Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rocket horse

Another quick update post today, as I seem to be at a sort of roadblock. Jazz has the most perfectly perfect groundwork you can possibly imagine.  I mean, this horse has manners so long as you speak her language (and I have been fluent in Jazzpanese for a while now, especially after our re-start).  I can ground tie her to groom outside when it's nice and she will stand like a rock (sometimes she does get distracted but nothing major and nothing that doesn't go away when I bring her attention back).  Even for tacking up she is an angel almost every single time (compared to how she used to wiggle and try to wander around).  Once she's tacked, I always do some groundwork to check in and gain her focus as much as possible before checking my cinch and mounting up.

I thought it might help to try to go back to something a little familiar, since there were so many new things in our last lesson (the one where ALL the wheels fell off).  In an attempt to return to normalcy, I used the western saddle.  So, as I said, Jazz has immaculate ground manners, and after testing those in the outdoor arena, I got on on Tuesday.  I did lateral flexion, the way I always do, and started off.  The first long side of the arena was good, the first corner was okay, and the second corner was passable.  About two strides down the second long side, she bubbled waaaay off the rail and halfway to the center line, listening to me in no way whatsoever.  From that point on, she was totally gone.  I couldn't get her back under control enough to do anything but stop for me to get off.  It felt like I was on a rocket horse that was liable to take off suddenly and unexpectedly at any moment.  I tried to ride it out for about a minute, but even during a one rein stop she felt about two wrong moves from completely exploding.  I just couldn't do it, and I hopped off after executing the only cue she'd responded to properly for practically the entire ride, a stop in the center of the arena.

So, she got a little groundwork workout.  Just because I can't both ride and feel reasonably safe at the same time, doesn't mean she doesn't have to work.  I did the usual round of exercises with some refreshers, and then a little something for Canada Day.

Shhh stop being patriotic there's a camera


Don't.  Move.  Cameras sense movement. 
Wait what's this thing?
I dug out the long forgotten Canada flag.  Having done a decent amount of her de-spooking (though nowhere near all of it), I can safely say I have never seen her avoid something quite so much as she does the flag.  She would happily watch it wave in front of her face for hours, trying to sniff it, but failing whenever the wind catches it, but put that thing anywhere near her body, and she can not move away fast enough. Clearly working up to the flag needs to go onto our regular rotation.

Also, you know, being able to ride.  That should probably happen at some point.  

Quick note: I have a job that requires all of the time for the next week or so, so it will probably be a bit quiet around here.  Sorry.

Also, I got my 1000th pageview yesterday! Woo!

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