Sunday, August 8, 2010

The good times....the aches and pains times....

This is the part where I realized I don't get paid to think! 

I was so excited for April and her mustang Nevada to come out so we can trail ride at the Conservation area.  I had Boom out at the trails the night before and he did pretty darn good!  He has never been around a horse/rider team before, and I knew he would be nervous, but I thought (there is that word again) that he would settle down and once he started following them down the trail, he would be fine.

April took this picture - Boom has his eyes closed.  If he keeps them closed a long time, then opens them, maybe they will be GONE!!!!

The Snort Fest continues.....Boom had a HUGE problem with what he was seeing.

We followed them around the parking lot for a while.....

And Boom did calm down a bit, but he was still a little stressed.  I thought he was fine at this point so I got on an off once - then got back on and we were ready to go.  He was nervous but following....

I did not get any pictures from up above because I needed to know things were going to be fine.  They were for a while.  We rode down the trail and horse flies started buzzing us (this is going to be long).  I reached back to swat, then reached the corner of the saddle pad and pulled (plus I think my fingers went under it) and he went straight in the air!  As in I was out of the saddle - landed in the saddle - tried to hold on but he was already in the air again and I was going down!  April turned around just in time to see me go down.  Boom took off down the trail, I was yelling for him, and he turned around to come back. 

I caught him, worked him a little bit, patted all over him, got back on and leaned over to put my foot in the stirrup and he went in the air again.  Well, of course I had NO balance to speak of since I was leaning over and I was on the ground again.  April saw the whole thing this time and there was no reason for him to freak out other than him being afraid of who knows what, and doing it because he knew he could.  He took off down the trail again, and I was yelling for him.  I watched him hesitate at the road, turn his head sideways, then he CHOSE to speed up and take off!  My horse was gone!

I was hurting but fine - just thankful nothing was broken.  I was also very frustrated that our trail ride did not go as planned.  April is awesome and to her it was a training session for us and her.  She got to take Nevada out by herself to look for Boom one direction while I walked the other direction.  They have not been out alone before and April says that Nevada did awesome!  If you all don't know April and Nevada, let me tell you that they are a great team!!!

This is where the pictures start again....April is heading to the field on the other side of the road.  I walked down that way because I thought I heard a horse snort in the woods.  Come to find out it was Nevada and the bean field circled around close to the woods than what I thought....

April following the trail that was mowed down along the timber line.

I called Brian to let him know I was bucked off twice, I was fine, but I lost my horse.  He asked if he could do anything and I said "I LOST MY HORSE!  AS IN HE IS GONE!"  He did not realize I really lost my horse!  So he headed our direction in the car to look for him down the road.  He got to the parking lot and took this cool picture.  I guess since I was okay he thought he could take a break.  Hee hee!

I had headed down the road the opposite direction as April and Brian met me down the road.  He was going to head to the shooting range area because there is a big grassy area behind there.

In the meantime someone I have met on the trail a couple of times drove by and she was keeping a look out for Boom.  Then Brian calls and says that Boom is walking down the road the opposite the shooting range.  He got him turned around and he was headed my direction.  I let him know the lady in the truck was headed that direction too.  She saw him, got out of the truck, and Boom came right up to her.  Brian held Boom and the lady in the truck came back to get me.  I had called April and left a message on her cell phone that he was back in my possession.  I was hurting but I walked him back anyways.  We walked alone for a while and practiced stopping, backing, etc. on the road.  He was very relaxed and his head was hanging low.......until we saw April and Nevada come around the corner!  Boom was back on alert!  He is having major stress issues!  Boom kept walking faster than me and bumping into me so I worked him on the road!  

April suggested we walk back to the place he dumped me, so away we went.

This picture is sort of out of was when we were walking back to Brian and he got this neat shot of April and Nevada.

We went back to the place and April had an idea - she would try to get in the saddle and lean on him while I hold him, to see what he does.  She would not get all the way on just in case he blew up again - just lean so she can push away if she needed to.  He is still so nervous around strangers, plus he was stressed out over the whole experience, we ditched that plan. 

When we walked back, Boom was actually walking beside April and Nevada.  He did keep a close eye on her the whole time tho.

I suggested April get back on to see what Boom does.  He snorted and moved back a bit, but started following.  We did get beside them at times while Eagle Eye Sonic Boom kept a close watch....

Boom spooked and pushed into me - again.  We are working on our space issues....and I need to work harder at it.  He is a big boy and sometimes doesn't even show that he felt, heard or received a cue to do something. 

We made it back to the parking lot and I had Brian drive the car by Boom.  The night before at the trail we had a truck drive by us and he was fine, so I did not expect a problem this time.  But then again, I also didn't expect to get bucked off!

He is still keeping an eye on Nevada......

I tied him to the trailer and he was yawning.....bucking people off and running away from home is hard work!  (He was a few miles away, so I imagine he was tired!)

