January 3, 2011

And....she's really only 3.5

Day two of having Rose back under saddle and I couldn't wait to get to the barn. Sunday morning chores and brunch out of the way, I swiftly made my way to the barn. The weather remains brisk and sunny (love the sun) and that made for a still energetic Rose. She was much better in the cross ties on Sunday, and so I foolishly thought that she didn't need to be longed, but that I would just ride her at the walk and trot instead. I like to slowly bring them back into work, adding a bit more intense work slowly over a week.


Our ride started fairly well. I mounted up and started out on a nice warm up at the walk. I like to let her walk, stretching long and low for a good 5-10 minutes. I think this helps to stretch her back, and get her joints flowing making for a better workout. About 5 minutes into our warm up and Rose woke up and decided that the smallest amount of leg pressure meant TROT. "Nope" I said "just walk". Then she'd try to trot again. Eventually she gave it up, and once she was listening we were off at the trot, working on bending to the inside and moving out from my inside leg. She's not a fan of balancing herself, but rater trying to goat me into holidng her up instead. She doesn't like it when I won't cooperate. She gets a bit snarky and stubborn about it all at the same time. I am more stubborn. We worked through it and she began cooperating. All was going well, so I decided that we should start practicing the Intro B test. Off we went with a relatively nice halt and salute and back into the rising trot. We were halfway through our 20m circle at E when...


Darn Diva! Rose wanted to play too and forgot the difference between working under saddle and playing in the paddock. My instincts instantly kicked in and I sat back and deep and brought her to a screeching halt and gave her a good spanking before asking her to resume work at the trot on our circle. Rose was not happy about neither getting to play nor getting reprimanded. She tried to be a bit more of a brat, but got the same result and gave up the ghost...for the moment. I try to forget about these sorts of little outbursts just as soon as they happen, and resume work immediately. I don't ever get mad at her, I just make my point and continue on with our session. I strongly believe that human emotions have no place in training horses. A few minutes later and Diva started running around the paddock again, and Rose gave it another try, but not as whole heartedly. In true Rose form I new that she'd try one more time, which she did, and then she gave it up all together. We finished doing our test one more time, with Diva cantering around and calling all the while, and then called it a day after a solid 40-minute ride.

So, someone must have reminded her that she's still just 3.5 and not really 4 and she didn't want me to forget it. To that end, I have to say I am so proud of how secure I have become with any little outbursts she has. Given that I am generally riding all alone at night, it is good to know that A. she doesn't have outbursts that are huge or out of my control, and B. we've had enough of them slowly over time that I've become completely comfortable with my ability to deal with them. I'm fairly certain that yesterday's tantrum had more to do with her feeling good in the cold weather and wanting to canter and GO more than anything else. As much as I prefer to slowly warm her up, I may have to go from walk right into canter on our Tuesday ride, and/or longe her first and let her get out all that extra energy.

Babies...so much fun!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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