Monday, May 17, 2010

Express yourself

So the horse show was yesterday... We didn't go. Did the sky fall or did the world end? Hahahaha, not hardly. Am I upset about missing it? Not really.

I worked my little guy on Saturday. I harnessed him up and we were thinking to put him to the cart after lunging him and a bit of ground driving. He had other plans. On the way out to the work area, he leaped up into the air and let loose with an amazing capriole. He felt that good. I stopped and gave him the look of "What the??? Where did THAT come from?" He looked a bit sheepish as if saying he couldn't help himself. It's spring you know.

So he has the harness on minus the bridle. Everything is fastened and buckled up out of the way so he can work and get his own bugs out. I have him on the lunge line in a halter, let him out and KABOOM! He. goes. off. I didn't get any pictures except the ones in my mind.

He was bouncing around, playing and having a great time. He leaped and bucked, he galloped and whinnied to everyone about his antics. As he ran, he would at times, put his head down and go into full bronc mode. His front feet no longer reaching out one at a time- nope. They came down together, he leaped, bucked and dived landing in those awful four point landings that could jar loose every joint you own. I made noises to encourage him keep moving forward. Clucking, kissing, Move it, Get up there... (Thankfully he is not quite big enough to ride!)

After several laps he slowed down to a trot. I figured he had gotten the most of it out of his system. He settled in and started to work nicely. He didn't look tired at all, just cruised around effortlessly and slowed into a nice steady pace.

Hubby Johnie Rotten came over to watch him work. I stopped Kat, asked him to reverse and KABOOM! Off the little guy went again. This time he was showing off. He ran, he bucked, he leaped in the air, he snorted and blew, dived at the ground and ran some more. He made quite a few laps on the end of the line and a few more after JR left before realizing, his audience was gone. When he figured that out- Kat settled into a trot for about four strides and stopped. He faced me and looked perplexed. "Where did he go? Wasn't he impressed?"

While he was racing around, JR and I sorta discussed the fact that, the idea of putting him to a cart was not a good one right now and it wasn't happening today. Neither of us were feeling any good would or could come from that.

Training horses can be a tactical exercise. Pick your battles and choose wisely. This means you will all live to see another day. We are shooting for next weekend. I just hope the little guy is NOT out to impress hubby again. He's a real clown that way.

*The photo is actually available as a hooded sweatshirt through EquiXotics.


  1. Sounds impressive! Yup choose your battle, I agree 100% including choosing the battles that end in a win for you and the horse

  2. HAHA! Sounds like my dog at every Agility class. She'd be so happy and excited when we got there, she'd just TAKE OFF and do "rocked dog" laps around the big enclosed area where we had our course, and then she'd settle and be all happy :)

    I'd planned on Memorial Day Weekend being my daughter's leadline debut - but she's got a birthday party to go to on Saturday that she's very excited about, and I'm slated to work the entry booth on Sunday, so... we'll bag it for now. There will be other shows, and I'd rather her first experience be ALL ABOUT HER. Heck, she is only 4.

    So, one of the things you learn when you are old like me, is that... it's OK to wait.

    WIsh you had video of Kat!!!!!!!!

  3. Hahaha! I love the fact that you understand where he's coming from...instead of the 'bad pony' label.

  4. Hey, he's just doing his impression of Mighty Mouse.

    here I come, to save the DaaaaY!

    Get him a little cape, he can pretend he's
    SOOPER Poneeeeee!!!

  5. Sometime you just have got to let them have fun. And more importantly, you have to enjoy it too. But not in a cart.

    CNJ- can you email me when you get a chance in regards to flymasks?

  6. What can you do but laugh?? I looove Soooper Pony!

  7. I forgot to mention that when I brought him up to groom and harness, as I am tying him he pulled his favorite stunt ever.

    He took my sleeve in his teeth and held it there. Not mean or viciously, just took my sleeve and held it. Getting green slobbers all over whatever part of it is in his mouth. He doesn't chew it, just holds on for as long as you let him. Well maybe a little longer than you would like sometimes, but just in a strange, funny sort of way.

