Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who are you and what did you do with my pony?

In an ironic twist of fate, the weather went from mid nineties and sunny to mid fifties and blustery in the matter of a day. When lesson time rolled around yesterday, I wasn't even sure I wanted to ride because it was blowing so hard. Izzy seemed ok, though, so I went ahead and got ready. As far as spookiness goes, she was a superstar. She had one stumble/spook thing, but that was our only mishap. She wasn't even worried about the rest of it.

Unfortunately, nothing else about the lesson was superstar like. I was prepared to hear a lot about my position and how I needed to change to best help her. Unfortunately, she decided she absolutely could not under any circumstances go forward. So, instead of actually working on something that could help us out in general, we spent pretty much the entire lesson just getting her to trot either direction. When we wanted to canter, Cathy had to chase us around with a lunge whip for like three laps, just to get her started. It was frustrating.

I figured that she was probably tired, since I'd turned her loose in the arena to test the waters as far as spookiness, and then I'd lunged her after that to make sure the spectacular airshow she'd put on wasn't going to be repeated. Cathy mentioned that it might also be her reaction to the temperature change and wind; instead of being spooky, she just kind of locked up. I guess the lesson was moderately useful, but definitely not what I was looking for.

So today I go get her out... WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. It's so frustrating. It's still cool, but no longer windy. I even got Cassie out first and lunged and groomed her, to make sure it was plenty warm when I got Izzy out. Still nothing. I got off, held the inside rein in one hand and my whip in the other hand. We practiced going forward when I cluck, even without the whip. When she seemed to understand, I got back on. Still nothing. I got off again, put the lunge line on, and repeated the lesson. What little trot I had gotten out of her before had been short and choppy, so I tried to keep her calm, and ask her to go forward. There's no sense in getting her tense, because then she won't understand what I want.

After lunging both ways with an emphasis on her going forward when I ask for it, I got back on for the third time. This seemed to go better. We didn't get stuck anywhere, but she still didn't want to go forward. I just pushed her through it, and made her trot and canter both ways. As soon as we finished our left lead canter, I got off, loosened the girth, and lead her out of the arena.

Why is this so hard?

We're going on a trail ride tomorrow with some calm horses. Maybe the change of scenery will do her good. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't get me bucked off.


  1. Izzy is sounding more and more like Tucker and I haven't figured him out yet, so I won't be much help. Eliminate all the possible physical causes, of course. Ulcers? Muscle issues? One trainer has suggested Tucker might be insulin resistant, so now I am trying low carb feed.

    Usually, with him, his not forward does have a physcial component. I hate the feeling, as I am sure you do. He may be trotting, but the energy just does not come through. My sympathy. If I find a good solution, I will certainly share it.

  2. When my mare Maisie balked and refused to move out, it turned out to be a physical problem that required correction by a chiropractor. As Jean says, it might well be some other physical thing, like ulcers or saddle fit. The choppy trot makes me think she may be sore.
    Sorry not to be able to help in a better way!

  3. Welcome to my life with Sam. Sam has never been a largely forward moving horse but my last few months in Townsville showed me a horse that was refusing to go forward. Since having him in Wagga and he has been seen by a chiropractor I now understand what the problem was a bit more.

    He was definatley sore from head to tail but also it was working in an arena. He was very bored, it hurt so it was easier to just not go forward!

    He is very different now and I ride him in a large open paddock and do a lot of different things while trying to incorperate the things I want to teach. ie I ride towards a tree and leg yeild to the side that I want. On a large circle change the rein through the cirlce, find objects and leg yeild around them etc


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...