Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Days in a Row

Well, rode Top two days in a row. (ooohh, I know. lol ) He had today off. He didn't seem especially pleased to see me today. Makes sense for a horse that hasn't been worked with any consistency for a couple years.
Day before yesterday he started out very big, I thought he might fall when lunging. He just couldn't contain himself. He was really scattered. He got it together enough for me to get on. Well, 'Hello Mr. Timebomb'. So we walked around, bend left, bend right, make a circle. Halt, give, relax and go on. He was just starting to get it together, when a friend came by to watch. She had all kinds of advice. Lots of it wasn't really applicable to this horse, but she means well. Much of what she had to say was in direct conflict with what Carrie has me doing. So, I'd give a try to the stuff that wasn't in direct conflict, and kind of ignore the rest. This woman could really get me hurt. I really don't think she 'sees' the horse I'm sitting on. I could be wrong, but I really don't think Carrie is.

One of the basic tenants of riding Top per Carrie, is if he gets out of shape, or builds...just halt. Hold, I don't mean pull, but hold until he gives and then release. Once he releases pet him and go. If he pops up or pulls, immediately halt, and wait till he gives and try forward again. Pretty simple. It really helps him. As soon as I halted, and Top is leaning against me she says, "Let go." I said, "No." She said, "Release." I said, "No, not until he gives and relaxes. Carrie said so." Yeah I know, pretty chicken shit invoking the name of Carrie, but it worked. She had other advice, like 'ride him deeper'. I told her this was as deep as he gets. And I don't want spurs, and I don't want a whip. We'll get. It may not be immediate, but we'll get it. He's had plenty of 'do it right now' to last him a lifetime. That is part of his problem, or problems. He rushes, he builds, and he panics to the point of bolting, bucking...oh and rearing. That was a shocker. So, I figure slow down, and wait to see how it goes. I'm not on a schedule here. I don't have some big deadline to meet.

I want a horse that doesn't feel like he's on pins and needles through 60% of the ride. That's down for about 90%. So for me that's progress. The fact that he can stretch down, go on a loose rein and not pop up, invert and bolt is a big deal for me. I really didn't like that. He can also halt, and stand without wiggling, fidgeting and trying to walk off. Big progress. Okay, it's not like we can stand quiet for 5 minutes...but we can get more than a minute now.

Yesterday was tough. Really tough. A woman I know had her mare and new foal free running in the big arena. OMG...Top lost his mind. Was totally enthralled. Puffy, bouncy, jigging on the line. He made a couple circles around me. Drug me over to rail to see...huge eyed, fascinated. You'd of thought he was one of those foal stealing mares. "It's a baby, it's a you see. It's a baby!" Okay, we knew he was different, we just didn't quite know how different.

We finally get to the dressage arena. He's still beyond wound. I had trouble getting him to stand still enough to clip on the lunge line. Holy crap, what a bouncy worm he can be. Well, across the field, the bmx bikes are going. One end of the arena is baby fascination, at the other end scary flying bikes, with the metallic click of the starting gate and me with the goober in between. Man he really checks out hard. Spun is the term, I think.

I got him going pretty decent on the lunge after the momma and baby departed. So, I was feeling okay about getting on. I get on. He's a little tight and pushy. But it is workable. An ex-student is riding her gelding. He's a real goober too. He was having a bad day too. So, of course they are feeding off of each other. One does something stupid, so the other has to follow suit.

I have him going pretty decent. We're going down the long side. Student rides past Top at a slow lope. I mean slow, quiet, no big thing. She took the inside track and was just putting along. Top kind of lifts and goes to push through my hands to go with the other gelding. I half halt, and he is pissed. Sucks back, no nothing in the rein and his back hollows. It feels like the dashboard has just fallen out of your car. It is not a happy feeling. I think, okay don't change your position, just put your leg on and push him back up. Well, apparently that is Top's cue to rear. We are at the corner of the arena, just starting out turn. I guess I let out a yelp, I think I cussed and booted him and pulled his head around on the descent. My student looks over just has he's landing, and asks, "Did he go up?" I say, "Yeah, he did, bastard." Scared me. Not at my best when I'm shook.

