Thursday, October 12, 2017


I last left off with a pretty awful, no good, Very Bad Ride on Bannie. Fear not, we have been still plugging away at this newfound disobedience and as the blog title suggests, I've been trying to play around with the resistance and have made a few other calls to further squash any indication it could be health related.
Last week I schooled her once in the back paddock to try and recreate the "NO" answer I was getting so I could break it down some more and assess it without the pressure of time. We played a lot with stretchy trot - the idea being that maybe I was getting in her face too much and causing some kind of bumping effect when going into the canter.

Interestingly enough, Annie didn't offer any kind of resistance during her left lead canter, but instead started to get played up when asked for her right lead (her bad lead). I didn't feed into the drama when she started to toss her head and tried to leap back into canter. We went straight back to a stretchy trot and didn't even bother going back into canter, just to throw her off a bit. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't really able to assess the resistance more than what she offered. It feels like she just gets tight and balled up and when she gets the wrong lead, it frustrates her.

She has started to work on her fluffy hair
and... her gut. My horse has a gut now!
With daylight shrinking rapidly and work hours increasing, I haven't been able to really get a hold on this issue. It certainly wasn't causing me any stress or sleepless nights (until now, lol), so when the opportunity came to go hacking around with N and AJ, I did.

She tried her usual "FAST WALK AWAY" after I mounted and asked her to walk on. So we practiced turning back towards the barn and standing there. How weird is it I have a horse that walks slow towards HOME but walks fast AWAY from the barn? I know usually if you have a barn sour horse, you turn them away from the barn, but in my case I turn her towards the barn and make her stand.

We also did a bunch of circles along the asphalt - she'd fall out and start to walk fast reaching the top of the circle (towards the trails) and slow down towards the bottom of the circle (towards the barn). I did some flexion exercises - in and out, in and out.

Once she was responsive, I let her walk on a loose rein to meet up with N and AJ. She was really, really good. 

When we parted ways at the end of the ride, I opted to canter down the dirt road to see what kind of response I'd get. I asked for canter and got.... no head tossing, no tail swishing... nothing but the canter I asked for. She was happy to putter along and was respectable and amicable when I brought her back down to walk the rest of the way home. It was actually a really delightful ride.

My mind, much like a spinning carnival ride, started to reel in a million thoughts.

Is it her teeth? Does she need to be floated?
Is she just being asked too much?
Is she just needing a break?
Am I not rewarding her at the proper time?
Am I rewarding too much?
Am I not asking hard enough?
Should I be getting mad at her?
Is her back bothering her?
Does she have ulcers?
Are her ovaries bothering her?
Is she arena sour? Or just "work" sour?

I felt a little like a fish out of water with her newfound "problem" area, so I ended up weaseling my way into a clinic with a jumper trainer who I had taken lessons with before. I wasn't able to commit to the full three days due to work, but I figured one day would be better then nothing. 

post-hack happy faces!

Anthony is someone who I lessoned with back in my Geronimo-riding days. He is very blunt, but also calculating, thoughtful, and very observant. He makes me a little bit nervous (okay, a lot nervous), but I really respect and value his opinion, especially in "problem" areas of training.


  1. I hope the lesson goes well and provides insight!

  2. I hope you get some insight too! A few ideas - it could be a strength thing and then she gets upset/unbalanced about it all. If she's crooked that can be a contributing factor too.

  3. I am quite familiar with that list of thoughts :) I hope the clinic is helpful!