Sunday, March 9, 2014

Help Wanted

You just can't win them all.

I arrived at the farm today to a very cute and furry horse.
Seriously, just look at that winter beard. 

So, I caught her and brought her into the barn for a quick groom.  She was a bit.. unsettled.  (That is, she was squirming around and thrashing her head and generally not being her most co-operative self).  I settled for being able to pick up her feet with her standing, which took convincing.  Then I took her into the arena, and started lunging her a bit.  She started off okay; something spooked her and she reeled off and took off the other way before stopping planted, breathing like a dragon.  On the bright side, it was significantly better than the last time she spooked in a similar situation and charged directly through me.  She kept a nice distance.  

Of course most of the good ends there.  She just became a bit of a head case on the lunge, and I was having a hard time correcting her, and she was just escalating and escalating.  That is, she escalated until she... escalated.

Something like this.  Remember when her rearing was just a tiny pop of the front legs?
And I, of course didn't take it all that well.  I was not in the right place, literally or metaphorically to deal with it at all. I did a little bit of piddly groundwork just to move her around a bit and not to end on her getting away with that sort of behavior (although she did sort of get away with it. Sigh.), and chucked her back in her pasture.  

We've made leeway in the last two months.  I had a lesson again this week and did groundwork with Jazz in the saddle (and she was very good at standing for being tacked up, didn't even move a muscle), and did some more new groundwork exercises.  My trainer said something at the end of the lesson about how Jazz was doing well with her re-start.  I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but I guess that is what we have been doing. There are a lot of things that have been consistently getting better, and that's great, but it's frustrating how I rarely feel like I can handle my horse on my own.  She is quite honestly dangerous sometimes, and I am doing everything I can to sort her out, but there has been more than one day that I've taken her in and thrown her right back out again shortly after because I just wasn't equipped to deal with her safely in that moment.   I think that that is a root of a lot of our roadblocks together.  Sometimes I think It would have been better if I'd just followed the books, green and green make black and blue.  

Of course, that is an incredibly rare thought.  I wouldn't trade her for the world. 
So for now we truck on through, thankful that when I simply don't know how to work out my problems with Jazz, I know someone who does.

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