Right back to work. She goes by again. He goes to repeat his antic. Uhm, no. I'm not maintaining my position. You suck back, I get a hold of you, turn your head and kick you forward now. It seemed to work. I got some soft work out of him. My student says, "I'd of called it there. He did that good. He needs to be done." I'm about to disagree with her, and realize she's right. It's the same thing I've said to her umpteen times. We got one more good, soft forward circle, and halted. I got off. Done for the day.

Looking back, what I felt was a rear, probably couldn't have been. We were moving, and bending into the turn. It had to be a very vertical jumping motion. Don't know, but know I don't like it.


Dena said...

Thank you for the story. I needed one.

I think the trials are going around.
Gato is an a$$hole.
He took out my tie post. I won't tell you how deep it was buried.
Let's just go with very.
I took him out to tie to the trailer. That is going nowhere.
I walk away proud of myself and look back. He is very content.
Why? Because he is eating my hay stored in the trailer. It is a stock trailer.
I ask myself why I am so dumb?
I move hinm where he cannot eat hay.
He is an angel. Because he was done being an a$$hole anyhow.
All of this started because he tried to take Micah's Reyna down.
Can we say, "mood swing?"

I love Top. But I am glad you are riding

nccatnip said...

Sigh. Top.
Nuff said.

GoLightly said...

Eeeesh. Well sat. Maybe he was doing a pirouette/capriole, just a little higher than you expected. I think you do have to let him know you don't need that crap, and you were right to quit while ahead.
He has enough bad memories.

"push him back up".
I think maybe sometimes, it'd have to be just push him forward, screw the lightening up.

"You suck back, I get a hold of you, turn your head and kick you forward now. It seemed to work. I got some soft work out of him."
Yup, you'll need to earn his respect, and you did that, right there.
Enough is enough, Top.
Stop testing HP!
Scritches withheld until further notice!

I do think the halting whenever something isn't right could exacerbate his tension, depending on the circumstance. He wants to Go. Make sure he gets to Go, too.

I don't disagree with Carrie, just maybe change it up a bit. He may start doing goofy crap, so he CaN halt.
He's gotta work for his dinner.

I sure hope that made some sort of sense. Armchair riding is really easy.

Kudos to you! Gawd, I'd have been a quivering bloody wreck.

You're riding a horse with "fire in his feet". It's been bred into him, ya know:)
Time to leave the floor!

Helluva job, HP.

Make sure he knows I'm not scritching him until you are feeling happier about him.
So TherE!

autumnblaze said...

Glad you're shaken, but okay. Top...

I give no advice. It sounds like you got a handle on it and I'm glad you listened to your student and ended on that good note.

He'll stop testing you, you'll get there. He's just still learning about patience and consistency.

blueheron said...

Dear Top,
In case you've forgotten, HP has your passport. You may find yourself on a fast boat to China, or Europe, if you keep that rearing-turn-jump thing up! You have it pretty damn good, so don't blow it.
From a Friend

P.S. Go talk to Cat. HP can handle pretty much anything you might think of dishing out. So get with the program. I know of several (ten? 15?)other horses would love to move into your spot as HP's "main ride."

fernvalley01 said...

Ahh Top , glad he is getting better , I do not like the feeling of a rearing horse , had one go over on me years ago. Glad you worked through whatever it was.

horspoor said...

I hope it's over. I'm to ride him again today. Hopefully I wont have any help for the rail today. It's tough enough to stay in focus without the added erroneous info, often wrong info from the sidelines.

GoLightly said...

Yeah, turn off your ears.

Top, what BH said.

I am still on scritch withhold.

horspoor said...

Okay, just lunged him yesterday. Plan to ride again tonight. Hopefully will get a new post up tonight...not a promise though. Okay.

horspoor said...

Nope, no riding today. Moron trainer had a passel of kids with no supervision running around my area.

Then to top it of...Snoop Dog is playing there tonight and was warming up/rehersing. Very loud. Top was bouncing in his pen. Screw it...have some beetpulp and ricebran Top. See you tomorrow Top. Student will give him his hay later.

GoLightly said...

That's IT!!

Top wants to be a ROCK STAR!!

Was he moving to the rhythm of the music in his pen?

Start riding him to whatever the heck Snoop plays.
I think it's called wrap, or rap, or something..

Dressage Kurs and wrap music.

horspoor said...

Back in 1999 or 2000 I wanted to freestyle to Kid Rock's Cowboy. I got told, "NO!" lol Hey, I'd of used the censored version.