Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One of Those Days

After not having much luck riding Bombay on the trails, I tried riding Gabbrielle, but it just seems to be one of those days.  There must be something in the air.  I placed the saddle on Gabbbrielle's back, and she reacted by scrunching up her butt and scuttling around.  I hadn't even cinched it yet.  It's the same saddle I've always ridden her in.  I slid it forward and backward along her back looking for any indication that I hit whatever she considers to be the sweet spot, but she just continued to act as if I had placed a cat with claws on her back.

As always, I had inspected both the pad and saddle before placing them on her back, so I had no idea what her problem was.  I led her out into the arena for some groundwork, and she managed to swing her butt at me and threaten to kick.  WTH?  She's never done anything like that before.  So, I moved her to the round pen where I could free lunge her at a distance rather than on a lead rope up close and personal.

Despite me just walking her around the utility trailer parked outside of the round pen and letting her inspect it, she wouldn't go near that part of the pen for the first several rotations.  I feel like I am so over dealing with irrational horse behaviors.  It's really hard to ride a horse as reliable, steady, and level-headed as Rock one day, and then have to turn around and deal with these two gray Arabians who have had tons of training, and seeing them still act as if they had never been handled before.

When I moved her up to the lope, the water bottle in her horn bag bounced out, flew across her shoulders and landed on the ground next to her.  She was horrified.  So, I picked up the bottle and attempted to put it back into her horn bag, but she was having none of it.

What was supposed to be a little lunging and groundwork before some arena riding turned into me having to spend an hour desensitizing her to the freakin' water bottle.  Each time I shook it with a different tempo, she ran faster to get away from it.  I finally tricked her by putting it behind my back, asking for a kiss, kissing her on the nose, pulling the water bottle out and me kissing it, then asking her to give the water bottle a kiss.

She did.  Then I had to work on getting her to let me touch her body with it.  She's been touched by plenty of water bottles and has packed them out on the trails, but this particular one was scary because it jumped out of her saddle and tried to attack her feet.  When she finally let me put it back into the horn bag, I lunged her to make sure she wouldn't freak out over the sound of the sloshing coming from behind her, and all was good again.

I just didn't have time to ride anymore, because the dogs had to be fed, get their meds, and get their potty break.  Hopefully, after the storms, we'll have another day to start over, and I can ride these two gray goofballs before my own hair gets any grayer.


Crystal said...

Ugh some days hmm. i feel that every time I go to ride Bailey, shes good and broke and not spooky at all but she is a goober and makes me work...its easier to ride Jessie lol

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that at one point while I had Gabbrielle tied to the trailer, she started nervously dancing around and looking behind her. Turned out that big coyote was on the prowl. I waved at him, said "I see you", and then whistled for him to come to me. Coyotes are really good about running away when you try to train them like dogs. Ha ha. So, Gabbrielle did have a legitimate reason to be nervous then.

I also found out this morning that some winter visitors showed up two houses down a few months earlier than usual, so I'm sure their presence and activities have been putting the horses on edge. This includes the man who likes to hide in the bushes and spy on me when I'm trying to train my horses in my back yard. He is also the same man who rides his bicycle in figure 8's in the bushes in the desert directly in front of my house instead of straight down the trails. He's the reason why I hired the horse trainer to work with Bombay, but the neighbor went back to his summer home before I got the horse trainer out, so I had to be the one to ride the bicycle around Bombay.

Also, even though it is still hot outside, this guy started burning something in his fireplace and smoked me out of my house right when I had just opened all my doors and windows to let some fresh air in. I, personally, think there is no good reason to start a fire in Phoenix. Phoenix is already on fire.

I think this year I will not be shy about letting this guy know what a pain in the ass he is for me and my horses. If he's here for just a couple of weeks, and I can put up with it, but considering that he just moved new furniture into the house, I think he's planning on staying a while.

FoxLair said...

Would you or any of your horsey friends want a free horse? It's like I have PTSD from my accident and I just can't do it. My horse is great on the trail and not a spook at all...she's not good with large groups because she's alpha mare and has to be in the lead. With one or two, no problem, as long as in front or gets to know the other horses...let me know if you want more info...I would give a trial period and can return to me if does not work out.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

FoxLair - Thanks for thinking of me. All of my stalls are filled, and I've learned from past experience that having more horses than I have stalls always ends up being a problem. Plus I feel like the horses are finally settled in after we brought Rock home. The integration process was painful, and I'm not in good health, so I'm trying not to add to my stress. The only person I know who might have been interested just bought a horse, but hopefully some other local blogger will read this and be interested. Do you want me to write a post about it on my blog for you?