This is a post from my horseforum.com thread that I started when I got Max. I’m so lucky the forum is still around and I was able to go back and add it to Lipizzan Life.
I didn’t ride yesterday. Guess what day was 65 degrees with blue skies? Yeah. Yesterday. I wanted to ride, but hubby was shuttled off to help his mom with something, so I got to have a lazy day with my kids instead. Today, the skies were back to a drizzling 40 degree winter waterland. It’s ok though, because I have plenty of layers to dress in.
Also, riding in the brisk and wet weather gives me even more opportunities to learn how to deal with my charming snowflake of a gelding. You know how yesterday I was raving about how not a brat he was? Well, apparently I offended his honor.
Today, he was on a mission to claim his brat title back. See, awhile back, we had an incident where he decided that I sucked so bad that he was never ever going to be ridden ever, EVER again. It took like three weeks with my trainer to get him back under saddle. Ever since then, I have had to really work on taking all my emotion out of the saddle. I’ve also been wary of correcting him, since one wrong move can set him off on a diva strike. He was testing me to the moon and back today. He was walking off in whatever direction he wanted, trying to open the gate to get out of the ring, trying for slaughterhouse horse of the year.
I was keeping my cool, working with half halts and increasing aid pressure. It would get him to focus for five minutes at a time, but he kept reverting to a winter airhead. I knew that I had to ride it out.
Ah yes, and during the rodeo, the neighbor shot off his gun! We’re talking right next to the fence. WHEEEEEEEEEEE! I let loose some unprofessional language that I had to apologize to my riding instructor for, later. She’s the one that had to deal with him most of the time. But, I mean really, who shoots off a gun fifteen feet from a skittering brat horse? Ugh!
My riding instructor came back, as the sun was setting on our disaster ride. I let her know that Max was being a complete jerk. “What’s he doing?” she inquired. “I’ll show you”, I muttered as I let loose from our stand off style halt. Max swaggered right over to the gate and chomped his teeth down on it. “Ohhhhh no” she tutted, “snatch him right now!” I had been waiting for permission for quite awhile, and I gave him a prompt, yet humane, snatch. “Snatch him again” she recommended. Snatch! “Now try!”
GUESS WHO WAS A COMPLETE ANGEL FROM THAT POINT ON??? Yea. Snowflake Butthead Diva Jerk….
I had to snatch him about four more times. I know I’m a bit vindictive in my writing, but I assure you that I kept my cool the entire ride (well, I let the neighbor have an earful) … towards my horse…
Today I learned the valuable balance of discipline. When I know for a fact that my aids are clear, and he is gleefully ignoring them, it’s ok to give a little reminder that – hey. Airhead, I’m talking to you.
It gives me more confidence now that I know that I can correct Max without it turning into a bunch of hurt horse feelings. He doesn’t need it often, but when he does, I know how to do it correctly.
I got my show jacket in the mail today and it looks awesome! I am going to dress up and take a picture in my awesome show gear. I’ll post it when I get around to that, hah.