We went back to the house to WORK WORK WORK!  April and Nevada were going to play in the pen next to Boom's for a while and we would work in the other one.  April and Nevada are playing ball!

Isn't Nevada a pretty girl?  Yes, of course she is!

Oh oh....Batman has a new girlfriend!  Smooch smooch.....

He gets those lips a little bit longer....he knows he can reach her!  :-)

Now the fun begins!  Boom looks at April and Nevada wondering what the heck is going on!?

After some round pen work, I got back on and got right back off.

Whoever said the third time is the charm didn't get bucked off a 3rd time! 
Then......I got on and had too many thoughts in my head.  Big mistake!  This is what happened - I got on, let go of my left rein so his head was no longer flexed, was going to flex him the other way then decided to pet the right side of his neck first and I felt that head go up and the body puff up.  I KNEW that I did not have enough time to get off before he blew up and away he went!  He is fast!  Problem - right foot was not in stirrup so I had no balance at all.  He jumped to the left and I was already sideways and was going to try to grab the corral panel to slow down my fall.  I think it helped...but I still hit my hip hard on the ground.  Poor April and Brian were freaked out because I hit the ground hard - but I was fine.

Now Brian laughs about it.....I was laying on the ground.......before even telling him I was okay I was apologizing for my language.  :-)

I am stretching my back.....all I know is I was brave twice and now I think I am sick of being brave!  This hurts! 
And to be honest - I am not very brave right now at all.  I am downright scared I am going to hit the ground again.  So now he and I both have confidence issues to work thru.

Time to work again.....we worked our butts off and here we are getting a breather.  April is in the pen next to us and we are talking about the 'Why' and 'What' and 'What to do' etc.

I did get back in the stirrup a couple of times, then got right back down.  We did figure out that when April touched the low end of his neck where I hold the mane to pull myself up, he lifted that head sky high and tensed up.  So he is anticipating the 'scary thing' that I need to figure out.
When I got on the other side to put my foot in the stirrup, I also petted the right side of his neck and he jumped away.  I have a lot to work on to let him know that he is okay.

Okay, this looks like April is laughing at me....but she wasn't.  Well, I don't think she was....ha ha!  April, were you laughing at me?  Are you saying "Whew, glad it is you and not me?"  Ha ha!

April is checking the saddle fit.  Whatever is setting him off is on the right side, and it is when I lean forward.  She thought maybe the saddle was pinching him.  She could get her hand in on one side but not the other.  Then later that night I could get my hand in on the opposite side but not the first side.  Now I don't know.......I need someone to help me with the saddle fit to make sure all is well, or if I need to make changes.  I sure don't want to hurt him.

April worked with him and he responded nicely to her.  April says I have done a great job with him, we just need to backtrack a bit. 
Brian brought something up that I had not thought about - he said "When April was working with Boom while the horse fly was on his butt, who did he pay attention to?"  It was April!  She was asking him for something and it was up to him to deal with the fly!  Me....I am paranoid about the flies and am swatting them all the time and he knows it.  So I am not someone to be respected 100% of the time - I am the fly swatter a good chunk of that time and he knows it.  It is going to be hard for me, and I am still going to have to swat flies, but not as much as I do.  I can't give up cold turkey.  :-)

Before we quit for this session I worked on a few things he knew how to do.  We were going to end on a good note.  Leading by the jaw is something we work on a lot.

April and her Nevada.....they love each other...

While all this was going on, Batman and Wyoming were playing tag.

Yep, this is Wyoming!  Doesn't he look great?  He and Batman have so much fun playing together.  April noticed that Batman runs as fast as he can and Wyoming can catch him, but chooses to let Batman stay enough ahead so as not to hurt him. 

So there you have it.....we have had a set back that both Boom and I need to work thru.  My confidence is shattered and I really need to get it under control before I get back on.  In the meantime I am going to work on everything that I can think of to help him thru this.

Until later....Karen and Tripp who says he just bucked me off once, and it was because he lost his mind when it was cold and windy plus the other horses were on the other side of the fence running he had an excuse.  He is not happy with Boom right now but will give him another chance for his girl.  :-)


Tina said...

Oooh, anyone would be feeling a bit shattered after three falls one after the other!

Yes could be the saddle; my new girl behaved very oddly in a new saddle that I thought fitted fine. Didn't seem to be pinching anywhere but she jacked right up and ran backwards, and she is nine years old and has been undersaddle for years and years. She loathed that saddle for some reason, but with a different one on off she went like an angel. I think Boom may take longer than that even if you fix what ails him. He has scared himself as well as you.

Yes, go back to square one and work your way back up all the way so you both have a chance to build on success and get your confidences back. Do your flappy legs and all that over again so he can have a chance to have another tanty and find out it doesn't always mean the 'rider' comes off. Good luck and best wishes!

Michelle said...

Wow, reading this post brought back a flood of memories with Faith. I really feel for you. I hope you figure out where to go from here and do what's best for both of you. {hugs}