Friday, April 1, 2016

Reset Button

Love love love this photo!

We had a lesson last night and while Peebs warmed up fairly lazily his Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde side came out pretty quick.  When he gets excited, usually over fences, he grabs the bit and I have pretty much zero control.  He doesn't take off, no leaping/charging/running away; he just tunes me out and does whatever he wants.  He was fine over the first few cross rails but then we were to trot in and trot out of a line of x's and he said "See ya" after the first one.  I was able to pull him sideways out of the line but it was very ugly and not super fun to ride.
Trotting quietly is hard
After trainer talked me down we tried it again with a plant to halt immediately after the first fence and go from there.  Again, he took the bit and ignored me but I did get him stopped quicker that the first time.  Then trainer told me to get tough, sit down and back, and do a one rein pulley stop.  It's hard to do that while riding in the fetal position but somehow I managed and he got stopped hard.  There was much head tossing but when we came back around he calmly trotted the first fence, all but falling over it and trotted quietly down the line like the good lesson pony he probably wasn't was.
Jumping boxes like a boss
We managed a few times through the line before trying to string together a little course.  He would start to get quick and/or check out but each time trainer had me stop him hard and it acted like our reset button.  He would go along quietly after that for a few fences then try it again. He never did pull the full out "grab the bit and ignore mom" that he did at the beginning but you could tell he wanted to.  It was hard (read: terrifying) to ride, especially coming off of McKenna who would full on bolt/buck/spin/launch me into the next state.  And to Peebs' credit I never felt like he was going to pull those moves, or like I was going to come off, it just sucks to know that for a few strides you have no say in what your horse is doing.  That his little brain is in control and you really are just a passenger.  It REALLY explains why he was up for sale. But he doesn't pull it all the time, and our hard stop reset button works and I know once I get more comfortable getting after him it won't be as big of a deal.  My friend texted me after my lesson asking how it was, and I could honestly say it was a hard, eye opening lesson, but it was a good lesson.


  1. I've been learning all about quirks this year. For me, it's been eye-opening to realize that every horse does SOMETHING, it's just a matter of what you, as the rider, can handle.

    In a way, it's good that you've found Peebs' quirk and already have a solution that fixes it. I bet it won't be long before he hardly ever does it anymore.

    1. This, every horse has their quirks and habits. Glad you have some good tools.

  2. I'm using the stop as a reset trick right now too. Hopefully a little of it is spring feel goods, and that combined with your corrections will have him remembering his manners in no time :)

  3. That first picture needs to be framed!

  4. Reset buttons are a godsend & it's great that he reacts better than McKenna did. Getting used to different horses can be a trying time as new partnerships develop. You've a great team around you and I'm sure yourself and Peebs will be clicking in no time. These initial teething phases are often the most trying as each of you is sussing the other out to see where the boundaries are