|The dogs enjoyed walking 8-10km every day, haha.|
The trail ride was very welcomed, as it is always nice to just head out of the ring, clear the head and just wander amongst the trees and trails. Annie was happy to lead almost the entire time, and was quite unhappy when I asked Nicole to take over the lead (to practice Annie being in the backseat for a bit). I don't mind her having opinions about being behind, because she mostly just marches forwards like her life depends on it (y not in the ring tho, horse?) and will ride up poor AJ's butt.
|Being the leader is fun.|
Thankfully, we both stayed upright and I was happy the trail was finally open for use and made a mental note to frequent it more often. Typically, the trails across the river will only open once the river goes down. It usually happens end of June/early July once the snow from the mountains tapers off and the extra accumulated water disappears. Otherwise, it's a good swim across and I have no interest in trying to swim a baby horse in a very sandy area that has a reputation for sloughing off at the edges (remember how Suzie and I got stuck in the sand? yup, same place).
|Following AJ - it took some convincing we could|
walk this far behind and still be ok, haha.
The writing has been on the walls since I've owned her tho, and I just never headed the warning. Which, I guess is a "normal" thing to do with a young horse and a "green" to green horses rider... But still, I can't help but feeling like I messed up pretty bad and it kinda crimps my riding mojo.
I've avoided the horse and avoided the "fights" simply because they aren't fun.
But, how do you fix something if you don't practice or work on it?
Which is why as soon as I got home, I was back on the horse the next day.
|We might not have forward, but at least we look good?|
In a jump pad and all!
I went into those clinics knowing we had a lack of forward and got some good advice. So now, it's up to me to push myself to use that advice, be practical and methodical and just fucking DO IT.
So on Sunday I went out and did a schooling ride on Annie with N and AJ. Someone in our area had put out little "slow down" sandwich board signs and it spooked the crap out of Annie, but we did make it past without any theatrics.
Several attempts to circle brought on the lead change and there was nothing I could do (or think of doing) to stop her. Mare was opinionated and was trying her hardest to let me know we should be heading aaaaa thataaaa way.
We worked on our trot and canter primarily, and I did have to boot her a few times around the ring to keep her motoring. A few times I was suckered into riding how I did before, but quickly reminded myself and got back to work. It felt like endless boots to the ribs at some points and I got pretty fricken frustrated. But like... hooray for her being a good bean after 6 days off, haha?
|Annie says, might as well give me another six, lady.|
Monday I headed out again, this time ponying Spud. We had a pretty decent ride in the arena and I had ended up wearing spurs. I don't necessarily want to wear them all the time or rely on them, but I feel like maybe this will be a good tool to help us? It's tough to tell, and I try to ride as much as I can without them.
It was a shorter ride than Sunday's and I felt like she gave me some good work in between moments of being sticky. I still felt frustrated and sighed internally when a friend of mine who was planning a horse show messaged me and told me she was low on entries and could I please enter.
|Support horse shows.|
So, I accepted and sent in my entries for HCBC Training Level 1-3 and booked myself a Ride A Test/ Fix A Test Training Level 2 with the judge the day before.
With all of this being said, does anyone have any good exercises, tips, or tricks they've used with their forward-resistant horse? Did it get worse before it got better? How did you keep your horse "mostly" happy in their work while battling with the forward demons? I want to keep Annie as happy as possible, but some of our schools are going to be Tough Titties, mare.
I have gone back in a few blogs to read comments and things, but would love to hear if anyone reading in particular has used spurs or if this is something I should avoid? Why/why not?
As always, thanks for reading and I appreciate/value everyone's insights! It takes a village!