Thursday, January 9, 2014


I had other words for my horse last ride, but this is a family blog…oh wait, no it's not, but I've calmed myself a bit.

new tights, I'm in love with houndstooth!

Heading out for a little lake loop, just wanted a short, quick ride so I could get back and watch some football. I didn't boot because the footing is great. I naively thought "He's been so good, we can trot and canter the whole loop, be done in a hour, I'll be home by 1:00."

dreaming of a lake at normal level, even though we lose this trail

Not to be. I missed almost the whole first half of the game. Oh, but this is a horse blog. Ok, we headed out, down Barking Dog hill, my poor mistreated horse (who hadn't been ridden in four days) trudging along. He heard some hikers ahead and got a little perkier, stepping out. We passed them, and down onto the lake trail. Nice trotting, passed a friend heading the opposite way, still good behavior.

Then there were some horses standing next to the trail. We passed them, and Major thought the race was on. Even if they were still just standing there, facing the other direction. An argument ensued between me (trot like a normal horse) and Major (I must race everywhere at all times) idiot.

Then his tiny pea brain saw tiny horses in the distance. Obviously those horses were winning the endurance race. And our earlier argument escalated into full-out war. There was no forward movement that was not him being a rushy idiot. So we kept going, and going. Passed the turn for home, where he normally will begin to think twice about misbehavior: no reaction. Take the tough rocky upper trail (barefoot): no reaction. Haul him into a circle: momentaty ceasing of naughtiness, then back to old bahavior. I was getting pissed off, which is not good or useful.

walking hill

walking road

So we walked. There would be no fun cantering. There would be no trotting, not a single trot step. There would be no jigging. Any behavior other than walking received either circling, backing many feet, turning around, sidepassing, or other not fun behavior.

It didn't help.

actually standing at the pond, momentarily
walking by alligator rock

We did manage to stop at the pond momentarily and stand still, where he wouldn't drink (but I saw a  bobcat, that was awesome). Four miles later we crossed the road close to home, still trying to jig, and I offered my jerk horse to the endurance riders heading out. He could stand to be ponied for a bit, right?

still trying to jig home

He does behave better when we go at speed for 15+ miles. But I do not want to put more miles on, as he just gets fitter and fitter and I think it's too much to not have time off, etc. He behaves nicely in the arena, so I can't fix this there.

So what to do? I guess some walking rides, listening rides, to see if he gets it. Though I think he will. It's when we add in the speed combined with seeing other horses. He isn't herd bound, just way too competitive. He will be 11 this year. Shouldn't he be over some of this crap?

Of course after the ride he was a hot, sweaty mess. He tried to drink his sponge water. His feet looked awesome (glad to know he can do it barefoot if needed). I still gave him carrots.

Sure I love him, but I don't like him much sometimes. Jerk.

…cannot reach the carrot, trying to strangle myself…(he was supervised of course)


  1. I really think Arabians have two speeds . . . go and dead.

    At least you still have go. And if you think age slows them down, you should read RedHeaded Endurance's post on her 18 year old Arabian hotheaded mess at his first LD.

    1. I'm glad he likes to go, we just need some sort of balance/compromise. I love RedHeaded Endurance's horses, she has had great adventures I am learning from.

  2. My Morab, Cruiser, still hasn't settled down at 26. Somewhere along the line, I was able to teach him that if the reins are slack, he must walk. That worked fine for years, until he discovered he is a gaited horse. (I knew, but when he was younger, we just trotted so much that he never got into the habit.)

    After a summer of lameness, I am looking forward to getting him back on the trail in the spring, and I bet he hasn't settled down one bit.

    Gotta love these Arabs!

    1. ok, and you haven't killed him in frustration yet, so there is hope...

      Hope you get back on the trail soon, nothing like it (even when your horse is a jerk).

  3. Yes it's true, I'm learning as Karen Burch mentioned that some horses just don't outgrow certain things. Blaze will always be a pogo gogostick but would be a nightmare to manage in 50s so we do mid pack LDs. Desire will always be snorty, spooky, hot, suspicious, and that had to be channeled into dull roar mid pack 50s, never letting my guard down, being super fit, being a rider to match the horse she was.

    I posted on managing the Hot Horse, what I learned from Desire anyway, though I',m sure you have thought of or tried most of it already, you had asked so there's the post :-)

    1. It was super helpful to read your post. And I do most of the things, confirming that I just have to work through the naughtiness. Which I knew of course, but is still SUPER frustrating some days.

      And then when I consider he may always be like this...sigh, like you said, a good reason to stay in shape!

  4. I know of a couple of Arabs in their 30s who will jig (even offer to buck) if they haven't been out regularly so at 11 he's practically a toddler :) Enjoying the fact that my 4yo doesn't know enough for "I wanna go fast" yet

    1. Yeah, Major didn't know about fast before either, good luck with the 4-year-old!

  5. Oh, dear, you jinxed yourself! The bobcat is cool, though, and kudos to you for riding the horse you had that day. Hope the next ride is better!

    1. totally! That is another reason why I was myself! Thanks for commiserating.