I have never ridden in a clinic before but have wanted to. I finally have the chance to go to a Harry Whitney clinic...so I signed up. Woo hoo...
Someone from our mustang club has seen him, and took a private lesson from him. She could not say enough good things about him so I checked out his web site.
He sounded like the kind of person I would love to work with, so I signed up and decided to take Wyoming instead of Tripp. Tripp would have done great; but I knew I would learn much more with Wyoming. I started getting back on him this summer, but all my rides were short and bareback. This is the second or third time the saddle has been on him in two years. He is six years old now and more nervous than he used to be. He used to be so brave (and so was I) but now he seems to need other horses more than he needs me. I know the old ways I learned to get his attention, but after reading about Harry and reading stories from people who have taken his clinic, I got to thinking there was a better way...and I wanted to learn that way.
Before we left, I tried to get Wy out and about a bit. A friend of mine has an indoor and outdoor arena, and she said I could use them whenever I wanted. I took Wy over there a couple of times before the clinic....
I did a little bit of ground work to see how well he is paying attention. Wy is a multi-tasker. He can do as I ask and pay attention to the other horses at the same time. I really don't think that is how it is supposed to work, but it does. Ha ha...
I decided to use the rope halter with mecate reins that I have been using on Tripp. I used to ride Wy with a halter so that should feel no different to him.
Wy: "Oh geez...how embarrassing...I hope my new horse friends are not watching this."
Wy: "Good grief! We are going to run out of daylight before she figures this out."
Wy: "Finally! Let's just mosey around the arena a while..."
Wy: "Now let's go over to my new horse friends...yeah, there they are, over there..."
Wy: "Yep, let the girl think I am all relaxed while moseying by my new horse friends...."
Wy: "WOO HOO....SURPRISE.... (snicker snort snort)..."
Wy: "Now to let the girl get her heart rate back to normal, pet on me, and think it was all just a silly accident (snort whinney snort...)..."
Wy: "And the girl gets off after us walking across the arena without any more 'accidents'....nicker nicker snort..."
Now the girls version. Wyoming is very reactive to things. I know he has a reason, but I don't always know what they are. I really don't know what caused the spook you saw here, but let me tell you what, in a split second I knew I was going off then told myself to drop my legs, sit my butt in the saddle and HOLD ON. He turned all the way around then stopped on a dime. My right foot was out of the stirrup because of my initial reaction to the spook, so I was very glad he stopped. I am still convinced him stopping saved me. The funny thing is he was standing there trembling, and I was sitting there trembling. Then I heard this voice from the other side of the arena yelling "PET HIM. PET HIM AND BREATHE. YOU BOTH NEED IT." That was about the time I started laughing because I was too scared to pet him. HA HA...every time I moved Wy would jump a little bit. I finally got myself scooted back in the saddle and was centered again, I petted on him,then asked him to walk along the rail and across to the other side of the arena away from the horses; then I would call it a night. I figured that was ending it on a good note. He didn't give me any trouble at all....whew. Thankfully Brian was at the other side of the arena to shout at me about normal body functions...such as breathing. Ha ha... He also told me the spook didn't look that big. I told him it didn't matter how it looked, it only matters how it felt. Ha...
We have a lot of work to do but that is okay. It will be worth it. At this time my plans for Wy are endurance riding. I just need to get into gear and make things happen. I really think he will be good at it and like it. And if he doesn't...well, we will find something else he likes to do.
Until later...Karen and Tripp who says it is a good thing Wy will be the endurance horse and more power to him...