Monday, June 13, 2011

Riding Through the Naughty

Rosie is officially in training and she's not happy about it.  I'm showing her on July 16, Dressage Suitability w/t, Dressage Equitation w/t, and Intro's A and B (both w/t).  I talked to my trainer about Training level and she said not yet.  I wish I could get some lessons between now and then but it's not possible as Jodie was severely hurt by a young TB that kicked her last week.

We started out good, nice lovely walk up from the pasture where she was eager to be caught.  She stayed  out of my space walking behind and just to the right of me.  She stopped and stood when I stopped.

I tied her to post in outdoor arena for grooming and tacking up.  She was a lot of looky at the goings on of the farm and I was ready to pull the rope if needed if she was going to pull back.  She is very capable of pulling the posts out of the ground.   It was very busy tonight as the BO was loading the first cutting of hay into the hay loft using a conveyor, tractors driving past, guys standing around gawking, etc.  She calmed down very quickly and enjoyed her grooming.

She dropped her head nicely for me to put her bridle on, but turned to bite me when I tightened the girth.

Naughty!!!  I have long finger nails so I made sure the next time she swung that big ole head around at me her muzzle ran right into one.   It surprised her and she gave a snort in disbelief!   I didn't swing at her, I didn't scratch her - she simple ran her muzzle directly into a sharp object.  I fiddled with the girth some more with my dreaded thumb nail posed for her to run into again... and she did, but only that one additional time.  Her head went back to straight ahead and relaxed while I fiddled with the girth some more on each side reinforcing that lesson.

Mounting has been an issue for us in the past.  Today she stood stock still while I climbed on.  Even using an over turned bucket to mount I'm still climbing up!

Need to work on:

  • Speed regulation at the trot
  • Straight halt
  • More speed regulation at the trot
  • Marching walk - straight

I was using cones to work on transitions.  Trot between and breath through halt.  Walk around the cone and pick up trot again.  We did a lot of circles and serpentines at the trot softening it.

I walked a lot, an awful lot.  Long diagonal walks, serpentine walks, cavalleti.  She was warm, not dripping sweat by any means.

Naughty!! Trotting down the long side she was blowing right through my hands.  I ride her in nothing more than a simple snaffle and I'm against "bitting up" to correct these power struggles so circles and circles and even more circles were ridden.  

Tomorrow I'm going to try a western "training" exercise.  While in forward movement I'm going to lay the outside rein against her neck (close the door), lift the inside rein to tip her nose inside and put my inside leg on.  It's a bending exercise that naturally controls the gait and puts some flex exercises in.

Naughty!!  She decided she was done, completely!  Say WHAT?  I say we trot! She says "Head toss, I'm big and scary. Hop up a bit."  "I say WE TROT NOW !!"  "oh OK you don't need kick so hard!"   Tomorrow I'm going be sure to have my dressage whip handy to keep the forward movement going.

We worked on roll back again.  Tonight I got three soft steps back in a row !!!  Huge pats and off I jumped.

I think today I expected too much and the more tired she got the worse it got.  She is very out of shape and these naughty behaviors didn't come out until after 20 minutes of good work but that's no excuse.

I'm going to set an alarm of 15 minutes on my cell phone.  That will be my "find a good note to stop on now" alert.

Everything she did tonight that was naughty is typical young horse stuff and I'm sure we'll work through it.

I took my time pampering her after I unsaddled her.  She ground tied for me very well while I brushed and put long braids in her mane.

Do any of you have suggestions for over coming the naughty behaviors?


  1. Great post. So nice to be reading about your riding again - I missed it! I'm looking forward to reading about your show prep. Honestly, it sounds to me like you handled the naughtly behavior perfectly. You do what I do for blowing through my aids - circling. It's safe and works well. Also, you made sure you got what you wanted before you quit and you have a plan to avoid it next time by setting an alarm. You are one smart trainer! All in all, it wasn't really very naughtly - as you say, typical young horse stuff. Good for both of you. It was a great session.

  2. I agree with Carol that you're doing what is necessary. If you keep that kind of consistency (and I know you will) Rosie will adapt as she matures.

    I'm glad we're back from vacation and I can catch up on your blog. We were in Cincinnati (actually Batavia) for two days visiting friends. If we're ever going to be there longer in the future I would love to connect if possible.

    Regards, Dan

  3. What a lovely artsy look your blog has!

    Well, since my mares naughty behavior (most) was communication for pain (even the girthing gestures)..and I'm sure some will come up again, as response to remembered pain...but...when I start back in the arena with the new saddle...I'll let you know!

    All in all what you do is highly successful for me too. I'm going to try that other technique though.

    Thanks for this very motivating post Jeni! I'm excited for you, and the events too have planned ~


  4. I agree with the above posters.You seem to have it well in hand .Time your sessions and maybe at ttimes switch it up a bit so she doesn't get sour .Other than that Carry on ! you are doing great work


Happy Trails!