Saturday and Sunday were lovely. We were the first ones in a newly worked arena. She lunged like she'd been doing it all her life, and mounted, we could trot big circles (and little ones) without losing her balance. So, so good.
And then there's today. I don't know. She's back to her spinning to face me gig, but fortunately only on the right. It's weird. I'm beginning to think she loses her balance, turns, sees me, and then feels stuck and doesn't know what to do. Maybe not. Maybe she's just stubborn and wants to quit. Either way, it's frustrating. Just when I'd think I had her worked through it, she'd do it again. And rear.
We finally got to a point of semi-mutual understanding, though, and went to mount. She more or less stood still to mount, but acted like an idiot once I had my stirrups. I finally saw why: One of Cathy's working students was turning out horses in Izzy's pasture, so they were running around wildly and upsetting all the other horses. Izzy is still pretty reactive to that. I probably could have at least tried to ride her through it, but there was no foreseeable end, I was already in a bad mood from dealing with the rearing, and I was going to have to steer around the lady taking a lesson who I swear is one of the dumbest people I've ever met.
I got off. I figure it's better to have a short day than a bad day. Besides, we have a lesson (gasp) on Wednesday. That should be exciting.
If you need to stop working, then stop - sometimes that's the best course, particularly if things aren't going well - it's better than having a bad experience. On the lunging problem - are you perhaps getting "ahead" of her in the one direction - if due to your body position you're in front of the middle of the horse, she will stop and turn in - or sometimes it's a matter of foot placement - if you face her she may turn in, whereas if you stand behind the midline of the horse and face obliquely - toward where she'd be going if she went on straight - that may help. She may need you to be more clear about this in one direction than the other. The rearing may have been from confusion rather than disobedience - if you were putting pressure on her to move and she didn't know which way to go, going up was an option (the wrong one but she didn't know that). Just some ideas - I may be completely off base, particularly as I can't see you.ReplyDelete
Thanks Kate! I try to be careful about getting ahead of her, but the stickiness is always in the same spot. Maybe she likes that spot? It could also be that I anticipate it subconsciously and contribute to the problem. I'm still a bit confused about whether this represents a lack of her understanding what I'm asking her to do or if she's trying to get away with something. It seems like she ought to know what to do, but when do horses do something just because it "seems" like they should?ReplyDelete