    What's that?
    Ya think? lmao

  8. FV- Even if it is something simple like clipping, bathing, whatever. If you know you don't have time to ride it out and end on a good note- don't even start. Because that's when it will go south and you will have to take the time (you didn't have) to finish it and fix it. They always seem to know when we are pressed for time, don't they?

    PF- You too?

    CP- That is a great plan for your daughter's show debut. Doesn't sound like your name will be on the list of "Horse Show Mom's" to beware of. Hooray for you, her and Chip! Keep us posted so we can cheer her on.

    Kestrel- they all have their moments. Even at 11 years old- he obviously has his. But yeah, ponies get a bad rap a lot of times. The good ones are pricey because they haven't been ruined. But the people who think the price is absurd or crazy- they are usually in the group that ruins them.

    GL- Mighty mouse is on the waaaaaay. On the sea or on the land... One cape coming up!

    NCC & Phaedra- let it go and let them enjoy it. There is a time for work and a time for play. Work can be fun too though. That's when they learn the most. Keeping everyone safe has to take importance over all though.

    NCC- will do.

  9. That's awesome :)

    A sign of a smart equine, huh?

  10. Hehe. This makes me giggle. The Tuckers managed to get a gelding into the barn named Blaze On the Border, sired by Blazin Hot. The gelding had placed top 10 in Open Mature Trail (the BIG trail class with all the BNT) just days before this client bought him.

    He was such a sweet horse, once given a chance to de-stress from the 4 months straight he had been on the road showing for world.

    Once we started to acclimate him into the fitness rotation (for lunging work - which was MY job) I got to start working with him.

    He was perfectly voice trained on the lunge line. He was so easy to lunge - once you got him past the initial 10 minutes.

    See, every time you snap him on the lunge line, he'd stand and quiver with anticipation. He'd wait, and watch you very carefully, until you took 5 steps back. I swear he'd count. Once you hit that 6th step, he was off like a bullet. He HAD to gallop, full speed stretched out, on the lunge line for at least 10 minutes every time.

    The first time he did this, I thought it was just cause he'd been standing for 2 weeks after 4 months of working. But nope, it was just him.

    His owner was afraid to lunge him. Became afraid to ride him. A baby could lunge this guy... all you had to do was hold on, and let him do the work. He'd reverse on his own, stop when he was done. Easiest job in the world.

    Owner would stand and scream "Whoa" at him during his first 10 minute happy run. Never understood that was just him, his quirk, his way of blowing off steam. His life had been so ordered, so controlled, so human based, it was his only outlet for horsey expression.

    She paid over $75 grand for him. Sold him after she got pissed at Randy telling her to relax and listen to him during a lesson one day. Wanted that magic fix - never realized all she had to do was be a passenger and hold the reins pretty - he'd do the rest. Got pissed off and left next day. Sold him to an amateur AQHA point leader for $25000 because 'he was ruined'.

    We saw him a few months later at Sun Circuit happy and doin' his gallop thing with his new owner standing there holding the lunge in 2 fingers, laughing at him.

    I wanted to hug her. :)

  11. CL Queen- Sounds like the new owner found herself a hella bargain on a horse she enjoys. I looked him up on PQ. There's a photo and he's not a bad looking horse.

    One of the stallions I worked with and rode at BNF, back in the day was sorta like that. When you took him out to ride him, first thing you did was give him his head and ask for a gallop. Point him in the direction you wanted to go and off you went, full speed ahead! That's how he had been 'trained'.

    May take a good 20-30 laps in one direction then another 20-30 laps the other direction before he would settle down enough to work. If he wasn't settled, take him back to the rail and gallop a bit more. Does anyone think that horse was in less than Stellar shape?

    Some days he could wear you out before he was ready to settle down and do his job. That's the one thing I didn't so much care for about that horse. Other than that, he was fun to ride. You just had to plan for him to work out all the kinks before you expected much.

  12. How well do you remember Blaze on the Border?