Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Battling Rock

I've been waiting for Rock's fetlock to heal so that I could work on some behavior problems he had on our last couple of rides.  I lunged him yesterday to make sure he wasn't skipping a beat, and then rode him today.  I almost couldn't get the saddle on him even using the step stool.  That's how tweaked my muscles and joints have been.

He made every little thing a chore for me.  I couldn't get him to stand square on all four hooves so that I could mount, and when I tried mounting with him cocking a hind hoof, he'd start to fall and I'd abort the process.   I got past that, and then he wouldn't leave the barn, so I had to work him around the property.

We finally got enough momentum to get up the driveway and out to the trails.  He just ignores all of my cues.  I kick him with the spurs and he pins his ears and refuses to move, so apparently I need to carry a riding crop now.

Right off the bat we ran into some gaited horse riders coming toward us.  Rock kept stopping to gawk.  I was frustrated, because it took all of my strength to keep him moving, and these riders kept stopping to fiddle around with stuff, and I just wanted to get them out of my horse's line of sight so he'd stop gawking and balking.

I turned him up a trail and hoped the other riders would go in the opposite direction, but they came up from behind us, so Rock kept trying to turn around to look at them.  I had taken two Aleve for my bruising pain from when I slipped and fell, but now my muscles were hurting from trying to keep Rock's head pointed in the direction we were moving.

My plans were to work on his barn sourness by making him walk fast on the way out and walk slow on the way home.  So far nothing was going as planned.  I decided to just keep alternating between turning him away from home and turning him toward home in order to get all expectations out of his head on where we were going.

Here he's leaning into making a right toward home and I am pulling the left rein with all my might and pushing him left with my leg...

After battling to steer him on this zig-zag path, I realized that the other horseback riders were following me while I was trying to lose them.  I just didn't want any distractions so Rock could focus on my cues.  When I finally got them out of our sight, he tried speeding up toward home, and I kept making him stop and wait, especially at the top and bottom of ditches to try to prevent him from running.  It didn't work.  The second I let him move forward into or out of a ditch, he'd just run from a stand still.

I've never had so many problems with this horse.  It's like he decided to be as uncooperative as possible overnight.  So, in addition to changing directions a lot, we worked on stopping and going at a walk, and then the other horseback riders caught up with us again, and I decided to just take him home and work on stop and go there.

However, as we were approaching the gate, I heard the neighbor we had a dispute with firing up a loud vehicle engine.  I didn't want to risk riding across the street if he was going to start drag racing again, so I dismounted and led Rock across the street.  I was so focused on the engine noise to my left that I didn't look right and we stepped right in front of a car.  I jumped when I realized my mistake, but was already committed, so we kept crossing.

Then I realized that this was one of the many cars that is usually parked in front of the mean neighbor's house.  I didn't want the driver to know that I was the lady who lives in the house where we had our dispute, so I kept leading Rock up the street past my house until she disappeared out of sight.  I know she was watching me in her rear view mirror to see if I was going to turn up my driveway.  She usually drives really fast, but was at a crawl while passing me.  I just didn't want anymore confrontations.  I'd already been fighting enough with my horse for one day.

When I got Rock home, I lunged him in his saddle, and let him trot and lope all he wanted.  He was full of himself, kicking out at me disrespectfully.  I just wanted him to learn that there's no point in running home, because he doesn't get to rest as soon as we get back to the barn anymore.  I hope he comes around soon, because I'm exhausted.  I went in the house and promptly threw up after our session.  I have no idea why.  I haven't thrown up in years.  I don't feel sick.  I don't feel nervous.  I just feel frustrated.  Maybe I got too much sun or maybe my body is rebelling against my frustration or maybe the Aleve I've been taking is not sitting well in my stomach.  Who knows?  A lot has been a mystery to me lately.

1 comment:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Turns out I am getting sick. I had a fever the following evening.