In keeping with trying to adjust to my new summer schedule, Wednesday I got up bright and early so I could ride Cinna before work. DH and a coworker were smoking like 132982347 pounds of pork for a work function, so we even had an audience! I brought the horses in for breakfast, went back inside to change, and came back out to ride.
Despite being the birthday girl, Cinna apparently woke up on the wrong side of her stall (I’m only kind of kidding, since she was turned out all night, but you get the metaphor). It started in the crossties, where she danced back and forth screaming for Jack, her BFF. After we got the screaming under control, I was trying to get her boots on when she came over basically on top of me, so what I was hoping would be a quick tack up turned into a manners lesson where I reminded her that she does in fact know how to stand quietly in the cross ties. Because baby horses, why not?
|Very angry giraffe. |
|Soooooo mad about... things. |
Our ride was… not great. She was super amped to start, and never really settled in and relaxed. I’ll be the first to admit, with only a few years of riding dressage, and extremely limited instruction, I’m obviously not the best or most educated rider. Without formal instruction, a lot of the reading I do about dressage doesn’t 100% make sense to me – and sometimes even when I’m having an issue, I can’t necessarily articulate what the issue IS. I read a lot of people post/write about their horses being “tight in the back”, but before Wednesday, I’m not sure I’d ever really experienced that in such an in-your-face way. The fun thing about training babies is you never stop learning – right?
|Touching the reins. Not touching the reins. No difference. Angry giraffe. |
|So tight and short nose to tail. |
It was literally like riding a 2x4. I don’t sit her trot right now anyway (because of how young/green she is), but if I had tried on Wednesday, it would have been like riding a jackhammer ripping up a highway. Despite using the bit she’s been most comfortable in in the past, she was angrily chomping for most of the ride. Nothing I did seemed to make a difference, she just didn’t come to play. We did manage to get through W/T/C both directions, although none of last week’s soft adjustable canter was anywhere to be found.
|About as relaxed as she got the entire ride. |
I was running out of time before I needed to get ready for work, so I did some work on walk-halt-walk for a
while (since it’s definitely a weak point) until she calmed down a bit,
which let me end on a good note.
I’m not sure if she was uncomfortable because she was in heat (my mares
aren’t *super* showy about that so I don’t always know? I also rode
without a half pad, because I was using the simplest little Roma one
imaginable, and I didn’t think it made a difference – maybe it did? Or
maybe she just had an off day? Maybe she needs time to adjust to working early in the morning? God knows I do. DH commented halfway through my ride that I hadn't smiled once -- not sure if that was a byproduct of the time of day or the frustrating ride.
I guess the good thing about blogging is I can track rides like this and try to find patterns. It’s hard with her since she’s had such infrequent riding (and I’m also not great about documenting it). At any rate, every ride is a learning experience, even the not-so-great ones. And even the crappy photos tell me things. So I'll share them, even though we were certainly looking far from our best! Hopefully we’ll be able to put in some better work soon!
Imma go with "off day". She's a baby. They happen.ReplyDelete
I find with my horse (who is not at all like your horse) that when his back is totally locked (like... always), floating the reins at him doesn't help much. I have much better results with taking a light feel of his mouth and starting to ask him to give, then rewarding when he does with a small (not throw-the-reins-away) release, then doing it again.
As always, ymmv.
Yeah off day was my initial inclination as well, so we'll see how the next day goes. And if it happens again, nice to have new exercises filed away to try, thank you!Delete
Baby's have off days. Ride it through and let it go. If it continues look for sources- heat, saddle fit, sore back. My answer to carmen's tight back is more leg. It could very easily have been the early hour if she's not used to it. :)ReplyDelete
I changed up so many things at once on her I think it's impossibly to identify a source, unless it turns into a pattern. Hopefully not! I mostly just chalked it up to an off day and have moved on. Hopefully next ride is better! ☺Delete
ugh yea this sounds like my ride last night haha. some days for these green things it's just.... not there. for me, with my horse and my own special little collection of mental shenanigans, the solution often lies in changing my expectations and attitude. bc i get lulled into this nice sweet false sense of security thinking my horse knows how to horse. and then he's basically just like, 'ha psych!' and i'm caught way off guard.ReplyDelete
Haha right? Like things are going along swimmingly until suddenly -- they're not. But I'm sure both Charlie and Cinna will be back to normal soon 😉 baby things happen. Even if your baby is probably old enough to not act like a baby anymore 😂Delete
I know how you feel. BUT. Every day is a new day. Maybe she was just having one. Or maybe it was just the change in routine? I have ridden some horses that seemed to prefer a certain time of day to do work. Try to keep smiling!ReplyDelete
Time will tell! Thank you ☺Delete
Baby horse felt it was necessary to remind you that she was a baby horse ;)ReplyDelete
But seriously, I agree with everything SB said plus add in lateral movement. That is the only way I can break up the tension is to get Stinker bending and flexing and moving sideways. If he is going in a straight line he can lock up and tune me out. He can even do it on larger circles. Obviously Cinna doesn't do quite as good of job at totally locking up (be glad of that), but I think the same principles would apply.
Message received Cinna! Haha but thank you. Always nice to add tools to the toolbox when whatever I'm trying clearly isn't working!Delete
I totally get it...my not so baby baby horse (in her head) lol does that ALL the time, I swear their necks look the same. The tension is palpable. I am often at odds...hold her in and ask or chuck the reins and go forward? Right now, the only thing that gets responses is redirect, redirect, redirect...Know that I am here and in your camp, you two make bad days look lovely anyhow!ReplyDelete
Aww thank you! Not our best photos, but accurate in terms of the ride I got. So in the interest of honesty, up they go! Babies are so challenging sometimes. Keep up the good work with yours!Delete
That saddle pad looks gorgeous on her!ReplyDelete
Thank you! At least if we're a hot mess, we're a well-dressed hot mess 😂Delete
Green horse/baby horse life can be so random! I love your breeches so much...are those the Annie's ones?ReplyDelete
Good eye! Those are Annie's breeches in the tiffany blue -- bought them at Rolex! :)Delete
Sometimes, they're just NOT having it. Which I understand. I try to keep the goals small for that ride (like you did) and then try again another day. Patience is a toughie for meReplyDelete
I'm not the world's most patient person either, it's hard! But training 4 green horses in a row over the last 7 years is teaching me a lot. Even if I don't always like it, haha.Delete
Lots of things changed so it's hard to pinpoint what exactly had her going but she looks a touch more relaxed lunging than when ridden. Sorry you had a ride that sounded so close to a few rides on Aria I've had. Luckily she seemed amicable enough to at least listen even if she didn't want to play.ReplyDelete
Maybe she's not a morning horse?
I'm the queen of changing all the things -- Ruby never cared so I got in a bad habit, but I think Cinna is more sensitive so I might need to dial that impulse back. I noticed that about the lunging photos being more relaxed, which made me think half pad (or lack thereof). Unfortunately the weather hasn't cooperated for any more work since then, so I'm still curious! Will have to see what happens this week.Delete
You're definitely bound to have a rough ride here and there. I'm glad that you guys were still able to end on a good note.ReplyDelete
Training is certainly never linear! ☺Delete