Friday, May 9, 2014

Plan B

Fancy Pony was looking all sound on the lunge recently, so I swung up to ride!  I was so excited!  I was missing my Fancy Pony rides and all that she has to offer me... 
Shamelessly riding in all the mis-matched tack!

And she felt funny.  But in a different way...  The rhythm was even.
She was willingly going forward.
She was really quiet in the bridle!
None of the foreleg funniness was evident in the canter.
No, this time, it was the trot that felt funny.

I begged for eyes, and they both said, "It's the left hind."
I was dejected as I walked the poor girl back to the barn.


What luck! I have another horse to ride!
I pulled Cricket out of the stall (we're expecting her to move to a lot soon), and tossed her in the cross-ties.  I pretended like she was a perfect princess and needs no help.
...secretly, I wanted to know how bad she could get...
...I did absolutely nothing to set her up for success...

I brushed her down, picked her feet, and threw the tack on!  I tightened the girth and mounted.  Nope, no lunging today!  Let's just get to it!
She was comfortable with me on her back.  She stood stock still while I made sure everything was adjusted.
OK.  I guess I *did* set us up for initial succcess by starting in the upper-barn indoor area right outside of her stall... 
"Out the door!" said I.
"Oh, I can't go out there!" cried she.
"The world awaits us and we must make our appearance!" insisted I.
"Oh, it's so scary...  Please, hold my hand!" pleaded she.
So, I did.

Just in time, we make it out the door to get in line for a trail ride Coach is leading!
Cricket says, "Oh, look!  New friends!"
I hoped to use this to my advantage...
We had a moment before entering the trees where the downslope (2 steps worth!) and the new friends disappearing around the trees was just too much for her.

"Abandon Ship!" she cried!
Alas, I would have none of it.  With the reappearance of her new friends, we coaxed her down the tiny slope and into the trees we travelled!

Oh, the horrors of the mud!  She was trying to figure out how to jump a 6' swath.  We found a way around and saved that for another day.  There were a few more moments...  Oh, the bridges!  Dirt bridges.  How bad could they be?

About halfway back out of the woods, I knew the worst was yet to come.  A narrow strip flanked by a fence on one side and a drop off to a creek on the other.  I chose a time when she was being EXEMPLARY and dismounted to lead her.  Sure enough, when we got to the strip, and lost is twice and spun around to face the wrong direction.  She took any and all solace from my presence on the ground.  She was rather wild worried about the drop off... the horses ahead...  the wind...  her imagination...
Honestly, I was glad I wasn't on her back.  BUT, I was thrilled to have her out there in-hand with a group of other horses!

By the time we got back to the barn, we were back in familiar territory, so she was back to chill Cricket...
So, I took her in the arena for some trot work!
She was so willing to trot for me!  After a little bit, she even started relaxing over her back some and reaching into the bridle!  OH, how I had to focus on staying balanced, out of the way, and quiet as a rock with my hands!  As she relaxed into me, we went over to trot the poles we had been lunging over... And she pulled out a full stop to look at it! 

Each pole, she did it a little less, but she still STOPPED before going over.  Poles on the ground!
What THIS horse needs is CONFIDENCE!
So, we trotted out circle until it felt like a merri-go-round with no hesitation at any of the poles.  Of course, we had to leave the circle and change directions so we could challenge the new horse eye.  When I could trot past the group of horses gaggling on the fence, I knew we were getting somewhere and called it a night!


  1. Sorry about the off fancy pony :(

    Sounds like you had a wild ride on Cricket lol!

    1. It was definitely wild in a couple of places! Luckily she can be *mostly* reasoned with! LOL

  2. Cricket sounds like she wants to be a good girl. Sorry about FP :(

    1. Cricket does, indeed, *wants* to be good, she just isn't sure how, yet. I hope to take her to a Starter level schooling horse trial before she goes home! You know, just to help instill her confidence... yeah... That's why... ;)

  3. Aww poor fancy pony! Hopefully it's a quick recovery!

    1. We *think* it's muscle soreness from sitting so deeply and taking her weight on the back end while the front end was funny... I hope it's a quick recovery, too. I'm beginning to think long walk therapy might be in order to help the muscle tightness! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...