Monday, January 23, 2017

Courage Meets the Fauxssoa

Between the non-linear process of recovery (I still love you, Ashley the Ninja Goddess) and the varying degrees of horrible that our weather has been lately, I'm still pretty well grounded. There are definitely good days now, but dayum this is a long way to have to come back from a totally non-cool injury. 

It's not like "AND THEN I JUMPED XC WITH THREE BROKEN BONES" (been there) or "I hit my head so hard the world turned purple" (been there) or even "no one legged up the jockey because they all thought I was going to pass out in the paddock (been there too). This is just "I got rear ended so hard that the car people made me go in the shop and see my poor stripped-down little car and were all "DAMN YOU GOT HIT HARD" and I'm like "yeah guys I was there".
slush puddle today, ice rink tomorrow
So anyways. As much as I'm not a lunging person in general, it's a good thing Courage likes ground work cuz that's all we've got. I already spread the good news about Vienna Reins, and then Teresa made me an offer I couldn't refuse on a Fauxssoa, so that happened too. That was actually weeks ago. In fact, she kept asking how he was doing in it.



Courage is super claustrophobic in general and weird about ropes in particular. And the idea of holding one end of a lunge line attached to giant panicking horse trying to escape from the scary-rope-box just didn't appeal to me, especially not when my body is on the more useless end of the spectrum lately.

So once a week for the last couple weeks, I'd carry the bag the fauxssoa was in to the indoor with me, then set it by the viewing area, then lunge in vienna reins, then take all the gear back and put it away. I never even took it out of the bag she shipped it in. After all, it was useful for keeping the fauxssoa tidy in my trunk.
staring at it like no you get up first

And that's just how it's been. Courage is doing really well in the vienna reins. I'm happy. He's actually very polite to lunge, which I appreciate.

However, there is a limit to the amount of boredom the human psyche can handle, and that limit plummets when the weather briefly turns our ice into slush so last weekend, I got all wild and crazy and actually took the fauxssoa out of the bag in the arena. I had promised video of the first time C tried it on because we all know how he is, but what you really needed was a time-lapse video of me attempting to figure the stupid thing out and adjust it and probably another one of the even-longer process of taking it off.
he thought it was funny for sure
Regardless. I put it on the horse. Eventually. I even took video. If you're like me and you hate video, the first 10 seconds are amusing.

If you watch the video, it's a reasonably non-dramatic introduction to a new apparatus. I like the first part a lot because he's unsure and he comes to me to protect him instead of leaving, which is fantastic. I missed some of his better hops, but some are in there. I didn't take the sound away (see again: brain damaged), so you can hear that I had to work pretty hard to keep him going.

It's just an introduction, so I don't really have any conclusions for you. It was less dramatic than I expected. Courage is clearly bothered that it's touching his butt, so I was having a hard time getting him to move out, but at the same time, the compressed stride it produced is excellent for the work we're doing.
this is weight lifting
He was very interested in stretching WAY down, which was interesting. I like that he's eliminating the "drop the flaccid neck" response and lifting the base of his beck while still stretching.
But he's also barely moving and really didn't want to go forward. I'm curious to see how he responds if/when I work him in it more. I anticipate that he'll work through the tuck-your-head-between-your-knees-and-kiss-your-bum-goodbye response as he acclimates to the butt rope, but I'm not sure what it's advantage over Vienna reins will be once that happens. I'm also a bit terrified of the amount of straps/clips/adjust-y thing-ys there are, so if you're strapped for time or it's ass-cold outside, I'd definitely pick up the Vienna reins instead.

I'd like to be stunning and witty and hilarious, but I'm running out of brainpower... unless you want to hear about that one time I fell in a puddle and got stranded on an iceflow in the dark?

Yeah no. World's least coolest injury strikes again.


  1. So our weather is not nearly as dramatic as yours (I'm in Kansas) but we've been going back and forth between mud and frozen ground. It might finally be usable this week. I'm trying to avoid lungeing because my horse has not so great hocks, but I have a pair of Vienna reins (the balancing style ones, so not exactly like yours) that I'd like to start using again. Oh and I wrecked my car on Friday (thank you, Mr. Deer). So nothing like the severity of yours, but I'm sore and my back and neck are angry. All of the rambling to say I can sympathize a bit. And for the back on topic part, I'm glad the introduction to the fauxssoa went well. I like reading the lungeing posts. :)

    1. They say winter ends eventually. :-) Hang in there.

  2. Hey, you know what? He's not crazy or wild with that mess of ropes all over so good for him! And continued best wishes for your recovery

    1. That was really quite unexpected. I thought we'd have a rodeo for sure.

  3. So many ropes. I'm not sure I have the patience to make so many adjustments! Glad it was mostly a non-event, and especially happy that C went to you first when he was confused instead of peacing out!

  4. Aw what a good boy - I love that he's clearly thinking through the sensations while also trying to listen to you.

  5. So it's been quite a while since I took my one dressage lesson, which obviously makes me a pro or whatever (snort) but I do remember the trainer mentioning that it was ok that my horse wanted to slow down a bit when he really lifted through his back, because it's also hard on their core, and it's pretty normal to slow down. So perhaps C is just working really extra hard in the fauxsoa (it sure seemed so in the video, even that walk was kinda sexy!) and moving out just takes a bit more strength than he has yet?

    Even if it's not a big sweepy trot, hot damn he's using himself nicely.

  6. I have never seen that type of "gear." Very interesting. He seems totally game. Good boy!

    1. I'd seen it but not handled one. It's an interesting concept.

  7. I love how his ears keep flicking back but he keeps trying for you.

  8. He definitely was giving an honest effort to process what it's all about. Good boy Courage!

  9. My DIY version is vienna reins + a neck stretcher going around the bum and attached to the surcingle. I like that it doesn't attach the butt to the mouth but it's probably less effective.


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