THURDSAY, AUGUST 14, 2008 -
No pictures this evening. Tripp and I headed back to the Conservation Area to play. The barn lot was still a little too wet to do anything crazy in, and I knew the trails were gravel covered at the CA.
We get there and he is FULL OF IT! He was all over the place, even during lunging. And he usually does very good with that. I did get his hooves cleaned out, but he argued with me on the right back one. That is HIS hoof! Or so he thinks.... I finally said the heck with it and got on. It is much harder for me to get on now that I shortened my stirrups.....but much easier to ride. Sometimes the battles are easier for me to fight in the saddle than on the ground. This is one of those times...
The trail itself was great! We went a direction I had never been before, and he was happy to be out and about. The Conservation Dept is still working on the trails out there, so we came across a big enclosed trailer, and a flatbed trailer with stuff on it. They earned a couple of snorts, then we trotted on by. There were a lot of uphills, curves, and downhills on this one. Very cool!
I was running out of daylight so turned and headed back, and it really makes me laugh how differently he sees everything. I know they have a right brain left brain thing going on, but it still amazes me. We did get to have one short nice steady canter with no butt hop on the way back, but it was work to get him up to it!
This is where the "been there done that" comes to play. This is something I noticed the first time I took him out there and did a short trail and turned around to come back. He argued with me about turning around and going back. On Thursday nights ride, he did the same thing! We were quite a ways down the trail too.....now the average horse knows that it is time to head back to food/barn/whatever. Tripp ..... well, I don't know what he thinks. Sometimes I think he just wants to keep on going to see what adventures are around the next corner!
On the way back he hit a very slow gear.....so I made him trot to try and keep his mind focused on something else. Imagine this....trot - NOT! - trot - NOT!...that is what it was like just about the whole way back. And if it wasn't that, it was food. It was still a good ride, but it was work.
The only thing that really spooked him was the FWAPPING noise of adult turkey wings in the woods next to us! Heck! They scared me too! Tripp jumped sideways, I sure did not have a tight rein on him because I was relaxed, then he stopped and snorted at the woods. That was a reminder I needed to pay more attention. :-)
Then we get back to the parking lot and do you think he wants to go into the parking lot? NO! He wants to go across the driveway to the other trail. Well, it is even closer to getting dark and I need to get him in the trailer. We slowly worked our way towards it, and once he stood there a little bit I got off of him.
I get his 'clothes' off him, then try to load him with me on the ground. I know he can do it because we were doing it - then he quit, then Evil Chris worked with him and he did it again, and I got him to do it several times, then he quit again. He follows me in no problem, but going in first seems to be an issue. Well, I refused to go in first....it took us over 1/2 hr. of working in the parking lot and walking up to that trailer, but he finally went in first! Do you think I could just go with it and go home? No, silly me thinks if he does it twice, he will remember twice that he can do it. It didn't take 1/2 hr that time, but it still took longer than it should have, and he was a turd! I am glad that nobody drove by because the way he was acting, someone would have thought I was beating him, when in reality I was just holding on tight thankful that he doesn't try very hard to get away!
He finally loads a 2nd time, I get him home and Brian asks how it was, I tell him, then he says "do we need to do some loading?" That tells me "Yes, we need to do some loading...." (insert sarcastic tone here) :-) Brian is right. So we do! It took a while, and Brian stood in the background, but we loaded and unloaded several times. We also made him stand in the trailer for a little bit - he doesn't rush out, but he likes to get close to the gate and I don't want him to know that he is big enough to push his way thru if he wants. I want him to get in, back up a little bit, and stand quietly. It was only a few seconds, or until he relaxes, then we ask him to come out.
Dang! He has had his moments, just like all horses, but this was the most he has tried me! I know it won't be the last either. He is still a baby, and he has been at this for only 2 months. He does so well at some things, that I forget he has not been around here for very long. So these bull headed moments are quite humbling - and a good reminder of where we were, and where we are now.
Brian said that when I was trying to load him, Tripp would get his head in the trailer like he was going to load, then he would just bull up. He could see him tense, get that look on his face, then he would lean back and plant himself. I kept second guessing myself and my body language, but Brian said he was just being a brat.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2008
We have pictures for this one! :-)
I got home from work and Brian was going to mow, and I needed a trail ride. Brian asked me if Tripp really deserved it after he acted the night before - maybe we needed to work differently this evening. I told him that Friday night was about me needing to be out there, not Tripp. Hee hee! Tripp can thank me later! ;-)
And it really was about me...it was a long rough week.
