Thursday, January 31, 2019


Peebs' tag on IG is #goodboypeebers, because he's usually a good boy. But last night he got the #badboypeebers tag. We had a lesson that started out pretty well, if a bit energetic, but Peebs ended up losing his little mind.

I probably should have lunged before I got on, as Peebs had had Tuesday off.  He was forward and a little strong during our flat warm up but I was able to hold him together and figured I'd just ride it out. We started jumping by trotting two single cross rails on the diagonals, and he was great. We landed on the correct leads, cantered away nicely and had good downwards transitions. Trainer put the fences up to verticals and said to canter them. I was to do the same thing as when we were trotting, focusing on getting him straight and set up to land on the correct lead. Peebs though cantering the fences was awesome, and as my trainer put it, "his inner jumper pony came out".  But he was still listening to me and I wasn't getting unnerved by him being a strong little speed demon.

This was one of the milder moments
We took a walk break, then trainer said to do the left to right fence and around to the outside line. I trotted a circle then picked up the left lead to head to the diagonal.  As soon as I turned on the approach and opened my left rein Peebs flung his shoulder to right, and went sideways. I had a moment of thinking I was going to come off before I got him stopped and we tried again. Same thing.  As soon as I touched the left rein he turned into a drama queen and went out the right side. If I tried putting my right leg or rein on, he started hopping and tried to evade me more.  We went back to a trot and I asked trainer to drop the fence back to a cross rail. The first couple of times trotting it again he felt like a keg of dynamite but we made it without any hysterics.

Trainer said to pick up a canter and do a circle, or five, before the fence to fake him out and see if he chilled. The first circle was a little wonky and he tried to go sideways as we approached the jump (he was only protesting my left rein and bulging out on the approach, the rest of the circle was fine) but by the third circle he came back to me pretty well.  We then went to the fence and while I saw the incredibly long spot and tried to move up to it, Peebs made the right choice and chipped it. He kept his cool and so did I. We went back to try again, starting with a circle or two then going to the fence. As I went to turn past the fence Peebs realized we weren't jumping and had a major meltdown. He flung his shoulder to right, pulled my reins out of my hands, started crow hopping and ended up directly in front of the cross rail at a halt.  Then he jumped it. Thank god I had asked that it be put down.  I again thought I was about to eat dirt but somehow stayed on. I ended up jamming my right hand into his neck at some point and had a nice throbbing going on in my wrist and shoulder.

I really wish trainer had gotten it on video, as I'm sure it was hilarious to watch.  My trainer was laughing once I pulled Peebs up and she apologized saying it was one of the funniest things to see. She said you could see it on Peebs face once he realized we were circling and not jumping, and that he was determined to go to the fence. Once I had my breath back I was able to laugh about it, while calling him an asshole. We trotted a few circles before trying a canter circle again.  He was still pretty uppity but I was riding hard and determined to not let him have another fit. My shoulder was really starting to hurt so we ended with a couple nice canter circles and one final time trotting the fence.

Kinda looking like we have our shit together.

As we walked around cooling out Trainer complemented me on my composure. This lesson had the potential to turn into our awful lesson from a few weeks ago, where Peebs tried to same thing  but I got defensive and tried riding from the fetal position. Last night I was able to be much more zen and while I wanted to kill Peebs, I didn't take it out on him or shut down. Hopefully we can figure out his issue cantering fences to left and fix this problem.  He had his teeth done in November, he got adjusted by the chiro last week and he only does this on the approach to fences of the left lead. I see lot of left turns in our future.


  1. ha good for you for staying zen! my horse is definitely in the "turning left is overrated" club too haha.... good luck figuring out a fix! it's hard to tell in the video but it looks like the bridle cheek pieces are kinda bulging loose (esp on the right side) when you activate the left rein. could it be that this allows the bit to slide or pinch or hit a weird spot in his mouth?

  2. Glad you stayed on and stuck with it. Naughty Peebs!

  3. So naughty, but I guess it is nice that his desire is to jump the jump! That's a good thing!
    From the video, you can see him swap his lead starts to throw his head. Maybe try focusing more on holding the lead than looking for your distance and see if that helps? Probably he's more comfortable off the right, and he's just trying to make it easier on himself. The circle of doom might be a good exercise for him.

  4. UGH. Tis the season for sassiness! Glad you stayed on :-)