Monday, September 19, 2011

Nervous Mare

I worked on Sunday morning at the barn and got to ride Roxy again.

This time I go to learn more about her. She's here for training and eventually for lessons because the owners kid is afraid of her because she's a bit loopy but it's because she's nervous. K was saying she gets like this whenever a new person rides her because she's worried about being kicked and having her mouth yanked on.
Her weird nervous antics are when you're trying to get her to trot she does this weird canter step with her front feet when you sit down at the post, it took a lot less time this week to get her to come back to a proper trot but she's still a bit nervous. Then at the canter, she gets really scrambly or does a super fast trot. It's really hard to tell with her if she's on the right or wrong lead because she feels so weird and bumpy and the way she moves her body, she pushed your outside leg back to a weird angle and it's really hard to keep it still and in the correct position, so work to do there.

I took her over the trot poles that were out and other than get crooked to the second set she was really good. She stretches her neck out more over them and seems to relax a bit. I'm supposed to ride her again this weekend, so we'll be doing more of those. I'm trying (with little success) to find got trot pole exercises online for both her and Rocky so maybe I'll have to make up my own, unless you have some good ones to share?

As for Rocky, he was pretty good. We rode outside on Sunday since it was so nice. He was a bit more bucky because he had a lot of forward motion over the canter poles so I was trying to hold him back, clearly not the way he wanted, more things to work on! The poor girl that was taking lessons while I was riding! She said later she thought he was doing in on purpose or I was asking him to or something. Not sure why she thought that, but she's only been riding for about a month and I don't know how much time she's spent around horses before now. She's really nice though, she was like "that must be unnerving the first time he does it". I said yes a bit, but it's not. Because I know he does it, even if I think I'm not doing anything with my hands and he bucks, it, it's not unnerving. It's just something that happens, like a weird take off or a fall, it happens and you have to get up and go again and fix the problem. I had a lesson with my friends mum the first time I rode Rocky and she was like "your so unphasable" when he had a few crazy jumps in a row and I'd said something about them being a surprise. I don't know that umphasable is totally correct, cause I was pretty freaked out when Pony had bolted and done her weird buck/rear thing but I still kept going, because what else is there to do?
I have friends that whine or complain when the course gets high or looks hard and I'm not a big whiner when it comes to stuff like that. Mostly I look at it and think "oh shit" but then ride it the best I can. Because whining won't change the course and being worried about Rocky bucking won't change that he does it, and worrying about Pony bolting won't stop her from doing it. Even when something like that comes as a total surprise, I try not worry about it and just be prepared for the next time. Besides, being unphasable may not always be a good thing. Or with the case of Rocky's bucking, ride better so he doesn't.

I'm actually quite pleased to be riding him and have had the time I did with Pony for all her insanity, she was a good teacher. You learn to expect the unexpected and ride better. She liked a quite rider who gave her head, and that's what I always tried to do, luckily that wasn't something I was new to doing (riding quietly I mean) same with Rocky because relying on your hands isn't the great, your supposed to ride more with your legs and body; using your weight and stuff to communicate with the horse not just your hands. So even just knowing how he reacts to to much hand use at the canter makes me more conscious of it and able to correct it when he does buck.
I always try to think of what the horses I've ridden before have taught me and Tangos lessons were loud and clear!
1. Do not look down at the jump because she will stop. Always.
2. Learn to fall. Because you will. A lot.

If it does take 6 falls to make a rider, I must be pretty damn good because there was a lot more falls than that. Diesel also reinforced the falling lessons, but the thing with both of them is they were easily 16hh, Diesel 15.3hh I think, so you have time when falling to catch yourself and try to control the fall. Less so with 13.3hh Pony, so with her there was a lot of falls on jumps or whatever because there wasn't enough time to try and land on my feet or not on the jump. 

I still have to get a picture of Rocky to put on here so you can see how cute he is! And the photos from Ride For Red that I still haven't posted...lazy lazy.

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