Wednesday, June 13, 2018

One of the Best, One of the Worst.

One week following her injury, Annie returned to work. During the entire process, she never wavered in soundness, but didn't seem to mind the unplanned vacation and copious grass eating in the front yard (it is unfenced, so only monitored grazing is allowed!). 

Eating, eating, eating.
Since returning back to the saddle, we've taken it easy (so to speak) and have mostly just been hacking. The injury to her pastern has held up great with the added movement, but did crack a bit the first two rides, as it was drying out and scabbing over. I wanted to keep the rides light and simple, mostly for the benefit of the mare.

For the most part, Annie was happy to oblige. On Wednesday, I hacked out with a friend who I hadn't ridden with in a very long time and her horse, Geronimo. Long-time readers will remember I used to lease Geronimo, who is a fiery chestnut gelding. 

Annie was pretty good heading out, but got a bit spooky about going up the driveway to V's place. She always seems amazed when I take her places there are other horses. "WAIT. We aren't the only ones in this entire planet?!" No, mare, no we aren't.

New friend, Geronimo.
She took to hacking beside Geronimo quietly, and even ignored him when he spooked at something random. She had a few spooky moments, but otherwise was well behaved. We had intended to hack down to a bridge, but because Annie lacks hind shoes, we ended up cutting the route short to save her from any discomfort. The ride was pretty long - much longer than I had anticipated - but it was a quiet and nice hack nonetheless.

Our re-introduction to riding was pretty uneventful, except for a little melt-down on Thursday. It was raining and I had arranged to ride with a friend. Because I was running behind, S showed up riding her young gelding Charlie. This seemed to rile Annie up, as she couldn't believe her friend came to her house!!! It didn't help that Charlie was spooking, snorting, and fidgeting the entire time S had to wait for us to tack up. I get it - he's a young, green horse so the sights and sounds around him were making him a bit agitated. Unfortunately, it did nothing good for Annie. She fed off of him like a parasite and was very reactive when I finally mounted (she moved and fidgeted and carried on). 

With Charlie, heading home.
It seemed like both horses were feeding off of eachother and when one flinched, the other spooked. Probably not the best hacking out partners, in hindsight, haha. We went to round a corner in the road as both horses were finally beginning to relax and BAM. Charlie came to a screeching halt - a group of people with hoods, umbrellas, and TONS of children were walking towards us in the rain. Annie came to a halt as well and I felt her front half grow a good 10ft while her back dropped to the ground. It was a very uneasy feeling - having nothing in front of you. 

S managed to egg Charlie on, as Annie completely refused to move and was nothing more than a solid statue. My mind screamed at me to jump off, but the bull-headed Scorpio in me told me to give her a whack on the shoulder with the crop and carry on. So, I did. 

And, mare lost her noodle. She went forward, hesitated, went forward, slammed on the brakes, went forward, spooked hard, did a weird pirouette to the right, and scrambled to get her feet under her, and tried to shy off towards the barn. The weird tap-dance she did on the asphalt put my heart in my throat, as it felt like she was going to slip and fall smack dab in the road. During her whirling and twirling, the woman walking called out, "Is she scared of us?"
Uh, I'd say so, haha. 

I don't want to sound conceited, but she is looking amazing this year.
So grown up.
If only the brain would match...
It was weird tho. She's never ever spooked at people, much less tried to EVADE the situation. So, needless to say I was feeling pretty annoyed and frustrated with her. 

The horses carried on for a few more minutes before both mellowed out into a quiet walk. I offered that we should head to the ring to school, as both horses were edgy and if Annie wanted to be a twit about people WALKING, we could school. 

The ride in the arena was wonderful - she ignored Charlie spooking at the far corner, ignored the sound of the wind rustling the trees, and just kept doing exactly what I asked her. She felt steady and obedient in my hands, taking contact evenly in both reins. It was a really, really nice ride. She even offered a few wonderful stretches at the trot, enough so that S called out "She looks good!!". I was pretty damn pleased, especially with the Not So Good Beginning to our ride. 

I kept the school short, since she was being good and because of her leg. I had wrapped it on this particular day, but still didn't want to stress the injury and cause it to rip/bleed. The hack home was quiet, uneventful and both horses were happy to plod along like they had been doing it their whole life. 

Finally getting a badonkadonk.
So I guess she made up for her weird, crappy, not so fun behavior with the excellent school. Has been one of the best since our clinic with Anthony back in May! Still, her behavior left me reeling a bit, and kind of nervous for my next ride. The feeling of feet scrambling on asphalt is unsettling to say the least.

Kind of weird in a way - having one of the best schools on her and yet one of the worst hacks. 

Horses. 

Does anyone else get this way? Their horse is the best of the best and then the next day is a complete friggen idiot? How do you cope when things kind of back-slide, or when you have a bad ride? 

3 comments:

  1. I don't blame you for feeling unsettled! I have had rides like that-one day you feel like you're floating, and the next day you think they have no regard for human life. I just try to remember they have off-days too, and the next time would be different. And try to learn from it somehow.

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  2. lol, every ride basically! Shiraz spooks at people, chairs, mounting blocks, shadows, other horses near her (on and on x infinity) but then will jump anything in her path calmly like its no big deal, walk over tarps and bridges, hang out calmly while other horses are galloping/bucking in the paddock beside the ring. I just don't even get it. Ugh!!!

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