Saturday, March 24, 2012


Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. I had nothing that would get Major to listen yesterday. We did 10 miles, probably half of it was circling, backing, backtracking our trail, and stopping. I tried about every training tool I had.

I wanted to go out on the canal trail because it had been awhile and I know the lake level is creeping up. Also it was great weather before a series of storms rolls in, so my (awesome!) boss let me leave early, and we headed out. Through the forest he was fine, and heading towards Beeks Bight was fast but manageable. Turn around, all Hell broke loose.

the water creeps back in

I was going to head back through the forest, but with the bad attitude Major was having I thought we needed more miles in an open area. The canal is good for circling and such, more open. I was able to keep him in a trot, barely, but he wasn't listening. I'd do some form of correction (it depended on the terrain and misbehavior) but obviously wasn't truly getting his mind back focused on me.

I know we can go around, you're going through it

He even was in such a mood to spook pretty good at a tree stump and a nothing. And real spooks, not the usual Major jump-in-place spooks. Full of it and ticking me off.

So we were going home through Sterling Point, and he was still pulling (though we were walking along the road, no trotting there) so I turned away from home and went through the neighborhood. He thought warp speed was a good option, I kept it back as best I could. Walking just led to annoying prancing and jigging no matter what I did, so trotting used the forward momentum more constructively. We got to a place where we could go into the forest or back down to the lake. As much as I would have liked to do more miles, darkness was coming, and I was getting tired of fighting.

So we were back in the forest and I used to cantering road over and over until he would canter controlled and listen to whoa. Keeping him at a trot wasn't working, it was just a pulling contest he was winning. Barely won a battle, after the ride felt like I'd lost the war.

With this kind of behavior, how can I even think of doing an endurance ride next month? I can't even get him to listen when we're alone! I think the next month of riding will be all listening, not for conditioning, because he is fit (probably too much so) for a 25. Of course, now that winter arrived late all sorts of rain is coming, which makes riding that much more of a slippery slope.

Back at the barn they asked how my ride was, and instinctively I said "fine." Then I qualified that my horse had been an a**hole, I was a mess riding, it had actually been a crap ride. But, still, it was riding, which is still better than sitting at my work desk, or cleaning the house, or grocery shopping, or pretty much anything else.

Oh, and to top it off there seems to be a saddle fit issue! He was a bit sore after our 25 mile practice ride, and this time had big dry patches towards the rear panels of the saddle. Nothing else seems to have changed, so I'm also wondering if it is how he's carrying himself. One more worry!

Even after all that I did laugh at my sweaty horse: with long winter hair he gets a pretty good likeness of a David Hasslehoff chest hair thing going on. Sexy.

Sing it: I'm too sexy for this...

Arrgghh! All this is Fun? Frustrating? I can think of a few other F words I used...

1 comment:

  1. So as you tell me...we all have our bad days :) You can & WILL do the 25 just fine!!
    Becca & Ziggy :)