop the reins like a wet noodle, she seems fine. I’m guessing it’s a holdover from her western training, but I have no idea. I do know that she is going to have to learn to accept some following contact with the bit eventually. We’ll work on this a little piece at a time and I’m sure she’ll be fine with it. All horses are different, and it just takes patience and creativity to figure out what works with each horse’s personality and preferences.
That’s it for now. Stay well.
Quote for Today
When riding my horse, I no longer have my heart in my chest, but between my knees.