Sunday, November 24, 2013

Expect the Unexpected

It's been cold, cold, cold but sunny for the past few days so on Friday when I finally had time to ride McKenna I had to take advantage.  We lunged in the indoor then tacked up with the western saddle and headed outside.  She was pretty good walking around the upper half of the outdoor, a little up, but I figured it had been 5 days since she'd been ridden so it was expected.  When I decided to open up our circles and move towards the lower half of the arena all hell brook loose.  Apparently there is something incredibly scary in the bushes along the fence and we had some fun rearing/spinning/jumping backwards moments.  I got her calmed down and moved back to the other half when she started it again. 

I decided to not take any chances and went back inside and lunged again.  She really didn't run around a lot so I got back on.  She was still up, but settled into trot work nicely.  Unfortunately right when I wanted to start some canter work a bunch of people showed up, making a ton of noise, and that fried baby's brain.  She forgot how to canter to the left and was hoppy and cranky going right.  We worked through it but it was definitely not our best work.

Saturday I got to the barn right before a lesson was going to start and asked if it was ok if I took McKenna out during their ride.  I was hoping having another horse show her the outdoor wasn't scary would calm her down.  Nope, not even close.  Back to the rearing/spinning fun. I got off of her and ended up just hand walking her around the scary half of the arena during the whole lesson. Luckily the lesson horse, Tia, didn't care at all and barely glanced at McKenna freaking out.

I mentioned to Jen during the lesson that I was planning on jumping Buddy that day, the first time I've jumped him in a month and she asked if I wanted a lesson.  So I hurriedly put McKenna away and got Buddy ready.  I had put Bud's BoT sheet on when I had gotten to the barn and I think that helped as he was pretty loose and forward during our flat work. Usually when it's in the 30-40s he's slow and cranky to get going. 

We worked on getting Bud in front of my leg, while still packaging him and not letting him get fast and flat.  We did a line that was a forward three or a waiting four going back and forth between the two strides. He wanted the three and every time we had to wait he would fling his head and try to snatch the reins from me.  I think his leasers have let him get away with a lot, so we had a little discussion about it.  He gave in, but I could feel that he was pissed.

We then did a twisty, turny jumper course with some tight rollbacks and angled fences.  Again the point was to having him moving forward but packaged.  He was awesome and listening really well.  We were able to do all the inside turns and fit through a couple tight holes between fences.  He even got every lead over the fence or gave me a clean lead change.  I was so happy when we were done!

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