Let's just say that Tripp didn't prove that he should be going to the CA for a nice ride! He pulled his loading antics again. The driveway where the trailer is parked is pretty narrow, and we did a lot of moving his body parts around because he was all full of it again. He refused to pay attention to me, and I had to get very firm with him to get his attention. Okay, I am at the beginning stages of being hormonal right now, and I felt I was being so hard on him...so what do I do? I almost boo-hoo! Oh geez....Brian is very patient with me and reminds me of how horses get their point across with each other, and me smacking his front legs for coming off the ground right in front of me didn't even hurt him one bit! Uh, okay, I know that. IT IS HORMONES TALKING....OKAY????? Ha ha!!! You get the idea! I finally got a couple positive moves out of him, then just stopped for a minute.
I decided I was going in the trailer first, then he will go in by himself LOTS and LOTS of times! So we did. He followed me right in without missing a beat, I got out and he followed, then I sent him in at least 15 times by himself. The last couple of times he actually trotted up to the trailer and sailed in. Almost as if he was telling me "Okay okay, I got it already! Now let's go!"
We headed out and he stood still while I got him ready, he stood while I cleaned all 4 hooves, he stood still while I got on and didn't move until I leaned over to adjust my right stirrup on my boot, then we headed down the trail. He was very well behaved! Wow!
We had just headed out when I caught our shadow.......
This is our first water crossing. We have crossed mud crossings before but never water. And we still have not crossed water! Ha ha!
We can drink the water and eat the dirt, but nope, not going to cross it. I got off and walked across the little rock dam and back, and he followed me. It was chilly out and I really didn't want to get my boots wet. Yep, I wussed out. :-)
I got back on and he went up to the water to drink, then played in the sand with his nose, but just would not cross it. That is okay, not really a battle I want to fight out in the middle of nowhere. So we crossed back over the rocks, I turned him around so he could get close to it and look at it a while, then I asked him to turn and go. It took a while for him to realize it had to be my idea, and not his....
Hmmmm, what does this sign say? I bet if Dori from Finding Nemo were here, she could figure it out. If she can talk Whale, I bet she can read Conservation language.....
There was only one negative aspect to this ride. The darn horse flies followed us THE WHOLE WAY! I am glad I sprayed Tripp down real good - that kept most of them off him. I got a few good bites tho. Ouch!
The rest of the ride was great. We did a lot of trotting, and we did several short sessions of cantering with no butt hops!
Oh my gosh, get this! At one point we were cantering and he stumbled and went down to his knees, the reins went flying out of my hands, I held on to the horn just waiting to see if I needed to bail or not, then all of a sudden he picked himself right back up, I got the reins off the top of his head, and he kept that canter up about 5 or 6 more strides before breaking into a trot! That was one of the smoothest 'almost crashes' that I have ever had.
There was some new gravel on part of the trail, and I think his feet were kind of sore towards the end of the ride. It is really hard to tell with him.....I know it was dinner time and there was a lot of green along the trail, and sometimes that slows him down. Just in case, I took him off the trail and we rode down the dirt road a while. It was perfect because all the big rock had been zingered off the side of the road, so the middle was smooth. I also rode him along the side of the road in the grass, which was a challenge because he wants to put that head down. It was a good exercise tho.
When I got back to the parking lot he didn't fight as much about being done, but he was not happy. Then I realized that he doesn't like riding close to the truck and trailer. So we rode around it each direction several times. When he ignored it and rode right beside it, I stopped.
Then I led him around it each way several times.
Time to load up.....it only took a couple of minutes, but he loaded up himself. I even did it a couple more times to make sure it stuck.
We got home, I rubbed him down, and gave him groceries.
He has had access to the barn since we let him out on the hillside. That boy has several scrapes all over him. Over his eye, two on each side of his back, one on each side of the bend at the hock, a cut under one fetlock that goes from one side to the other, a big bald spot on one hip, and the newest one is a little bigger than a quarter on his right side. It was pretty irritated when I took the saddle off and I felt like a horrible Mom! It is not where the saddle sits on it - it is where the pad goes over the side of him, and the rubbing due to his movement irritated it. He is just getting into everything.....you know...being a real horse! :-) Like my vet says - if it can happen, it will!
That is all I can remember for those two days......
Until later....Karen and Tripp